FrankandPat

October 11, 2007

Your avatar will soon be a mall rat

Filed under: uncategorized — thedelman @ 2:37 pm

This is an interesting article about IBM’s plans for taking virtually world to the next step.

Just wait. Within five years, you may be able to send in a digitized alter ego to kick the tires, ask questions and do your shopping in a virtual world.

 http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/money/story.html?id=e1c8a25b-47a0-45c2-83aa-79bd5fae3057&k=18832&p=1  

This is good news for people who have difficulty ‘getting out and about’ due to disabilities, time constraints, commitments, living in remote places, etc. They will be able to have a similar (or perhaps better?) experience without leaving the comfort of their own homes. 

But I can’t help but ask “is this really good news for society as a whole??”…..

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2 Comments »

  1. This seems to be going right back to what people in 1995 imagined the Internet would turn into. I remember people at college attempting to build clumsy 3D “virtual” galleries and so on. In so many ways it misses the point. Browsing an online shop (eg Amazon) is so much easier than walking round a physical shop. Walking round a virtual physical shop is harder than walking round a physical shop. Online shops look the way they are, and behave the way they do, because it’s easy and fast. I can go to Amazon, type in a book title, band name, whatever, and immediately be presented with what I am looking for. If I was stumbling round a virtual shop with an avatar it would take forever to find the same things. Physical shops are restricted by the physical space they cover – that’s why Borders in Angel has a far narrower range of products on offer than Amazon. If Amazon were to display their products in a “virtual” shop it would probably be about twice the size of Wembley Stadium. Etc.

    Comment by marcus — October 19, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  2. ps. “Just wait. Within five years, you may be able to send in a digitized alter ego to kick the tires, ask questions and do your shopping in a virtual world.” is precisely what people were saying in 1995.

    Comment by marcus — October 19, 2007 @ 3:28 pm


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