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> Internet Appearance and Use., What does it look like, and how do you access it ??
Synner667
post Aug 27 2008, 09:00 PM
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I'm putting some notes together for an RPG, and it's to be set in the nearfuture/farfuture...
...So it'll have some sort of net access/net use.

And then I suddenly realised I wasn't sure what the internet of the future would look like, or how it's used ??

The standard cyberpunk view has characters as avatars that travel a 3d world, with software that appears and does something [often indicated by its appearance], and "locations" to represent datastores or parts of a company.

    Hard Wired has hackers using command line interfaces.
    Johnny Mnemonic has a nice representation of the internet, using eyephones and datagloves for access.
    CyberGeneration has the virtual world overlaid on the realworld.

At the moment, I use a computer very/too often to access websites, download software, view picture, interact with communities and post a blog...
...Through a screen, keyboard and wireless broadband connection.

    So what'll I see in the future internet ??
    What'll the google of the future be like - how do I make those searches, and what do the results look like ??
    Will the internet be like today, but in 3d [in which case, why bother] ??
    Will my avatars go and gather all that I ask, giving me that info in my own "room" - which is what I access ??
    Will my experience be zipping from one 3d world to another, so I can do things - bookshop 3d space to browse and download, then open the frontdoor and be at musicshop 3d world to chat on the forums ??

    If I can access other devices, what are they like, how are they represented ??
    Would a calculator just be an empty space with a cube representing the computational software, another representing the hardware access, etc ??
    Will I don my goggles and gloves [or activate implanted versions], physically reaching out to be in a 1st person shooter game ??
    How would I activate or modify software, since I'm using my hands to do things rather than typing ??
    If I'm jacked in and I am the avatar, how do I do things - google search, view images, get directions ??
    If things happen because I have the appropriate software, wouldn't virtualspace skills be a better analogy ??

TORG has Deckers using a virtual version of their non-virtual skill to do things.

    Who decides what the internet looks like - are companies broadcasting their image to overwrite my view of the virtual space [even if i don't want them to], or does my personal view take precedence ??
    Are there 2d screens to view 3d things on - and what does the 3d internet look like in 2d ?? How is it accessed and manipulated if you're not virtual ??

Hmmm...
...I'm sure these things are written in various sourcebooks, but I'd prefer to hear people's views on how they think it should look, and be used.
...I'm not after "on page xxx of manual yyy, it says zzz", because that sort of example usually involves pretty pictures and no explanation of how things are actually done.

Apart from that, any ideas will be gratefully appreciated.
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deek
post Aug 27 2008, 09:04 PM
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Well, based on today's hardware, I think the future is more of a mobile world...meaning we'll get focus on smaller format screens, with abbreviated information. I think that cell phones will eventually be the majority medium as they increase in computing power.

As to how the internet would look...I don't think it will change much until we have some major mainstream changes in how we view and interact with it...
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Blade
post Aug 28 2008, 08:44 AM
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A main VR/3D interface is probably not the way it'll go.

If I had to guess, I'd go for a pervasive computing system where it doesn't matter where the data is: you have your terminal and get whatever you need because everything is connected. There's little to no correlation between the physical device and its virtual counterpart. Google and earbuds AR will probably be the most efficient ouput and DNI the most efficient input (even if it might not be full mind reading at first, just a way to move a virtual pointer).

You don't exactly access the data the way you do today. Sure, you can still use a search engine, but you can also get it according to where you are, what time it is and so on. If you choose to have Direct Neural Interface, you just need to think and you get the result. As for the interface, it's up to the user. The data itself (the content) is totally disconnected from any display/presentation method. The way you get it depends on the situation and your personal preferences. You can get it fed directly to your brain (DNI way), of have it in any way you want: in a virtual 3D world, in simple text visual overlay, read out loud to you, and so on.

But then you might prefer to go for a less realistic but more fun or easy to understand solution.
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nezumi
post Aug 28 2008, 01:48 PM
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I think the primary shifts in the near future will be miniaturization of devices, increased in connectivity & convenience, and better data management.

