China Metaverse Activity – Resources

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for activities in China related to Metaverse platforms.

Baidu is developing Xi Rang, an app for virtual meetings that will be in use from early 2022 for its own developer conferences. Images below from Baidu.

Baidu’s metaverse concept on Xi Rang starts with a “Creator City” with a tall skyscraper at its centre, according to this visualization shared with reporters on Dec. 21, 2021.

See also… “Chinese tech giant Baidu says it could be 6 years before it can fully deliver its metaverse”, CNBC, 23-Dec-2021 blog post by Evelyn Cheng @CHENGEVELYN.

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Second Life – North Pole

I was pointed yet again by a blog post from Inara Pey to the wonderful detailed North Pole region in Second Life. The region is modelled and made available by Stormie Frua. If people use high/ultra graphics settings and the region environmental settings in an up to date viewer and with a reasonably powerful PC/GPU the visuals are stunning. It makes you wonder why people still think Second Life graphics are poor by modern standards snd if they are using low settings.



Realm of the Elves

Times of Day


Click on images to go to Flickr and see the 360° Panoramas…


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Second Life 360° Snapshots in WordPress

The Second Life viewer from version (15-Dec-221) now includes by default a facility to create 360° Snapshots. I have usually uploaded the resulting 360 panorama (equirectangular) to Flicker where they can be directly viewed and panned round, and just added a link to the Flickr image in my WordPress blog posts. But Inara Pey in one of her helpful blog posts has described how to directly embed 360° Snapshots in WordPress posts…


  1. Use the 360º viewer to take your image.
  2. Upload the image to your WordPress Media Library.
  3. Edit the image via your Media Library, and copy the URL as it is given.
  4. Edit the post in which you wish to embed the 360º image and position the cursor when you wish the image to appear.
  5. Switch to the Text view (click the tab at the top right of the WordPress text editor), and enter the following shortcode:
    [vr url=path-to-photo view=360]
    Where “path-to-photo” is the 360º image URL.
  6. Switch back to Visual (click the tab at the top right of the WordPress text editor), the shortcode should appear as you’ve typed it.
  7. Once you have created the 360º image shortcode:
    • Use the WordPress Preview option to check the layout of your post / page and that the image is properly displayed.
    • Use the Full Screen toggle option in the bottom right corner of the image to expand it to a full screen view and then click the icon again to return to the post / page view.
    • If you see a message similar to “Enter valid URL” or “failed to load the VR scene”, check to made sure you have added the shortcode and / or image URL correctly.

Here is an example using this method…

More details here:

Ah.. there seems to be no capability to add a “shortcode” block in our WordPress. To be investigated.

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Hypergrid Safari

Hypergrid Safari (HG Safari) is a group formed in 2014 as a successor the original Hypergrid Adventurers Club formed in 2010. Members gather at a jump off location on OpenSim grids and visit a couple of grid or sites at each meeting, speaking with the developers or owners of those facilities.

After a gap of a couple of years the HG Safari group will begin their travels again in early 2022 (blog post)… and this time they have a jump off location on OSGrid in the “HG Safari” region…


Join the Discord discussion for the group via

The HG Safari group visited Ai Austin and the Openvue and AiLand grids in 2o14… see this blog post…

Planned HG Safari Visit on 2nd February 2022 at 12 noon SLT (20:00 hrs UT)

More details of the visit in this blog post.

Tips on hosting a HG Safari Visit

See thia blog post…

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Open Metaverse Interoperability (OMI)

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for initiatives related to virtual worlds and metaverse interoperability including avatar appearance and world content. – Bridging virtual worlds by designing and promoting shared protocols.

I have previously blogged about OpenSimulator as an exemplar for some of the capabilities that will be useful for Metaverse platforms and services. This includes some resources, links and information on an experiment in 2008 on interoperability between Second Life and openSim. See this blog post:

Open Metaverse – the OpenSimulator Contribution, Blog Post August 14, 2015 by Austin Tate.

Update: 13-Jan-2022: Open Metaverse Traversal Group – MetaTr@versal

OMI Discord text channel #omi-metaverse-traversal

As a build up to a plenary meeting on 3-Mar-2022 to draft a declaration on Metaverse Portals, the third preparation meeting was held via Zoom on 13-Jan-2022.

