the tablet train has an Android locomotive


the OpenSim community really wants a tablet viewer and Alina is doing a great job developing Lumiya

the tablet market is something we recognize as an important one and it is also the market that mainstream is driving towards

i read two articles and was blown away by the numbers and how quickly the computer market is shifting

By the end of this year, Android will be in more devices than the next four competitors combined (Windows, iOS, Mac OS, and BlackBerry). Before the end of this decade, Android will be in nearly as many devices as all other operating systems combined. David Nagel (link to his article)

that quote is a bit speculative when it mentions where we will be at the end of this decade but the forecast for the end of this year, a mere 8 months away, is probably spot on

adding to Android becoming the most prolific operating system is the decline in the PC market. the graph below shows that better than i could explain and another article by David Nagel talks about it in detail

so what can you and I do about helping OpenSim become a reality on tablets?

well, if you have an Android tablet now, spend $2.95 at the Google Play store and buy Lumiya (updates are free and it does mesh!). the more it succeeds, the higher the chance it continues to improve and maybe even spark competitors. Lumiya is being worked on continually by Alina Lyvette and the latest update has added the ability to create objects and take them into your inventory


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written by Ener Hax

April 17th, 2013 at 8:01 am

posted in OpenSim

tagged with ,

16 comments to 'the tablet train has an Android locomotive'

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  1. I dunno, this discussion is popular right now with all the numbers being crunched. It’s obvious the desktop market is declining, but it’s far from dire. I can certainly see a near future where desktops are redesigned, more will come with other OSes installed such as Android or other flavors of Linux..but to be honest, these mobile devices aren’t much good without the content created on desktops. PC, Mac, whatever flavor of just can’t create well on a mobile device. I see possibilities in the use of peripheral devices which also happen to be mobile, using a desktop or other standalone device as a base station.

    Take Lumiya for example..very good client effort and it’s getting better all the time. You said yourself it can do mesh. The question is…can you create mesh on the same device? I bet it’s a lot harder, if it’s even possible. So, while you can work with mesh inworld using Lumiya..somebody somewhere has to create those mesh objects..most probably on a desktop.


    17 Apr 13 at 8:41 am

  2. 100% agree with you ELQ – the desktop will remain the powerhouse for advanced, non-mainstream, usage such as creating “things’

    be those things 3D meshes, advanced graphics, etc

    it’s not going away for sure but the huge number of tablets does force us all to develop for that form factor

    i have converted over 750 hours of eLearning into a format that works on all devices. it used to all be flash-based (for mundane things like page navigation that read XML files to certification exams). 15 years of eLearning development had to be tossed aside to make HTML5, non-flash, versions that would work on iPad and more

    Ener Hax

    17 Apr 13 at 10:44 am

  3. I have an Android phone and an Android tablet. I am also getting an Ouya thought the kickstarter campaign. I will be interested to see how Lumiya will work with that format (if it is available on it, if not what other viewer becomes available).

    However, I think the next big advance for Android will be when OpenSim server becomes available. Then users will be able to carry around their own private virtual world and use Hypergrid to connect to friends worlds on their mobile devices (tablets and phones).

    I can see in the future, instead of just having a phone conversation with someone, you will be able to login to your mobile virtual world, hypergrid to your friends world and chat and interact with them in their world (or leave a notecard message if they are away).


    17 Apr 13 at 7:20 pm

  4. Of course i have it already! :D:D its brilliant! works like a charm in my Samsung Galaxy S3 <3 I can even feed my horses and take care of the foals Alina yay <3

    R.I.P Desktop might have been spot on then? If i may link:

    and my test of lumia:

    Sorry, spamm queen Mera. Delete if u want, i will love u anyhoo <3



    18 Apr 13 at 9:27 am

  5. “Then users will be able to carry around their own private virtual world and use Hypergrid to connect to friends worlds on their mobile devices (tablets and phones).”

    holy kaw! i never took that perspective! that is a very interesting way to think of this! thanks Paul! =)

    doh Mera! you can’t talk about feeding your horses because you are Swedish and we all know about meatballs and horses there! =p

    thanks on your links! =)

    Ener Hax

    18 Apr 13 at 2:20 pm

  6. Horse meatballs? U are mean to me :}

    *facepalms* again for my excessive linking >.<


    19 Apr 13 at 4:03 am

  7. I would imagine that a Windows Based Tablet could run OpenSim as long as it could support Net Framework 3.51 or better. Win-8 does support Net Framework 4.5+ and works fine.

