Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Blue Mars Mobile, Augmented Reality and Virtual Ecosystems
The Blue Mars Mobile team just released another update with some significant enhancements including the mixed reality feature documented in my video. They're doing a stellar job of rapidly cranking out new capabilities that are fun, fast and easy.
At first thought, this topic seems to be a diversion from Monday's pledge to "rise above the ground clutter and think about the virtual world from a more expansive and inclusive perspective." But it is perfect starting point to discuss of how we typically get stuck within conceptual boxes about how avatar-centric software should be developed.
Chances are good that the usual malcontents are going so slam BMM for not conforming to their personal ideal of a VW mobile applications. But although I like to tease Blue Mars for not yet offering a full mobile virtual world solution, I'd much rather have a steady stream of incremental releases than wait a year for a full mobile client. And it would be perfectly fine if they never pushed this product beyond avatar dress-up.
I usually try to avoid using the latest buzzwords, but must admit to a new infatuation with the idea of tech industries as "ecosystems". One key to a healthy ecosystem is diversity. When we rise above any particular platform, stakeholder group or technology what we want to see is a multiplicity of communities of interest moving within a rich and varied environment of diverse micro-ecosystems: large and small; general and hyper-focused; mainstream and alternative; conservative and bleeding edge, etc.
My hope that virtual worlds can avoid the monoculture quasi-monopoly of Facebook and instead progress through the ongoing interplay of hundreds of initiatives competing for every possible niche.
BTW. Those are not virtual objects. The avatar is dancing around a RL music room.