Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Virtual Worlds, Mixed Reality Make HOTLIST

The folks over at Innovation Lab have published their HOTLIST 2006 which "comprises the prevailing tendencies permeating research, product development and service design within the field of information technology."

You can find the hotlist detailed posting here, but I spent some time thinking about how many of these are, can and will be applied within Second Life.

1. Customermade

When customers and users "infiltrate" the product-development work of companies or organisations and begin to design and create their own products and services.

This could be a hot topic for debate within Second Life, but on the surface, I'd say that the underlying premise of Second Life defines Customermade. I am sure some would argue to the contrary. What do you think?

2. Geo-Awareness
The filling station knows you're on your way, and – via the navigating system in your car or your mobile – it will send you an offer on the petrol, and at the same time it will advertise the dish of the day in the station's cafeteria.
This is a tough one, arguably depending upon some real life location based needs. Although, one could easily conceive of a SLURL based integration for a services model, something like a AAA for Second Life.

3. Thing Connection
Thing Connection is the keystone of the 4A concept – Anytime connection, Anywhere connection, Anything connection – by Anyone. Otherwise known as ”An internet of things” – in other words: when things communicate with each other.
Largely missing from Second Life is easy and transparent communication vehicle through the virtual membrane. Some attempts are underway, but this is still largely uptapped.

4. Virtual Worlds - I think we can skip this one.

5. Web Applications The Next Generation
The Web, and not the PC, constitutes the new centre of the universe. This entails a shift from software to web-based applications where the overt and the social will come to play an increasingly substantial part.
Depending on how well Linden labs does with Customerade, largely untapped capabilities for the platform may be uncovered. Notice that NING (referenced in the detailed post) is a service I use here on this blog - it is powering the Second Life photos block in the sidebar.

6. Digitial Product Placement
Digital and virtual advertisement pillars. The digital billboard of the future will be blank space – to be filled in with messages directed at specific target groups. Thus, a major sports event attracting different viewer groups will, simultaneously, be showing ads for the local bakers as well as for an international online bank – and on two different TV stations.
Let them eat soup from the green screen. Can this be the root of the immersionist versus augmentationist debate? Perhaps not, but centainly a central theme in the burgeoning Second Life space.

7. Web Video - YouTube? I'm bored with this one, let's move on.

8. Mixed Reality
The fusion of digital, virtual and physical products is near. The remote control of tomorrow will juggle the programmes; and, at the smallest flick of your wrist, your new telephone will scroll through the menu – and then it can also be used in a virtual game of table tennis .
Some say that active SL Residents have moved too far out of the real world and into Second Life, what if you moved more of Second Life *into* the real world? Ingenious second lifers have already started to investigate haptics technology to extend your Second Life experience. What if you could interact with the world of Second Life in an entirely new way?

9. Expanded Search
Search engines are becoming more than just a match of words and numbers in a colossal database. More "intelligent", meaningful and automatic searches are starting to gain foothold.
For me, this is the largest black hole in the Second Life galaxy. I really like the second411 HUD, but a robust and innovative search model (note, not just engine) will be absolutely required if the world continues to grow.

10. Humanitarian Technology
Profit-generating technologies and humanitarian aid in one! Too good to be true? Probably - but it's nevertheless reality. A perspicacious neo-philanthropy is immanent.
Once you catch your breath, consider the *good* that is being accomplished within Second Life - Dreams Shockproof, Brigadoon, and Support for Healing, to name a few. But clearly, this are mssing the *profit* part of the equation. If you have a good example of profit, philantropy, and Second Life in the same sentence, let me know. While not as much of a black hole as Search, this is still a fertile field.
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