    As for running a full viewer, I would doubt that the majority of tablet’s could handle the graphics & processing requirements. I’d think Pixie would do it OK because of the browser base BUT then we have that incompatibility with MSIE 10+

    I certainly would not expect seeing OpenSimulator running on Droid. It does not support MONO or Net Framework and was never designed as such. Viewer for Droid will work on it but will they ever reach the full feature set as a Stock Heavy viewer is not likely IMO.

    I don’t use Tablets, as the tech is too immature yet but soon they will be quite ready for heavier users like myself. With Apple taking the hits as it is now and other’s gaining such momentum the market for tablets is expanding and so will the features, power & capabilities so in the next 6-8 months things will shape up big time… Expect a serious flood of new devices for Xmas and into 2014 that will be a heck of a lot more than what is available today.


    WhiteStar Magic

    19 Apr 13 at 2:25 pm

  8. I thought PC sales would have reached plateau before now, as anyone who wants a PC and can afford a PC has already got one, so no more growth, only replacement levels, and they’re lasting longer as well.
    Then we have recession and business contraction, so less demand there and probably surplus on the used market. So no surprise if PC sales are down. They should be.

    At the same time, lots of people are still catching on to smartphones and tablets, so sales and growth are strong.
    And their performance is improving rapidly, ARM say they will double their processor power during 2013, my new tablet is already old (!), there’s an incentive to replace and keep up, which also keeps up sales.
    The rapid improvement in capability makes it very hard to say how many people will keep a PC as well, and how many will have a mobile device instead. Androids could become more common than windows laptops and just as powerful, quite quickly.

    My tablet is pretty slow with Lumiya, but next year’s model ? who knows. It might be a viable laptop replacement – OpenSim on Kitely is mainly what my laptop is for now.

    Keith Selmes

    19 Apr 13 at 4:18 pm

  9. @Whitestar

    True, Opensim uses a lot of components that are not available on Android (yet). However, they were not available on Mac or Linux until someone wrote a module for them either.

    Eventually, if demand was high enough, then it wold be likely that someone will write the modules that opensim needs on ‘droid.

    Also, there are other solutions for virtual worlds that don’t use these modules and thus could be used for a ‘droid virtual world.


    20 Apr 13 at 1:46 am

  10. OpenSim is written in the C# programing language and uses Net Framework (Windows) or MONO (*Nix) libraries & functions to deliver through the net to the end user. These are massive libraries of functions & code which is millions of lines of code that are tied into the Operating System running them.

    Net Framework was publicly released in 2002 but was in pre-release development for almost 5 years prior to release by Microsoft.

    Mono came out in 2004 under Novell Corp and was restricted in development for a couple of years but is now out there for everyone. Mono emulates/simulates Net Frame and uses none of MS code to do so but falls under the MS Promise. There has been work on “droid” versions and there was issues with licensing and code release initially. There is progress but it’s just not there yet and likely won’t be capable enough for serious things for at least another 1 to 1.5 years, realistically. Getting close but the hardware needs improvement as well. (*see link below)

    Modules as Paul put it, is a far too simplistic view of the issue. It’s not like changing the wheels on your car, it’s more like changing the transmission & drive axle assemblies.

    * Check out this link

    The other drawback with phones / tablets is screen size and the visualization of the simulations. Small screens make it quite difficult for the viewer user. This is why so many “simple & basic” things are available on the smaller devices which all lack the feature richness and capabilities.

    The Future:
    OpenSim Server Side is text based which simplifies a lot as far as portability to other platforms. Administration is complex due to lacking a GUI and simplicity. I wrote a full GUI system to do just this, far more involved than NWS or SOAS but decided to give up on releasing it and completing a releasable product after almost 2 years of development & coding because to be honest it’s was futile exercise, it was Windows Only.

    Viewers I believe I covered a bit but the way forward is to deliver a Web Based Viewer for general use by everyone across various platforms and a develop/build viewer for creators. There really isn’t an option there, regardless of what many will say, it’s just the reality of it.

    Alternate Hosting such as Kitely are excellent for server side and a Good Market potential there and those fellows are doing an excellent job of it and their approach is quite appropriate.

    Cloud-Party is also an upcoming and increasingly feature rich with capabilities and uses a Browser Viewer and is set to toss aside SecondLife(tm) and even OpenSimulator(tm) unless those both see the light and jump on the bandwagon away from heavy viewers. Broad User access over many platforms is the only thing that will be able to compete. It’s a mindset change that must be embraced.

