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The Croquet Project…. Very Cool

I don’t even know what to call it. It’s not a browser, though you can open browsers inside of it. It’s not really like anything else I’ve ever seen… which is part of what makes it so cool, though it takes more than novelty to get me excited about stuff. No, this is more like an environment.

The technical stuff is, quite frankly, so far over my head that it’s in danger of colliding with a planet or two. But here’s what I do understand about the Croquet Project:

  • Users can create and interact with their 3D surroundings, including opening browser windows, spreadsheets, or any other network-deliverable program.
  • Users can collaborate and interact with each other because everything in the environment is viewable by all the users. This means that if I open a browser, my student can watch me navigate, practice while I watch, or work with me to accomplish a task.
  • The Project accomplishes all of this via peer-to-peer networks… NO SERVERS! That’s right, this is server-less interaction, navigation, and collaboration.
  • Oh, and there are video and audio capabilities, too, so you can actually converse with people who are near you in the environment.

Did I mention that this is very cool? If you want to see a demo, here’s a link to a video featuring Preston Austin and Julian Lombardi (two developers of the project). You can also keep up with the project via the project’s several blogs, wikis, and links.

My biggest question: what does the name mean?