Tweakfest architecture of the metaverse, and the IBM Zurich Lab

After my metaverse pitch at Tweakfest on Friday I was followed on stage directly by Jeffrey Huang whose pitch was a fascinating one on how the digital world is effecting how we treat real physcial spaces and architecture.
Leading in with elements such as banks closing and turning into other spaces in cities, mass warehouses for fulfilment and data centres occupying space around the world.
This was to introduce the concepts that he is known for, of bring real and virtual space and concepts together. He researches and builds things that use existing physical space but joins it to the virtual in some way.
This resonated very well with what got me started in all this, when we tried to use lots of types of art and technology to link up our Hursley and Southbank locations when we were the very unusual IBM group called blueroom (or Interactive media centre). Having graphic designers and web tech people, but within IBM, we were more like a startup but were split across 2 main locations in our centres for e-business innovation back at the turn of the century. We had lots of projects to try and gather real life data and presence, then re render them virtually as large collaborative art forms. Including using virtual worlds to meld the two offices.
Jeff showed several pieces of work that were thought provoking and of various degrees of seriousness. A video of a web cam mirror in student dorms that pumped directly to hot or not and projected your rating out of 10 back onto the mirror, then a fascinating wall projection that took words from snippets of real life conversations (using speech to text) to get a flavour and buzz for what was going on in a room. Also an interesting concept that the location of certain facilities now are based on the provision of high bandwidth network access, where as once it was major road, rail or river connections. So the digitial world and its needs is having a direct impact on our physical space.
Finally there was the swiss house. The aim here to connect swizz ex-pats with their home country and fellow swiss in other countries. This ‘house’ is in cambridge, MA between Harvard and MIT. The aim is to create a physical space but have the presence and linkages to other spaces, not by one video conf screen but lots of types of walls, projections, virtual/real world tools.
There are some pictures here of the sort of space created.
The blend of these concepts, with the patterns we use in virtual worlds and the continuing blurring of the lines with augmented reality in real life, augmented reality in virtual life and 3d printing and replication really gets my head spinning with so many ideas. So when the dust settles on the virtual world boom, I think that this sort of space will be where we are going to be.
The guys in our Zurich lab already have some fascinating projects and demos blurring these lines such as bluespace. Once again it was before its time, but now people have multiple digital presences and need to combine things in a physical space in order to interact
There is a massively impressive list here of the demos in Zurich, some of those we have in Hursley too by the way.

One thought on “Tweakfest architecture of the metaverse, and the IBM Zurich Lab

  1. Pingback: UgoTrade » Blog Archive » The Level Playing Field: From Web 2.0 to World 2.0 and Virtual Life

Comments are closed.