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26 Aug

VW’s Innovation Awards Categories. And the winners are……


Ending day one of the VW Expo show in LA next week are theVirtual Worlds Innovation . Here’s the categories:

* Overall Innovation, 1 winner

* Innovation in Virtual Worlds for Consumers (Adults), 2 winners

* Innovation in Virtual Worlds for the Enterprise, 2 winners

* Innovation in Virtual Worlds for Youth, 2 winners

* Virtual Worlds Pioneer Award, 1 winner

We’ve decided on all the winners and I’ll be presenting the awards to the two winners in the Virtual Worlds for Youth category.

26 Aug

Virtual pets on your real world desktop

Sony EyePet is a toy 2.0 application recently showcased at theLeipzig Game Conference in Germany. It’s scheduled for release towards the back-end of 2009. This is yet another example of simple AR technology (more here), this time for a younger audience. What I love about this is the simplicity of the interface – forget having to use a keyboard or mouse to engage – try your hands instead.

Thinking about these types of apps more holistically, there’s real power here in terms of bridging the adoption gap between early adopters and the early majority – as the technology gets more and more advanced, the actual uses/products/applications get simpler.

23 Aug

Hints of the (augmented reality) future: HP TV ads

Here’s a near complete set of the recent’ish ‘The Computer is Personal Again’ TV ads from HP. A glimpse into the potential of augmented reality.


Mark Burnett

JY Park


Jay Z

Continue reading →

22 Aug

Photosynth – a fast track to creating mirror worlds?

Photosynth, from Microsoft is an emerging application that ‘stitches’ together individual photographs to create anavigabledigitalenvironment. It was demo’d first at the TED conference last year using Flickr photos of Notre Dame cathedral. It’s a product from Microsoft Live Labs, a development team and the website is here.

Rolling this forward a year or two, it seems obvious that this type of application could feasibly be used to create virtual world type spaces on the fly (real-time registration).

Here’s a video of Photosynth.

And a related application code-named Sea Dragon.

Continue reading →

22 Aug

VW Forum podcast


Yesterday I was interviewed by Huw Leslie from VW Worlds Forum in the first of a series of podcasts leading up to their conference. The discussion focused on the marketingopportunitiesavailablein virtual worlds and an assessment of the ever evolving sector. I’ll also be running a workshop on metrics and ROI at the conference in October.

Here’s a link to the podcast and an extract from Huw’s summary:

In the interview, we discussed the best way for brands to engage in virtual worlds now that the initial hype has died down. There’s no longer a reliable quick PR gain to be had from announcing a presence in Second Life, leading brands to finally think about virtual worlds with the long term in mind. We talked about how brands can measure return on investment, and whether that’s even possible to do at this stage. We also discussed the situation which brands in virtual worlds are enthusiastically working towards: where their virtual presence becomes a lucrative additional revenue stream, as well as giving them advertising benefits.

Continue reading →

22 Aug

Managing your brand in virtual worlds


How do brand managers and marketers manage their brands in virtual worlds? The updated K Zero report, ‘The 5 Rules of Virtual Brand Management’ explains the options available to marketers when faced with virtual environments allowing user generated content. It’s free and available here.

The case study includes the following companies:

Adidas, Oakley, Von Dutch, F1, Apple, Mercedes Benz, Coca-Cola, Pontiac, NBA, Premier League.

21 Aug

And here’s the parody for Surface

Videos / Machinima

Inevitable, but still funny.

21 Aug

Microsoft Surface in action

Videos / Machinima

It must be cool gadget today and they don’t come much larger than the Micosoft Surface – a touch sensitive ‘table’ integrating multi-media applications and well, anything you can think of. Here’s some videos.


Gaming application

The dreaded PowerPoint, remixed

Great (and simple) examples of Augmented Reality

In the bespoke K Zero report written for Virtual Worlds Management (for the LA and London Expo’s), we’re offering our thoughts on emerging technologies and applications in 2009. Although it’s highly unlikely to see early commericalised AR apps appearing next year, we’re now starting to see some great examples of how AR can be used and we expect early prototypes hitting the radar very shortly.

Over on the petitinvention blog, there’s exactly that – some great visuals of simple (I use that termcomparatively) AR in action. If you’re interested in AR, head over to the site, here. AR is actually quite a difficult subject to explain using words alone, and you know us, we like pictures.

21 Aug

Metanomically speaking


I’ve been asked to appear in the last session (is that the end of season finale?) of Metanomics. Metanomics is a organisation run by RobertBloomfieldfrom Cornell University focusing on the business, economic and policy implications in the virtual worlds sector. Interestingly, these events take place inside Second Life, recorded and then made available via the Metanomics website.

As Robert puts it…

KZero’s Nic Mitham wraps up the first year of Metanomics on Monday, August 25th, Noon PST. A strong focus on brands sets KZero at ground zero of the most volatile hype cycle in the metaverse. Join us as we examine marketing hits and misfires of the past, and map out directions for branding as new worlds come on line. We also put ThinkBalm’s Erica Driver “On the Spot” to focus on enterprise uses of the immersive internet, a tortoise that is quietly and steadily overtaking the flashy hare of brand management.

Not sure about the hare comment though. So, should be a good debate!

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