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Spinout of the Month: Conplx, an XR IDE to promote STEM inclusion

This month I’ve decided to select the best spinout concept and treat it with an imaginative MisVis Statement. The chosen spinout is, Conplx — domain: conplx.com — which was conceived when trying to find a solution to STEM inclusion and getting more girls interested in coding. Conplx Not just a new way to code. A new way to STEM! Conplx is an abstraction of the Latin word conplexio, meaning abstract(ion). The concept of Conplx is to take the first principals of STEM, notably Abstraction, and present them at the forefront of an extended reality integrated development environment (XRIDE) to the user as a customisable tool.  The Conplx Mission The mission of Conplx is to get more people interested in STEM, especially girls, by removing the two main identified obstacles; “too hard” and “too boring” — this will be achieved by applying new solutions — AI and XR technologies — to an already tried and somewhat failed paradigm; Visual Programming Language (VPL). The issues identified with VPL attempts thus far are that they still act like code and don’t detach from coding practice enough to remove the “too hard”, “too boring” obstacles (referred to hereafter as TooHB). The Conplx Vision Think of a more abstracted and fun version of Matlab, using XR technologies with AI support.  Matlab is one of the most established versatile and visual tools in STEM, yet according to Stack Overflow’s 2018 Developer Survey it is one of the most dreaded environments among coders. Both Mathematical and Computer Sciences share the same first principal; Abstraction. This first principal is what Conplx is built on.  The best example of what Conplx aims to achieve is that of the video game controller. The video game controller is an abstraction that simplifies all the complex and beautiful code under the hood in order to make playing games enjoyable, exciting, and easy (as compared to operating a game without the game controller abstract). Another example would be an animated movie and how that is an abstraction of the written story — here the story being traditional code. Conplx could be viewed as an animation of code objects for OOP. The power of abstraction/level of animation is in the user’s control — for example, the higher the level of abstraction the more generalised and encompassing an object would be and less objects would exist in the XRIDE, whereas, the lower the abstraction the more objects would…

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