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Monday, August 31, 2009

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Opensource Obscure

It appears to be a Windows-only solution.

Anyone has more information about Mac and Linux availability?

soror nishi

why am I not surprised...??...no Macs....

Maria Korolov

According to Zaki, the textures are currently pulled from 3Di's server, not the OpenSim region servers, so we're not seeing any textures come up. All avatars also show up as puffy clouds. You can't access inventory or do hypergrid teleports.

However, local chat and local, in-grid, teleports are already supported.

I'm optimistic about this one because it's got a company behind it that has a business model that depends on getting this working (they help companies set up virtual showrooms and facility tours). Having a working, public viewer should get them quite a bit of publicity -- and a ready user-base for their corporate customers.

-- Maria

Valiant Westland

I predict the 3Di Virtual World Web Plug-in is going to usher in a Tsunami of Virtual World adoption! I believe it also represents the single greatest competitive threat to Linden Lab’s Nebraska offering.

Although it is unlikely serious Virtual World users / “publishers” will adopt embedded technology as a replacement for a dedicated client anytime soon, it’s going to be a different story with corporate and casual users alike. Corporate clients who have been deterred by the onerous implementation and support challenges associated with dedicated VW client software will see a slip-streamed plug-in as a solution for Intraworld (Intranet + Virtual World) as well as customer-facing deployments.

Since most people are already comfortable downloading plug-ins like Flash for browsers, the barrier (”cost of entry”) to Virtual Worlds will be significantly reduced. The biggest challenge facing plug-in adoption will be server capacity. Any web site hosting a virtual world destination, risks crashing the target sim with a flood of web-directed plug-in-enabled visitors. The “perfect storm” for the adoption of browser-based (plug-in) 3D/Virtual World clients will happen when the plug-ins are simple to install and point to servers that can host multiple hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous connections.

Despite the 3Di announcement, the dream of having a ubiquitous, industry standard web interface for virtual worlds remains just that, a dream. My hope is that this announcement puts the competitive spurs to Linden Lab, Mozilla, Microsoft, OpenSim and the rest of the Virtual World industry, to develop and support this technology.

Maria Korolov

The 3Di OpenViewer is already available with an English interface - though it's in Japanese by default. I used it in English this weekend to visit OSGrid from the Web.

-- Maria

Dusan Writer

Valiant - you're kidding about support for THIS technology right?

The far bigger threat doesn't come from being able to access virtual worlds through the browser...that's simply an extension of the in-world experience. The bigger threat comes from 3D built IN to the browser, no plug-in required.

Why would you create a 3D experience using openSim or Linden Lab when you can build a similar experience natively? The virtual furniture showroom of the future will be facilitated because 3D is part of the browser architecture, not because you've built something on a sim somewhere and then let people basically stream it after downloading a plug-in.

Having said that, the idea of extending the experience of virtual worlds through different modalities of participation has merit - but plug-in free - video streams, Flash, whatever.

And finally - I don't think this is the competitive spur those guys need, frankly. What they need is "click here to broadcast" functionality not some sort of remote proxy log-in that does nothing to solve the concurrency issue.

Sorry - I'm just really skeptical that a plug-in is a solution - you still need to download something and so there's still a barrier to entry. I don't buy the argument that somehow a Web plug-in makes people feel any better than downloading a client - although was intrigued to see that the Lab has "light clients" on their agenda with their new VP of Web Experiences or whatever it is.

(P.S. Half the plug-ins I try to install on Google Chrome or Firefox take all kinds of extra steps to actually get them to work - even Acrobat gave me incredible trouble in Chrome. Not to mention that plug-ins do nothing to bypass the IT guys in enterprise, so it's not like you'll be accessing OpenSim from work because many IT departments won't allow random plug-ins in any case).

Hamlet Au

Conversely, however, the Flash plug-in has a 95% penetration rate across all PCs in the world. That and a few others like Quicktime are pretty much standard to the browsing experience.

I don't think plug-ins are the *only* solution, myself, we're seeing good adoptions for Free Realms, which is a download, but it's made not to *feel* like a download, because it loads and installs in the background while you're on the site creating your avatar and social network profile.

Richard Meiklejohn

I agree with Dusan, I still don't get the perspective of 'It runs inside the frame of the browser so it's OK' - if you tried surely you could turn the SL client into a browser plugin? However, if this plugin also proxies everything through port 80 then it would be a big step - it's still the case that companies keen to adopt VW technolgy have to tell their employees to use their shiny new virtual environments from home to avoid firewall issues.

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