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Meet the metaverse, your new digital home

The Internet in 2016 will be an all-encompassing digital playground where people will be immersed in an always-on flood of digital information, whether wandering through physical spaces or diving into virtual worlds.

That was the general picture painted in a draft report obtained by CNET that summarizes the conclusions of several dozen pundits who met at the first Metaverse Roadmap Summit last May to prognosticate the "pathway to the 3D Web."

Within 10 years, the report suggests, people may wear glasses that record everything around them. They will likely see little distinction between their real-world social lives and their interactions in digital, 3D virtual worlds. And they'll increasingly turn to services like an enhanced Google Earth that are able to present data on what's happening anywhere, at any time, as it unfolds.

"What happens," the draft report's introduction asks, "when video games meet Web 2.0? When virtual worlds meet geospatial maps of the planet? When simulations get real, and life and business go virtual? When you use a virtual Earth to navigate the physical Earth, and your avatar becomes your online agent? What happens is the metaverse."

Augmented reality is technology, the report says, that's immersive, location-aware and self-tracking. It essentially allows users to get instant data about places and things digitally at any time.

Lifelogging is defined as "the deployment of augmentation technologies (that) focuses more on communication, memory and the observation of other people than on examining and controlling the physical environment," according to the draft report. Essentially, this means that people would use technology to record just about everything going on around them--a kind of always-on blogging in 3D.

One of the more noteworthy aspects of the report is the section on lifelogging, which focuses on the many ways and technologies people will use to effectively broadcast vast segments of their life to friends and the general public. The report suggests the use of wearable systems with recording capabilities and digital displays that allow people to constantly track the sights and sounds around them--and to share that input with others.

"If lifelogging technology becomes commonplace," the report suggests, "those who have access to complete records have a distinct advantage over those who still rely on their faulty 'meat' memories. The choice of operating without personal-memory technology could become as self-crippling as living today without a phone of any sort, or without electricity."

But not everyone bought into that scenario.

In fact, the report suggests that one agreed-upon theory is that the augmented-reality scenario--in which people walk around with technology practically embedded in them, and in which that technology provides constant data on surroundings, will be "something of a baseline world, almost inevitable, even if the other metaverse scenarios don't occur."

"To the generation brought up in an augmented-reality world," the report says, "the metaverse--this ubiquitous cloud of information--is like electricity to children of the 20th century: essentially universal, expected and conspicuous only in its absence."
This article makes me happy. This is the consensus view of our leading technology thinkers. Augmented reality is inevitable. Guess what? To achieve this, for reasons I've cataloged before, you need Microvision Eyewear, for every single person who wants to participate in the next-generation mobile internet.


At April 17, 2007 at 7:23 PM Anonymous said...

Do you think iMoD from Qualcomm presents any competition for mvis. I think their tech is also based on MEMS. May be you can help us differentiate as you did with TI and MVIS.
Keep on Bloggin !!!


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