Wednesday, December 3, 2008

CMU Showcases Virtual Technology

The hottest ticket at Carnegie Mellon University today is for the Building Virtual Worlds show. Every year, a select group of Master's students at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center presents cutting-edge projects.

If you’ve ever had to wait in a long line at a restaurant or amusement park, you might be interested in what one student team has created. It’s called Get in Line, and it uses interactive games to keep people occupied and entertained while they wait. Participants use their cell phones to call in to a 1-800 number. Then they use the buttons on their phones to play a variety of games. People waiting in the same line could play against each other. Or people in two different lines could form teams.

The project holds appeal for businesses because they can intersperse marketing messages in or between the games. Even though this is just a school project, potential clients are already taking notice. Team members say after they recover from the Building Virtual Worlds show, they will work on developing a potential business.

The Building Virtual Worlds course was founded by the late Randy Pausch, a CMU Computer Science professor whose "Last Lecture" became wildly popular on the Internet. Pausch died in July of pancreatic cancer.

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