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Blerp has been called the next Twitter, and you might want to check it out. It could be a game changer. Blerp is a browser plug-in, and the basic idea is that members create a layer of 2D user-generated content over any website, then people who sign up for Blerp and join the layer-creator’s group can see and add content in that layer. Thus, any site — yours or someone else’s — becomes the backdrop for social networking, casual gaming or whatever.
Check out Julian Oliver’s new cube game called levelHead. It promises to be wildly addicting when it’s released!
Nicholas Carr’s article relates how different technological advances have changed (read “diminished”) the way humans process information, learn and develop new ideas. It was an eerie experience reading the article this morning, because he articulated things I have observed in myself and others, yet had not really stopped to analyze, thereby proving his point!
None of these is worth a full blog posting, but I found these things to be fascinating or very promising, and thought I’d blog them all anyway for my own reference. WoW and psychotherapy, Betterverse.org, brain controllers, altering time perception, cloning heroic dogs and regenerating lost teeth.
When is the Twitter terminology going to settle and standardize? It’s too faddish for it to last as it is — how many ways can one talk about bird chirps? Twitter users were first called tweeters and their posts were tweets. Soon they were twitterers writing tweeps, or in the parlance, twitting tweeps (or should that be twitting tweeters?). (with updates)
Researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia have developed a new computer system architecture that can carry out gesture recognition. The early version of this technology uses “data gloves” that allow the computer to monitor the user’s hand or shoulder movements. This input can then be fed to a program, a game, or simulator, or used to control a character in a 3D virtual environment.
Time for some more new and emerging technologies. This time it’s more helmets and devices to allow the disabled to participate more completely in 3D virtual worlds and MMOGs, social search engines that may reveal more than you know about yourself from the Web, and the new evolution of wearable computing.
Every time you watched the Star Trek crew project a 3D hologram of a person with an important message, and thought “Wow!”, you probably wondered when, if ever, you would really see something like that. Well, I can only say, watch this video! You keep expecting Princess Leia to emerge and say, “Help us, Obi-wan! You are our only hope!”
Last year I made several presentations to executive groups about Second Life and other virtual worlds. The overwhelming response I had led me to create a workshop comparing the features of many of the current virtual worlds to help business leaders understand their options so they can make solid decisions about what works best for [...]
Yesterday I attended a virtual presentation in Second Life hosted by Metanomics. It was one of those bizarre, amazing and wonderful experiences that sometimes just happen. I was sitting in my real life office, watching my avatar in Second Life sitting in an audience of about 50 avatars watching the Emory attendees in real time watch us watching them! It was an amazing and relevant experience.
Brookstone announced the opening of its 3D virtual retail store on the Web. It can be accessed using the Kinset browser plugin, and provides a good user experience — as long as the user’s system uses Windows XP and has a lot of memory.
As much as I love virtual worlds, I don’t see the value of turning a core business tool like email into some sort of Super Mario Brothers levels quest. 3D Email is a flawed product, but a good example of the kinds of mind stretching that will have to happen for 3D or virtual reality to have a meaningful impact on everyday business. I believe it’s important, however, to applaud valiant attempts at something completely new, even when they fail.
It’s been over a year since I wrote anything about machinima, and since then it has started to take off. Here are some of the new things I discovered when I went surfing last night to find some entertainment.
Japanese scientists have created an experimental device with great promise for people with debilitating movement disorders. The small helmet enables the wearer to animate a 3D avatar in Second Life so it will perform basic movements just through thought impulses. It’s not yet up to the quick response time needed for competing in a first-person shooter, but it’s a giant step forward!
In some virtual worlds, for some specific applications (like raiding in WoW), voice chat works. For purely conversational socializing in 3D, the jury is still out. We are still learning how to use the tools that can make a 3D conversation as informative as a face-to-face chat. We seem to have mastered the sound quality issues. Now we just need to make it more intuitive to use. That won’t be a quick fix.
Gartner research seems contradictory, yet it makes sense. Governments (and companies) can be in Second Life or any other virtual world today simply to get familiar with the issues, concerns and technologies involved. The barriers to entry are low–it’s free–and their employees can learn free, too, by just trial and error, without the expense of formal training! At a certain point, these organizations will unquestionably move the game indoors, and initiate a virtual world or 3D intranet on a server behind their own firewalls. They aren’t going to abandon it now.
Here is some background on virtual worlds and some additional examples of how non-profits and other organizations are experimenting with applications of virtual worlds to real world issues. Examples of how non-profit organizations and others are using Second Life for non-profit objectives.
This is Part 2 of a series. Many organizations are excited about virtual worlds technology, and are still trying to figure out what they can do with the virtual world concept. Here are some examples of what various business groups are doing today. Keep in mind that participation is growing faster than anyone can keep up with, so this list is by no means exhaustive!
