Before going to present at Ander’s Train for success the other day I thought I better have some material ready as a backup in case voice broke, or the needs of the gathering changed. I used to carry a showreel object around that if I had rez permissions created the various pieces of work from tennis courts to twisted prim builds. However, as I had the presentation I do in RL usually and had laid that out in SL I wondered what would happen if I adjust the slide, made them more 3d and also used them as clothing. So I wear the presentation. That way I need no rezz permissions and can easily present. Extending the avatar past the look and the gestures and making me part of the scene I present.
Of course this goes with the explanations and what a presenter has to say, but it seemed a good step towards helping people get past pure powerpoint and see the potential.
In Washington I met up with Anders Gronstedt of the Gronstedt group and he asked if I would willing to come along and talk at his “Train for Success” in Second Life. So today is the day. I will be attending and speaking at the session here at 9am SLT or 5pm UK time.
Previous sessions are recorded and available here and I guess I will pass into the archives if you are reading this after today.
As usual whilst I do have a subject I have a fair few anecdotes from the past few years to draw upon, and some ideas about the future direction of the industry. So we will have to see where the conversation goes and where questions take us.
These combinations of technology packaged for consumer use are coming think and fast from E3. (I really must go next year!)
This time using a PSP with a camera and some registration markers to allow the collection and battling of multiple handheld views of individual pokemon style characters.
Now I have Eye of the Beholder an AR card game on the PS3 and the last few blog posts have been about Natal and Eye Pet. However this has a subtle extra point. The representation of a character via the magic window effect off a registration point can be done on anything, what they have done here though is use the connectivity of the PSP to allow more that one point of view or experience to be shared.
I see my view of the Augmented World, you see yours and we interact through it. Sounds like a metaverse to me, once we get from the single user experience (which is very cool but essentially a book or a movie) we then start to get to augmented reality virtual world brokered human communication.
In this example the kids are battling together in the same place, but as everywhere is local and distance does not exist on the web you can extrapolate how this could expand (as with Natal and the other tech) to a mixed mode virtual world or communication channel.
I bumped into this via the Guardian games blog feed on Youtube
I just got to see this video from E3 with Peter Molyneux from Lionhead and the wonderful Project Natal gear that seems to work already, though you can never quite tell.
This however combines some Artificial life into the mix and Molyneux speaks about how everyone feels the immersion, picking things up, handing things over. There is of course an element of escapism required, but all our media requires that. Enough cues though and the brain engages, as with the few degrees of tilt on a fairground simulator, combined with a rushing video, the sense of speed, g force and braking becomes far greater as several senses are fooled at once.
Also the PS3 is showing what is does with a simple camera and markers, providing similar degrees of interaction without a controller with its forthcoming eye pet. The drawing of the toy for it to play with I am looking forward to see how it works. Its not on this viddler video but in the PS3 Home lounge I saw a kid draw a plane and it then rezzed as a cartoon plane that the pet flew away on. Very similar to the skateboard scanning in the earlier Natal trailer
So not only have we had the toe dipped in the water of removing the standard game controller, the rise of the Wiimote, the drums, guitar and microphones of rockband and guitar hero but we now also have gesture based computing, realtime on consumer entertainment platforms.
Whilst these are for pure entertainment, as the Wii balance board has shown they can move into actual exercise, real movement of real muscles. So think of Project Natal and alike providing a physio therapist the ability to remotely instruct on exercise with a good degree of feedback on actual performance of the patient, kids to rehearse their dance moves for upcoming shows with one another in different schools, an emerging science of remote body language (do we use the same signals as we do in real life when instrumented in this way). The list goes on. Of course this can also still work sat at a desk, pointing at things, handing things to one another and mixed with traditional communication media.
This is showing the way leading to some new interaction paradigms for people. It is also very real. There may be the odd bit of hype but we are now getting several generations into the technology. Next it goes mobile and we have full AR in a consumer package. How exciting is that !
I just popped into Home after my usual update post holiday to catch up with things.
The new EA Sports hub is looking very good. Various sports starting to be represented around a single atrium but not just rooms and shops, the golf shop extends off as a golf course.
The posters come alive with loaded content for various games and there appears to be a game of poker to play upstairs, though Home’s downloading live updates takes a bit of time so I am writing this whilst waiting to see.
It was quite busy too lots of people wandering around whatever shard counts as mine for PS3 Home in the UK.
Well worth a look.
***Update here is the official looking trailer for it.
At E3 Microsoft announced to the gaming masses a new project, along with Steven Spielberg, a device to do full body and motion tracking. If it works properly its going to be one impressive shift in game control. However when you move this sort of technology to standard virtual worlds, we start to see that we can remove some of the problems people have in virtual worlds with the keyboard puppetry and control. As you can see from this extract.
“This incredible new experience is made possible thanks to the Project Natal Sensor, which combines an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device. Existing cameras and controllers only trace movement in 2D, but Project Natal tracks full body movement in 3D and responds to commands, directions… even shifts of emotion in your voice!”
I am off on holiday with family and friends in Lanzarote at the moment. Of course it is not a simple case of turning off the computer and leaving home. Having a fledgling business and wanting to know what is going on in the world and keep a finger on the pulse means that I decided to rent local 3g access here. Rafael from http://www.lanzarotetouristnetwork.com/ met me at the airport and I grabbed my Vodafone 3g which works just fine. Thin slicing work/life and the bits in between means that things have to be connected and consistent. It does not mean being online all day everyday, but 2 weeks is a long while online.
