In 2005, the word podcast was recognized as the word of the year. A podcast is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast).
Originally, podcasts were series of audio recordings, available on the web. However, after the rise of YouTube, video recordings become more popular. Today, podcast is an important type of web 2.0 content together with blog-posts and shared images on Flickr.
Web 2.0 content can be seen as a variety of recordings, as pieces of text in blogs and audio and video clips in podcasts.
Recently, another technology – 3D virtual worlds – also acquired its own type of recordings. A 2D video of virtual reality called Machinima (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machinima). It is a mix of such an old technology as video with a new technology of virtual reality. However, there is an opportunity to record activities in virtual reality as they are – in 3D, instead of making a flat projection, like in Machinima. How to call this new type of content? The content that differs markedly from the other existing types of recorded content by the opportunity to enter it, instead of watching though a window.
This is Virtcast.
Virtcast is a 3D virtual recording of activities in virtual reality. Visiting a virtcast is similar to a time-machine. You appear among people, who are moving, speaking and acting. They do not notice your presence, since they are from the past. Among those people, you may also notice yourself-from-the-past. It is not frightening. You are able to see and hear yourself as well as the entire environment in this time-machine. You may enter a virtcast together with friends, explore and discuss it.
How virtcast can be used?
It can be used to store events, experience of communication and interaction. Such experience comprises much of interesting and useful. It is similar to the television, which offers many recordings. Movies are recordings as well. However, watching activities through a window is different from joining these activities, which virtcast makes possible.
Where virtcast can be used?
It can be used in education. Recording, storing and sharing classes at a university will provide a new type of educational content.
It can be used in art. A performance virtcast will allow walking on a stage without disturbing actors. And is there a need in a stage if there is no special audience space?
It can be used in advertising.
Where else? Tomorrow, a new application could be found. This type of content has a promising future.
Virtcast already exists. Let us learn how to get new information and new experience from it.