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Note To Self Before Bed

I’m an idiot (slaps forehead)

Opensourced Second Life as Augmented Reality overlay. Whack that shit on a pair of lenses.

Prim buildings on wasteground. Jet cars weaving around real cars on real roads. Giant robots peering around the corner of the street.

Build your avatar and load it onto a wearable AR beacon. Let people watch your avatar rez over your realself.

May turn this into a real thought at the weekend. Or not.

(yes am aware SL is D-E-D dead because it is apparently unscalable and doesn’t work most of the time that’s why I stopped writing about it so it’s just an example/marker but still )

Published in brainjuice


  1. CheshireNoir CheshireNoir

    This was also covered in Halting State by Charles Stross.
    There’s a MMORPG convention with half the users using augmented reality extensions. Walking down the corridor, the lead character has to keep flipping his glasses just to see what people really looked like, rather than just their in game avatars.

  2. MrSyxx MrSyxx

    I would not say its totaly dead, as fetish clubs go SL is still pretty active as a giant collective headonistic digital pleasure scape (its fancy words for big virtual brothel) and a few RP hold out that are mildly interesting. and I think some one did make a gargoyle suite awile back lost the link though.

  3. Quick & dirty route to Charlie Stross’ Halting State, huh?

  4. Dave L. Dave L.

    That’s actually not too far off what Vinge did in ‘Fast Times at Fairmont High’ and ‘Rainbow’s End’

  5. Richard Fannon Richard Fannon

    Reminds me of the AR in Cybergeneration

  6. Anonymous Anonymous

    Halting State by Stross has a nice play on this.

  7. It’s a lovely idea. Something like it has been used by Alistair Reynolds (maybe others but he is th eone I have read) a few times, and quite extensively in his book ‘The Prefect’, where the term ‘abstraction’ is used. In that book different communities use it to create their identities and appearances in internally coherent ways, so members of that community see a shared version of reality. His communities are all separated from each other in man-made satellites of one kind or another, so these shared realities do not overlap – but it would be fun to look at what happens when these experentially different communities share geographical space.

  8. Eagle Eagle

    I had this whole story in my head where someone hacks into someone else’s glasses and has them edit him out of their view, then follows them around to cause… Mischief.

    I doubt I’ll ever write it, but I did have tons of ideas for how the technology could be abused by the corporate world to blast you with more shit while you’re walking around than it already does.

    Featured eye-rubbing and minor headaches.

  9. Stu N Stu N

    Closely related to work that Ordnance Survey is doing.

  10. Glummbo Glummbo

    In Today’s news, Lens-tech terrorists killed two and injured five when they hijacked local lens-tech narrowcasting and overlayed images of an empty street after leaving manhole covers open…

  11. Lazlo Panaflex Lazlo Panaflex

    I had similar thoughts about this subject in regards to population concentration. Many riders on Japanese commuter trains wear face masks on the pretext that they are sensitive to air pollution. Another function of the face mask is to shield the masked from the eyes of other riders. It also allows the other riders eyes to “skip over” the masked face while they inevidably wander over the train during the boring ride. My thought was of a system that would erase or replace the images of people or places live while you are walking around. You could replace the mundane things in your reality with items that would be more interesting. Imagine slipping on some goggles that would change your commuter train ride into an underwater submarine tour or changing all the people on your walk through the city into Super Mario characters. Or Stormtroopers, or whatever. The challenge would be to replace all the ‘active threats’ (things that could kill, maim, run you over) with things that would catch your attention but not break the illusion of whatever reality that you loaded.
    William Gibson’s “Spook Country” touched on the idea of augmented reality art installations and there is someguy in Amsterdam (just Google ‘someguy in amsterdam’ and it should come right up)that was working on “ghost tours” overlapping historical images on top of reality using a GPS/videogoggles/headphones configuration running from a suitcase. It was heavy but it worked (according to the unnamed television program i saw it on).

  12. alfonso el sabio alfonso el sabio

    Really, Warren, that’s the whole saving grace of the open source server is being able to “DIY” a “reality” without the BS of the official SL.

  13. Russ J Russ J

    Seconding what Dave L said, this is exactly what Vinge did in Rainbows End.

  14. anon anon

    I’m not so much interested in superimposing an avatar on myself as on other people. I want a NoMorePantsThatDoNotFit filter on reality.

    Similarly, watch high school become an even more perfect hell as everyone walks around with ‘Kick Me’ signs on their backs that they can’t see or remove.

  15. KT KT

    There’s a really great little anime called Denno Coil that plays with that idea as well, it’s a kids show but has one of the most intelligent treatments of AR I’ve seen in ages. (It’s not all open source, but the kids do get to playing with illegal and viral programs) Sadly it went under the radar and the huge amount of text means it’s unlikely to get an official sub.

    There’s so much scope with something as open as SL though, and I think this might be where this decade gets it’s excuses for fantastic virtual world shenanigans (now we kinda have to admit the internet is not going to turn into Neuromancer/Snowcrash full immersion stuff). It’s a bit like steampunk really, we keep finding the interesting stuff by mashing things together.

  16. Second the recommendation of “Denno Coil”; it’s really brilliant.

    Also Laura Mixon’s “Glass Houses,” which was surprisingly prescient about the whole AR thing (and manages to be a fun story, to boot).

  17. This is what we are developing at Neogence. Massively multiuser mobile augmented reality network. No printed markers either : )

  18. I guess step 1 is open sourcing SL.

    The Open Metaverse Foundation is one of the people working on that sort of thing. I think that there are a bunch of others on the West Coast of America doing the same.

  19. I’m a big fan Planetary, so it’s very exciting to see you thinking about AR! Think SL fused with GoogleEarth fused with PhotoSynth, fused with Final friggin’ Fantasy (and then some). It’s still a little wordy, but hit up if you’ve got a little time to read.

  20. SilentObjector SilentObjector

    Wasn’t this my idea from Whitechapel Innovations?

  21. Justin_H Justin_H

    This was the thinking behind Gibson’s “Spook Country”, yes? 100 foot high floating octopus, recreations of famous people’s deaths on sidewalks.

  22. “Opensourced Second Life” is what caught my eye and really what should be exciting for you is just that. In the last couple of years developers all around the world and metaverse have been creating this tool for the masses to do whatever your twisted minds want to without rules of someone else being imposed on you. is opensourced SL. If you want to build your own world now you can its here, have at it.

    Peace and Creativity
    Chris Greenwell

  23. I’ve been thinking about these exact sort of things for more than a year, now.

    I envision flashmob party spaces, where each person agrees to help set up objects, lights, lasers, particles, etc. like in Second Life, but out in the physical world. All of which you could only see through special glasses.

    I’ve also thought about what I think would be the next major step in videogaming: using physical locations as in-world levels/stages. Imagine playing Super Smash Bros. in your neighbor’s lawn, with holographic characters jumping over your fence and punching each other through windows. Jumping off of houses and walking on telephone wires.

    Kind of like this: (check out the middle of the video)

    I, too, also highly recommend Denn? Coil. All the episodes appear to be watchable in streaming video here. It’s good stuff about the futures.

  24. on augmented reality……

    I’ve been thinking about these exact sort of things for more than a year, now.I envision flashmob party spaces, where each person agrees to help set up objects, lights, lasers, particles, etc. like in……

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