Platforms Evolution

Catching up on virtual worlds platform related news this week the following stories caught my attention. Raph Koster finally lifted the veil on his Areae project by demoing Metaplace at the inaugural TechCrunch40 conference. Jonathan Fields has a good write up of the offering complete with a video demo. Raph has not disappointed with first signs looking very promising indeed.

Metanomics 07 is off to a good start with this weeks guest speaker Sandra Kearney, Global Director of 3D Internet and VIrtual Business at IBM. Sandra gave an interesting and interactive one hour presentation on IBM’s involvement in the metaverse. VIdeo archives of all Metanomics 07 sessions are available over on the Second Life Cable Network.

Justin Ratner gave a keynote titled Virtual Worlds – The rise of the 3D Internet at the Intel Developer Forum. A webcast of his talk is available here for those interested. After Intel’s recent acquistion of Havok and partnering with Qwaq Forums on an enhanced virtual workspace product its Virtual World declarations of intent are noted.

Last but not least Sony pushed back the launch date for Home from Autumn 2007 to Spring 2008. Having followed beta developments since April 2007 it still requires work and Sony is doing the right thing. With a steadily growing PS3 online user base of 2.7M worldwide it is eagerly awaited.

Virtual Interface Tools

This fall, WIRED Magazine is bringing its vision of a new world’s fair to Los Angeles. Experience more than 160 exciting exhibits from scientists, researchers, and inventors around the globe. WIRED NextFest features innovations in communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, play, robots, transportation, security, and green living.

WIRED NextFest kicks off today in Los Angeles. It runs from September 13th-16th in the South Hall (J and K) at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Exhibitors are offering the opportunity to experience first hand their vision of the future. For those attending the four day event we recommend checking out Brainloop.

Brainloop is an interactive performance platform which employs an application called Brain Computer Interface (BCI) that lets users explore virtual spaces such as Google Earth simply by imagining basic movements. The exhibit is a production of Aksioma – an Institute for Contemporary Arts in Ljubljana.

Virtual experiences todate have been limited by computer peripherals such as the mouse and keyboard. Unchanged for decades these interface tools were designed primarily for a 2D world of data input. Last year Nintendo gave people a glimpse of just what is possible with the launch of its wii remote which harnessed motion sensor technology.

As Christian Renaud points out peoples perceptions of what is real and what is virtual will evolve over time. This will accelerate as more interactive performance platforms (driven by voice, motion and ultimately thoughts) to interface within 2D and 3D environments become available. Interesting times indeed.