After a period of dormancy, this long-standing blog, founded in 2008, is being resurrected. In the past, our focus centered on the exploration of virtual worlds, with particular attention paid to Second Life and the burgeoning field of online education epitomized by the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). My journey diverged from this platform in 2019 as it became too hard to combine blogging here with my job as a journalist for the Belgian business newspaper, De Tijd.
In my role as a journalist, I delve into a plethora of digital realms including virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and data. It is a demanding venture that keeps me constantly on my toes. Unfortunately, technical setbacks led to the temporary downfall of MixedRealities, a development that deeply affected me due to the breadth of inspiring content it housed. However, seeing the potential it still holds, I’ve decided to breathe life back into it.
As I revive this platform, I look forward to populating it with fresh posts in the coming days and weeks. The world didn’t stand still since we last met here; it has continued to evolve, and some of those changes are worth discussing:
The concept of the metaverse has once again taken center stage. Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of his company to Meta Platforms and his conviction that the metaverse represents the future of the internet cannot be ignored. However, the path to achieving a fully-realized metaverse—a persistent, massively occupied, interactive real-time 3D environment that blends the physical and digital worlds—is filled with technological hurdles. Garnering widespread acceptance and participation for this vision is also a formidable challenge. Although Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, suggests that around 600 million people are already frequenting virtual spaces such as Fortnite, Roblox, Second Life, Minecraft, The Sandbox, Decentraland, the question remains: Are these spaces truly reflective of a fully-formed metaverse?
The emergence of the web3 movement has infused blockchains, cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into virtual environments. While it’s debatable whether this integration is inevitable, the allure of digital ownership that transcends specific platforms or companies holds a certain appeal. The fluctuating fortunes of web3 and cryptocurrency is a narrative that warrants continued scrutiny.
Lastly, we’ve seen an unprecedented breakthrough in generative AI. The proliferation of applications such as ChatGPT, Bing Chat, Bard, AutoGPT, BabyAGI, DALL-E, Midjourney, StableDiffusion, has brought the significance of AI to the forefront of public consciousness. The impact of this revolution mirrors the advent of the browser, which transmuted the World Wide Web into an integral facet of everyday life.
As we step forward into these exciting developments, I extend an invitation for you to join me on this digital odyssey. Let’s explore these brave new worlds together, here on MixedRealities.