BRILLIANT: The Future of Real World and Virtual World Combos
Implenia, a Swiss construction and building services provider, has been working to use a virtual world can be used to control the real world for some time. It launched the Eolus project in Second Life to experiment with ties to real-world buildings, and it recently worked with IBM to launch a 3D interface for its distributed data centers in OpenSim. Now Implenia is taking its experiments to real houses–with PlayMobil. The company adapted a dollhouse to be run with a doppelganger in a virtual environment. Open doors or lights left on at home show up in the virtual house, and a virtual thermostat tells the real house what to do. “We have created a virtual gateway that allows you to link real buildings to virtual worlds,” Business Design Executive Oliver Goh told The Guardian.
Implenia already monitors 4,500 buildings in Switzerland using normal, physical presence. Just as it’s becoming inefficient to physically monitor all its data centers, a virtual monitoring tool would be a cost-saver for the company.
Six of the houses have been distributed to research facilities, but Implenia is also seeing real-world benefits. Second Life can be used to run three of Implenia’s buildings in the real world, operating their aaccess, lighting, elevators, power, air conditioning, climate control and fire safety systems. Goh puts the savings for management costs at 20%.
For about £1,000, the company is also looking to adapt 3-bedroom houses to help monitor elderly citizens, making it easier to continue to live alone. Six volunteers will soon be testing the technology.
WOWZA. I totally got the shivers after the 6th time reading this. Yes… six times. Silly Izzy kept trying to figure out if they were talking about building a virtual world with PlayMobile (which was something I was thinking about this weekend after reading some stuff on Lego Universe and reminiscing on how great PlayMobile toys were…).
But it’s even Better!
Imagine: You get to work after a stupid 45 min traffic jam. Your frustrated, aggro, and needing an intense sense of piece. As you get to your office and flip on the light switch you realize– CRAPPOLA! You forgot to turn off the kitchen light, curling iron, and oven. What a dangerous situation you created. WORSE! You have a meeting in 15 minutes and you cannot miss it. BOOOOOOOOOO! But wait– NEVER FEAR! Hope onto the compy, boot up the browser, and enter your own virtual house– with a flip of a virtual switch you can correct all wrongs, ensure your safety, ensure your house’s safety, and not have to brave the roads or miss a meeting. Rock on.
Okay, I’m sure there are loads of panicy flags that should accompany such a though (when are the movies about that lifestyle coming out? It’s always about the future Robot tragedies!)
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