Ron Edwards

Virtual-world application specialist

Biography

Ron Edwards is a SMARTlab PhD candidate and is SMARTlab’s virtual-world application specialist. He has been a pioneer in using virtual worlds for a variety of collaborative learning and working applications since 2003. He co-founded Ambient Performance in the USA and London to help organisations apply emerging consumer technologies into the workplace, including social media, virtual worlds and mobile augmented reality. Ron has been instrumental in creating several industry firsts, including mixed-reality conferences, commercial mobile-augmented reality for museums and several pioneering virtual-world applications for clients, including consumer market research, global change management, command-and-control emergency-response exercising and the modelling of traffic and driver behaviour using artificial intelligence. Ron is supporting SMARTlab’s exploration of virtual-world applications for several children’s healthcare projects, including the use of biosensors and exercise equipment, as well as helping to develop disabled access and inclusion using MyTobii eye-control navigation in the OLIVE virtual-world platform in collaboration with expert Dr Mick Donegan. Ron is a third-year PhD student, studying collaborative social visualisation in virtual worlds (VWSV). He is exploring how VWSV might affect development of shared understanding, group consensus and insight; how VWSV might affect distributed group dynamics, such as trust and cohesion; and how the social visualisation process is mediated by avatar-based virtual worlds. He has been in the Training and Development industry since 1992, where he is a recognised thought leader and pioneer. Ron holds a Master of Science in Training and Development from Loyola University, Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of Washington.
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