One of the things that I would not have predicted when I first embarked on this two-and-a-half-year blogging odyssey is that, instead of me having to go out and hunt for stories, the stories would start to come to me.
And so it happened that I got the following message via the Contact page of my blog, from a young Swiss man named Emmanuele Leggio:
My name is Emmanuele Leggio and I am the head of a startup project called Polis, the city with infinite space and zero distance. We aim to build a Virtual Co-working / event space. Yes another YARTVRA*, But I do have a peculiarity and that is the VR helmet I patented the Hemosy. This helmet captures the face of the user and projects it in a virtual reality environment. We can do the same [as] the other co-working [apps], but we make sure you can see the real face and emotion of the people around you.
The reason I contact you is because I would like to ask you if is possible to run a questionnaire or pool from your readers. I wish to test my theory that seeing the real person in front of them is worth buying a VR headset.
*Yes! I finally got someone else on the planet to actually use the acronym I had coined, YARTVRA!
So, I took a look at his website, which outlines a proposed project involving two components:
HEMOSY (HEas MOunted SYstem) is a VR headset which uses cameras to record and transmit the actual facial expressions of the user; and
And this ambitious, even audacious, plan is more than just an idea; Emmanuele has already filed for—and received—a patent for his helmet (text is in Italian).
So, suitably impressed by this young man and his bold plans, I agreed to help him by asking you, my blog readers, to fill out an online survey that he has created. (Think of it as market research. I am also quite curious to see what the results of his survey will be, and I will share them with you when it is complete.)
Hello My name is Emmanuele and I’m the founder of Polis, a start up (www.startuppolis.com) that wishes to bring face-to-face meetings to VR. We are in the early stages, and we would like to test same assumptions we have. Here is a quick questionnaire:
I seen to have hit a dry spell for the RyanSchultz.com blog. (Hey, after 1,128 blogposts, it was bound to happen eventually!)
So, I have decided to post a brand-new reader survey, which will run for one week—until midnight Central Time, March 30th, 2019. As before, repeat voters will be blocked by website cookie and IP address. So please take a minute and fill out the poll, letting me know what you would like to see more (and less) of on this blog. There’s a space at the end to add your own comments.
I will make the results available on March 31st, 2019, along with some commentary. Thanks for your input!
But before I do that, I want to show you my blog viewer statistics. Notice the HUGE spike in viewers for three consecutive days? Almost all of that traffic was to the original blogpost! I’ve never seen anything like it.
At first, I was excited. And then, I got suspicious. While that particular blogpost eventually got 5,456 views (making it my most-viewed blogpost of all time!), the actual number of votes in my poll did not see a corresponding spike (only 220 votes in total were cast).
I had deliberately designed my poll so that repeat voters were blocked by website cookie and IP address, so obviously, either I was getting a lot of repeat voters, or a lot of visitors were not submitting their vote. And that huge spike in traffic was from locations all over the world, but there were many viewers from a lot of countries that to date had not been frequent visitors before: Turkey, Brazil, Russia, Romania, Colombia. I suspect that my poll was hit by a swarm of bots.
It would appear that SOMEONE was trying to sway (or spoil) my poll. The surge in traffic to that particular blogpost ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. The question is: why would anyone bother?
Anyway, time to announce the results of my poll. A total of 220 votes were received:
POLL RESULTS: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?
Sansar (43 votes)
Second Life (38)
OpenSim/Halcyon grids (23)
Somnium Space (16)
High Fidelity (14)
Occupy White Walls (8)
Mozilla Hubs (2)
Oculus Rooms (2)
vTime XR (2)
The following platforms all got one vote each:
And there were two unique write-in ballots*:
Anarchy Arcade: “It’s social not like chat, but by exploring people’s collections.”
Pix-Life (I have absolutely no idea what this is, and Google was no help. Does anybody know what this is?)
*Note to OpenSim/Halcyon fans: YOU DO NOT READ INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I simply added all your OpenSim write-ins to the OpenSim total above. Next time, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. Your particular OpenSim/Halcyon grid is not a special, unique snowflake. Thank you.
Now, I am not going to read too much into these poll results. If anything, they are more a picture of my current blog readership (which tends to skew heavily towards Sansar and Second Life users). And I’m not going to kid myself: I’m sure a few platforms urged their users to vote in this poll. This is far from a scientific survey. I was a little surprised that Second Life did not get first place in my poll, though.
So, what do you think of the poll results? Please feel free to leave a comment below, thank you!