Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

fastcompany:

The new SimCity will let you take control of a city’s environmental destiny:

“You start your city without any money, and you could exploit the coal seams underneath the city and start digging coal out of the ground and make a city that’s pretty filthy, one that’s built on burning coal for power, might have a lot of coal-sustained industries around it and would make me a ton of money as a player. In the long term that would sort of blight the prospects of the city.” In that coal-dependent city, there would be little natural beauty and excessive air and ground pollution, not to mention citizens suffering from coal-related health problems.

Alternatively, players could opt for other sources of energy—gas-fired power plants, solar panels, wind turbines, or nuclear power. All of these sources have their drawbacks. Solar panels, for example, take up a lot of space and produce less power for the money when compared to coal…

Posted at 3:27am and tagged with: virtual reality, gaming, Environment, tech, technology,.

fastcompany:

The new SimCity will let you take control of a city’s environmental destiny:

“You start your city without any money, and you could exploit the coal seams underneath the city and start digging coal out of the ground and make a city that’s pretty filthy, one that’s built on burning coal for power, might have a lot of coal-sustained industries around it and would make me a ton of money as a player. In the long term that would sort of blight the prospects of the city.” In that coal-dependent city, there would be little natural beauty and excessive air and ground pollution, not to mention citizens suffering from coal-related health problems.
Alternatively, players could opt for other sources of energy—gas-fired power plants, solar panels, wind turbines, or nuclear power. All of these sources have their drawbacks. Solar panels, for example, take up a lot of space and produce less power for the money when compared to coal…

Moverio: Epson Announces World’s First See-Through 3D Head-Mounted Display

The Moverio creates the experience of watching 3D (or 2D) pictures on a virtual 80-inch display that’s 5m away – while still being able to see what’s happening around you in the real world. Apart from the display itself, users get a small controller that offers 1GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot.

Full Story: TechCrunch

Posted at 3:28am and tagged with: tech, technology, virtual reality,.

Moverio: Epson Announces World’s First See-Through 3D Head-Mounted Display



The Moverio creates the experience of watching 3D (or 2D) pictures on a virtual 80-inch display that’s 5m away – while still being able to see what’s happening around you in the real world. Apart from the display itself, users get a small controller that offers 1GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot.

Full Story: TechCrunch

Epic Games Finds New Customers

The graphics software used to create 3-D game environments is being adapted to create better, cheaper training tools and simulations.

Full Story: Technology Review

Posted at 12:12pm and tagged with: learning, gaming, tech, technology, virtual reality,.

Epic Games Finds New Customers


The graphics software used to create 3-D game environments is being adapted to create better, cheaper training tools and simulations.


Full Story: Technology Review

Paul Higgins: Thanks for the great response CrunchyBytes (Alan Tupper). Have reblogged it here because people should read it. Also tweeted it out with our original post and your comments

crunchybytes:

infoneer-pulse:

How did we misread the future so badly? Mind you, this Second Life hype didn’t involve distant, sci-fi predictions about the future. (“Someday we’ll all commute to the moon using unisex RocketCrocs!”) This was just five years ago. We were just months away from the iPhone.

After enduring a lifetime of mega-fads that flame out—the Apple Newton and PointCast and the Segway—why are we so quick to extrapolate a few data points into a Dramatic New Future? Well, here’s the frustrating part: Sometimes the Dramatic New Future arrives, exactly as promised. The mega-hyped Internet? Yep, worked out OK. Ditto Google and Facebook and iPods and iPhones.

This predictive crapshoot is rough on business leaders—your employees are going to bug you, every time, to greenlight the corporate blog. Or the storefront in Second Life. Or the special on Foursquare. Which efforts are worth it? How can you know, for sure, in advance?

» via Slate

Okay, I feel like I need to wade into this one.  A bit of history: I joined SL in 2005 and was a fairly regular user until the earlier part of this year.  While I agree that Second Life has not lived up to the utopian dream it’s founder envisioned (but seriously how many startup fall under that category?) to say it failed is rather ridiculous in my mind.  Secondly, it is fairly disingenuous to use the fact that major corporations had poor luck attracting making money off of the notoriously tech-saavy, counter-cultural demographic which makes up the bulk of SL’s hardcore userbase.  These companies jumped on a fad before understanding the platform or the audience and failed for the same reason that many companies fell flat on their face when social networking first showed up.  To blame the platform, SL in this case, is rather poor reasoning in my opinion. 

Now, to the true genuine problems which are in fact eating SL alive:

  1. A piss-poor new user experience.  Aside from the viewer(client software), which I’ll address later,  the experience for a new user was something equivalent to being thrown handcuffed into the deep end of the pool.  So many new concepts were thrown at the user at once with little or no explanation that many users never logged back in after their initial visit.  For those that did make it beyond their first log-in, there was little to no built-in mechanism for allowing the users to make sense of the topsy-turvy do-whatever-the-hell-you-like world that is SL.
  2. The viewer is a nightmarish piece of software.  This is especially true for new users. The complaint I have regularly made, and which I will make here again, is that to a new user the viewer is the equivalent of a industrial grade smelter when all they wanted was an EZBake oven.  It is a over-featured, under-designed mess that to new users (especially those who are not in the earlier mentioned tech-savvy crowd) looks like something akin to the worst parts of Microsoft Office and the main dashboard of a Space Shuttle.
  3. Linden Labs is mired in a black-hole of being both the platform developer and the service provider.  This means that they cannot focus solely on being either a developer or a service provider, which in turn means that the end result is like the square root of their actual potential in either role.  As a result, the servers are still laggy and crash prone, the graphics technology in the viewer is dated, and the user policies range from head-scratchers to downright insulting.
  4. Linden Labs has not turned out to be the champion of the Internet-style Metaverse that it claimed that it wanted to be.  In turn the effort to build a compatible platform has limped along under the dogged effort of a few very committed individuals.
  5. The SL model of all-services-under-one-roof is not scalable or sustainable, period.

