Futurology Math: The Birth of ‘Second world’

April 9, 2007

Ok, a little bit of futurology for you…..Every now and then I will put a few company’s products together and come up with some predictions about the near future, in terms of what products, services and technology will be needed or might emerge.

Today’s Equation:

Secondlife + PS3 Home + (VirtualEarth * Crytek engine) + Cardspace =

Lets start with video-conferencing. At a high level, video conferencing simply provides a window into another place in the world through the internet. High-quality video and audio then provide a fairly emersive environment for people to talk, collaborate and socialise without needing to be physically next to one another.Video calls today are almost always ‘active’ experiences, where the call is initiated much like a phone call, with a specific purpose and requiring the immediate attention of the other callee(s).

unc office of the future

So imagine if video conferencing could become a ‘passive’ experience in some way, where the video/audio connection to that other place in the world is constantly open, and so it now becomes your choice whether to passivley watch it, or actively interact with people on the otherside….

Lets explore an example; imagine if two coffee shops could have displays spanning a whole wall, each set up as digital window into the other, with sound and video mirrored both ways (similar to UNC’s inevitable “office of the future” concept above). Would this simply be another marketting gimmick to help Starbucks force more mocha-lattes into you, or could it actually have a use? Read the rest of this entry »