Miniaturization is pretty self-explanatory. I expect soon it will lead to something very close to, or possibly even including, surgical implantation. So a phone which is a stud earring and something you clip on your belt would make sense. A PDA which is a pair of rocking shades, stuff like that. The only real limiter is you'll always need an antenna of non-trivial size somewhere on your person.

Connectivity is also pretty self-explanatory. You'll be connected to more services in more places, and more of your devies will connect to each other.

Conveniene has to do with stuff getting smaller and easier to use, better ergonomics (that's still a big question; how to use a device the size of an AA battery? An attachable keyboard & screen? Voice commands? No one has a real good answer for that yet), more online services, such as GPS, business ratings, floor plans, etc. that anticipate when you'll need them and come up quicker. Basically, of all the things you do in a day, what can be automated or augmented by computers? That's where computers will go.

Organizing data is a big one, and again, one we've been struggling with for 20 years and are still working through. Imagine though if you told your computer you were hungry. It records your previous selections of food, scours the map for local restaurants, filtering by rating, cost (it knows your budget too), location and type, goes through the menus and automatically brings up several different items for you to select. It also notes which friends, if any, are in the area of those restaurants, and whether or not they've recently eaten. When you make your selection, it sends a ping to any friends and calls the restaurant, passing on your order, while it gives you visual and audio directions to the location of your choice. This is a slew of different types of data your computer automatically would check, organize, filter and process, but that's where we're going.


I don't think VR will ever be big except for the gaming crowd. It doesn't add a lot, and it's more difficult to do than just a keyboard and mouse (talk about a full-body exercise!) Ultimately, technology is driven primarily by business, who will have only limited use for VR. It will be out there, however, and I'm sure some people will choose it to browse their files.
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hobgoblin
post Aug 28 2008, 02:00 PM
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VR can potentially be hot in a telecommuting sense.

why have the wage slaves do the trek from the enclave to the office when they can jack in and be in the office while their body is resting in some chair in the their enclave apartment?

that is, if there are many office jobs thats not being performed with agents and similar expert systems left...

and VR entertainment is more then just games. simsense is a kind of non-interactive VR for one thing.

why take that expensive trip to some remote corner of the planet when you can check out all the sights using simsense?

and trodes or jack will be the primary interface. convenience trumps all.

walk down the street, find some place to eat, have the phone/comlink in your pocket look up a list of reviews and blogs about the place from the gps data attached to their nodes data broadcasts.

a call comes in: a icon appear on the corner of your vision, a chill crawls down your spine, or you hear some ringing out on the distance. all of those can be valid representations based on caller, user preference or whatever.

when our very senses can be altered or overwritten by software in real time (dont want to see any bums in the street, no problem), things become very pliable, very very fast...
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kigmatzomat
post Aug 28 2008, 05:34 PM
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I think the misconception is that UI is tied to the tech. You can currently use a Windows PC and surf the web in full text (lynx), 2d browser (ie), voice command (webbie) or a 3d VR interface (3B). The data can be rendered by the user's machine as needed and in SR4, the process should be automatic and seamless.

So the UI will change based on the attached devices and mode. Eg Wageslave Wade has trodes, earbuds, contacts, and a collapsible screen. He uses the voice command UI to listen to headlines and news when walking to the bus because its raining and his cheap trodes suck when wet. After he grabs a seat he turns his contacts turn on and he drops to an AR session. In the elevator his hairs dry enough that he puts on the trodes and uses them for AR.
At his desk, behind the corporate firewall and wifi-blocking paint, he goes to full VR. Wade goes to his favorite taqueria truck for lunch. Its still raining, so his trodes will short, and the truck's microwave acts as a jammer, killing low rated wireless devices like his buds & contacts. That's why he unrolls his display screen and watches last night's Urban Brawl.
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deek
post Aug 28 2008, 05:53 PM
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I don't agree with you kigmatzomat...as long as I have a CRT/LCD monitor on my desk, I'm not going to be rendering any sort of VR/3D...at least nothing that is overly functional.

Now, say I actually did have a DNI...that (tech) would certainly make a huge difference to how I function with my computer.

Based on the 50/50 chance I have to make a phone call using voice commands on my cell phone, its still no where close to being much more than a novelty.

