Wii’s Social Media Impact

wiimote.jpgOne of the least talked about technologies that can impact social media is the Wii. Or more importantly the Wii’s input system — the Wiimote — a game controller that uses motion control to communicate wirelessly with the game machine. Gesture recognition technologies like this hold great potential for social media networks and virtual worlds.

Consider Second Life’s incredible clunky motion, hard to input control’s, stiff movement and otherwise bizarre interaction with other Second Lifers. Now add in real motion, motion that allows you to move in the virtual world just as you are now. That would take social media to an unprecedented level. Wii + Second Life equals real simulation.

Companies like Linden Labs (creator of Second Life) and Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft) are already working on mobile input systems to meld real worlds and their virtual realities. These gadgets are meant to enable us to, “live more fully through our avatars.”

It may seem like a dream, but is it really? This has already been done in the imagination of Andy Serkis in Peter Jackson’s sci fi masterpieces The Two Towers and the Return of the King. To film the avatar Gollum, Serkis put on a body suit with motion sensors so a computer could register his physical actions, muscle by muscle.


Now Jackson had incredible computing power and the current decade’s finest special effects wizardry at his disposal when he shot the Lord of the Rings. Yet is it so far away? Dynamic bandwidth increases have been promised and Moore’s law continues to drive incredible growth in computer processing speed. Add in open APIs so developers can create dynamic applications, throw in some motion technology a la the Wiimote or similar technologies, and drop the results into an already budding virtual world.

Hmm. Sounds pretty wild and fun to me.

Obviously this is a lot more complex than these simple paint strokes. But it isn’t so hard to believe. Motion in social media equals much more meaningful experiences for everyone. Social media will take on new levels of interaction and reality. Imagine test driving that car, simulating actual classroom environments, or just having a better game experience. It’s exciting.