17 Jan Japanese institute will develop for UW’s Croquet platform
Madison, Wis. — The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan has signed a $200,000 contract with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop new educational uses for Croquet, an open-source operating system that UW-Madison made available to developers in October.
Croquet is a peer-to-peer network architecture that supports online interaction and resource sharing among large numbers of users.
“Private developers and now government agencies are beginning to take note of Croquet’s possibilities,” said Julian Lombardi, one of the principal architects of Croquet and director of the project at the Division of Information Technology at UW-Madison. “Our Japanese colleagues are interested in working with us to develop new ways for all of us to interact with network-deliverable information.”
The agreement with NICT follows an announcement that 3Dsolve, a North Carolina-based technology company, has begun developing commercial educational software using Croquet. Like 3Dsolve, NICT sees Croquet as a communications platform and service, available anytime, anywhere, from any device. Croquet is designed to run on everything – not just computers but also PDAs or set-top boxes. Observers say it will change the way people think about software and computation, from today’s device-oriented perspective to a perspective of computation as a persistent, pervasive service.
The Croquet Project is a joint software-development effort involving DoIT, the University of Minnesota, Hewlett Packard Inc. and Viewpoints Research Institute Inc. Early adopters of the Croquet software-development environment include more than 20 higher-education institutions both in the United States and abroad.