Omnicom invest in MOU

“We are entering an era known as the ‘Avatar Age’ in which people connect face to face online. Because people today trust the recommendations of friends much more than advertising, companies can now seize the opportunity to support online communities and connect more deeply with their customers through social networks rather than through traditional online advertising,” said Reuben Steiger, CEO, Millions of Us. “This financing will allow us to make necessary investments and attract the talent to continue along our rapid growth curve.”

Electric Sheep Company (ESC) were the stars of the Spring Virtual Worlds Conference in New York earlier this year. Millions Of Us (MOU) took that mantle at the Fall Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose this week. They announced a partnership with HiPiHi and a strategic investment from Omnicom Group. Congratulations to Reuben and all the MOU team on your continued success.

Omnicom’s investment further reinforces traditional media endorsement of the Virtual Worlds space. It follows on from the CBS $7m strategic investment in ESC back in February. Back in Febuary I remarked that 2007 was shaping up to be the year of the Avatar. While I share Reuben’s sentiments on the role of avatars I do not see us entering an Avatar Age. Avatars are but a subset of the digitization of everything. Rather we are entering a Meta Age with all that it brings and holds in store. Interesting times indeed.

Apple Knowledge Navigator

We have been revisiting the Apple Knowledge Navigator video over the last year. Much of the video was inspired by the earlier work of Alan Kay. When it first appeared in 1987 the concepts of touch screens, video conferencing, avatars, presence, data visualization and natural language were a distant dream.

Twenty years on mainstream users are beginning to gain access to much of the functionality displayed within the Apple Knowledge Navigator video. It is good to see the Croquet Consortium, of which Alan is one of the six principal architects, coming of age. Interesting times indeed.