In short, there’s a myriad of reasons why SL is struggling and may shutter itself.  However it is worth pointing out that SL might in fact be an Edisonian lightbulb, simply a way to learn how not to build a massive user-driven free-form virtual world.

I can rant on about this for some time, but I think I’ll leave it at this.

Posted at 5:08pm and tagged with: tech, technology, virtual reality,.

Controlling an avatar with your brain

The Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL) at theInterdisciplinary Center Israel, is developing a system for controlling a virtual or physical body using only the mind, Israeli Innovation News reports.

Full Story: Kurzweil

Posted at 10:51am and tagged with: augmentation, tech, technology, virtual reality,.

Controlling an avatar with your brain

The Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL) at theInterdisciplinary Center Israel, is developing a system for controlling a virtual or physical body using only the mind, Israeli Innovation News reports.
Full Story: Kurzweil

smarterplanet:

After spending their childhood playing online games, students at Choate Rosemary Hall will soon be able to live inside one. When the academic year begins next autumn, the tony Connecticut prep school will open the Kohler Environmental Center, a living-learning facility where teams of students will compete with one another to see who can live most energy efficiently. Think of it as a sort of SimCity meets Survivor: Wallingford.

via fastcompany:

Posted at 5:56am and tagged with: Gaming, Virtual reality, Technology, Environment,.

smarterplanet:

After spending their childhood playing online games, students at Choate Rosemary Hall will soon be able to live inside one. When the academic year begins next autumn, the tony Connecticut prep school will open the Kohler Environmental Center, a living-learning facility where teams of students will compete with one another to see who can live most energy efficiently. Think of it as a sort of SimCity meets Survivor: Wallingford.
via fastcompany:

fred-wilson:

internet memorabilia

garychou:

Sweet find! (Taken with instagram)

Posted at 6:04am and tagged with: tech, technology, virtual reality, bar codes, smartphone,.

fred-wilson:

internet memorabilia
garychou:

Sweet find! (Taken with instagram)

Virtually Walk the World With an Android-Enabled Treadmill


Nordic Track was on hand today at Google I/O showing off its NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro, which has an attached Android tablet and connects to a television for a larger view. Using the Google Maps API, the treadmill allows users to plot a route anywhere in the world.

Full Story: ReadWriteWeb

Posted at 11:58am and tagged with: tablets, virtual reality, tech, technology,.

smarterplanet:

3-D Avatars Could Put You in Two Places at Once

If Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson are right, here is what’s in store for you and your avatar very soon, probably within the next five years:

1) Without leaving your living room or office, you’ll sit at three-dimensional virtual meetings and classes, looking around the table or the lecture hall at your colleagues’ avatars.

2) Your avatar will be programmed to make a better impression than you could ever manage.

3) While your avatar sits there at the conference table gazing alertly and taking notes, you can do something more important: sleep.

Does this sound like future hype? Your first instinct may be to classify it with the old predictions — see World’s Fair, 1964 — that there would soon be a picturephone in every kitchen. It took half a century for video phone calls to become affordable and usable. But in their new book,Infinite Reality Dr. Blascovich and Dr. Bailenson insist that 3-D conferences with avatars are nigh because consumer technology has suddenly caught up with the work going on in their virtual-reality laboratories in academia. Thesepsychologists point to three developments in the past year: the Microsoft Kinect tracking system for the Xbox, the Nintendo 3DS gaming device, and the triumph on “Jeopardy!” of I.B.M.’s Watson computer.

Source: NY Times

(NOTE: See the IBM Virtual Center for our own cutting edge 3D, avatar-based, voice-enabled and easy to use virtual meeting and conference space.)

Posted at 7:52pm and tagged with: 3d, virtual reality, avatars,.

smarterplanet:

3-D Avatars Could Put You in Two Places at Once
If Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson are right, here is what’s in store for you and your avatar very soon, probably within the next five years:
 
1) Without leaving your living room or office, you’ll sit at three-dimensional virtual meetings and classes, looking around the table or the lecture hall at your colleagues’ avatars.
2) Your avatar will be programmed to make a better impression than you could ever manage.
3) While your avatar sits there at the conference table gazing alertly and taking notes, you can do something more important: sleep.
Does this sound like future hype? Your first instinct may be to classify it with the old predictions — see World’s Fair, 1964 — that there would soon be a picturephone in every kitchen. It took half a century for video phone calls to become affordable and usable. But in their new book,Infinite Reality Dr. Blascovich and Dr. Bailenson insist that 3-D conferences with avatars are nigh because consumer technology has suddenly caught up with the work going on in their virtual-reality laboratories in academia. Thesepsychologists point to three developments in the past year: the Microsoft Kinect tracking system for the Xbox, the Nintendo 3DS gaming device, and the triumph on “Jeopardy!” of I.B.M.’s Watson computer.
Source: NY Times
(NOTE: See the IBM Virtual Center for our own cutting edge 3D, avatar-based, voice-enabled and easy to use virtual meeting and conference space.)

Cutting down a virtual redwood with a virtual chainsaw may lead you to save trees by recycling more paper. That finding is an example of how real-world behavior can be changed by immersing people in virtual reality environments – a notion that is at the heart of work under way in Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab.

Via climateadaption

Posted at 4:28pm and tagged with: cognitive, virtual reality, environment,.