    There are other products like Unity 3D, OpenWonderland (Pure Java based) and more which also use Web Browser viewers… Their back-ends (servers) are significantly different as is the method of content creation.

    I’ve been involved in Virtualized World Technologies for a very very long time, back into the 90’s and have seen a lot come & go over the past. I’m still in touch at the ground pounder level of several and therefore I see things from a slightly different perspective with an evolutionary view. I hope this dialogue has helped to enlighten and raise questions which should be directed at those presently responsible for development of OpenSim, Aurora-Sim, SecondLife and related viewers. I’m off on other important projects now but keeping an eye on this with a hope to see a change in mindset to further OpenSim / Aurora-Sim into the next evolution.

    Have Fun & Enjoy. Hope it helps.

    WhiteStar Magic

    20 Apr 13 at 7:54 am

  11. I agree about the size of the phone’s screen being a problem, including the nexus 3 and 4; but did anyone pickup on hi fidelity, phillip rosedale’s new virtual world. all their announced testing is involving accelerometers and gyros (only found in smart phones). something is up.


    22 Apr 13 at 9:32 am

  12. My 10″ tablet has a 3 axis accelerometer and a gyro, among several type of sensor. There are games that operate by moving the tab.

    In addition, a tablet, and presumably a phone if it has the right connections, can display on a TV, output sound through the TV, and take input from a keyboard. As a control device interfacing cloud systems with input and output devices, it has a lot of potential.
    I think we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Keith Selmes

    22 Apr 13 at 11:31 am

  13. And not all Android devices are in Phone or Tablet form. There is the Google Glasses that are in development, the Ouya console, there are many Android and Linux kit computers, etc.

    Not only that, you can connect keyboard and mice (and other controller devices) to all these and the phone/tablet devices.

    We are entering an interface war era in mobile devices. The power of these devices are reaching a point where most of what people want to do is within the capabilities of the devices themselves (this is evidenced by less emphasis on performance specifications and increased focus on interface specifications). In this era, we will see improvements to how we interface with computer, not just mobile devices but across all computers too.

    Computers are becoming small enough and powerful enough to give interface devices a certain degree of intelligence which gives us the ability to create smarter and more versatile methods for interacting with computers. Touch screens and processors powerful enough to handle complex interactions lead the way to the smart phone revolution (could you imagine the current smartphone devices if we had to use a number pad to interact with it).

    As an example, it is possible to get an opensource micro-controller with Bluetooth connectivity small enough to sit on your finger. This would be small enough to include within a key on a keyboard. This would allow each key to be its own small (although not very powerful) computer. Each key can now be programmed to execute a program when pressed. This could be as simple as sending a single letter, or sending a whole string (a macro), or even let it run an interactive program that reads the state of other keys, looks at its own history or any other such activity.

    There is also motion sensors like the LeapMotion, the iToy or the XBox Kinnect, Touch screens, Tilt sensors, gps, etc, etc. With smaller processor and diversity of sensors, the new generation of input devices will allow more interesting interactions with computers.


    22 Apr 13 at 9:20 pm

  14. The only thing that I pointed out about Hi Fidelity is that it looks like Rosedale is targeting the smartphone and tablet market. Compared to the desktop/laptop market, the mobile user is completely different with phones and tablets, they replace them every 2 years, either as a upgrade or they wear out from use. What I’ve seen on the Linden and related forums, and other sites gives every indication that’s typical for most. If they already own a computer, they won’t upgrade it until it breaks. If they own an outdated system they won’t upgrade it until it breaks; remember posts from users with an early Pentinum processor (or a mac user), Windows 95, or dialup that spent a significant amount of time trying to get what they had to work. The one exception about desktop/laptop users is if they are serious gamers or making money to justify the cost, they don’t have the same budget constraints that everyone else has.


    24 Apr 13 at 8:14 am

  15. As you get old, believe me, small screens will be a pain!
    No matter what, Western civilizations are getting old and Virtual World users older as well!
    Unless you will walk with a 23′ monitor in your back i can’t see how any will use those small things in any but read mails and perhaps chat (until some say, Hoo you are all ruthed to me!)

    ZZ Bottom

    6 May 13 at 4:05 am

  16. i’m sticking with the Blackberry CEO – those tablet things are overrated! =D

    Ener Hax

    7 May 13 at 12:41 pm

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