While 3D virtual worlds have their flaws, security and scalability issues, and detractors, mainstream business and government are starting to get engaged with the concept, which is a very positive sign. That means budgets, and budgets mean opportunities for creative new concepts and technology improvements. The excitement is definitely building in corporate offices. If the technological improvements needed to pass corporate CIO muster can occur quickly, we may be at the tipping point.
The Gate is one of those breakthrough ideas that will result in a complete change in how people interact, both in business and in their personal lives. This coming weekend, on October 5-7, there will be a portal set up between real life and Second Life on Odyssey island. It’s being billed as an “interdimensional [...]
Virtual worlds/ simulations/ metaverses are stepping up onto the legitimate stage in a big way. Linden Labs reports they must install 120 servers per week, each hosting 1-4 “regions” or islands, in order to keep up with demand for land in Second Life. Gartner Research says current trends suggest that 80 percent of active Internet users and Fortune 500 companies will participate in Second Life or some competing virtual world by the end of 2011. A breakthrough in technology will have to occur. Second Life is just not that scalable in its current form. But you can see the signs of the future — the metaverse, the intraverses, the 3D web — in just what’s available today.
As I’ve said before, the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned about the long-term value of Wikipedia. It’s widely cited, but is it good? How do we know?
I have a love-hate relationship with machinima. The love comes from the concept of being able to make my own video clips while I’m inside a virtual world and then turn it into something creative or useful. My hate comes from my lack of skill with it! In fairness, it’s not all my fault.
Intellext’s personal search bot Watson looks like it could be a researcher’s dream come true. I can’t wait to try it!
26% of the compromised computers used in botnets are in the US. Four out of five computers connected to the Web have some type of spyware or adware installed on them, with or without the owner’s knowledge. Some futurists predict an event called The Singularity to occur in the next generation — an inevitable consequence of natural human competitiveness and the possibilities inherent in technology. Once the Singularity point is reached (estimated now to be around 2023), we will enter the Post-Human era. Botnets may one of those leapfrog occurrences that have unintended consequences in furthering the emergence of Super Human intelligence.
Superstring theory describes a universe made of strings of vibrating particles and delicate membranes. While not yet proven, it unites general relativity and quantum mechanics, and may unite all the four forces of nature. Proving string theory may also confirm the existence of alternate dimensions. Thank you NOVA for The Elegant Universe: the 11th Dimension. Highly recommended viewing.
Spam is a four-letter word!
Enhanced learning occurs through movement, and the brain can be reprogrammed to acquire lost or undeveloped functions by retraining it using physical movements. Products like BrainGym and VisionGym may help to retrain the brain to overcome some physical/mental losses.
GoogleMaps use satellite imagery to enable users to travel the world vicariously and zoom in (in many areas) to the level of their own neighborhood. Landmarks and buildings are shown, creating a fascinating opportunity for game designers to create games that would use GoogleMaps as the basis for the game world. Here are some of the kinds of games that might be created and what might be interesting about them.
The Game Runner is an exercise treadmill that looks similar to the one you may have gathering dust at home; however, it has been modified to serve as a game controller for first-person shooter games. What a great solution to the lack of exercise and foggy brains many gamers grouse about. Run fast here, go fast there!
New Songdo, located on a man-made island of nearly 1,500 acres off the Incheon coast about 40 miles from Seoul.. Touted as the first “ubiquitous city”, the entired city will be wired, interconnected and on the Internet. Inventors believe the city will be a hot bed of innovative technology ideas — a showcase for what might be. But will a planned city — especially one where everything is recorded and accessible face insurmountable privacy issues.
I think that alternate reality games (ARGs) could revitalize the Democratic party! A week ago, Democrats came out strongly for a technology strategy supporting new scientific research programs, space, stem cells, innovation, healthcare, etc. Rep. George Miller of California said, “The federal government must make innovation in science and technology its top priority for economic growth.” So far ARGs have been commercial and primarily geared toward young, tech-savvy people…but aren’t those a demographic that both parties are trying to woo and get to the polls? Just imagine if politics were considered “fun” or “cool” and the Democrats were to get the halo effect from that! Here’s why I think it would work.
While some of these are not exactly new ideas, they are still uncommon and represent some of the most interesting new developments and concepts that I’ve seen related to the future of multiplayer gaming. They include virtual trading cards, rentals of streamed games, ARGs, adaptive AI, and P2P MMOGs. Five years from now, MMO gaming will be completely different! Are there other interesting developments I’ve missed?
If you haven’t seen movies made from ASCII text before, check these out. They are great fun!
Ever wonder how Google returns such great results? Simple…it’s with pigeon power! Flocks of bird perform massively parallel pecking to solve complex problems. Google uses only low-cost, off-the-street pigeons for its clusters. (Okay, it’s from 2002, but it’s a great prank!)