Today though we headed for a market town, and whilst walking around the artisans we not only saw this logo a few times (not dissimilar to the Second Life logo). The photo is from the seafront not the market town.
What really got me though was this mannequin outside a shop.
Art imitating Second Life it would seem.
The great thing though was that this t-shirt was on the front of the stall. This was so in keeping with my personal branding it had to be bought. As I often use green spikey hair as my default avatar customization test online, and the slightly aggressive look it is, as you can see, very me 🙂
Another interesting happening was that it is predlet1.0’s birthday out here and we needed a cake. Searching google for bakers and cake shops seemed to not give us very much information. So I twittered asking if anyone knew of a good place. JulieCJ very kindly twittered back with a great suggestion. The power of asking people can’t be beaten. Wetware grid beats search any day.
It is named after the Charles Dicken’s character who lived in an old upturned boat on Yarmouth beach. Now it is in SL even more cultural references are combining. I have to say just seeing the outside and walking up to it gave me goosebumps, way more than just looking at a photo (an I am an old hand at this stuff so should expect such reactions).
You can also have “Chips off the market” which are much more famous than I ever thought given the Dragon Sir Peter Jones drove DJ Chris Moyles all the way to Yarmouth in his lino to experience.
Of course this will not be as personal to everyone out there, but imagine a place you remember having a good rendition or tribute in SL or some similar world.
Whilst on the subject of mirror worlds too I was lucky enough to attend the roof closing ceremony at Wimbledon last Sunday. In conversations with someone there asked if any other tennis tournaments have a roof. There was some thought and discussion and I pointed out the Australian Open does. I knew that because Piper and Gizzy had built a working roof on the Second Life stadium and not becuase I had been there and seen it.
This mirror world rehearsal and knowledge also came into play on a recent trip to London. I was heading for Pall Mall, but walked over Westminster bridge, past parliament and round past the treasury and the back of horseguards. I was then in a short piece I had never walked before, when I arrived at these steps
I instant recognized them from the car racing game Project Gotham 3 on the Xbox 360. Having driven laps lots in the past I knew where I was and where I needed to head too. I looked to the right and sure enough there was the other part of the course.
Now PGR3 is not a training game for navigation, but the fun elements of driving the cars around did bring me to a level of understanding that I would not have had otherwise
Predlet 1.0 came home today with a username and password from school for a site called Mathletics. She was very keen to get on and have a look. She also was very keen to login herself and said the password was secret and not for me to see. (That’s a good start).
What I was struck with was how straight away the first task was customization of the character to represent you. I should not have been surprised but I was. The site is global and has elements of competition and scoreboards for completing the flash based maths games. It was very slick and very well done and she enjoyed it too.
During the customization I got asked “dad what colour are my eyes?” and “does this hair look like mine?”. Entering work mode for a moment I said “why do you want it to look like you?”. The reply “It is me”. So we had certainly moved from the notion of the thing online being a toy to externalize. She was showing a need to control her own brand effectively.
I did point out that some of my characters online don’t look like me but are me, e.g. spikey green hair and that its ok to play with the look 🙂 However it is one of those stages we all have to go through. Start to be 100% accurate, then start tweaking. The difference here is that my daughter is starting this at age 5 going on 6. What will her self expression be like in the systems in 5 years time?. An interesting thought and great seeing a digital native evolve.
I have obviously been out and about making the most of Feeding Edge as my new company. It is something some people have asked me why I did not just go and get another job elsewhere. Well its this sort of placement such as Metanomics gave me, that shows why I had to try and make myself available through Feeding Edge to the industry to make things happen. A regular IT job would not have had this sort of positioning and influence. Many of my fellow metaverse evangelists and experts have been hung out to dry in some cases, or still battling in various companies to deal with intransigence of those who do not get, or fear, the changes social media and virtual worlds will bring about to their status quo (Cue Seth Godin again!). In a new and growing industry though we are still not at the point of too many companies knowing they need us to help them make the transition. However we all know that they will. So we have to keep going to make the right things happen in the right places.
When your brand new company logo and name appears to the right of one of the most influential companies in the virtual world industry Linden Lab & Second Life and their CEO Mark Kingdon, and just above Millions Of Us and Reuben Steiger (The original metaverse evangelist formerly of Linden Lab) it does make you think you are doing the right thing 🙂
This really speaks to the power of us as individuals. A recent article on my wife’s financial management magazine (aimed at management accountants) spoke of companies having to understand that we now have pebbles and boulder organizations. A collection of pebbles, small fast moving easily collected and nimble can easily out maneuver a large corporate boulder. When those companies that are large boulders start to utilize the fact that they can be regarded as collections of pebbles rather than one huge mass then they will be able to survive and operate and thrive.
Of course if your are incentivized through money,power or ego to sit astride a large boulder the notion of smaller networked groups of pebbles will be threatening and scary. I do think though it is a case of adapt or die. Can large organizations deal with that? I think they can, I think it will happen over time but will need people who are willing to lead to make the changes happen quicker. Hey! that’s what I do for people 🙂