Archive for October, 2012

2012-2022. Where are we going from here?

October 23, 2012

Wearable Technology:  Nokia patents a tattoo that vibrates when you get a call.  This is a wearable that is even more deeply embedded in you and provides added value. Google predicts wearable goggles, enabling augmented reality seen only in cyberspace science fiction.  Yet, it’s a work in progress.

Augmented reality in subways with smart phones are already in your hand, and is a smart phone not a wearable?  Do you put yours down very much?


Any Object is Digital:  Corning produced “A Day Made of Glass” to show some of the most amazing visions of the future on glass.

Imagine everyone creating 3D objects that can be access over the Internet and access and integrated into any object.  The image below paints that vision.


Work-Life Balance Technology.  Imagine every object with an IP address.  This could happen on glass surfaces, as Microsoft envisions in their recent video, and could happen on other surfaces as new materials are constructed as envisioned in the Engineer of 2020:Visions of Engineering the New Century report suggests.

Such access to information could easily add to the quality of life, creating work life balance.  The picture below says it all.


Compute on Any Surface:  As surface glass becomes available and high speed fiber reaches out everywhere, computing will occur on walls, mirrors, counters, real desktops, billboards, store windows, anywhere there is a surface.

And if you want access to “How To” and “Help Me” or “Show Me” or “Tell Me” services and you want either virtual worlds, or human avatars to come in and help, you will be getting them everywhere.

Transworld Communication..  So speaking across distances and sharing objects will be the norm.

A FoxNews 1:1 between one journalist and one interview is extraordinary in video conferencing in 2012.  By 2022, meeting walls with anyone present in the environment, waving 3D objects between users will be the norm, I bet.

Holograms.  And if you haven’t seen Tupac performing Coachella with Dr. Dre, you might not see that holograms are right around the corner.

Couple this technology, with recent Microsoft Research technology, and you can see our bodies making movement on the screen without using a mouse or a keyboard.


And, then when we can do that and access 3D images directly, we can move data in 3D without grabbing a mouse.


Avatar Realism:  Technology is advancing the digitization of our bodies fairly quickly.  Our avatars are becoming more real.

Look at the differences between an avatar in Second Life, and the digitization of John Noble.


When all of this convergence is brought together: Technology, People, Materials, Processes, Investment and Vision, we can imagine a world in 2022 when we might be able to have it all.

  • Abundance
  • Ubiquity
  • Realism
  • Natural Interfaces
  • Timeless Memories
  • Healing Computing
  • Economic Equality
  • Energy Efficiency

here is great promise in our advancement, and the next 10 years will not look the the world we are experiencing now.

Mentor Networks

October 23, 2012

With virtual worlds, come real people.  Imagine a world in which you can call in experts to drop in from your LinkedIn List, or your internal SharePoint Lync list.  Imagine virtual conferences in which users can interact with each other while an expert is talking in the environment.  Imagine facial gestures reflecting your feelings, and body gestures indicating your next move.  Imagine augmenting the environment and providing not only individual feedback to the speaker, but group feedback to everyone.  In a mentor network in a virtual world, individuals can engage with each as well as they do in the physical world – and because of the tools available to all users, providing content, signalling reaction, offering feedback, polling opinion, crowd sourcing a solution – interaction is value add.

Mentor networks show amazing potential for enabling virtual world and virtual education.

A Brief History of Virtual Worlds – the Sumerian Period

October 23, 2012

1956.  Morton Heilig creates the Sensorama, a multisensory hardware device, resembling one of today’s arcade machines.  Patented in 1961, it places the person in a one viewer world full of color films, motion, sound, wind and smells.

1968. Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) launch the creation of virtual reality applications.  The Sword of Damocles is widely considered to be the first VR and augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display system.

1975.  MUDs and MOOs were the first text based virtual worlds.  This is all before Doom, Ultima, Rouge or even Zork, before Second Life, and World of Warcraft.

1982.  Tron was the first CGI based full length motion picture visualizing immersion.  Steven Lisberger wrote and directed Tron.  This is virtuality, in other words, where virtual and reality come together as a visualization that immerses.

1986.  Habitat from Lucas Films is the first on-line commercial game-based virtual world connecting avatars.  This was a role-playing game.  Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar were the pioneers.

1992. Snow Crash offered the “multiverse” as a vision. This vision would succeed at envisioning what happens after the Internet — a world in which we could not tell the difference between real and virtual. Either you were a player or you’re not.  Sounds a lot like today.

1995.  Alpha World combines social interaction and content creation.  Alpha World has slowly morphed into Active Worlds.  Nice way to stick around, change your name, and keep on creating content.

1998.  Bruce Damer produces Avatars 98 and economical conferences in virtual environments begins.  It was built in Alpha World, where users simultaneously navigate and interact in a trade show conference, an art gallery, a webcam wall, a worlds portal.  This sounds so normal now.

