Monday, December 10, 2007

Fictional HelpLine?


The fictional heroic character Americans would want to help them in an emergency, 2007:

MacGuyver 27%
Indiana Jones 16%
John McClane 14%
Jason Bourne 8%
James Bond 8%
Jack Bauer 7%
Larra Croft 7%

Virtureal or what?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When Past, Present and Future Meld, How Do We Connect on a Common Context?



Virtureal experiences like these are coming to your living (and work) spaces very soon. So when the idea of "when" becomes ambiguous, how do we relate to each other?

-Is nature and/or animals the "untainted" grounding factors?
-Is it communal "unplugging" at predestined time?
-Is it joining a preferred reality timeline like the way we "join" social networks now?
-Or is it a waste of time to even think about this stuff?

The last bit is probably closer, but not necessarily for what may seem obvious. When "when" is uncertain, the best navigator is clarity on "now". See a related perspective on that on my recent GROWblog post.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Are Real "or" Virtual Still Relevant?



Are virtual worlds really the future of commerce?

Are all tomorrows really visible?

Can virtual environments really heal the planet?

Can you profit from Singularity?

Will the office actually become obsolete?

While the scenaric thinking referenced above is inspiring, and at times visionary, I don't think that they are definitive. The reason is "Virtureal" as you might have guessed. More specifically, these are not Real "or" Virtual scenarios, they are BOTH. The virtual interactions not only affect our collective consciousness, but also the physical world manifestations of that consciousness.

The furniture design image from MIxko above succinctly explains it non-verbally :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When is Now?



The Just In Time watch (above) and the Relatime watches are capitalizing on the non-linearity of time we are experiencing in VirtuReality. When we start to ask about "Relative time" over linear time, as in times we anticipate an event or plan a meeting, new opportunities to share context emerge.

We can't share meaning until we have shared context.

In the VirtuReal life, relative time might just be the most important context creator yet...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hello PICO!



See James Patten's work on merging the virtual and real at PICO here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How Does Sizing the Virtual Like This Affect The Way We Start to Perceive the Real?



This very cool image resizing innovation changes the way we see the world in in our virtual screen lenses.

How does this now affect the way we start to edit our everyday perception of reality?

Monday, August 20, 2007

In Vibe We Trust?



Why does the Nova light show video above change colors according to the collective mood in the room?

Why is Scoble calling Microblogging the new email?

What does beer and kitty litter have in common?

There's a reason we look for people like Scoble, Cashmore, Arrington, Malik and others to filter down the thousands pieces of info they and their staff go through to bring me what I need to know (even that's getting to be way too much now)

Two years ago, when someone I trusted recommended something worth reading or watching, I'd make time for it. Today, I prioritize based on level of relationship, agenda, and relevance to what I'm doing now.

I'm sure I'm not alone.

While services like Filtrbox attempt to lift more relevant signal from the noise, the volume of stuff created everyday (and some of it actually very good and relevant) is rising even faster.

So what is the ultimate filter factor?

The same thing we make subconscious decisions on when dealing with the other information overload we've come to accept as nature.

We operate on "Vibe" and "Feel" over fact.

Why? Because it is next to impossible to make evaluated, informed and logical decisions with such a huge volume. So how does "intuition" and "insight" translate to our VirtuReal existence?

Spatially experiencing information.

Twittering thoughts via Brain-to-Computer UIs, Mood sensing surfaces via Ambient Devices are just previews. I suspect we will rely on each other to filter their interpretation of "Vibes" relative to us.

Know What Time It Is?



Flava Flav may have accidentally tapped into the dominant emerging sentiment of VirtuReality, but for most of us it is becoming a daily reality.

WTF am I talking about?
Am I indulging in the "herbal therapy" with Flav?

Not quite.

What I am referring to is the prevalence of our experiencing non-linear time. In the original article I mention the non-linearity of Hyperlinks. Isn’t a link both the past (produced earlier) and the future (outcome dependent on your decision to click or not click) to arrive at the present?

If you look around, our lives are now measurable in the same metaphor of hyperlinks.

Asynchronous communication via email or SMS is an everyday thing. Add to that virtual tools like Photoshop, or this recent "Starring You" feature from Jib Jab to manipulate recorded digital imagery, and the concept of time, at least from a point of perception starts to bend...

When was that picture taken? Were you just there or did you "re-create" the moment? Let me send you something someone said two years ago on YouTube that's relevant to what we are doing now.... see what I mean?

Someone once said, that we are fascinated with the future because we are stuck in a linear perception of time. Living in VirtuReality, will that still hold true?

So what time is it (Really)?

VirtuReality at '07 NextFest?



The hugshirt video above is one of many emerging innovations that capitalize on VirtuReal experiences at the upcoming in Wired NextFest in LA. As more and more things transcend the blurred line between the ethereal and material, the kinds of innovations featured here represent opportunities for all of us to participate in VirtuReality sooner than we think.

