posted on: 2010-06-20 11:46:37
Sci-Fi often predicts technology. One place that seems to have been overlooked is our online 'avatars'.

>This entry is inspired by the book Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson. I found out about this book online on a list for popular sci-fi, Sci-Fi Lists. The book itself was hidden in Juvenile fiction at my local library. Interestingly JUV-FIC is k-12 reading levels, so it would be hard to argue that any fiction shouldn't be placed there.

This post is particular to Stephenson's prediction of the future internet isn't too far fetched. If you think back to the days of delphi, AOL and the likes you won't find the technology today is much different. Just better.

In Snow Crash the internet is more of an imitation of the real world. Navigation involves moving around in a 3d work via your avatar. I suppose this lacks much of the functionality of the common protocols that we have today. Games like world of warcraft offer much of the concepts established in Snow Crash, where you move around in a 3D space and interact with other avatars.

I'm a bit curious about the evolution of avatars. Currently there are social networking sites, you setup your profile and thats about it. What about your avatar. Not much has been done to setup diverse, modifiable avatars. They don't really appeal to anybody. They're not complicated enough to inspire people to work on them.

They could become more popular though. How about an avatar that you could use for multiple sites. It could use xml to contain a large quantity of available resources. From a simple image to a 3d model that actually appears to interact with other users. Some way to help merge social sites, it seems that every site you use has a 'profile' where you can enter personal information. From internet radio, tv to sites specific for the profiles.

I like the avatar concept if perhaps it was done right it might become more popular.


2012-02-22 17:56:21
Yeah I agree that sounds like a really good way to link up social networking sites. You could have a browser plugin that stores your avatar info, and every time you go to a social networking site it will (if you allow the site access) automatically read your info and your 3d avatar, which will allow you to move around the site.