Taking the Red Pill

Under a banner that says “make a difference in the world”, there’s a wonderful piece at active rain about using collaborative virtual worlds for Web 3.0 activity in the real estate industry.

I think we made a difference.

A lot of our uses are wrapped up in big oil, big banks, and secret big government stuff, so I really enjoy having one organization talking about another organization’s use of my work. I’m enjoying it that much more that our company or product name doesn’t even come up. You see, it is not about the technology, but about how it empowers them, in their industry.

There’s a short corroborating blog here (note: link to www.scottsdaleparadise.com/uncategorized/teleplaceis-cool/ removed due to malware alert from Google).

The coverage has pictures and a wonderful video, which concludes saying “I realized that just talking with [the real estate brokerage] about it, and then visiting their website was no comparison and nothing like ‘virtually being there!’” Demos of Croquet, Qwaq, and Teleplace have always had a talking part that always ends with the presenter saying that “I can talk to you and show you pictures and movies and the Web site, but like the Matrix, you really have to experience it.”

HELLO…!” That’s not just true of communicating what using a virtual world is like. It is true about communicating in whatever your domain is – realty, oil, finance, government, and so forth. You can and should publish papers, make videos, and have a Web site. But as many of the extensive commenters say, that is still limited, and way short of the experience of actually working with someone and their product or service. From a Web site, I can only get a glimpse of what working with a particular brokerage is going to be like. I have to try them. From a Web site, you can only get a glimpse of what collaborating in 3D is like. You have to try, e.g., Teleplace. But this is where it gets meta-circular: collaborative virtual worlds are a leap in how you and the people try and experience things.

About Stearns

Howard Stearns works at High Fidelity, Inc., creating the metaverse. Mr. Stearns has a quarter century experience in systems engineering, applications consulting, and management of advanced software technologies. He was the technical lead of University of Wisconsin's Croquet project, an ambitious project convened by computing pioneer Alan Kay to transform collaboration through 3D graphics and real-time, persistent shared spaces. The CAD integration products Mr. Stearns created for expert system pioneer ICAD set the market standard through IPO and acquisition by Oracle. The embedded systems he wrote helped transform the industrial diamond market. In the early 2000s, Mr. Stearns was named Technology Strategist for Curl, the only startup founded by WWW pioneer Tim Berners-Lee. An expert on programming languages and operating systems, Mr. Stearns created the Eclipse commercial Common Lisp programming implementation. Mr. Stearns has two degrees from M.I.T., and has directed family businesses in early childhood education and publishing.

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