Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Philip Rosedale on Connecting High Fidelity's VR Tools With Second Life -- and When We'll Get Those Tools to Play With

Philip Rosedale virtual world technology demo

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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Ciaran Laval

Some really interesting concepts and ideas at play here, patience is the key here, it's going to take time but damn it sounds exciting!


philip who?
the one that once said that most SL users where crippled, old, poor?

Imagin Illyar

It is my understanding that Rosedale is developing a whole new virtual world, separate from Second Life:


He is still a part of that singularity cult like thing, I see.

I also find it disturbing that tech gurus like Rosedale are inspired by dystopic science fiction novels in which the vast majority of humanity is enslaved. The online world portrayed in Ready Player One was not good and author stressed that it was used as a tool for control.

Arcadia Codesmith

Grrr... I was just getting comfortable in my pit of despair in the stagnant swamps of virtual reality torpor, and BAM! Ray of hope right between the eyes.


I drank his utopian Kool-Aid once. This go-round I'll let the cup pass me by and wait, skeptically, to see if VR ever takes off. I suspect it to be the flying car of the 21st Century. I could be wrong--we did get the video phones promised us in 1968.

It only took 40 years.


nov 18th -weeks anniversaries and SF cult leaders for a second life...

"kool aid"- montoyo said.


Interesting. My guess though, because it involves Philip Rosedale and Linden Lab investors, is it wont come cheap and likely the price will be hiked at some point even if it starts reasonable at launch. Remember what happened with Second Life? And the Lab still wont drop the price even though it's in decline. That kind of takes some of the excitement out of it.


I just read that LL is one of the backers in this project, I wonder if this new world development has anything to do with LLs new TOS.
A new world is going to need lots of content and LL suddenly has a whole SL full of stuff they just stole from their users, just sayin.

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