Monday, November 13, 2006

IBM's Irving Wladawsky-Berger gets an Avatar

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's Vice President of Technical Strategy and Innovation, is "responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments that are critical to the future of the IT industry, and then organizing activities in and outside IBM in order to capitalize on them."

Irving recently got his first Second Life avatar. From the post:

"My SL avatar or icon is a fairly realistic representation of what I look like in First Life - again, unlike most inhabitants of Second Life. My IBM colleagues designed my avatar along with the clothes my avatar wears. I have a suit and tie to wear for business meetings. But most of the time I go around Second Life dressed informally in a Pedro Martinez New York Mets baseball shirt, slacks, tennis shoes and a Cuban baseball cap.

My colleagues have built virtual world sites that replicate the IBM Hursley Labs in England and the Almaden Research Center in California. They are building a virtual Beijing Forbidden City.

All in all, this feels to me just like the rise of the Internet and the Web did in the mid-90s. As was the case then, the underlying technologies now being discovered had been in use for a while in the scientific and technical communities – especially among those doing research in supercomputing applications.

We are poised for the next major step. We can now bring these exciting capabilities, already in wide use in science, engineering, defense and consumer applications, into the worlds of business, education, health care and government. This was the step that led to IBM’s e-business strategy ten years ago. Could we be at the onset of v-business? Based on my initial experiences in Second Life, we are all in for an incredible ride. "

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