Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Embracing alternate & augmented reality

It's a brave new world out there. Some of us find it easier to make the mental leap from real to virtual than others.

I reckon the 6 year olds that are currently social networking / participating in the now Disney owned Club Penguin or the 10 years olds hanging out in Habbo Hotel are going to have no problems dealing with the virtual worlds of the future. Representing yourself as a penguin / avatar and meeting and interacting with other penguins/avatars is not freaky to them. Nor is managing and spending virtual currency. The question is where will they go from there as they grow older and their wants and needs change. I am suspecting it won't be Second Life, which in Gartner Hype Cycle terms is probably somewhere in the "trough of disillusionment".

But avatars can come in handy in other ways too. I recently read this interesting article from the New York Times, which talks about how Ford are embracing the advantages of the virtual world, and binning old-world concepts such as mood-boards, instead creating avatars of their target audience to help bring them to life in a more realistic, 360 fashion and using them to help with their product and comms development. Neat.

So following the thread of thought, link the virtual world of avatars and identity together with social networking and our ever increasing need to manage our professional and personal identities online and you get things like this view of augmented identity which might as yet be a relatively clumsy execution of how we will use apps and tools to display our virtual identity in different ways but are still interesting food for thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment