Sunglass, a "Google Docs for 3D objects" startup which came out of beta at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, has a couple well-known backers who know quite a lot about 3D content creation: Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, and founding SL investor Mitch Kapor. Running on HTML5 and WebGL, as TechCrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler explains, "Sunglass users can simultaneously access a single 3D model and suggest tweaks through chat or voice chat. There’s also a sketch tool for marking suggestions." Virtual world content creator DanielRavenNest Noe noticed Philip and Mitch are listed as "Supporters" on the Sunglass site, and I just confirmed with both of them that this means they're also financial backers:
"I love what they are doing," Philip tells me by e-mail, "and I am a small investor!" When I asked him, Mitch affirmed his backing (through his venture firm Kapor Capital) specifically in relationship to Second Life:
"I'm very enthusiastic about Sunglass as a platform for collaborative cloud-based development of real-world 3D projects," Mitch tells me. "My learnings through SL prepared me to see big opportunities in tools for 3D spaces, both virtual and real."
For New World Notes readers and SL aficionados, this is quite interesting for at least two reasons: While Philip and Mitch have both devoted much more focus to other projects besides Second Life in recent years, the Sunglass investment shows they're still confident that 3D collaborative content is a technology worth pursuing. Secondly, if I'm reading this TechCrunch write-up right, it should be quite possible (and easy) for SL content creators to build 3D content together on Sunglass, and (if they're so inclined) import them as mesh objects into Second Life. So even if Mitch and Philip have been scarce in SL of late, they're still backing utilities that SLers can directly benefit from.