Austin Tate presented the conceptual approach is allowing an avatar to use “Travel Outfits” and “Travel packs” for movement between different platforms in the Metaverse.

Slides are at

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Advanced Autonomy through Human-AI Collaboration

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for the UK programme on “Enabling Advanced Autonomy through Human-AI Collaboration”.

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OpenSimulator Community Conference 2021 – OSCC21

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is one of the longest running virtual conference series, having started in 2013 and run annually since. The OpenSimulator and Avacon Inc. come together to run the event on the OpenSimulator Community Conference (OpenSimCC – grid.

The main keynote presentations area uses the adjacent corners of 4 sims to provide capacity for up to around 400 attendees.

Links to my blog posts on earlier OpenSimulator Community Conferences..

Day One

Day Two

Expo Booths

Barbara Truman Tribute – Planetarium Plaza

Barbara Truman of the University of Central Florida and avatar Delightful Dooglangle in world died in 2021. In her honour and to celebrate her many activities and achievements in education and virtual worlds a Planetarium Plaza region has been created on the OSCC21 grid. The region has been created by some of the members of her team and the Virtual Harmony project including Andrew Stricker (Spinoza Quinnell), Cynthia Calongne (Lyr Lobo), Francisca Yonekura (Frankie Antonelli) and JJ Jacobson (JJ Drinkwater)…

The Barbara Truman Planetarium honours our dear friend, Delightful Doowangle, and her love for virtual worlds. Delightful devoted her life to virtual world simulation research, education, and Team Science. She supported the OSCC Organizing Committee and was the Community Manager for the Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy (MOSES) project. Join us as we reflect on how she continues to inspire us at Virtual Harmony.

Outworldz Portal Region

Fred Beckhusen (Ferd Frederix) has provided a portal and demonstration region for the “Outworldz” DreamGrid distribution of OpenSim… widely used to provide a simple to set up and manage OpenSim grid with many additional modules for extra capabilities. See

Music Plaza

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Decentraland – Resources

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for Decentraland –

Temporary (Guest) login is possible without registering, but the avatar appearance, etc is only kept locally in your browser for that mode. Full facilities require that you link a cryptocurrency wallet to the account, though that can have zero funds in it.

The Metamask Wallet is suggested by Decentraland, but you can also log in via e-mail using Fortmatic (validated via a GitHub account) which provides a wallet ID.

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Supercar in Colour

The Network on Air free streaming evening on 25th Noveber 2021 of Gerry Anderson’s “You’ve Never Seen These”… (see also included colourised episodes of Supercar (Pirate Plunder) and Fireball XL5 (The Granatoid Tanks). Colourisation was performed by Live Pixel Technologies.

Colour Clip for Episode Pirate Plunder

Supercar and Fireball XL5 in Colour! | You’ve Never Seen These | Supercolourisation

Twitter (@networktweets) watch along using the hashtags: #YNST #GerryAndersonYNST

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Gotham in Second Life

A Second Life build by Hera (zee9) entitled “Gotham” as it might appear in the early Batman days in the 1940s or 1950s. Visit via the arrival portal on the Cloud Lake region via and then click on the board to Gotham…

Hera also created wonderful atmospheric Second Life builds of Whitby (see this blog post – 17-Oct-2021) and Whitechapel (see this blog post – 17-Nov-2021)

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Whitechapel in Second Life

A Second Life build in November 2021 by Hera (zee9) entitled “Whitechapel” as it appears in Victoria era (late 1980s) around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders. Visit via the arrival portal on the Cloud Lake region via and then click on the board to Whitechapel…

Hera also created a wonderful atmospheric Second Life build of Whitby – see this blog post (17-Oct-2021).

See also Inara Pey’s Blog Post on Hera’s Whitechapel in Second Life (14-Nov-2021).

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Power and Peril in the Digital Age

The Royal Society of New South Wales and the Learned Academies Forum in Australia ran a forum entitled “Power & Peril in the Digital Age” on 4th and 5th November 2021.

A child is born 04.11.21… That child enters a complex digital world that brings both power and peril. Join us as we explore how technology, health, security and industry in a digital age will impact our child’s journey as he/she approaches 2030, 2040, 2050 and beyond.

Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist, used the fictional timeline of the 1960s “Jetsons” future family animated series to bring to life the timeline as the Jetsons was based in 2062 and as George Jetson, the father in the family would be born about now!

A talk by Dale Lambert, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australia and someone we worked with via The Technical Cooperation Program on the Coalition Agents eXperiment (CoAX) 2000-2002

Day 2 went into more detail on aspects of the life f the child born on 4th November 2021…

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This blog post is to provide resources and access links for

White paper –

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Microsoft Mesh – Resources

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for Microsoft Mesh (

Mesh for Microsoft Teams – Microsoft News – 2-Nov-2021.

Microsoft bought AltspaceVR as part of this development. See my earlier blog post on AltspaceVR in 2015.

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Rainbow Warrior

The iconic campaigning Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior ship sailed into the River Clyde in Scotland on 1st November to join other climate crisis activists encouraging world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to commit to changes necessary to protect the climate of Planet Earth.

Dolphins swim alongside Rainbow Warrior as it approaches Glasgow to send an inter-species message to COP26… [image from onboard Rainbow Warrior]

Current Location of Rainbow Warrior can be tracked on…

Channel 4 News (TV UK) report from onboard Rainbow Warrior on 1st November 2021…

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Meta – Resources

This blog post is to provide resources and access links for Meta ( – previously Facebook) and its Metaverse developments.

Announcement at Facebook Connect 2021 on 28th October 2021: Mark Zuckerberg Talk (YouTube):

Keynote by John Carmack at Facebook Connect 2021:

Metaverse – Resources

Social Web + Virtual World + Content + People

I-Room-Meeting-with-Avatars socialweb-vw-content-people
Austin Tate Briefing on I-Room and its Applications to Operations Centres and Simulated Training, 29-Aug-2015 [PDF of Presentation]


A sense of presence across platforms and experiences is identified as an important aspect of the metaverse/virtual worlds. We have done work on Virtual Distributed Collaboration across platforms and reported on some experience of experiments in this area in the following paper:

Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014 [PDF Format].

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Halloween in Second Life

Haunted Hollow 2021

More Halloween Experiences in Second Life

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Whitby in Second Life

A Second Life build in October 2021 by Hera (zee9) entitled “Whitby Birth of Dracula”. Visit via the arrival portal on the Cloud Lake region via and then click on the board to Whitby…

See also Inara Pey’s Blog Post on Whitby in Second Life (16-Oct-2021).

A Drink at the Spouter Tavern in Whitby

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AI Fest 4

“AI Fest 4: Trustworthy AI” is organised by the UK Dstl on 12th to 13th October 2021 using the IVent online conferencing platform and Slido for Q&A and Polling. The meeting sets out to explore the transformational impact of artificial intelligence on defence and security and discuss the topic of ‘trustworthy AI’.

At the request of the organisers information and speaker content is not shared on open social media. But the above links should provide access to information shared on-line by the organisers following the event.

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Seven Dales Heritage Run 2021

DLMC-Logo-sThe De Lacy Motor Club (D.L.M.C) in Yorkshire has been running rallies, car trials and driving tests for over 50 years as noted in my previous blog post. After a year out in 2020 due to COVID-19 the Seven Dales Heritage Run was run again in 2021. As usual family members entered the event again this year for a nice run through North Yorkshire. Unfortunately we could not enter ourselves this year. But hopefully we will be back in 2022.

Event Secretary Steve Cowley was kind enough to give us an event plate and the road book so we can try the route ourselves sometime.

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Second Life Book Club – Derek Künsken

On 6th October 2021 there was a Second Life Book Club get together with SciFi author Derek Künsken – – moderated by Draxtor.

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Expo 2020 Dubai UAE

Expo 2020 ( opened in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with an opening ceremony on 30th September 2021 and will be open for six months from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022. A “Virtual Expo 2020” runs alongside the physical real world expo on a range of platforms and including online events and experiences. More details at

A PDF Brochure with images of the architecture and pavilions at Expo 2020 is available here [PDF Format, 28 Pages, 7.5MB]

United Kingdom Pavilion, Opportunity District

Expo TV (Live with Features Each Day)

Live Chat Plays

Tours led by an Expo 2020 guide as he or she walks round some pavilions and facilities meeting those involved, watching live performances, etc. Polls, audience feedback via chat ( login required) provide guidance and audience interest feedback.

