Thursday, September 27, 2007

Read Lips

There is an excellent report by National Geographic which talks about the way the brain recognizes faces (thanks, Manu). This makes the point that the brain of the Macaque Monkey has a portion of the brain that is dedicated to the brain. One would expect the same for humans, too! There is also a very nice blog about this here.

What are the implications? In a purely online interaction between people, this portion of the brain is starved of stimuli, and one would think that this would lead to the brain building an incomplete picture of the interaction. This is purely conjecture, but stands to logic, nevertheless. If this is a valid proposition, what follows is what must be a case for face to face interactions. And, that too, in the world of web 2.0.

Though, I would look at this as a case for taking our web 2.0 interactions to the next level (without coming up with a grand term like web 2.5). The question of course is how. This is not so difficult to answer. Introducing the latest social computing tool ... the webcam! One way to look at this (and, not something which is infeasible, because the technology has been around for a long time), is using good old webcams, and voice ... Something which can build the interactions in the community to a level of richness which is missing to a certain extent. Of course, the next challenge would be to record these discussions, and make them persistent.