Mirror Mirror on the wall

Over at Redmonk, James Governor has written a very interesting piece on what has happened to the Microsoft ESP platform. Mirror worlds, accurate representations of real things, ideally instrumented by a raft of sensors from the real world are a very specific, and obvious, use of virtual worlds. After all pilots already spend a large amount of time training in such environments and we entrust out lives to them. (It would be interesting to know how much virtual training the Hero of the Hudson has had, re water landings).
James said of ESP “the single coolest initiative I have seen from Microsoft in the 13 years I have been watching the firm”, but now it appears there is a drop in focus on it.
There are of course lots of other mirror worlds and hybrid mirrors out there, but as yet there is not a good commercial high fidelity toolkit that can be used to build specific mirrors.
Google Earth is clearly the most rich in terms of global level instrumentation, but it is at a much more finite and realtime level that we will see the benefits.
I am not sure what we would do with a live as-is model of the world accurate and instrumented in every way possible, but as a concept and seeing the fascination people have for maps, photos, and satellite images of their part of the planet it seems a worthwhile goal to make a true mirror world.
Also an accurate model of an environment is a base requirement to help enhance the real world with augmented reality systems. i.e. like the ones we already have for our GPS tracking. Without the accurate map(digital model of the world), the GPS position is of less use to the average user.
As James also says though ,there is some speculation in the future of the ESP platform. So I guess we will have to wait and see.

5 thoughts on “Mirror Mirror on the wall

  1. Will this lead a fully augmented reality, with avatars in the virtual world able to occupy the same space as someone within the real world. Perhaps the real person could visualise and interact with the virtual via an app on their phone and visa versa?

  2. I expect that is where we are headed Wayne. Now we are getting to the point of having meaningful and persistent 3d models, instrumented from real information, and also able to generate real information back out again either visually with overlay/merges etc, physically with 3d printers/rapid fabrications or as simple publish/subscribe messages we have a completed circle. Real can got to virtual, virtual can be made real, as a suitably easy commercial scale. Not locked in an expensive research lab.
    That allows the research and product development to move to its next stages. Things like the seattle company building an imaging contact lense.
    Haptic feedback devices, emotiv headsets etc. all start to for the basis for solutions to problems and also to entertainment experiences.
    The phone can be a catalyst for this, as we have seen with the iphone a massive increase in the use of both multi touch and location based services, without anyone really noticing. It just gets on with it and does what it does.
    AR is not new of course, and the great research work and thought leadership that has gone on is now being put in the hands of the general public, so who knows where it will go next.
    We should get to a point where it really does not matter where you are, you can comfortably interact with whoever or whatever you need to in which ever way works, not tied to a qwerty keyboard, mouse and screen.
    (Like the previous post with the coca cola ad and avatars everywhere 🙂 )

  3. Consder the possibilities for this concept in a military command and control facility. Key people assembled quickly, all “seeing” real incomng data, open discussion and evaluation of the situation, crisis planning and real time, critical decisions made. Participants depart to execute those plans and decisions, meeting again virtually only as necessary. The virtual decsion center “appears and disappears” as necessary allowing leaders to remain with their units and execute the tasks at hand.

  4. when i read articles such as these it really makes me wonder what the future holds. i actually think that when we look back we will laugh at how little we had progressed back then, in good ole 2009.

  5. Having read this article it too makes me wonder what the future holds. Quite a scary prospect really. The concept in itself seems in theory quite a good idea but in practice can it ever work?

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