With the dawn of mixed reality comes a new realization. How are we going to create content? As discussed in an earlier post 2017 should be a year used to figure out some of the kinks behind creating good content. As of right now, there are only a few ways to create content for AR/VR/MR. You can download Unity, Vurforia, or Kudoria learn a few tutorials only to make a few o-k apps.
Another problem with the problem with the industry right now is it’s isolated and fractured. People are coming up with dozens of their projects and small companies release a CMS every month that soon becomes dated. It’s hard to tell which CMS to use because they all claim to be better at the same thing.
With that said there is a still a divide. A computer with a 2d screen is still required to create content for 3D ecosystem. And one day if we want to build a real world web or what will become a metaverse we need not just a few professionals but billions of people creating.
So how do we solve this content crisis? It’s time again to think different and put a new focus on user-generated content (UGC).
To Create or not to Create
To get insight into how modern social platforms get users to output so much content, I turned to the book Hooked by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover. The book stresses that users need to build a habit around using a product by designing experiences according to the hook model.
To create an action, doing must be easier than thinking. Remember, a habit is a behavior done with little or no conscious thought. The more effort- either physical or mental- required to perform the desired action the less likely it is to occur.
As shown in the graph above the easier it is to create, the more content is created. One of the main factors that go into creating content is ability. We’re going to focus on what abilities we can give to users to complete desired actions.
As some point. everyone has made a doodle in their life. Whether it’s at work or home its a form of escapism. For a brief moment you’re projecting your imagination onto a piece of paper.
There was one successful app was able to bring gamification to this form of escapism. Draw something was a mega-hit iPhone app where millions could exchange doodling art with friends and family in a competitive game setup. However, the game’s initial popularity soon dropped off, and the game is currently regarded as a passed fad.
But, the main focus is that people were creating content. Whether it was a work of art or a doodle, people of all walks of life could participate. A grandma could make something just as good as her 12-year-old grandson. Now imagine how mixed reality could accel this to be a platform for content creation.
For example, grab a notepad and think of what you want to draw. The idea of cartoonish Ufo comes to mind but your not entirely sure how to draw it. You can make a screen appear out of thin air, and search google images or Pinterest for inspiration.
You draw a near perfect UFO and now you want it to fly off the paper. With the help of deep learning and MR headset’s sensors can see that you’ve drawn a UFO. An AI could take your drawing and create a near correct 3D model of what you’ve created.
A novice user can be given predetermined options of what to do with their new creation. Users with more expertise can do coding for their object in real time. But soon, If graphics programs and programming languages continue to abstract themselves, we may see the emergence of specification driven fourth-generation languages (4GL’s) for virtual content creation that allow programming at the level of concepts, not code, the same way we have seen such languages emerge for data management (SAS, SPSS, etc.). Such a technical advance would allow rapid scaling of user-generated content, and greatly reduce barriers to entry for open, collaborative virtual worlds. Small businesses may one day build out unique virtual worlds the same way garage bands create unique
Doodling, it’s something we all know how to do and as simple as it sounds it could be the way millions will create the digital world of tomorrow.
Copy & Paste
With mixed reality, the world is considered a canvas. So why not take the best from it? The world is your new canvas onto which you can steal from.
Good artist copy, the best artist steal”- Steve Jobs
When building MR games you need intensive 3d models using a program like Unity. With these programs you spend time creating models that replicate physical ones. But with mixed reality, you have direct access to them. Imagine if you could scan objects then have a near perfect virtual counterpart of it.
For example, if you looked at a soda can you could be given an option to “copy & paste” it. The sensors would do an intricate scan of the soda can. An AI could understand the lighting, texture, and various surfaces.
In this case, the soda can is a blank silver so we can customize it. Let’s say we want to add color. Instead of picking from a palette I can “copy & paste” a color from real world objects. In short, it’s a mixed reality version of the eyedropper from Photoshop. I like the red of the Rubix cube, so I simply lay my index finger on top of it. The eyedropper makes a selection and then the soda can turns red.
This a good alternative as well if one does not want to draw to create. Furthermore into the fringe, imagine this as reaching the same commodity level as taking a picture. Objects from a place or time could be meta-tagged and stored in ways not thought possible. Eventually allowing it to become searchable as part of the google database.
Another form of escapism would re-patternation of real world things. For example imagine being bored in a classroom. What if you could swipe away the teacher’s whiteboard and replace it with your twitter feed. The class of applications like this would be limitless. One of the best would be a real world Ad-Blocker 😉
Now imagine if users could create their own re-skin for an object. One of the creation methods above could be used to repattern something like a baseball.
Taking it a step further, imagine a social network where users could upload patterns to objects to real world objects. Imagine looking at a coke can and you could download the #1 trending reskin.
So where are we going to put all of this content? Asking this question would be like someone from 1990 asking what would come from the content on the world wide web.
There are a lot of possibilities but there is one that grabbed my interest the most. What if digital objects could content just roam freely across an open 3D network or a ‘Metaverse’.
One application theory is if you took a digital balloon and attached a gift to it. You let it go freely for someone else to collect it. The gift has an assigned valuable inside. This application would closely have to follow the Hook model in order to get users to keep doing this. But If everyone is doing it then a network effect will kick in where everyone can benefit from contributing. This idea came from an Apple commercial where balloons were being used to express a message.