A new website is promising the therapeutic services of a virtual girlfriend without the real life hassles. Cloudgirlfriend.com “is not a sex chat or pornography service”, states co-founder David Fuhriman of 5000Hands.com volunteer matching (not masturbation self-help) site fame. What Cloudgirlfriend.com is, he says, is a real live woman who will “manage” the profile of a person’s virtual girlfriend.
Tag Archive: virtual
Over my haircut today at Phat’s Barbershop, I had an interesting discussion with my barber about the future of the barbershops given Internet and social media trends changing how we do things. Given what I knew of those topics, I did a brainstorm to come up with this scenario.
In the near future, you will be able to get online at a barbershop or beauty salon, pop up a 3-D avatar to show your barber/hairstylist the exact haircut you want, or want to negotiate something from which to start. You can do this even if you didn’t have hair now as hair transplants will be more common in the near future, being both affordable and aesthetically pleasing.
This haircut design process has to start with some self-customization, of course, but only for the first time and the occasional update as you age. Using open source software, you would create an avatar of yourself with a photo and some head measurements. You’ll then touch up what the computer didn’t get perfectly right to get a good avatar of yourself, of better quality than avat currently created in games like Second Life (shown above).
From this, you will be able to try on different hairstyles like the current Facebook Hollywood Hairstyle application by Instyle.com, but at much better quality. Hairstyles created will be three-dimensional, viewable from all angles, and suit all avatars rather than some hair photos slopped on to yours like the referenced application on Facebook.
This will only be the default, though. You will be able to customize all the features to your liking, like being your own barber or hairstylist. You can even produce stencils for cut outs in your hair, like some guys like to have on the sides of their heads, for your barber to get it “right”. If you weren’t the type to style your own hair, because we all know barbers and hairstylists are special people with unique skills, you can get them to customize it online with you at their shop. Once you are happy with it, you can then save it for future use. Better yet, you can share with others who might want to start with it as their default hairstyle, in true participatory Web 2.0 style, with real picture for proof, of course. Who doesn’t want to show off their great haircut, right? And maybe have other attractive people also with great haircuts look at it? Get my drift?
Of course, I got some traditional counterpoints from Phat. This is traditional Nova Scotia, after all. I was able to respond to them all, though.
That’d be a $40 haircut, not $14
I don’t dispute that if you were to have to consult your barber or hairstylist a lot. Time is money in any business. If people invest all the time towards creating it, though, they will pay what it costs. It’s human nature. There will be lots of people who won’t pay above a certain amount for a haircut, of course. However, my barber can decide if he wanted to just serve them, or them and those who do want to pay more. That’s his business, pun intended.
If you weren’t sure if your desired haircut would be much, you can submit it to several places to ask not only whether or not they could do it, but how much it’d cost. That should make the barbershop and hairstylist market interesting!
Of course, if you just walked in a shop and called up your avatar online, it shouldn’t cost any more than the same haircut should cost in real life without the avatar. You would just risk it being done poorly or wrong without the avatar, and waste your barber or hairstylist’s time describing what you want. There’d also be no way you could describe what you want as well as an avatar in scale, viewable and zoomable from any angle in three-dimensions, which your barber or hairstylist could use to check as s/he goes along.
Who’s going to have the technology?
The online software will be open-source so the barber/hairstylist need not worry. They just need a computer with an Internet connection. If they aren’t successful enough to afford one, I’d suggest you go to another place for your hair cut.
Guys don’t care much about their haircut!
An old customer pointed this out. I thought I was the only one! But really? Am I overestimating the value of vanity in human nature? Can I overestimate the value of vanity in human nature? Even if so, these guys never had the option to try out haircuts in such an interactive manner. I think the risk of things going wrong, ruining their image for a while, is why guys don’t change their haircuts often. It’s actually their vanity at play in this matter, rather than their lack of it. Also, if other guys are using it to get an advantage, to forge identity, show creativity and such, particularly to impress women, how long will you stay away? You can bet the women would be loving to customize their looks if guys didn’t, and beware, they’ll be customizing yours soon enough as well!
If such a haircut design tool were available, how much do you want to bet the guys’ significant others (homo, hetero, metro, whatevero) won’t get involved to provide some advice? They might even design it for you, never mind give feedback! It’ll just become another bargaining chip in the relationship game. You can assert authority, independence or whatever to keep it at a distance, but how long do you think you can go without some over a haircut? Don’t laugh and call me unrealistic. I’ve seen people withhold sex over far dumber and less consequential things than the looks of a partner, which, if you haven’t realized, has enormous influence on one’s appeal to a partner for sex.
How long before this happens?
I don’t think Phat was actually convinced enough to ask this question, but as any good barber does to invest in the interests of his customers, he did. I told him about five years, if someone isn’t doing this already as a specialized service. I wouldn’t be surprised. If you are reading this and know of an example, please leave a comment.
I should have bet Phat on this answer with a free haircut or double. He seems to like betting for haircuts. To his credit, whether he wins or not, bets or not, he always gives a great haircut. You just have to put up with his flapping yapping mouth for the duration… unless you’re smart like me and come up with something where you can do all the talking.
Thanks for the great haircut, Phat! Till next time, one haircut closer to avatar barbershopping.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.2