Here're some highlights from last year's NextFest:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's Charmr Got to do with VirtuReality?



Charmr is a product concept for diabetes monitoring from AdaptivePath that Mike Arrington recently blogged about over at Techcrunch. Like Ambient Devices I'd mentioned earlier, it represents the some of the best of systemic design thinking that is a key driver of VirtuReality. In this case, the "system" is the human body, but what Charmr does for diabetics, we can soon do for Brand Sentiment, User Ratings or any other information that is essential for systemic performance, regardless of the system.

The VirtuReality connection for devices like the Charmr is more straightforward than it might initially appear. As materially REAL things (like the body in this case) become VIRTUALIZED through initiatives like Google Health, our actions change based on how we interpret network "vibe" in real time. That's a huge shift, and I look forward to more design thinking along the lines of Charmr leading the way...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Olly Girls, The Parker Hotel, Dr. 90210 and More Riding the VirtuReality Wave?



Whether or not they know it, some U.S. based reality TV shows like Sunset Tan, Welcome to the Parker, Flip This House, Dr. 90210 and more are already capitalizing on our VirtuReal sensibilities.

Having real material business establishments along with their TV counterparts often puts these entrepreneurs ahead of their competition. Their perception of value (brand) is heightened with their audiences' involvement with their story lines, no matter how cheesy they may seem...

Can you think of other "Real World" businesses capitalizing on VirtuReality like them?

Where is the Next VR Melding?



My friend Jafer pointed me to VirtuReality melding in the fashion world here.

As our consciousness between the real and virtual get increasingly blurred, I suspect we'll see even more manifestations of VirtuReality in action.

-In Japan, one can sample goods to make the kinetic connections over message driven ones.

-Kidpreneurs can dabble in low risk businesses online through venues like Habbo hotel.

-Crowdsourced ideas can have more environmental impact than their company originated counterparts.

-In an earlier post comment here, Jonathan mentioned Ron Paul who is using VirtuReality to his advantage within the campaign he's running for US president...

Can you recognize other interesting opportunities to capitalize on our emerging VirtuReal consciousness?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Posting Up to VirtuReality...



The observations in VirtuReality are not new.

We've all experienced it by the simple fact of watching TV, a mental construct of participating in a Real occurrence that IS NOT really happening in the screen in front of you.

Just like you, I've been experiencing it for some time too and have even posted about my observations before I wrote the article:

The VirtuReal Meld 6/14/07

Does Online and Offline Matter Anymore? 5/28/07

What We Call The News! (Jib Jab) 3/29/07

Immersive MindSpace1/18/07

The Virtual Me 12/3/06

When Will Then Be Now? 11/13/06

Album Cover Mashups 10/23/06

There's more...but I think I bored you enough. The point is that VirtuReality is all around us.

The question is, how will you capitalize on it?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Is Web 3.0 Leading to True VirtuReality?



What Google CEO Eric Schmidt is describing is the principle I'd written about in VirtuReality. The value is in the nodes, not the center, and its proliferation (Marketing 3.0) is about virally creating systemic value.

The reasons why some Facebook Advertisers are pulling out their placements, have less to do with Facebook the application, and more to do with Advertisers trying to hold on to a past paradigm of eyeballs=relevance.

As more advances connecting the Virtual to the Real/Material continue, can we really afford to think in a Virtual only or Real only terms? The fallout from such approaches may be speculative now, but the VirtuReal realization I predict is not too far away...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Is the Virtual to Blame for "Real" Disconnects?



A recent note from my cousin accounts his friend from Boston telling him several years ago that the cafes (near the university) would be filled with young people in the evening. People chatting, falling in and out of love, discussing...now the cafes are empty...everyone...yes everyone is in their dorm room...living their SecondLife or chatting electronically.

The issue of immersion into Virtual worlds can be argued both for (as in the case of emerging experiences like this documentary) and against as in the case for waning effectiveness of the Virtual advertising business.

However, our Virtual consciousness permeating our reality is a indisputable fact in motion showing no signs of slowing down. So the question becomes less about Virtual vs. Real, and more about identifying the disconnect between the two.

For example, are the cafes going empty because people are busier with their virtual lives, or are their virtual lives less connected to the cafes? We know the effect of free WiFi on gathering crowds to cafes already, the question is what's next? If I was in the cafe business, what would connect me to patrons? Is it:

• Having my patrons Geotagging my establishment and favoriting it?

• Get acknowledged for accomplishments in the virtual lives in the form of convertible goods and services in the material (Real) life?

• Get to participate in activities at the cafe that boost their activities online and vice versa? For example, can it be "the place" to meet virtual dates because positive ratings entitles them to the best seats or a free snack/meal?

______

In the case of the declining effectiveness of the Virtual world advertising covered in Wired, maybe the question isn't so much about advertising not working because the branded environments staying empty. Maybe the real questions to ask are more along these lines:

• Should the model for ads be based on number of impressions across number of people (as in the "Real" world) or should it be based on sharability, recommendations and favoriting native to the Virtual world?

