Date of Graduation

5-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Advisor

Thompson, Craig W.

Reader

Parkerson, James Patrick

Second Reader

Beavers, Gordon

Abstract

Second Life (SL) is a popular online 3D multi-player virtual world where the limits of creating objects and scripting interactions among objects and avatars are based on the player's imagination and scripting skill. Real life, by comparison, is often limited by current technology more than creativity. This thesis investigates a new way to merge reality and virtual reality, in particular, by modeling one emerging real world technology, radio frequency identification (RFID), in the SL virtual world. We investigate how RFID can be deployed and tested in a virtual world, a modeled healthcare facility, as a step before the much more expensive step of deploying it in a real world setting. RFID is just one of many emerging technologies that can be simulated in SL - others include GPS, smart devices, massive use of sensors, using natural language to talk to devices, and many more. The potential impact of testing these technologies in a simulated world before deploying in the real world could lower costs and accelerate the pace of technology change

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