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12:57pm on Saturday, 17th December, 2011:

Your Own Story


Several decades ago, when computers were enormous beasts that needed to live in rooms guarded by 29 carbon-dioxide cylinders in case they caught fire, there wasn't a lot you could do to make products using them. Services, yes, but products, no. One of the earliest ones involved personalising stories for children. You told them the name you wanted and they printed a physical book with that name as the name of the protaganist (which appeared only on every other page, to make printing easier using a single-sided printer).

Nowadays, you could do the same thing for animated movies. Photograph the kid's face, send it off to the film-maker, then they automatically model it in 3D and map it onto the rig they used for the animation. A little rendering later and it's available as a high-definition movie staring your kid, with your kid's friends in other roles.

The old personalise-a-book idea ultimately failed. When you read a book, you read alone. Personalise-a-movie ought to work better, because you watch a movie with friends — who can also have a part in the movie.

Anyone got $50m and want to get some more?

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).