01 January 2007

Welcome the Real and Virtual 2007

I won't add to all the other prognostications for this year - not least because some people have already done it so well:

let me start the year by commenting on a key trend that I believe will similarly take off in 2007 and become more widely accepted in the marketplace as the year progresses. I believe that highly visual interfaces and virtual worlds will become increasingly important for interacting with applications, communicating with people and engaging in commerce, - what we in IBM have started to call v-business.

And Irving Wladawsky-Berger - for it is he - then goes on to explain why:

In IBM, as in many companies, we spend a lot of our day in conference calls with people all around the world. The choice is not whether to have those meetings in person - but how to make the meetings more effective, more human. As many have been discovering, virtual world meetings might be one of the ways of significantly improving the quality and feeling of meetings involving multiple people in remote locations.

He concludes with an important caveat:

In the end, the market acceptance of virtual worlds, - as that of any other technology-based trend, - depends on whether it brings real value to whatever it is people want to do and are willing to pay for.

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