Aug 282009
 

Was going to call this Augmented Reality Story Environments but…:)

It is fascinating to see how quickly Augmented Reality (AR) is permeating our lives and the blogosphere. But what will the mass adoption of mobile devices that allow you to layer ‘virtual story worlds’ over the real world mean for new forms of entertainment & marketing? Also what will it mean when celebrities and audience/users, begin to merge – avatars appearing in broadcast TV and film/gamestars composited into our homes?

angelina_ar

I have posted about the cross-reality evolution over the last 3 years on this blog under a general mixed-reality umbrella. Now we have every blogger & journalist talking about their AR engaged iPhone, DSi, PSP or smart mobile as if they have discovered some advanced alien technology. But is it really is a game changer, a new playground for storytellers? A window to another world at one end through to a simple layered utility at the other. Actors and fantasy characters deliver lines, embedded in real world scenes, you find the hidden virtual treasure, the historical or future backstories and clues, video, sound, images – even fellow ‘players’ morph into strange aliens or dissapear, you leave red herrings or leave help for other players the possiblities, endless.

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Dec 142008
 

I haven’t been able to log into Sony’s PS3 home yet but have been fascinated in the trickle of videos onto YouTube showing first usage in the past two days. There are many posts over the last 2 years about PS3Home on this blog and it is great to finally see it come out of alpha (it still feels like a mature beta) as promised ahead of the XMas fest this year. Previous posts followed by some nice ‘early captures’:

But for now here are a selection (will be doing my own indepth look at Football Superstars too soon – which has many parallels).

1 A good clear and enthusiastic 12 minute introduction overview from David at TheCreativeOne showing how graphically this far exceeds most other social virtual worlds as well as a first look at the mall, your apartment and some community sports.

2 – With limited activity this is how a community of 30 people decided to entertain themselves. “The 30 People Playstation Home Train!”

3 – Someone delighted to be able to log in finally and shows off a little of the interface and demonstrates the vSide-like music backtracks

4 – A nice little bit of marketing at the right sort of demographic with RedBull being one of the first to do PS3Home as a sponsored ‘social’ game.

5 – Someone who is delighted with certain integrated dance moves 🙂 The Monkey Dance

6 – Probably a middle aged man testing out the ‘Stripper Stage’ – minus the stripping, audience and dance pole!

7 – Finally a long 17 minute continuous wander around home giving a good insight into what it is about

Apr 182008
 

Three more of my cross posts from the LAMP Watercooler I write/edit.

1 SOCIAL NETWORKING 101 FOR MORNING TV AUDIENCES

I just captured and uploaded to YouTube a TV show (yes they are still going!) this morning featuring Australia’s leading social network strategist and social network hostess with the mostess, Laurel Papworth – also occasional LAMP mentor and speaker!.

Also featuring Aussie K (who has 102 000 MySpace Friends) they both talk with David and Kim (always playing dumb’ish) on the Channel 10 morning show on Thursday 17 April 2008 about how people can become social network ‘stars’, business orientated ‘netrepeneurs’ making money from niche communities and various techniques in starting out and public and private safeguards. Laurel’s blog post has more info. Here is the show in two seven minute chunks:

2 YOUR BODY AS GAME INTERFACE

I bought a Vuzix VR920 (3D slick glasses) the other day and can now experience World of Warcraft and Second Life amongst hundreds of other virtual worlds in 3D at 1024 resolution. This has an in built 3 axis gyro type control – so as you move your head the view changes naturally – what used to be $10s of thousands is now $350 US and things will get better quicker. But of course to move around and interact with objects you still have to use that clunky mouse and keyboard – so along comes Mitch Kapor of Linden Lab with his cheap and cheerful 3D motion detection camera – and to show how fast things are moving this was a 3 week project! Now we can all stand up and get some exercise while playing our favourite games (in 3D too!!)

More from CNET copied below:

While the Nintendo Wii has garnered attention from consumers and media alike for its innovative motion-based controls, Linden Lab is experimenting with a new way to interact with its Second Life virtual world with nothing more than a Webcam. Codenamed Segalen, the technology makes use of 3D Webcams, such as the ones from 3DVsystems, to track user’s body gestures to let them navigate and edit within the environment.

On Bossut’s blog he notes that the project has only been in “real” development for a little more than three weeks. Second Life users looking to get their hands on it will have to wait, however, the 3D cameras in use for the project are still not readily available to consumers.

Similar efforts to use Webcams for gaming include the XBOX 360 and its Live Vision camera as well as the Playstation’s EyeToy series, although neither had the 3D hardware capability that will give Kapor’s Handsfree 3D its extra dimension of spacial control.

3 DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH FRIENDS TO BE A CYBER CELEBRITY

An interesting insight into the most popular social networkers.

Went to a MySpace developers pre-launch party last night and had nice chats with the Australia MySpace crew and visiting US developer leads (see previous post) who are here to catalyse some really cool ‘widgets’ and apps for a still pretty dominant global Social Network. One thing they gave to us was a really cool top 10 list of celeb status, MySpace users based on the number of friends they have but as well as the stats a psychographic breakdown of these social network stars and an insight into why they are so popular. Without going into lots of detail on the background of these folk for now here is the top ten list, with their myspace.com page, age and how many friends they have!

