Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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SL Founders Philip Rosedale & Mitch Kapor Invest in Sunglass, "Google Docs for 3D Objects" Startup

Sunglass Philip Rosedale Mitch Kapor

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.


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Pussycat Catnap

With all the techies on the globe trying their best to KILL Flash, if this can be used by graphic designers to still be able to churn out animated content, but within HTML 5... it might see some retooling in that direction...

(that might seem out of left field... but while techies keep saying HTML 5 can be used to kill Flash, they forget that graphic designers don't work in code...)

To me, that's an angle with more potential - the renders out of something like this, if any.

If its just for previewing models in HTML 5, then its future is limited.

People should look at the collapse of Metacreations to see why.

shockwave yareach

And is it possible for these HTML5 creations to someday form the basis of a new grid -- SL2.0? Will we be able someday in the future to be able to do everything we do in SL with a couple of browsers?

Wouldn't that be neat, a virtual world without viewers.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Very neat--I look forward to seeing what happens. I couldn't help cringing at "My learnings in SL...", which I presume meant the same as "What I learned in SL...".


Look very promising. Looks like good chance to get my SL business partner into mesh. I think it can improve SL education processes a lot.

Ann Otoole InSL

they have time and money for this. but not for secondlife anymore. got it. good intel.


@ they have time and money for this. but not for secondlife anymore.

You can understand why they are putting their time and money elsewhere. The current SL architecture, what might be called, "client heavy," has probably run its course. A hat tip to Phil and all those who toiled to create (and maintain) it, it was a disruptive technology in that day. Mobile is where its all moving today, using thin clients with heavy computing horsepower provided by cloud computing (elastic and outsourced).
LL experimented with this a while back, but it dropped off the radar. The real thing I wonder about is if "user developed content" virtual worlds have likewise run their course. Do "consumers" really want this kind of experience on their Iphone(or tablets) while sipping a latte macchiato at their fav coffee shop? Then there's the whole question of how to make money. Should future virtual worlds sell every user click to advertisers? Data mine for "influencers?"


Hmmmm, I wonder if it could be combined with LL's DIO ?

shockwave yareach

@Argo - the short pole in your approach is that ALL of the ISPs in this country are throttling back users data consumption. Today they put limits of 100G a month or so. Tomorrow it'll be 50G. And then they'll drop it to 10G, but generously allow you to pay a fine for every 10G you go over rather than simply ban you for breaking the "rules".

In such a bandwidth restricted environment, streaming video from a cloud computer will cause you to hit the bandwidth limits in mere hours, whether you are using a tablet or a monster desktop.

I really think that the rush to make everything in the world work on an iphone is silly. Corel wants to know how much I'd use Paintshop on an iphone. Yeah, like I'd be able to see or tweak anything on so tiny a screen, or be able to move my work back to my desktop after I was finished. Portables have their place, but not everything under the sun can or should be ported to them, due to wimpy processors, battery life and simple size limitations. Some programs are barely usuable with a single 24" screen (multitracks like Sonar and Reaper come to mind). You won't make that work on an iPhone no matter what tricks you use.

foneco zuzu

Not to say, its so easy to loose or break a gadget, cause all of those lil things are nothing more then gadgets to impress others!
Want to play, get a 23 inch or higher screen, a desktop and feel the power, the rest are peanuts!


Kapor and his VCs will position these 2 kids to be bought by Google( they then cash out).... Google will then recreate livley and sketchup/3dwarehouse using webgl and this set of code... It will then close as failure after enough of you have listened to hamlet and wasted your time building free content for the press releases and further devaluation of content creation for a living wage.

Roland Sassen

The rendering of the future will be done in the cloud, no need for WebGL or HTML 5, have a look at our proof of concept: virtual world on an iPad video http://youtu.be/dWMtpz423yU

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