• Does the virtual effort have a real counterpart to make the experience more meaningful? For example, RedBull created their business by distributing their beverage in on the ground long before it gave its drinkers "wings".

• Why is the virtual experience separate from the real and vice versa? Why can't it be more like phoning your friend (Virtual) and meeting her in person (Real)?

Some things to think about for cafes (any "Real" business for that matter) and 2nd Life (any "Virtual" business as well) in VirtuReality.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Spirits in the Material World?



Mike just posted this, and asked a very interesting question. Join in on the conversation here.

More VirtuReality Love up in da Club!



Harry Webber dropped some VirtuReality love by publishing the article on Madisonavenew. Thanks Harry.

Ernie Mosteller dropped some VirtuReality examples he spotted in a recent eMail:

"I just experienced it in NYC. I have three pet new technologies I love. One is the new Bank of America ATM that scans my checks and reads the amount with OCR. I confirm the amount, see the check, approve the deposit, and am provided with a thermal print of the check I deposited as a receipt. The other two, I experienced in the Marriott in Times Square (don't ask - somebody else picked the hotel, but now, I'm glad.) First was the elevators. Instead of punching the button and waiting for whatever elevator, you go to a central keypad, and tell the thing which floor you're going to. It sends you to the elevator that will get you there the fastest, or that is already going there. Cool. But, cooler -- I got thirsty, and decided to drink the $5 bottle of water in my room. The next morning, it was already on my bill, because a sensor recorded that I didn't put it back. That's virtureality."

Thanks Ernie.

More innovators and players amongst my Facebook and Ning friends joined our respective VirtuReality group(s).

Nice!

Now I want to introduce the topics that we can all hopefully benefit from. For example:

-When a brand gains momentum online (VIRTUAL), what is its counterpart offline (REAL) momentum?

-What kinds of virtual and real innovations coexist to create value right now? For example, a restaurant where we design the food virtually and then it becomes part of the menu based on other diners' ratings?

-We already know that VirtuReality effects our consumption consciousness individually and as a community. Where can we apply this principle now for maximum benefit?

Just food for thought. Let me what you think here or on the Facebook or Ning groups.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Training Grounds for the Next Reality?



Want to try out what's next without risking anything more than time?

For example, is it easier to preach "green" or simply experience worlds like Myabodo ?

While the REAL will never replace the VIRTUAL and vice versa, advances in one will definitely affect the other. As the video above illustrates, advanced virtual environments may offer a much faster insight into our behavior thus being able to affect REAL change in far more dynamic ways than we could have imagined before.

VirtuReality Spotting or VirtuRealization?

Upcoming filmmaker Jesse Kelsey from our Ning network writes about Filmmaking as VirtuReality here.

The kind words from Jesse are very cool, but cooler yet is his immersion into the concept.

I think once we realize that we are actually living in this emerging VirtuReal consciousness, the online vs. offline dilemma disappears. It puts the focus back on what has been meaningful to us all along:

CONNECTIONS and MEANING.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The VirtuReal Yin and Yang?



Gabe sent me this link on The Metaverse today which outlines a totally Virtureal scenario from the not too distant future.

This got me thinking about where's the "balance" between experiencing what's real and what's virtual? I think one way to look at this is see VirtuReality like the Yin and Yang concept.

On one side, we have VIRTUAL items connecting to physically real objects, appliances, etc. to affect change such as:

Ambient Devices and Bug Labs Crowdsourced Gadgets

On the other, we have REAL locations and objects being connected with geotagged input from all of us.

The combination of the two offer balance of connected consciousness in a VirtuReal world.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Device Innovations in VirtuReality?




Cool post here from 37 signals shows some interesting VirtuReal innovations here and on the way.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is Kwik E Mart VirtuReal?



Doh!

Ann Handley from MarketingProfs asks the questions that point to what I've been writing about in VirtuReality. The article she wrote for the Huffington Post is here.

Antinormalizer or Normal in a VirtuReal World?



These students redefine mobile interaction with unexpected mental constructs. In other words, they do some weird stuff! They've blurred the lines and stepped into VirtuReality.

VirtuReal Art?

Monday, July 23, 2007

What is VirtuReality?



I originally wrote VirtuReality as an article based on some observations within our changing marketplace.

Before I distributed it to publishers like BrandChannel or MarketingProfs; who have been very generous in the past about publishing my thoughts, I shared it with a few trusted friends and colleagues in this current draft form.

Interestingly, people started giving me examples of what could best be described as "VirtuReality Spotting". So I thought I'd share those and more here to turn the VirtuReality experience from my own to everyone's.

My intention with this blog is to hopefully pick up enough momentum to become a resource for all of us living in VirtuReality to better navigate it. I hope you'll take the time to read my initial article and then share your VirtuReal experiences.

Thanks again for your kind words and support so far, and welcome to VIRTUREALITY.