A 15 minute presentation and analysis of how Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails bands frontman uses all tools available to him in the current internet climate to connect with his fans, and give them reasons to buy. Serious good, so watch it.
A colleague challenged me to do some predictions on the state of the Internet in 2020. So, here they are.
1. Invisible Internet and cloud computing.
Users will no longer experience ‘being on the internet’ as a separate activity as most applications will be online anyway. Google’s Chrome OS is a vision of operating systems of the future. Handling digital tasks will be stored online by default. Restoring backups become a thing of the past as virtual servers create live redundancy. Mobile devices connect to the Internet with ease as 1Gbit data speeds are attained at low cost.
2. Social networking and user identity.
Online communities will become to be seen what they really are; tools for people to connect. the hype will subside and a competion will arise between large parties over stewardship of active user accounts, as these accounts are becoming more and more accepted virtual representations of their owners.
3. Households get private networks sorted out.
The current PC in every household will loose its function as an Internet terminal and be turned into the households central server to which other devices around the household connect. Users round the home and workplace will use smart phones and tablet PC’s to access and create their data-rich content and manipulate the environment around them.
4. Mixed reality, metaverse emerges.
Mixed reality (MR) (encompassing both augmented reality and augmented virtuality) refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. A mix of reality, augmented reality, augmented virtuality and virtual reality. (wikipedia)
The attention attracted by the re-emergence of 3D cinema and promise of 3D home television lowers the barrier for acceptance of virtual rich environments. close-eye projection of data on to glasses allows for a non-intrusive augmented reality experience. The immersive qualities of virtual environments will be explored for educational and other training purposes.
5. Microtransactions, trust and value.
People spend more money on the Internet as they learn to trust it as safe for certain product groups. People will start to value certain online service and possessions like their Gmail or Face book account and are willing to pay for them. Virtual goods markets in games are large already. This may extend to other types of virtual goods like a virtual bouquet of flowers as a birthday gift.
In the second quarter of the year the equivalent of US$144 million was traded on the LindeX, the official currency exchange of Second Life, where residents buy and sell Linden dollars for their US counterpart — a 20 percent increase on the previous quarter, while the US economy shrank by 1 percent. Trading activity increased by 6 percent in the last quarter of last year.
DeepThink has launched a service to the public to host OpenSim regions, grids and intergrid connections. The team behind the hosting includes oldtimers Adam Frisby (OpenSim developer) and James Stallings (longtime OSgrid tech administrator).
It is called SimHost and drives a good bargain when it comes to prices starting at $50 a month, together with a well documented range of supportive services. Good addition to the club of upcoming 3D hosting companies.
related : hypergridbusinessnews
This hardware based network implants a form of artificial intelligence into any toy, and allows the toy’s ‘behavior’ to be updated over a GPRS update. You perform your updates online over the ‘Magic Network’ that Toybots offers. Build-a-bear has already created a way to get your offline teddybear represented in a virtual world; adding the possibility to add a Toybots module to your teddybear would create an even stronger crossmedia link.
We have been building the Toybots Platform for connected toys with full 3G, WiFi, GPS and accelerometer capabilities tied to online and mobile games. Imagine a physical toy you can tickle online and it giggles in the real world. Imagine a grandmother in Iowa recording a family story and the toy telling the story to her grandchild in Florida. You will be able to download audio books as well to the toys and play full online games with these toys. Toybots will bridge mobile, online and physical gaming worlds together for the first time in an inspirational and unique way.
SOS kinderdorpen is a dutch organisation with 16 sister-organisations world wide. They help 75.000 orphans and homeless children in 132 countries. They have gone and merged fundraising with pay-per-play by having One Shoe develop a habbo style (isometric) world in which you are a SOS – kids village director for 20 cents a day at http://www.mijnsoskinderdorp.nl/
20 cents a day is is a net 6 euro’s per month, and as a director you can invite friends and family to come and build a house in your SOS kids village, which has a total of 14 plots. Besides fundraising it also raises the awareness of the cause of SOSkinderdorpen in a playfull manner.
A number of dutch celebrities have started a village in light of the launch, and the singer Jan Smit now has 5 villages filled, and a new one on the go. It went live on juli the 16th this year, 10 days later there is a total of 732 plots occupied over 211 villages, resulting in 4300 euros extra per month extra funds from now on.
I like this approach, though the offering is still rather thin from a gameplay/ involvement point of view. I would like to see a profilepage or a way to offer other people in my village ways to contact me. I am missing social networking tools, that are essential for online communities nowadays.
If the project team behind this 3D social networking tool can make the place more interesting, it will be a great example on how to serve a community sympathetic to your cause.
Have a look here to see my village in action, and buy a buildingplot
We have seen the music industry react like a scared cat in a tight spot when the digital revolution hit their neck of the woods. A few years on we now have a legal Napster, Itunes and Digital Rights Management to keep the music industry and its consumers happy in this new age of technology.
In a like minded act, the Chinese government has set up laws to forbid people trading online ‘virtual’ currency for its real currency. In effect players from World of Warcraft are gathering in-world virtual gold and selling it off through the web, earning real world Yuan’s in the process.
“The trading of virtual currency for real cash employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and generates between $200 million and $1 billion annually, according to a 2008 survey conducted by Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester.
He estimates that between 80% and 85% of gold farmers are based in China.”
So why would you want to prevent people from doing this? As far as I can see there is only one good reason, and its the lack of control on people’s income and hence the income tax they should be parting with for the work they have done. Alternatively, this can be seen as a form of protectionism, preventing people from sinking their cash into virtual world companies that are situated in other countries. But then thats what virtual worlds are all about : No more geographical borders.
I had a good few hours playing round in the Ridemakerz beta earlier this year and was pleased to see they had found a good example of going from custom virtual goods to custom physical goods. Bottom line to this : Go into the online environment, play, and create the most amazing custom car you can think of, and then get it delivered to your doorstep.
I caught ExitReality through a broadcast on Life On Line, a web based, avatar hosted talkshow about all things virtual. Danny Stephanic explains in the next video how it works. As usual, you will need to install a plugin, and so far it only works with my Internet Explorer and Firefox, even tho im a Google Chrome user by nature. (Wil it work on other OS’s besides Windows I wonder?)
After viewing tothport.nl through this browser I got to see a 3D space, filled with little signposts – Each signpost representing a link in the sites frontpage. I will have to play around with it more to see if I can get my site to look anywhere near usable in 3D using this technology, but its definately got my attention now, as it brings 3D to web by transforming existing 2D content.