Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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OpenSim Business Generates Over $300K in Revenue from Real World Visualization and Corporate Training Projects

OpenSim on a stick application

Subquark, an Australian development studio, has generated has sold over $300K in services using OpenSim, according to Renee "Ener Hax" Miller, creator of the insanely cool Sim-on-a-Stick, which as the name suggests, is a portable version of OpenSim. Using that and other variations of OpenSim, she's provided visualization, prototyping, and corporate training solutions for corporate clients of Subquark, run by her father David Miller, who blogs here. While I remain deeply skeptical that OpenSim can ever become a mass market consumer product, it's worth noting that it shows some promise as a development tool for some applications. And since Subquark seems to be on the forefront there, I had to know more.

"The biggest project was using Sim-on-a-Stick" for a real world product placement project in a theater system (see image above, read my post on it here). "That was two thirds of the amount I mentioned and involved travel to 10 cities," she says, with SoaS used to provide two days of on-site training were provided.

Here's how they used OpenSim for a couple more projects in visualization and corporate training:

OpenSim RL club mockup

"There has also been custom eLearning for one of our larger clients where OpenSim was used to create branched scenario video training." Click here for to see the set she built for that project. "Also space visualization for pre-sales of function space for a property under construction in Chicago. A generic club was built (then leveraged for use in our Enclave Harbour work). The final product had static images of about a dozen setups and involved several function rooms and a two lane bowling alley. (See image at left, and video below.)

Pretty impressive, and I can see other small teams following in the Millers' footsteps to create and deploy similar OpenSim projects for lots of real world clients. While that's very different from saying OpenSim can scale to become the metaverse, it's quite notable and worthwhile all the same.

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shockwave yareach

And just think -- they COULD have done this with Second Life and the customer could have instantly seen it just by running a viewer (rather than plugging in a USB stick). What's more, THEIR users of the site could then ALSO been invited to log into SL and peruse the architectural demo and suggest improvements.

That a company pulling in 300K$ in under a year doing such virtual prototypes would rather burn money on airfare than with SL, says volumes about how businesses can't (or won't) let LL screw them anymore.

Ener Hax

lol - fact checking here - 1) not Australian - French Canadian living in New England, and 2) subQuark's site owner (David) did the work but not for himself but for the company he works for (who also did a few small SL projects back in 2006)

Second Life would not have worked - the customer used a selection of 100 cinema lobbies (saved as OAR files) and placed their client's products in those cinema lobbies (for example, like an HP launch where they have a display booth, etc)

then the customer took images and video to include in their RFP response of their clients

no one needed to get in-world and that would have been a negative experience. the client only wants an idea of what their products look like in a specific lobby as part of a proposal (confidential, so you could have never have had them online plus a proposal might be for 20 lobbies)

think of OpenSim as a 3D tool like SketchUp - only faster and real-time for images and video

while $300k sounds like a lot, it's a small part of the company's annual revenue

for the end customer, we are talking about winning hundreds of thousands in business each year and using SoaS allowed them to set up lobbies in about 20 minutes to win that business (everyone else in this industry still uses plan views of the space and line drawings)

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