Virtual assistants

I wonder whether, after VR and AR really take off as part of everyday life, we will have virtual assistants. I have my doubts, because virtual assistants have failed spectacularly in the past.

Some of us remember Microsoft’s “Clippy”, introduced in Windows 97. Clippy was a cute little animated paper clip that would pop up from time to time to offer helpful advice. Most people found it annoying, and Microsoft removed the feature a few years later.

There are indeed invisible assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby. But they are voice only — you never see them.

So I am somehow doubtful that visible assistants will gain a lot of traction in a forthcoming virtual and mixed reality world. Somehow I think the issue is not so much about technology, but rather about human nature.

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