There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.
Hiro has been thinking that in a few years, if he does really well in the intel biz, maybe he will make enough money to subscribe to Earth and get this thing in his office. Now it is suddenly here, free of charge.
The term "Metaverse" was coined by Neal Stephenson in his book Snow Crash in the year 1992. The metaverse is a 3-D virtual world internet. In this story, the main character, Hiro, when goggled-in to this virtual world platform finds he has received a software within which functions as a mirror world to the real one. This mirror Earth reports and displays various data about the real world.
The virtual world of Second Life is growing in the vision of the Metaverse and functions now as such a platform. Even now, development of a mirror world platform based on the vision of Snow Crash is on the way. More than just a rendition of the world, such a mirror world tool becomes an active interface with what currently happens on Earth in a variety of ways.
What will this platform of mirror worlds come to be like as a mirror to reality? Depending on investments, technological development and market demands, this platform could unfold in a number of ways. In my own discussions about a platform of mirror worlds, I have found myself coining terminology for discussions...
esoptronic - Meaning "of the mirror". From the greek word "esoptron" meaning "mirror". Found in the original greek language of the New Testament, "For now we see through a mirror, darkly" - 1 Corinthians 13:12
imatar - Meaning "imaged avatar". An avatar that is made to resemble the person whom it represents.
phenoverse - Mirror worlds collectively, accessible from a singular platform. From the greek word "phaino", coming into the English language as the prefix "pheno-" meaning showing, displaying, rendering apparent, or made manifest.
Mirror worlds in general form what I refer to as "phenospace". The study of this I refer to as the science of "esoptronics". To which, I intend to more fully discuss in the future to find out, as Morpheus describes in the Matrix movie, "how deep the rabbit-hole goes".
The Metaverse Roadmap by Jamais Cascio, Jerry Paffendorf, and John Smart (
http://www.metaverseroadmap.org/MetaverseRoadmapOverview.pdf ) is a study of forming trends in the developing metaverse. The metaverse is envisioned in the Metaverse Roadmap by four attributes: Virtual Worlds, Mirror Worlds, Augmented Reality and Life Logging.
Advances in this area of technology in the evolving metaverse will also grow to strong general interest and benefit. The virtual world platform, of itself, adds to further education, whereas, it is more than just second-hand knowledge but simulated experience that instructs. Howbeit, much more will the mirror world platform advance education than simply the virtual world does.
Esoptronics employs the use of live virtual scenerios that more fully mimic the real world than most conventional virtual realities. Through such a robust interface the phenoverse provides strong syncronous interaction together with asyncronous communications as well.
The phenoverse becomes a fine addition to the metaverse. Whether the metaverse becomes host to the phenoverse or vice-versa, the usefulness of both will compliment each other. However, the question remains: What software will be the platform for the mirror world internet?
Neal Stephenson also depicted in his book "Snow Crash" a Non-Player Character robot avatar called the "Librarian" that both stores and communicates research knowledge. This kind of technology is more advanced but would be the subsequential step in the development of the world's most user-friendly interactive encyclopedia. The world of Neal Stephenson is upon us.-Theodore Wright
Organizer for the New Jersey Metaverse Meetup
( contact e-mail: secondlife -at- dokimos -dot- org ).
Google's Virtual World Could Be Business Answer To Second Life
from Information Week
Google Earth and Second Life
from Guardian Unlimited
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