Bit realities and real bits

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Internet and the real world get integrated

Spotlight on : Google Lively, Milan Expo 2015 and Minority Report-like interfaces. Technology is always more available, accessible and present in our everyday routine with a new trend : simplicity, speed, interactivity and integration. The whole technological world is moving towards these principles.

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Lately we’re facing an extraordinary explosion of ideas, projects and new technologies which lead us to the integration of the bit world we watch through our pc monitor and the real world we live everyday.

All began with Second Life: the virtual world that reproduces in bits our habits and routine, it was so successful that it became an alternative world for many. It unleashed the psychologists and the sociologists of the whole world in order to follow and study the phenomenon that alienated many people, leading them to live primarily the “SL” (Second Life) rather then the “RL” (Real Life). In jargon we can hear expressions like “we’re in RL”, meaning that we actually are into real life, like it was the actual oddity. Second Life was an innovative phenomenon both social and technological which created new habits; everyone talked about it and thank to SL a lot of other virtual worlds known as Entropy grew and proliferated.

It has been a few days by now, Lively, Google’s new virtual world is online. This is not an alternative world but rather a parallel one, I think it could be labeled as the evolution of the web: after the 2.0 (which reads people’s preferences and suggests music, articles and much more using a kind of collective intelligence) here it is the 3D web. As a matter of fact, Google’s system is totally integrated with all the internet features, it is simpler and more accessible than the other virtual worlds and for the moment it’s free. It represents today’s formula : easy to use and integration. It also makes disappear the usefulness of the “virtual passport project”, activated by the collaboration of Ibm and Linden Lab after the break-in of an alien (an hacker) into Second Life. That project, foreseeing an oncoming need, wanted one avatar to be able to go through all the virtual worlds. Google modified a forthcoming future, making the virtual world closer to the old internet. It is extremely easy and the approaching of these two worlds would be seen as a natural evolution and no more as a target. This is web 3D.

Meanwhile, someone is experimenting alternative interfaces and connections with the real world creating Minority Report-like technologies and science fictional systems to exchange information with computerized cities (H-Umus). Let’s take a look at Milan’s Expo 2015: Milan is going to be our technological capital, thanks to increased reality projects, big holograms will pass through the city side by side with the “real reality”. Moreover,  many information will be visible using special eye glasses connected to a wireless network. The meeting-point between our reality and the virtual reality is only imaginable; virtual reality offers interfaces always more attached to our sensorial experiences.

The immense mass of information about our preferences, shopping, visits, interests, habits, professions and much more will be managed by the information technology colossuses and that quantity is more liable to be quantified. This is going to change our shopping habits, our needs, the idea of privacy, it is going to standardize us and it will change our way of marketing and to do market researches with a global impact. It is an epochal change and it is happening under our eyes distracted by the perfume of suntan creams.

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