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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Jon Brouchoud

"Unlike the two-dimensional avatars that are already convening on Second Life...your avatar would appear to be three-dimensional, and you’d feel immersed in the scene..."

LOL, nice!

I'm not as skeptical. 5 years is a long time on the virtual frontier. With gas prices (in the U.S. anyway) soon climbing past $5 or $6/gallon, combined with an increasingly remote workforce, and companies perpetually seeking cost savings, I don't think it will be too far off.


Net Antwerp

Renewable energy to the rescue! Biofuels, Battery-powered transportation and Hydrogen Combustion (H2O) Engines. Fuel problems solved :-)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

The better academic question--one psychologists could answer--would be whether avatars are more compelling and lead to more participation in meetings than in Elluminate or similar conferencing programs.

My hunch, based on many meetings in SL and in teleconference with other academics, is that avatars do lead to more participation from more participants. In teleconferences, on the other hand, only a few of us usually are active.

Any studies of this behavior out there?

Adeon Writer

I'm not sold on autosterio yet. I haven't seen it firsthand yet to know if it's a superior immersive 3D than shutter glasses, which I have used and are looking and weighing closer and closer to normal reading glasses. My main complaint with autosterio is that there's only one angle you can view it at or the illusion breaks down.

3D Virtual meetings and chats will happen, I'm sure of it. I don't think it will be with avatars. It's too easy to capture your real self in 3D and that's just a more professional and interpersonal option.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

BTW, the illustration is quite a hoot.

"That avatar at the podium...oh my God. It has NO NECK."

nexus burbclave

Hamlet, as compelling as you (and many of us) find Minecraft, you can't see beyond the issue of graphical fidelity?

We're at a point where we've essentially accomplished all of the easy gains that we can currently achieve on the graphics front, and I think this is a good thing because the cost of further pushing the graphics boundaries is what is encouraging more cost effective R&D in other areas such as User Interfaces.

I understand a desire to see the limits of rendering pushed, but at the end of the day, graphics is the flashy coat of pain. Put the flashy coat of paint on a car with no engine, and it still won't get you anywhere. Even Stephenson made room in the Metaverse for Clints and Brandys.

nexus burbclave

Err.. flashy coat of paint, not flashy coat of pain...although Flashy Coat of Pain seems like it would make for a great band name. :)

Arcadia Codesmith

I think Iggy's on to something. Avatars are a confidence-builder precisely because they buffer all the social status cues that work to inhibit open and frank discussion in real life.

Telepresence (and voice) does the opposite; it reinforces those distinctions.

Telepresence and conference calls may continue to be the drug of choice for rigidly hierarchical organizations, but those organizations are at a competitive disadvantage to those that are more flexible, creative, engaged and egalitarian.

rikomatic

If the best that virtual worlds are going to provide for us is a simulation of sitting around a table and gabbing with weird looking human-ish avatars, than that will never be competitive with traditional video conference or webinars.

But if virtual worlds can break us out of this conference table paradigm and offer us a richer, more engaging imagination space, where we can inhabit, move around in, and manipulate reality -- then we are talking about something.

In education and virtual worlds, the first thing we try and do is break out of the traditional classroom design of kids in rows and one teacher in the front. It makes no sense in the virtual world -- heck, it rarely makes sense in the real world anymore.

Why limit ourselves with this limitless technology?

rikomatic

I got a little carried away and wrote some more about this on Betterverse.org.

Scarp Godenot

OK, is this some kind of joke? Predicting as future tech something that is already here and implemented?

As far as the low level of graphics, I have to say that far from being experts, these people have NO FREAKING IDEA about what is going on out there.

Just sayin'......

Hamlet Au

"Hamlet, as compelling as you (and many of us) find Minecraft, you can't see beyond the issue of graphical fidelity?"

My issue isn't so much graphical fidelity as it is the ass-looking graphics of that demo the NYT featured. I actually think the cartoon graphics of Avatar Kinect are a better solution.

Veeyawn Spoonhammer

Based on the image we're going to stick our avatars in the same boring, beige office with faux laptops to distract us just as we would in RL.

Can't we at least have a meeting in the clouds or something? Snore.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

You poor graphics-pampered gamer folks have no idea how much better the NYT image looks than RL at most F2f faculty meetings.

Would be a step up, no necks and all.

Nexus Burbclave

"My issue isn't so much graphical fidelity as it is the ass-looking graphics of that demo the NYT featured. I actually think the cartoon graphics of Avatar Kinect are a better solution."

Ah,OK. Yeah, while I don't see a need for high end graphics I agree that poorly executed graphics like those from the article do hurt. Stick figures might have actually been better than what they had in that article. ouch.

Ann Otoole InSL

They should have hired a poser artist to fake a cool looking scene. That picture looks stupid. Period. How can anyone take them seriously with crap like that?

Pathfinder

Wow. I can't believe the NYTimes showed those pics as examples of "the future."

I recently started playing Crysis 2. Here's an actual screenshot from my game. http://bit.ly/dUHmeD

That's the visual fidelity kids expect from virtual characters *today.*

Adeon Writer

It looks like their avatars were made after these guys:

http://pics.blameitonthevoices.com/042011/small_inflatable%20extras4.jpg

Stone Semyorka

The 2011 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference is on right now, April 12-14, completely in Second Life. The theme is "Learning Forward: Teaching Technologies for Engaged Learners." This annual conference, held since 2000, at first in RL and now in SL, is a forum to network and exchange information about the effective use of technology for teaching and learning. Any educator K-20 is welcome. It's free. We have 2 or 3 sessions per hour each day. Each presentation is 40 minutes with 20 minutes between. They start on the hour at 9, 10 and 11 am and 1, 2 and 3 pm EDT. Altogether, this year there are 41 presentations over 3 days from UNC institutions, NC community colleges, K-12 schools, universities in other states, and a European university. Some 53 persons from 25 institutions are presenting. Last year, 1,100 attended. The conference emphasizes topics of interest to education professionals, regardless of grade level or geographic location, from effective current practices to emerging technologies. The program is at http://conference.unctlt.org/

Pyewacket

I was at a workshop yesterday where 3d telepresence (+ KINECT) was being shown. This totally blew away any avatar related system which looks silly in comparison to actual real time photography.

oF course ..sooner than we think we will have real time, 3D meetings.. as though an actual person is in the room.

This made me pleased..and lol at all those sl business people who have invested so much in noob looking avatar meetings. It may have happened a little but its allready outdated. Sl can now be for the more imaginative types who want to be anything else BUT be suits sitting behind desks.

Jeremy Bailenson

Hey, this is Jeremy Bailenson, author of Infinite Reality! Thanks for all the great comments. I agree that the image of avatars is outdated--we definitely should have provided a more recent one to the NYT. Our fault on that.

I do disagree with what you say about the Kinect and Autostereo. Having visited Prime Sense, the company that built the computer vision algorithm for Kinect, and having a really good autostereo monitor in my lab, I am confident these will indeed take us to "the next level".

Also if you find this interesting and want to critique the book, Infinite Reality, you should do so, instead of just looking at the NYT description of it.

WWW.INFINITEREALITY.ORG

Thanks again for discussion, Jeremy

gps tracking

This is a good idea. 3D meeting is just a fantastic thing. I know it will be possible. In our present world, nothing is impossible.

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