Rank Username MySpace page Friend count Gender State Age
1 Hanny hanny 212 727 F WA 20
2 SophBox sophie_rox_ur_sox 203 768 F NSW 16
3 TanyaBitterSweet bit3_m3_whor3 135 551 F QLD
4 CrazyChick187 crazychick187 125 789 F VIC 29
5 Aussie K miss_tease 101 055 F VIC 20
6 Rach! chicksaxplayer 60 846 F WA 35
7 LunaTix luna_tix_88 47 186 M SA 20
8 CHeLsIA chlesiaroselambet 45 557 F QLD 35
9 ShaundaPrawn shaunny 43 802 M NSW 27
10 Dan (the heartbreak kid) dansharp89 40 996 M QLD 19

OK without going into great detail on the above stats either interesting thoughts. That most are female, obviously the better social networkers! The age is actually quite high for the MySpace demographic at around 24 for these top MySpace celebs. Finally given most of us are around the 100-1000 friends across individual networks those figures are actually suggesting that famous long tail shape, the curve with 20% really popular then tailing off to us normal folk – what do you think? Other notable stats about the Oz MySpace phenomenom:

  • 24.5% of Australian internet users uniquely visit MySpace
  • 4.3 million hours spent on MySpace during Jan 08
  • Three quarters of MySpace users are 18 and above, around 2.1 million adults
  • Nielsen online now report that half of the whole Australian population have social networking profiles, and in the next year another quarter said they will be signing onto one
  • Hitwise track social networking sites and MySpace is the most popular with 22.12% with YouTube at 18.25% and Facebook at 12.05%. The suggestion as to its popularity here is that it is linked to cultural interests across music, fashion, comedy, sport and film.
Sep 162005
 

Honolulu Lamp Lighter © Gary Hayes 2005This is a follow-up to the previous post written live from the event. I attended the Rewind Fast Forward conference today in downtown Sydney as invited speaker but very interested participant. The subtitle for the event was “a Business forum on the internet of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” organised superbly by Rachel and the team of SlatteryIt and others. I didn’t know quite what to expect (suppose the ‘business’ bit should have given me a clue) – as events that are not on the annual calendar are always complete unknowns. I was surprised the day was top and tailed with a cute 10 year birthday celebration of the commercial internet – complete with 6ft long heart clogging chocolate slab cake. This oddity aside here are some late night thoughts.

Still in assimilation mode about the Australian media industry (will I ever be totally assimilated, indoctrinated?) I am always eager to understand the sensibilities, passions and business drivers of the key players on this island. This event was an all embracing collection of the key media archetypes – but due to self-censorship and good judgement I shall leave the listing till later 😉 Some folk though that impressed me today were Tony Surtees, Jason Ashton, Stephanie D’Souza (one of those young people ;-), Philip Alexander and Domenic Carosa (more on him later).

What was relevant to this blog? What was presented and talked about in the user-generated, personalize media arena? Program link. A thread that seemed to run throughout all of the panels was an acknowledgement that outside the b2b and b2c business models (services, pushed-paid content and hardware) there was a lot of user media activity but – many saw this as irrelevant, poor quality (rambling, useless blogs – ed: bit like this site then!) or a fad that will be pushed to the periphery. I asked floor questions about peer-to-peer, blogging and bit torrent (to emphasise percentage of volume of internet traffic) and replys leaned towards “interesting but as we cannot make money from it we have to ignore it”.

This is no bad thing but it did bring home again the growing divide between business: those capitalizing on ring tones, dating sites, internet games consoles etc: and creative commons: the tidal wave of user generated, personal content. If users want to create and share mountains of digital content then so be it – what can we do about it? On my panel David and Michael (Microsoft and Sony respectively) are helping people share it, display it and store it – but not tag it, manage it or archive, which they did acknowledge are critical areas.

In the final panel on future trends and business opportunities I didn’t hear any suggestions about operating portals for UGC (user generated content) – they talked about givens such as firewalls, batteries?, DRM, more Voice of IP services and so on. Domenic Carosa did get close to the mark when he brought up a point I made in my panel (@entertainment) about the real need for personal filter/firewalls that screen out content from the constant waves we will be bombarded with in the near futures – especially in the mobile domain. I was impressed with his locking into this so obvious requirement. VC’s tip – interoperable profile/agent algorithms…no shall keep that one to myself.

In the four panels I listened to, personalization was rarely mentioned – if it was it was in the context of re-skinning (one of my fellow panellists point) or tailored web pages. I was hoping to hear more about agents-futures. I talked briefly about the opportunities we have to provide effective content recommendation to viewers existing Personal Entertainment Networks in the context of home systems. There just seemed to be far too much convergent-gadget envy going on though and the wider goals of understanding user experience and creating media relevance were lost on many panels.

To sum up. The commercial internet is 10 years old, but it is now in puberty, a troublesome teenager and will soon be unrecognisable as the internet – a ubiquitous, mature broadband pre-empting doc com boom v.2 (as one speaker suggested). Would have liked to have seen more discussion about content rather than endless re-versioned business models or gadgets, about user centric service design, new form interactive, cross-media narrative and user generative enablers. Perhaps Rewind Fast Forward 2015?

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005