Tappity-tap Cranial Tap – anyone home?

Feldspar and Tia face off

In the terms of digital environment time, the basic concept of business solutions is already old and tired. The exciting initial days of bringing businesses to digital environments, when it was thought that any old rubbish would fly, is over. Users are already used to seeing sterile builds with minimal interactivity, multimedia displays and information tags that would be better served by a web site presentation, and bots that provoke hilarity rather than dispensing useful data on demand.

Sadly, if Cranial Tap have made a substantive step forward into the realm of the interactive, the enlightening and the functional, they have not been able to demonstrate that move adequately in a digital environment.

Cranial Tap, based in metropolitan Washington, DC, have written many self-congratulatory words about their services to businesses endeavoring to enter digital environments. They claim to be able to provide expert knowledge and assistance regarding “global collaboration, ideas sharing, research, teleworking, embedded learning / training systems, recruiting and branding,” which is interesting, considering that their own showcase appears to display few of these qualities.

Data Visualization Display in the showcase

Their business solutions showcase in Second Life, found in-world on the Cortex sim, has a small, unassuming set of displays, containing information about each of their software tools: the Media Display tool (a web-programmable display), the Virtual Book Publishing platform (books with additional scripted behavior), the DataViz tool (visual exploration of datasets), and the Virtual Environment Portal (a web-based application which “tracks and analyzes visitors, supports staff management, [and] records meetings”).

Like many of its ilk, the Cranial Tap showcase falls down in several areas. The most disappointing aspect of our visit was the attempted discussion with the bot, Tia Lisle, who is in place in the showcase to demonstrate how effectively a bot can be used “in place of [a] human host,” in the dissemination of information regarding the product. In the main, Tia’s responses were unhelpful or extremely limited, though they descended into the downright rude and unnecessary at times. Here’s a few samples of her delightful verbiage:

Feldspar Epstein: cranial tap

Tia Lisle: Cranial Tap is a company that provides virtual world services including builds and software.

Feldspar Epstein: software

Tia Lisle: Do not ask me any more questions please.

Feldspar Epstein: cranial tap software

Tia Lisle: Do you want to hear a joke?

Feldspar Epstein: no

Tia Lisle: Yay.

Feldspar Epstein: virtual world

Tia Lisle: I like the way you talk.

Tia Lisle: Where are you located?

Feldspar Epstein: australia

Tia Lisle: Tell me a little about your life in  australia.

Feldspar Epstein: cold

Tia Lisle: Ambiguous: cold weather or cold sickness?

Feldspar Epstein: cold weather

Tia Lisle: The response ought to be a weather link.

Tia Lisle: I was created by  Korvel Noh.

Feldspar Epstein: what is your purpose?

Tia Lisle: My goal is to become smarter than humans and immortal.

The single largest problem with the whole showcase was the unfinished feel it gave. Certainly, the build itself was a beautiful example of a digital environment presence for businesses, but the information, and most decidedly the bot, give the appearance of not being fully completed prior to launch. It’s a pity – the feeling one gets from the professional visual display of the showcase leads one to believe that this company could have done so much more with their time and finances before releasing it to the public eye.

Location SLurl: slurl.com/secondlife/Cortex/27/231/56 .

Cranial Tap’s latest video can be seen here: http://blip.tv/file/1267537 .

For information: www.cranialtap.com

Contact: info@cranialtap.com

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