Joining the Real and the Virtual

I really enjoyed watching this hour-long talk by Jonathan Oxer, entitled “[Hardware/Software Hacking: Joining the Real and the Virtual](,” which addresses the growing trends in physical computing, and the process of connecting the physical world with the virtual.

~ from Google Tech Talks, July 31, 2007


>Software developers usually confine themselves to working entirely within the runtime environment of a computer just pushing around bits and pixels. Even virtual worlds such as Second Life exist only in the confines of our CPUs.

>On the other hand, hardware hacking has really taken off in recent years and there are now magazines such as MAKE devoted to modifying everyday objects. It’s a lot easier than software jockeys may expect, and this talk will begin with an entertaining exploration of simple ways to get started with linking a computer to real-world objects.

>But what happens when you knock down the boundaries between the real world and a virtual world? The talk goes on to show specific techniques and examples for linking real-world objects into the Second Life environment so that changes in the real world can be reflected in SL and vice versa.

>Jonathan Oxer is founder of Internet Vision Technologies, author of “How To Build A Website And Stay Sane” ( and “Ubuntu Hacks” (, is currently President of Linux Australia, convened the last 5 Debian Miniconferences, and sits on various boards and advisory panels for groups including Swinburne University and the federal e-Research Coordinating Committee.


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