November 18, 2008

Two essential HUD's for shopping in SL

Within the course of a few days I came across two HUD's that will have quite an impact on shopping in SL. Funny enough the first of them, CAMsync, is almost exactly what I brainstormed about myself a few weeks ago. The other one, Treasure Hunt Radar, is certainly controversial.

CAMsync, by Lalwende Leakey, 390 L$
I am a walking-shopper. When I enter a shop I like to stroll around, walk to each display and look. Most of my friends are camming-shoppers. They root themselves somewhere in the entrance of the shop and cam around to look at the displays. Typical conversations go like this:
Them: Do you see the one with white?
Me: Which one?
Them: Over there, next to the one in yellow.
Me: On the floor we are on?
Them: Dunno, but there is a blue next to it.

It drives me CRAZY! Enter CAMsync - this clever HUD consist of a Master and a Slave HUD. You give the Slave to a friend and both HUD's will synchronize. And then your friend sees exactly the same thing you see as well. And with a click on the Master or Slave button you can swap control over the camera. The synchronization of the cameras can be stopped anytime and works within the whole sim - the avatars can be as far away as possible.
The HUD costs 390 L$ - an extensive feature description and a SLURL to the shop can be found here. Also on XStreetSL.

Treasure Hunt Radar, by Rika Watanabe, 99 L$
My girlfriend Skinkie introduced me to the suspense of treasure hunts, and since we are together I must have participated in countless hunts. Skinkie is a very skilled hunter, but even though I find the odd item, I am rather hopeless in this. Still I enjoy doing hunts, and seeing new shops and content creators, and more often then not I use the opportunity to buy items.

For the unskilled hunter like myself, Rika Watanabe has developed the Treasure Hunt HUD. You need to find at least one treasure yourself, then you feed the HUD with the name of the treasure. From then on, you simply stroll through the shop and look around, and whenever a treasure comes within scanning range, the HUD will make a sound and list the treasure in its hovertext. A simple click on the "Zoom" icon, and your camera is conveniently zoomed onto the object. More information can be found here. Also on XStreetSL.

A lot of people - among them Skinkie as well - may see this as cheating. Admittedly, it makes finding treasures very easy. While certainly a lot of people will use a HUD like this (and "object finders" are as old as hunts are) to drop in, grab the treasures and leave again, people like myself will see it as a welcome help, so I can focus more on the shop itself, and the merchandise offered while casually collecting the treasures. Or find those blasted last 3 treasures I did not find the regular way. Then again there are many content creators who set their hunt items on sale for 1 L$ and get a significant revenue from them. In those cases, the HUD actually helps increase their revenue. It all boils down to the individual user. If you are inclined to spend money, you will do so with or without HUD. If you are not inclined to, you will not - regardless if you use the HUD or not.
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