Monday, April 16, 2007

Roadmap to the Metaverse

The Internet in 2016 will be an all-encompassing digital playground where people will be immersed in an always-on flood of digital information, whether wandering through physical spaces or diving into virtual worlds.

That was the general picture painted in a draft report obtained by CNET that summarizes the conclusions of several dozen pundits who met at the first Metaverse Roadmap Summit last May to prognosticate the "pathway to the 3D Web." Snippet from the Meet the Metaverse article by Daniel Terdiman.

The four scenarios -- Augmented Reality, Lifelogging, Virtual Words, and Mirror World -- all reflect differing levels of emphasis on what I saw as the two primary spectra describing the evolution of this technology: augmentation versus simulation, and intimate technologies versus extimate technologies. Here's how they line up, in a graphic first shown at South by Southwest 07:

Image and snippet from Jamais Cascio, of Open the Future. Updated image on Flickr.

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