I still think we are more going down the path of packing more computer power in a smaller package and can see nezumi's data organization hypothesis being much more where we are headed than getting VR.
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nezumi
post Aug 28 2008, 07:03 PM
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As a telecommuter, I fail to see any benefit from VR, EXCEPT in the case where I'd be remotely manning some cool robot. Really, how does it make my life easier that, instead of double clicking on a short-cut and double clicking on the file I need, I have to get up, walk to the file cabinet and physically pull out that file. Which is faster? Which is easier? With the exception of certain physical jobs (operating heavy machinary, examining 3D devices, simulations, operating robots), VR doesn't really add a whole lot and it certainly detracts a good deal.
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Jhaiisiin
post Aug 29 2008, 01:28 PM
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Physically manipulated VR won't catch on from a production standpoint. Thought manipulated VR, either from trodes or a datajack type hardware would flat out change the way things get done.

Honestly, I don't expect to see a revolution in work productivity and computer usage until they get DNI working effectively enough to tool around in VR.
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Chrysalis
post Aug 29 2008, 09:27 PM
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Alot of the ubiquotous technology right now is about helping the flow of information from one source to another. I do not perceive that cell phones will continue to be the merger of all communication and electronic applications.

Case Study: At the moment Finland is one of the first countries that is a pioneer in telemedicine. We are looking at having DNA/Dental/finger print records combined with patient records so that the EMT at the crash site with a laptop with wireless and mobile phone connections is seamlessly able to access life threatening personal information immediately and with an update to the patient's records update the doctor in the emergency room on that patient's situation. The doctor is able to access the history of that patient and be able to create a diagnosis utilising, online data, teleconferencing with experts in their field. If that hospital does not have a specialist, surgery can also be performed through tele-assisted robotic surgery.

The issue at the moment in this situation is not technology, but rather that of legislation. Furthermore there are additional problems with the ability of creating an intranational database for patient records in Scandinavia as patient records are highly confidential but demand access by medical professionals easily. The potentials for misuse are also great for financial profit and statistical analysis.

The first assistive technology of a videogame type were already developed in the 60s for use in the aerospace industry.Telecommunications in the next fifty years will not be in a videogame direction, but rather in the direction of assistive interface to mutable organization management and maintaining information systems.
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Wesley Street
post Aug 29 2008, 09:36 PM
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I don't see virtual reality like you see in the movies really catching on other than in robotics or medicine. Miniaturization will take communications technology down to either where it can be implanted or woven into fabrics or jewelry. I also see personal computers flattening down more but there would be a need to rework their interfaces away from a typical keyboard to more of a comfortable touch-screen system that had a bit of "give" to it. Naturally they'd need to be large enough to read and view images on or just go the goggles route. Writing and typing would probably give way to verbal commands or simple gloved hand movements.
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imperialus
post Aug 29 2008, 10:20 PM
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Just to comment on the DNI thing.

http://neurosky.com/

It's already here. Daily Planet aired a short story on it yesterday or the day before. Pretty neat stuff. The 'game' so far just involves lifting and throwing objects at your opponent in an attempt to kill him. Things like Park Benches, a watermelon, all sorts of weird crap but the computer receives all it's instructions from an EKG sensor that looks almost like a built in microphone on a headset.
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kigmatzomat
post Aug 30 2008, 03:07 AM
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QUOTE (deek @ Aug 28 2008, 12:53 PM) *
I don't agree with you kigmatzomat...as long as I have a CRT/LCD monitor on my desk, I'm not going to be rendering any sort of VR/3D...at least nothing that is overly functional.


I didn't say it was useful just that it exists now and these variant interfaces will all render the internet as it currently stands. In my example, VR is only used at a workstation (in the classic sense of the word, meaning a place you work as compared to a PC) via DNI.

QUOTE
Based on the 50/50 chance I have to make a phone call using voice commands on my cell phone, its still no where close to being much more than a novelty.


Is it a novelty because it works 50% of the time or because you need it rarely? It may not be your primary interface (audio, IMO, is a fairly slow way to communicate but it can be done without obscuring vision) but it is there when you need it. IMO, that's limited to times where you can't have any vision obstruction and your hands are busy.

