Transreality/Rapid Manufacturing Round

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by: C. Sven Johnson

Having already done the virtual reality and Industrial Design round-ups, I’m finishing off with this collection of links which – in some way or another – have something to do with cross-reality ideas/concepts and rapid manufacturing. Well, at least they come kinda close (in my mind).

So, in no particular order:

Augmented Mixed Reality – Virtual, Physical and Augmented mashup – a kind of follow-on to my earlier mention (reLink – buried in there somewhere), epredator provides an update that belongs in this round-up.

Threadless to open Chicago retail store in September – Not only is Threadless a great example for how to develop and leverage an online community to both create and promote product, but now it goes from being a virtual operation to a more traditional bricks-n-mortar one. I was reading a good post-Dot.Com article (Link) and it occurs to me that Threadless would probably survive another bubble burst.

Custom Action Heros – this entry over on MIT’s Advertising Lab reminded me of one of my earlier posts (reLink). There’s apparently worthwhile demand if they can operate out of Connecticut and stay in business. When online avatars are 3D data instead of vectorized animations, fabjectory and company are gonna be popular.

When Actual Materiality Surpasses Even Real Virtuality – interesting post spurred by Hyposurface, an interactive surface similar to and probably inspiring some of the sorts of things I’ve previously mentioned (reLink). I really should get up to speed on the “interactive architecture” side of things.

Musicians aim to create virtual choir – not quite what I had in mind (reLink), but certainly good enough (just ignore the Duran Duran flub). I’m just bummed because there isn’t as much opportunity to fab anything beyond the avatars themselves and (maybe) some of the clothing. If this was an instrumental group the possibilities would be much more fun (Link).

Virtual Goods Summit 2007 videos – as Susan Wu said at the top of the first video, they may only be virtual goods, but people develop real attachments to them. And I’m betting people will increasingly want tangible versions of these virtual things. Actually, I think they’ll want both.

Can You Use Flickr Pics in Ads? – this one is fun. Not only are some digital photos, which quite possibly only get shared online, being turned into real world advertising billboard media, but the whole issue of copyright is once again surfacing at a consumer/user level. Be sure to read through the “Dump Your Pen Friend” Flickr discussion. Shades of CopyBot (reLink): regular people having to actually think about intellectual property. Excellent.

Virtual Sex Machine inventor seeks adult video stars – boldly going where a whole lot of people would go if the technology was less creepy. Gives “jacking in” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? Thankfully, qDot is on top of things (should I “intend” this pun?).

BarbieGirls Toys Launch, Add-on Packs Add to Real and Virtual World – I’d started writing something along the lines of what I think this post is getting at back in January when people were talking about David Edery’s article on “reverse product placement” (reference – reLink). Unfortunately, what I’d started writing is now lost (or very inaccessible on a dead hard drive). In any event, basically what I’d written was that to me true “reverse product placement” wasn’t just having a virtual brand generate sufficient interest to facilitate the sale of real product. If by “product placement” marketers mean embedding real world products in (virtual) media to spur sales of the real, then imo the reverse is putting virtual products in the real world to spur sales of the virtual. That’s not what Edery is describing here: “reverse placement, or the commercial translation of fictional brands or products from games into the real world.” Thus, the creation of the real product is only the embedded advertising that entices people to buy the virtual version. Now this wouldn’t seem to make any business sense. It’s certainly not intuitive, but I think it can and will… eventually.

Minesweeper : The Movie – Just… because.

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