2005.  Second Life.  This is not a note about when it was created, but a note that not only did Phillip Rosedale take content creation to the next level, but in September 2005 alone, commercializing digital goods equaled $3,596,674 USD and it’s still climbing.

2007.  Open Source decentralized development, enabling convergence.  Open Cobalt, Open Wonderland and OpenSim.  Business models notwithstanding, this is an opportunity for creativity.

We are at the five year point now in looking backwards, and very few people have NOT seen a virtual world, if they are on the Internet.  Why?  Virtual Worlds are everywhere: they are twitter, email, texting, contact lists, e-bay, facebook, youtube. And as a 3D interface, they are Second Life, Open Sim, Club Penguin, InWorldz and on and on, as K-Zero points out.

Why are virtual worlds increasing in importance as the interface of the future?   Our brain requires 3D to process information effectively.  There is no text in nature, and biology rules our adaption.  Currently, our brain compensates and we create the familiar as we move from one virtual scene to the next. It doesn’t matter how realistic the environment is, how many polygons it supports.  What is real is the social connection, the visualization ability and the amazing creativity unleashed   And, because our avatars move through the environment, they create visual pleasure, through the use of buildings, landscaping, clothing, water sources – it’s amazing.

The history has just begun, and we are in the early stages of it that is to say the Sumerian stage.

Basic Theory about Virtual Media in Virtual Worlds

October 23, 2012

* Virtual worlds are a place where humans wander to shed their feelings of isolation. 

* Virtual worlds are a place where people tell their stories on walls and in 3D objects.

* Virtual worlds are a place to find heroes, pioneers, risk takers, and people as avatars.

* Virtual worlds are a place where technology scales our knowing through visualization and experience.

* Virtual worlds are a place where we can imagine.

Key Messages at the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds

October 23, 2012


Where is Virtuality?

October 23, 2012

If you have a device, you are virtual.
If you use twitter, you are virtual.
If you play games, you are virtual.
If you use augmented reality, you are virtual.
If you text constantly, you are virtual.
If you have a Facebook page, you are virtual.
If you Google your facts, you are virtual.
If you upload your creativity, you are virtual.
If you use a virtual world, you are virtual.
If you have an avatar, you are virtual.
And all of this is reality.

Predictions, 1995-2012

October 23, 2012

Ran looks at a trajectory of ground breaking ideas.

In 1995, Web Page Design was a different multimedia. Everyone wanted one, everyone was trying to figure out what made a good website, and how did you get others to see your URL.

In 1997, Intranets focused attention on internal business processes. The advise was, if you are going to go public, make sure you get it right, inside your organization first. Like Peter Senge suggested, become a learning organization. Knowledge management was born.

In 2002, the Secretary of Commerce published a 2020 Visions document in which ten of the top leaders came together to discuss what is going to happen with all this technology. This launched a Visions 2020.2 from the student perspective. Let’s look at their visions: make it small, I don’t want to type, make it part of the desktop, make it multifunctional, make it for everyone, make it speedy, wireless, safe, with 24-7 access, and make it work for me. Make sure I can get help all the time, and make the software intelligent, so I can ask questions and get good feedback. And finally, make it a game, take me there, let me learn on-line, and let me work digitally. Plus I want a different kind of teacher, a different kind of book, a personalized world, and give it to me straight.

How close did we make that one. Here we are ten years later, and what part of this list isn’t here?

In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences publishes The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century. Technology changes underscore the prediction. Medical breakthroughs, new energy devices, new materials, remarkable light sources and next generation computers are seen as where the innovations will come. Societal patterns will impact these technologies. The youth will bulge, the baby-boomers will retire, the demographics will equalize, but water, housing, and healthcare will challenge the areas of focus. The marketplace will be global and customerization will be dominant. Education is the game changer, and technology in education can change it. Not only do new skills need to be taught, but new ways of teaching have to be invented. And, key areas of growth must include: strong analytic skills, creativity, ingenuity, professionalism, and leadership. With Coursera on the rise, e-learning a standard offering in any university, and organizations like Google offering courses and meeting places, access to quality content and rich interaction with peers is within reach. With virtual conferencing and virtual worlds, the new workplace and learning place are more accessible to everyone everywhere. The society of engineers continues to build creativity and professionalism in every new venue. Our predictions are coming true.

In 2011, empirical evidence shapes how to design virtual world learning in Transforming Virtual World Learning, Cutting-Edge Technologies in Higher Education and in 2012, Engaging the Avatar is seen as providing leadership in the new digital economy.

Ubiquity is Making Us Smarter.

October 23, 2012

So, ubiquity had arrived, and Ran found himself attached to a computer everywhere. He found that when he keynoted at the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds in DC that “convergence” indeed became the key to his note. Ran lay out a vision for 2022, “Virtuality”.

He notes that virtual worlds, gamification, Avatar DNA, smart glass, smart devices require the technology and the processes to converge. The point is, we are unequivocally connected, receiving multiple feedback loops in a vast sea of content, in which we are now entering the accredited and peer reviewed stage.

Ubiquity is making us smarter.