Virtual Expo Platform

The platform used for the front end user experience for Virtual Expo 2020 appears to be “Beehive” ( or something very much like it (see this Beehive Use Case for the Global Youth Engineering Climate Conference 2021).

Expo 2020 in Minecraft

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Supercar Wall Ice Cream Advert

And a set of adverts using Gerry Anderson productions…

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Interesting Locations on Bellisseria

This blog post on 12th September 2021 by covers some interesting locations to visit on the Bellisseria containment in Second Life… the location for Linden Homes such as my houseboat

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Global Youth Engineering Climate Conference 2021

The Global Youth Engineering Climate Conference 2021 (GYECC21) online virtual event took place on 7th and 8th September 2021 with exhibits and facilities being available thereafter until 12-Nov-2021. Over 4,000 attendees for some 100 countries joined the event. Use #GYECC21 in social media posts. Access facilities via

The virtual event platform used is “Beehive” (

See also

A few observations on the Beehive platform:

  1. The animated “Eco-Park” orientation approach and entry to the various areas works well and is easy to use and navigate. Watch out for “Nessy”.
  2. The “Points” system encourages exploration of the exhibits and galleries as well as use of the collaborative aspects of the platform.
  3. When an attendee tries to set up a 1-1 meeting, there was no means I could see to message them to better arrange mutually convenient times, or discuss in advance the topic of the proposed conversation.
  4. When trying to suggest an alternative time for 1-1 meetings for someone who had previously suggested a meeting, the time slot selector briefly flas
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360° Snapshots in Second Life

On 21st October 2021, the 360° Snapshot “Project Viewer” became a Release Candidate as version

linden-lab-360-snapshot Since 2016 a Second Life “Project Viewer” has been under development by Linden Lab that allows for the creation of 360° snapshots in Second Life virtual world scenes (see this earlier blog post). After a period of inactivity, a new version was released on September 3rd, 2021.

The 360° Project Viewer allows for the capture of 360° panorama (equirectangular) snapshots which can be saved to the users’ local computer and then viewed or shared via social media streams, uploaded to sites that support 360° images such as Flickr, or viewed in VR for example via the “360 Photos” app for Oculus Rift. The facility can be accessed via the Viewer menu “World” -> “360 Snapshot”. For convenience, a User Interface button can be added to the menu bar to provide access to the 360° Snapshot Tool, or a link off the standard 2D snapshot tool also opens the 360° tool.

Set a suitable viewer distance for what you want to capture, and I find it best to look round and ensure all content is concurrently visible without refreshing as you look round. Try increasing the viewer cache size if it doesn’t.

Image Quality Choices

All 360° images are created as 4096×2048, 24-bit colour and 96dpi. The quality settings vary in the JPEG image quality saved setting, and hence the file size. All image quality levels looked crisp except for “Preview” which appears blurry.

Click on Thumbnails Below to View Example 360° Images on Flickr

l360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210903_214710 sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210903_214749
sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210903_214710 sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210904_101116
sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210904_101116 sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20210904_101317

The above 360° images can also be viewed in this Flickr Photostream.

Issues Remaining with Second Life Project Viewer

  1. The “Preview” quality settings appears blurry in all instances. Perhaps a refinement to the quality being created here to make it the minimum that would appear crisp would be useful.
  2. When using the “Maximum” quality image setting, a few times some objects in view, such as a sailboat, was only partially rendered. Dropping to the next level down “High” quality appeared to render fine.
  3. The 6 sides of the cube “skybox” that are created to form the image can show clear demarcation lines at the sides of the faces… especially when the sky light varies a lot between the directions. The sea level can also appear with a straight edge and corner where the sides of the cube meet. See example to right.

Images from 360° Snapshot Project Viewer

sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20211022_141531 sl360_Damiano_4096x2048_2048_20211022_141603

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Space:1999 Moonbase Alpha Technical Operations Manual

Launch video for Space:1999 Technical Operations Manual by Chris Thompson and Andrew Clements… due for release in October 2021 via Anderson Entertainment.

