Introducing Idoru.js

idoru.js is an experiment I’m working on with artificial characters in virtual worlds. The idea is that to provide good “user experience” (UX) in a virtual world, a character must have good “stage presence” to stimulate engagement.

The idea is to create a framework for an artificial character that is charming and attentive to the user. This character can then be “dressed up” with any imaginable avatar. It can be given any “job” that anyone cares to script.

A screenshot of the very first prototype of idoru.js - with a rudimentary avatar and chatbot.
First idoru.js experiment.

A good suit and deep knowledge are not enough to make a person engaging in the real world. A person needs body language. A person needs to be attentive to the person they are engaging. They need to make eye contact. They need to interact with a person’s personal space in a thoughtful, polite way.

Continue reading “Introducing Idoru.js”

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The Dawn of Virtual Reality

The dawn of virtual reality.
The Dawn of Virtual Reality

Over the last couple of days, the very first “Oculus Rift” headsets have been arriving on the heads of ordinary consumers. And those who write about such things are going wild. This, they say, is the dawn of virtual reality. As far as a lot of people are concerned, this is the beginning of a whole new medium. And given what I’ve seen about the sweeping psychological implications of “immersive media”, it could be true.

For example, Matthias Mccoy-Thompson of The Medium makes the bold statement:

Today marks the biggest revolution in gaming since Pong took games from the realm of boards into the digital.Continue reading “The Dawn of Virtual Reality”

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VR in Therapy, Therapy in VR

Virtual reality has obvious applications in the field of entertainment, particularly for gaming. But there are other areas in which the ability to create an immersive visual reality, without any of the dangers associated with its real-world equivalent, can be beneficial. One interesting example is the use of VR in therapy. Continue reading “VR in Therapy, Therapy in VR”

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Virtual World Behavior

Not long ago, I set up a Minecraft Realm for my kids, their friends, and myself to putter around in. Fun for them – fun and educational for me. And it was here that I really started to get an appreciation for the crossover between peoples’ real-world behaviour, and their virtual world behaviour.

It is known that there are parallels between how people behave in a virtual world, and how they behave in the real world. It’s been many years since I first heard of big retailers testing out floor plans and display units by setting them up in a virtual world, and analyzing peoples’ virtual world behavior to glean insights into what would be effective in the real world. I’ve heard of many other examples since. Continue reading “Virtual World Behavior”

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Virtualization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The digitization of information is pretty much fait accompli. Now, the virtualization of reality is beginning. Like the industrial revolution before this one – this is going to be a lot of fun.

During the Third Industrial Revolution, information became digitized. This meant information could be transmitted, copied, and was completely independent of whatever media it was stored on at the moment. The implications have been staggering.

One of the implications is that when we became good enough at working with digitized information, we became capable of virtualizing actual things.

( For more background, see this entry on Continue reading “Virtualization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”

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