Archive | May 2015

Fundamental Problems with Metaverse Implementations

INTRODUCTION

We can define a metaverse in a number of different ways. At a minimum, a metaverse must allow users to experience and perform actions with others in shared virtual spaces.

Years ago, we should have recognized and learned from the painful problems associated with a social metaverse platform which focused on user generated content. Today, a new crop of companies are gearing up to repeat those same mistakes.

As we look back, it was never really the user generated content that was the problem. It was the metaverse platform itself. It couldn’t live up to the hype. The platform was not capable of capturing a large audience, much less living up its roots in science fiction.

The Metaverse (image copyright 2015 by <a href="http://www.123rf.com/profile_michelangelus">michelangelus</a>)

The Metaverse (image copyright 2015 by michelangelus)

The concept of a metaverse (or even “The Metaverse”) is something that might yet deliver a compelling experience, but not in its current form. The design in use today needs to be shelved and replaced with something better. Read More…

Publishing Articles at UploadVR

Going forward, some of my more major articles may be published through UploadVR. Articles that are published through UploadVR will appear on the Metaversing site shortly thereafter.

UploadVR

UploadVR

You may wonder what is behind this agreement. Have I decided to start writing for financial compensation? No, not at all.

From my side, this arrangement is practical. I gain access to an editor to review and enhance my work, I receive a better insight into the process of writing for a public audience, and I reach a far greater number of viewers than I would on my own website.

From their side, they gain first access to some very unique material, since most of my writing contains original research. I’m already seeing the value of this partnership, and I’d expect this arrangement to remain in place as long as it works out well for both of us.

So, this is just a heads-up. If you see some of my work promoted on UploadVR and linked to their website, that’s just fine by me. We both benefit from working together.

IBM Patent Claims to Invent Group Travel, Except “in the Metaverse”

IBM is no stranger to virtual world patents.

Last year, we looked at how we would implement travel between unrelated virtual worlds, when we accidentally stumbled across an IBM patent from 2013 which touched on that very concept. IBM described a system that would read your personal profile (friends, interest, age, etc) and teleport you to a region in your destination that compliments your profile.

This month, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a new patent application from IBM, called System and Method for Group Control in a Metaverse Application. In short, it looks like a standard method for online group travel, except, “in the Metaverse”.

The concept is simple. The patent details an innovation where a “group link engine” allows users to be invited into a group. Once inside the group, a leader can control their actions. They then add in additional obvious claims, such as the ability to transfer leadership, to temporarily remove a member from the group, to send out invitations to the group, and to record movements.

Are we witnessing the start of patents which take an obvious concept and then claims that it is something new because it is “in the Metaverse”? One can only hope that the USPTO can see through such obviousness.

A Review of Portals in Virtual Worlds

BACKGROUND

A year ago, we started to look at how we might travel from one virtual world (anything from a simple program launcher to a more complex program like JanusVR) into a completely unrelated virtual environment.

As I searched for some consensus on how portal should look and operate, I wasn’t able to find any good guides which cover the topic. (The extensive use of the word portal by web-based companies has made it a particularly difficult topic to search.) This article is a (non-exhaustive) review of portals as a popular method used in virtual worlds today to transport the user to entirely different regions.

What are portals? Portals are typically objects or areas in the environment which advertise the ability for a user to approach and engage them in order to be teleported to a new location. Traditionally, they are placed vertically along a wall (and walked into), but they can be placed horizontally along the floor (and stepped onto). An additional action may be required, before or after moving an avatar into the aperture, to actually engage the portal.

Portals won’t be the exclusive means of long-distance travel within and between virtual worlds. What portals have going for them is that they’re already commonplace in virtual worlds, they can be visually integrated into many themes, and they’re easily understood by players.

In JanusVR, portals take center stage as the method used to connect otherwise unrelated virtual worlds.

In JanusVR, portals take center stage as the method used to connect otherwise unrelated virtual worlds.

Read More…