This week marks four years since the blog started and 20 plus years since I read a book that anticipated the human and citizenship dimensions of an immersive, online, digital and connected world hosting rival frameworks commanding human loyalty and shaping identity that still interest me today.
From the moment Hiro Protagonist crashed into a pool, mid pizza delivery ‘Snowcrash’ captured my attention and held it, in full defiance of my usual disinterest in sci-fi in ways not seen since ‘Star Trek Next Gen’.
If you’re a fan of the book, come visit the book club at the Metaverse store on 11 August, 318 Little Collins Street, Melbourne,
Before we get to that though, may I take a moment to dwell on the joy of hearing one’s name called out in a raffle draw?
It’s so unexpected that I would win something in a game of chance, that I am thrilled, and squealing like a child, even though there is a high probability that I will not be using my metaverse nails anytime soon, for reasons I can explain.
To put it simply, they’re fake nails. But, there’s more to them than that. Their point of difference, as explained by their creator, Thea Baumann, an Australian based in China, is a little more complicated.
They are “collectible fashion accessories powered by a 3D app: triggering hologram stickers you can wear, play, snap, and share.”
More significantly, they presage a future in which scanning people, animals, objects with a device will reveal something hidden about them, a bit like Pokemon Go, the next generation.
Imagine a world in which you can portray yourself the way you want others to see you, without limits. Except perhaps for screen size and processing power.
In the future 3D interactive holographics will augment your appearance whenever your wearables interface with the right app. All kinds of animations and effects will attach to you that you can show off and share them with others: starting with your wardrobe and make up: clothing, face and hair, but it could be a body part, a gender or species change; a virtual designer outfit; a character or spider webs an invisible lassoo, or a combination of all of the above.
Thar be dragons, furries, plushies and pony boys and girls. Also a lot of Cosplay.
Think of it as Second Life branching out beyond the confines of its universes, islands and worlds and into your smart phone. Anything that can only be seen in the realm between the online and meat world, or whatever terms you’re personally inclined to call the two locations, when they are not united in the metaverse.
The interesting thing that Thea has pulled off is to make something holographic dynamically adhere to a small curved surface, that is, a finger nail. In doing the hard yards first, the rest should be a walk in the park. Although it is still a very new and very digital art driven project at the moment.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a high probability that I will not be using my metaverse nails anytime soon, but that’s not their fault at all.
True. In real life the nails are heavy and plastic looking. The ones I’ve selected are neon pink and leopard printed (as opposed to the unicorns featured in the video, which were also an option) and it’s fair to say that they’re not really consistent with the environments I tend to work in, now that I don’t work in the arts. Then there is the fact that I am nearer to fifty than forty which is frankly, disgraceful.
But the bigger reason is that I am a confirmed nail fail.
The only reason I’ve never used fake nails, (and am unlikely to use these ones, aside from enjoying them being in pristine condition), is because I’m told that they leave your real nails in terrible condition. And believe me when I tell you that the last thing my existing nails need is to be even worse off than they are. I stopped biting them when I finished high school and despite another half a lifetime passing by, they remain steadfastly horrible, no matter how much attention and professional care is lavished on them. They are weak, prone to breaking and always uneven. They have a weird shape.
I am impressed by the tech and interested to see who turns out to be the market for pieces and I wonder what the coding and programming skills are that are necessary to design augmented fashion products.