Monday, July 16, 2007
Quote: "Psychologist Dan Gilbert challenges the idea that we'll be miserable if we don't get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel real, enduring happiness, he says, even when things don't go as planned. He calls this kind of happiness "synthetic happiness," and he says it's "every bit as real and enduring as the kind of happiness you stumble upon when you get exactly what you were aiming for."
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Press release on a partnership between a French TV company called Endemoi and the EA avatar technology called "Virtual Me".
"Virtual Me combine la technologie de création d'avatar à la pointe de la technologie développée par EA aux formats télévisuels populaires d'Endemol afin d'offrir aux utilisateurs un système révolutionnaire leur permettant de se rencontrer, de s'affronter et de socialiser dans des mondes numériques en ligne. "
Monday, March 12, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Lots of traffic on this site generated with Virtual Models. Fitness Magazine and Ladies Home Journal are using the Virtual Dressing Room with garments from Lands' End to see how they will look with 10 pounds less!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Interesting blog article from Clickable Culture March 30, 2006
Collaborate.com collaborator David Coleman reveals some interesting details about Meez.com, a newly-launched online service that allows users to download images of personalized avatars (I wrote an earlier report here). According to Coleman, "Meez has received over $4 million in venture funding. [Meez CEO Sean Ryan] got his idea from watching people in Korea (the number one connected country on the planet) interact with each other...Ryan plans to make money by offering users the chance to have their avatars wear licensed brands...and premium clothing designs for a fee." Four million bucks for a business plan based on branded, customized avatars. It's like 1999 all over again.
The closest competitor to Meez is IMVU, an already-established service that features truly 3D avatars, themed chatrooms, and user-created content. IMVU is, in my opinion, vastly superior to Meez in its presentation, usability, and creative opportunities. The differentiating factor between the two services at present is that IMVU does not (as far as I know) offer users the chance to download images of their avatars for use on online communities. It would be a trivial effort for IMVU to offer this functionality if it hasn't already done so. At this point, Meez would be playing some serious catch-up to the tune of four million dollars.
Comment from Meez, CEO.
I'd say that we just launched into beta this week so we still have a long way to go, but that we're quite different from IMVU. First is that we're entirely web-based, so there is no need to download a client and we can work across PC, Mac and Linux platforms. Second is that we offer licensed content such as MLB and NHL merchandise, in addition to the large set of items wse produce ourselves. Finally, our goal is not to have users come to yet another destination site - we focus on exporting the Meez so that they can work with services the user already is a member of, such as MySpace, blogs or IM services. IMVU does great stuff - it's just a different type of company.
Thx, Sean Ryan
It's impressive that Meez snagged licenses for official (virtual) MLB and NHL apparel--obviously you've done what IMVU and Second Life haven't (apparently) been able to achieve in terms of offering licensed content. However, there are other branded avatars available through other services (e.g. imstar). It will be interesting to see how Meez competes with a force the size of Yahoo (which has offered Chrysler-, Adidas-, and FCUK-branded avatars) in that department, for example.
As for Meez-created content, I think it's important to offer an initial batch of decent customization options from the outset (as Meez has done), but ultimately do you really want to be in the content-creation business? There, Second Life, IMVU, The Sims all seem to leverage user-created content effectively... while 90% of user-created content is crap, you still don't have to pay for that other 10%.