Starlog Moonbase Alpha Technical Notebook

Released via Starlog Magazine in 1977 as a mail order item.

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Abba Avatars

50 years after their initial formation and 40 years after their last performances together, Swedish super-group Abba are back with a new album and a virtual reality concert planned to start in London’s Olympic Park in May 2022. Avatars created by Industrial Light & Magic and a team of graphics artists have created the Abba as they appeared in 1979 using motion capture by the four members of group themselves: Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn… Abba Voyage

Abba Avatars

Motion capture by Industrial Light and Magic. Image by Baille Walsh

Abba Voyage Motion Capture

Abba Voyage Arena – London

Abba Avatars Technology

Back in 2019, the web site GraphicNews had an infographic that described the likely projection technology to be used for the show. Click here for Infographic.

Track from Abba Voyage Album – I Still Have Faith in You

Extra Trailer for Abba Concert and Avatars – 4-Nov-2021

Update 30-Apr-2022: Dolce & Gabbana Costume Designs for Abbatars

Update: 2-May-2022 – Abba Avatar Images from @AbbaVoyage

Update: 17-May-2022 – Abba Avatar Images from @AbbaVoyage

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Future Culture Edinburgh

Can we collectively reimagine Edinburgh’s cultural ecosystem and its future?

A mixed-reality workshop broadcast from Leith Theatre, Edinburgh with online participants via Zoom, organised by the Edinburgh Futures Institute. was used to allow brainstorm style input from participants… []

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Second Life – New Account Sign Up Experience

This is feedback after trying for myself the recently changed new account sign up web experience after receiving comments from professional colleagues joining Second Life for the first time, and being surprised at unsuitability for their purposes for the starter avatar they were given without choice BEFORE they were logged in, were visible to others, and used the appearance and avatar selection facilities. An issue seems to be the lack now of a selection of a starter avatar closer to their purpose and preferences BEFORE entering in world, as used to be the case (see this blog post of the process in 2016). [Note added: it is possible to use an alternative ne user sign up experience provided by Firestorm Viewer team. see ]

There seems to be no mention you have to go to e-mail and check that for the verification mail that is there. The viewer just says could not log you in!

Initially I could not log into the viewer the password accepted at account creation time, so thought that the password I had used must be wrong. I had remembered it correctly, as I could log in to the web account page. BUT when I came to change the password on the web it kept complaining the password was not suitable. I had to add more special characters and complexity than the instructions of a suitable password indicated before it was accepted. When that was accepted on the web page it also worked in the viewer. So there is some mismatch between viewer checks and account creation checks in terms of password complexity allowed (as at 30-Aug-2021).

The new avatar arrives at a “Welcome Island” where a few orientation areas allow the new avatar to get used to the environment. A “Guidebook” is displayed in the viewer to walk the new user through the initial essential things of movement and interaction between objects and other avatars. the Guidebook and tutorials can be recalled at any point via a button in the viewer, and the user can return to a version of the Welcome (Back) Island – not the original one so new users are protected from hassle).

The initially allocated avatar seems to be arbitrary. Though feedback from colleagues indicates a single choice for female (shopping girl!), male (orange shirted 70’s bloke) and Chris (for no Gender/Non-binary) seem to be the avatars appearing on the starter/welcome region. I understand avatar appearance and complete avatar selection can be altered in the viewer, but a lot of users may be unhappy with the initial allocation in terms of look, shape, skin colour, etc. My colleagues say they also feel under pressure at this point as they are aware they are in a place where they are seen by others. Removing the avatar selection carousel may not suit everyone. Maybe show the initial avatar choices or a “select later in world” option at account creation time? Or fundamentally change the initial process to use a personal “changing room” space BEFORE joining any public space.

I could not see an area where Linden Lab sought feedback after I logged in with the new avatar.

Details After Some Use

As soon as I began to obtain some of the avatar items and complete avatars, I realised that all empty folders in the inventory were not (by default) displayed. That meant when it came to amending or making a new shape the “Body Parts” folder was not visible to place these items in and to encourage organised inventory for new users from the start. This can be changed by the user, but is not obvious to new users.

It is also the case that opening group and friends tools to participate in social events is quite deeply buried. Placing these choices on the right-click context menu for the avatar (as it was for many years until recently) would be helpful.

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