Philip Rosedale's new startup High Fidelity is working on the next generation of virtual reality, which is why he entirely left work at Linden Lab/Second Life earlier this year, but that doesn't mean the two are totally unconnected. In fact, he tells me, "I bet there are lots of interesting ways we will be able to integrate with Second Life. How exactly, I'm sure we are too early to tell."
I asked about this because to judge by a recent interview with him on Singularity Hub, virtual reality at High Fidelity seemed quite different from how he sees Second Life:
Rosedale has clearly put some thought into what might be improved. He recently told a group of students at Singularity University that interfaces need to be more intuitive. Second Life uses a mouse and multiple keys on the keyboard, both 2D inputs, to navigate a 3D space—it’s like learning to play the piano... Further, he wants to make avatar interaction a richer experience. Our virtual selves should precisely mimic our movements in the real world in as close to real time as possible. Body language is a key element of satisfying real world interactions. Until we have realistic body language in the virtual world, folks won’t be drawn there.
To make that possible, here's some of the early experiments High Fidelity is working on, using a smartphone accelerometer, Google Glass, and so on. As for when we will be able to get our hands on tools like this, Philip isn't sure yet. However, he adds:
"We'll do things in little steps, though -- will put things out as early as we can, given that there are so many smart people who are going to get what we are doing and be willing to work with it in a very basic state. That's our thinking." In any case, seems like High Fidelity could eventually offer a second life to Second Life.
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