2008 Metaverse Tour Video by Gary Hayes

A colleague Davide Barillari posted a link in an internal blog post to this marvelous piece and video showing a whole host of virtual worlds in one roundup video, interspersed with great quotes too. Its a very nice piece of work, I tried a short like this a while back and have never got to do it properly, now I dont have too thanks to Gary Hayes of personalizemedia.com
The original poste Davide found was here at Holli Hollywood’s blog so give her some link love (the serendipity of the Hollywood name given my previous post cant be overlooked I think) Hopefully the trackback to a fellow wordpress blog will credit her too.
Here is the video though in just in case

Virtual World Conference and Expo – LA here we come

Next week, September 3rd/4th is the next major Virtual worlds expo and conference. I will be over there along with lots of my IBM collegues to meet, greet, share, explain and talk all about various aspects of the gorwing virtual worlds business.
Hollywood beckons
So come find me at the IBM booth or just grab anyone with a striped leather jacket πŸ™‚
We have Colin Parris our VP of digital convergence doing a keynote, I am on the technology visionaries panel in the futures stream and Boas Betzler will be on the enterpise track on the panel The Future of Virtual Collaboration in the Enterprise.
Michael Rowe of dogearnation fame will be wandering the floors doing interviews for a podcast with all sorts of key people in the industry.
Looking at the speaker list, and the sponsor list this is really going to be a huge show. They get incrementally bigger, so its great to see the growth happening.
If you check the other keynotes, John Landau is opening the show, Steve Parkis an SVP from Disney online and Tim Kring creator of Heroes are all speaking too.
The entire speaker list is something I get a kick out of reading. CEO’s and Senior VP’s and a few of us with other titles peppering the list.
I know I am going to be torn by my speaking schedule, booth schedule, catching up with the metarati schedule and the fact I really want to see some of the high end Hollywood sessions. Whilst we have driven this into the enterprise based on human interaction and meeting style communication, the blend back into the entertainment and game space is clearly going to have a major impact.
Anyway, if you are there see you there, safe journey’s everyone.

Navigating the web in a different way – Ubiquity

Thanks to Steve Hughes (fellow IBMer no relation) for pinging this url to Mozilla Labs Ubiquity This features a simple, yet very well executed set of ideas that alters how people will use the web. It is very early prototype, but its a personal mashup tool. Its task based, so as you start to do something, browser email etc, it acts as a helper gathering services from the web that you need for the task you are completing. e.g. sending an address to a friend, but also wanting to include a map.
Each of the things shown in the video demonstration indicate something that we probably have all done at some time or other, but that involve a lot of cutting and pasting, or page swapping to collate information. I know I personally find it annoying swapping around, writing a blog post, but cut and pasting in embed code from places like Flickr, when my brain is saying just put photo a. in here.
All the disparate systems all have services now that can be called upon. It would appear ubiquity is helping us, as people be the collator of those services. Its a great idea and I suspect we will seem more of this sort of thing. I already find Google desktop (just find the document on my machine for me will you please) essential, this would appear to be even more so as it evolves.
You can also see that there is now scope for some more AI innovation to be applied on top. Having an intelligent agent with a ubiquity style helper to pull web services together is going to be really useful.
I can also see how this can be applied not just to the 2d web services that the demo shows but to the wider metaverse services as they become more exposed. I am very impressed so far and look forward to seeing this develop.

2D to 3D but with more Wow factor.

Ian has previously covered software and methods for taking 2d images to 3d models here on Eightbar. Michael Ackerbauer here at IBM just brought this research from Volker Blanz and Thomas Vetter to my attention. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty awesome. Now just to find out where I can get my hands on it…

There is no Spoon – A taste of my own medicine

Today I noticed @ansi on the twitter stream mention this (very long) article at strategy-business.com on the neuroscience of leadership. It is based on the merging of some of the sciences and the ability to understand how psychology and chemical changes in the human brain drive behaviour.
This article caused me to stop and think about how I do things, why things have worked out the way they have. In some ways its a taste of my own medicine, the things I try and get across to people, in particular as a metaverse evangelist, but do not have the scientific backing just gut instinct to work with. So to quote The Matrix – “there is no spoon”.
There is no spoon
One of the most interesting points,  that gave me an “oh I try and do that” moment was this statement.

“For insights to be useful, they need to be generated from within, not given to individuals as conclusions. This is true for several reasons. First, people will experience the adrenaline-like rush of insight only if they go through the process of making connections themselves. The moment of insight is well known to be a positive and energizing experience. This rush of energy may be central to facilitating change: It helps fight against the internal (and external) forces trying to keep change from occurring, including the fear response of the amygdala”

“When people solve a problem themselves, the brain releases a rush of neurotransmitters like adrenaline. This phenomenon provides a scientific basis for some of the practices of leadership coaching. Rather than lecturing and providing solutions, effective coaches ask pertinent questions and support their clients in working out solutions on their own.”

Insights, discovery, making an idea real to oneself produces a very different and positive chemical response in the brain. This is presumably why I often say I try and make things personal to people before the “business case” unless of course the “business case” or logic is the thing that will generate insight. This lets people feel why the concept would be useful for them, generating insight and synthesis making them feel good and able to explore the possibilities then based on their own mental model.

Another part of what the article states is that focus on an area or skill makes peoples mental models locked in more to that way of doing things. This stands to reason, but is good to see documented in this context.

“Attention continually reshapes the patterns of the brain. Among the implications: People who practice a specialty every day literally think differently, through different sets of connections, than do people who don’t practice the specialty. In business, professionals in different functions β€” finance, operations, legal, research and development, marketing, design, and human resources β€” have physiological differences that prevent them from seeing the world the same way.”

The implications of knowing or feeling the ideas in this article can be far reaching. Much of this requires, as they indicate, and ability to observe ones own motivations and patterns. Organisms strive for equilibrium apparently, that bubbles up into collections of organisms, corporations. I think though we have a fair set of people in the circles I move in whos equilibrium state is actually one of change and of new ideas, who instincitvely do things the way that this article suggests might work. If more people did it, I am guessing we would be even more effective?

So check out the full article, its very interesting, and try a bit of “self-directed neuroplasticity”

Thus endeth the pop science πŸ™‚

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Come hear my dulcet tones on Dogear Nation

On Friday I had the pleasure of being invited to the Michael and Michael Dogearnation show to talk all things metaverse. As Michael Rowe pointed out the last time I was on the show it was not a public gig as it is today. So if you have a few minutes to hear us jam on various metaverse subjects and the odd anecdote then the podcast is here.
Michael R. was streaming to Kyte.tv from his end of the podcast, though Michael M. and I were on Skype seperately to be recorded, so the live video at the moment has a comedy one sided conversation only ehearing Michael’s voice. We did use the backchannel of text too though.
Another great experience, I particularly like the fact that it is really a live show. Whilst there is editorial considerations and timing for some editing the flow and feel was very live and again different to other media style interviews that I have done. The content for the show is both driven by the guests and the hosts interests and by the articles that have been tagged dogear-nation on delicious


CBR special on 50 years of Hursley Cool

Andy-SC just twittered the link to this great article from Computer Business Review on Hursley’s 50th celebrations. It is particularly good as it documents the complete set of things that Hursley have done and are still doing including virtual worlds. Fellow eightbar author Rob (is there anything he cant do) Smart was interviewed by CBR and is quoted throughout. Its well worth a quick read for anyone who has not quite grokked Hursley yet.
As we started eightbar to try and explain some of the ethos here, it is good to see it professionally written up.