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Synner667
post Aug 31 2008, 10:01 PM
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Hmmm...
...Thanks for the views and ideas.

As for the questions I asked, which basically revolve around using the "new" internet of the future ??

I guess the things I'm asking about are variable and dependent on software used, to render information and results, so might be a bit nebulous...
...But I find that if something can't be describes in words, it's probably not viable.

So, for example...
...Putting on eyephones and datagloves [or implanted versions], then tapping invisible controls to do things and recieving feedback via translucent images/text in the users field of vision makes sense as it'd use a mixed real/virtual interface [digital overlay technology, in my RPG]...
...But that is kind of noticeable, so I can't really see everybody doing it as they walk around.
Real/Virtual systems would just be a replacement for a physical screen and keyboard combo, with the actual processor and storage units irrelevant and effectively invisible.
    Will my avatars go and gather all that I ask, giving me that info in my own "room" - which is what I access ??
    Will my experience be zipping from one 3d world to another, so I can do things - bookshop 3d space to browse and download, then open the frontdoor and be at musicshop 3d world to chat on the forums - or would I really have to "travel" between places ??

    If I can access other devices, what are they like, how is their access represented ??
    Would the "inside" of a calculator just be an empty space with a cube representing the computational software, another representing the hardware access, etc ??
    Will I don my goggles and gloves [or activate implanted versions], physically reaching out to interact with things as if I was in a 1st person shooter game ??
    How would I activate or modify software, since I'm using my hands to do things rather than typing [Deckers are normally represented as using their keyboards to modify their code of their software, on the fly] ??
    If I'm jacked in and I am the avatar, how do I do things - google search, view images, get directions [window of text to display data, but why is that needed if you're in the machine] ??
    If things happen because I have the appropriate software, wouldn't virtualspace skills be a better analogy to represent software being used ??
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Blade
post Sep 1 2008, 08:22 AM
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QUOTE ("Synner667")
...But that is kind of noticeable, so I can't really see everybody doing it as they walk around.

Nowadays you see people who appears to be talking to themselves as they walk around but are actually on the phone. A few years ago they looked weird, now it's quite common.

But I don't think you need AR gloves. You can use small facial movements, eyes direction or subvocal commands, for example. If you really want to use your hands, you can have rings that'll register little movements so that you can just slightly move your fingers instead of moving your hands.

QUOTE ("Synner667")
Will my avatars go and gather all that I ask, giving me that info in my own "room" - which is what I access ??
Will my experience be zipping from one 3d world to another, so I can do things - bookshop 3d space to browse and download, then open the frontdoor and be at musicshop 3d world to chat on the forums - or would I really have to "travel" between places ??

If I can access other devices, what are they like, how is their access represented ??
Would the "inside" of a calculator just be an empty space with a cube representing the computational software, another representing the hardware access, etc ??


For the end users there are no rooms, there are no devices. There are just services. The user is in the environment he wants, and if he wants a book, he'll just have the shelves in his rooms. If he wants to use a calculator, it will appear in his hands. It's not just the processor and storage units that are invisible: everything but the services are.
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kigmatzomat
post Sep 2 2008, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (Synner667 @ Aug 31 2008, 05:01 PM) *
I guess the things I'm asking about are variable and dependent on software used, to render information and results, so might be a bit nebulous...
...But I find that if something can't be describes in words, it's probably not viable


It is describeable in words but each user gets different words.

Look, everybody's matrix looks different. I'm not saying that from the basis of SR GMs but person to person in the SRverse. One guy has the "stargate" animation for connecting to remote nodes. Another says "beam me up." A third guy flies through the matrix. The only difference is which logon animation they selected in their comm's setup.

In 2008 you customize your computer's background image, fonts, colors, sounds and a handful of animations. In 2070 every aspect of your AR/VR interface is customizable.

And really it's for the best. Do you describe melee combat in painstaking detail suitable for a 14th century dueling manual? If not, why give an icon by icon description of the 'trix?

So don't worry about it unless the node enforces a sculpted environment. Then worry a lot, because half the reason for a sculpted system is to make people forget they are online so they don't notice IC and security measures.
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