Chris Sherman over at Virtual
World News noted yesterday that there are so many virtual world
start-ups in stealth-mode that he’s lost count.
“They range in focus from virtual goods and economies to
lifelogging to 2d and 3d virtual world destinations to platforms
and tools companies and more,” points out Sherman, the producer of
the steadily growing Virtual Worlds conference
Not only are myriad start-ups getting into the virtual frenzy,
so are corporate giants like
All this activity nicely reinforces a DFC estimate that virtual world
revenues will reach 6 billion $ annually by 2012.
Even with the slowing growth of Second Life, it’s easy to
imagine that between Spore, MetaPlace, Multiverse, Club Penguin, Google, Microsoft,
Sony and all of the little guys, it won’t be all that hard to hit
that 6 billion $ target.
Check back tomorrow for an in-depth interview with Jerry
Paffendorf, co-founder of Wello Horld, one of the stealth
start-ups mentioned by Sherman.
This is a shot that was definitely not heard around the “real
A company named Vollee has at last enabled fluid access
to 3D virtual worlds, namely Second Life, via a mobile phone.
Check out the video of their new service, currently in Beta:
While this product won’t matter to 99.9% of us (barring the SL
addicted) in the short term, it’s a big milestone for the broader
evolution of the web.
As such, we can use it to extrapolate what changes an
increasingly interactive 3D web might gradually enable:
Perhaps we’ll visit real-time representations of stores from
hundreds of miles away or more efficiently navigate shops in real
space, or more easily find jobs that allow us to work from afar, or
surf 3D social networks to see what our friends are currently doing
and where, or hop into virtual games tied into real-life locations
when we’re bored, or search the web in 3D and 2D as well as through
text and semantic search, etc.
The main point is that as we endeavor to simulate the near term
future of other domains like health, business, transporation, etc.
it’s important to consider the impact of new products like Vollee
so that we don’t miss the larger, more disruptive products and
events just over the horizon.
Included in the latest Second Life (SL) code
update is a feature that at long last allows in-world designers
and programmers to incorporate html on objects. In other words, users will finally be allowed to import web
content into the virtual world.
This comes as a relief to the many SL developers and futurists
who’ve been clamoring for this for years, paving the way for myriad
mash-ups and new forms of hybrid content.
Just imagine decorating your SL mansion with images found on the
web, setting your avatar to display your Linked In profile when attending a
networking event, organizing a wall of your favorite web feeds, or
setting up just about any conceivable array of of web content. All
of it linked and fully click-able. The collaborative, networking
and entertainment possibilities are truly endless.
Thanks to these new steps, all of this will soon be possible on
the increasingly popular platform, thus opening wide a whole new
world of possibilities.
Also part of the new release is more physically accurate
atmospheric rendering and lighting resulting in “vastly improved
realistic water with reflections and glimmer” and ”’Glow” as a new
Sick of using an obscure set of keyboard strokes to control your
avatar? Have no fear, the 3D camera / semi-haptic interface for
Developed by Mitch Kapor,
technology investor and Chair of Linden Lab, and Phillipe Bossut, the
interface allows you to use your actual body, much like on
Kamen’s Segway, to move your avatar through
virtual space. Simply lean forward to move forward, lift your hands
to elevate and fly, place your hands behind your back while
descending for a graceful landing.
Check out this demo to see the new interface in action:
Clearly these are just the very first steps for this novel
interface that promises to make avatar navigation more intuitive,
opening the door to non-technical people of all demographics,
lowering the complexity barrier to virtual worlds adoption (much
like the Nintendo
Wii controller). (cont.)