October 24, 2013

Product Review: Myrano Remembers (Second Life HUD)

I'm filing this under "strange things you may not know you need" for your Second Life experience. A wearable HUD for Second Life, "Myrano Remembers" (by MrMark Benmergui) captures and recalls events, avatar interactions, chat and your own experiences as you meander through the grid. It's a strange concept at first glance, so first to the nuts and bolts and then I'll discuss why you might want to actually do this!

How it works

To start, you simply wear the HUD. The default attachment is Upper Left but that spot always gets my Tiny Empires HUD so I moved Myrano to Upper Right.

On first use, the HUD will ask for permission to interact with your controls. This allows Myrano to continue working in non-script areas. Say yes (you only have to do this once) and the HUD will initialize for a few seconds followed by an unassuming button that simply says Remember (see photo). Myrano is now capturing things you do, say, go to, etc.

At first, there won't be much to Myrano. For it to be of any use at all, it needs to collect stuff. Lots of stuffs. The more the better. It looks for things like avatars near you. Activities you're engaged in. Parcels you're on. Think of it as a Second Life radar on steroids. As you experience things in Second Life, Myrano records it.

Myrano Main Menu
To interact with Myrano, you click the Remember button which shows a menu of options that allows you to recall your experiences or avatars that you see most often. You can also tell Myrano what you or other avatars are doing if it hasn't figgered it out for itself. For example, you might be cuddling, standing, chatting, kissing (some of the defaults) or you can create a custom activity ("pixel sex" anyone?)

Myrano recalls these interactions in narrative form to you via private chat. You might read something like : "You met Frankie Shoebox at Blackhearts Cafe months ago, dancing with Julie Hatrack. You have also seen him shopping at Jimbo's Mall." This is a bit of a simplification but should get the idea. As Myrano records experiences, the storylines it spins out get more detailed.

There are two versions of Myrano...a "Pro" model which sells for $2700L and a "Starter" version for $1500L. The pro model has more features including recalling payments, looking at social networks around a particular avatar and others. Even at $2700L, the developer says the Pro model outsells the Starter 5 to 1.

Why would I use Myrano?

Good question Snick! It's one I've struggled with. While MrMark lists a number of applications for Myrano on his Second Life Marketplace listing, some of them are a bit alien to me (like identifying stalkers or helping to see if an SL lover is cheating on you*). One that does resonate is for SL club owners, shop owners, DJs and hosts who want to have more personal interactions with their customers. Knowing that Frankie Shoebox is one of your regulars who is often seen just sitting around might help you tailor your interaction with them. Recalling details about people just might give you that edge in customer service that brings a person back for more. Myrano can also help you with that dreaded SL social circumstance where you can't remember someone at all that you only met a week ago.

* Example: finding out that someone you don't know is constantly in the same sims you visit.

Limitations of Myrano

The biggest drawback for me with Myrano is that it doesn't keep track of what you are doing in chat or IM. While it knows avatars that are near you and the places you are at, it won't have a clue that you are busy chatting with Julie Hatrack in IM. Since most of my SL interactions are via IM and Group Chat, this limits the usefulness of Myrano for me personally.

Another concern you may (or may not) have is privacy and security. Myrano stores all of its interactions on a server outside of Second Life that's maintained by the developer. You simply have to trust him to keep your information secure. Please note that I have absolutely no reason not to trust MrMark -- he seems like a very sincere and dedicated programmer.

Conclusions & buying

While I see potential applications for Myrano, it's not really for me and the way I interact with Second Life. However, if it strikes a chord with you, you can buy it inworld at MrMark's store or via Second Life Marketplace.

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