6. Oktober 2007

More virtual spaces for Web pages

I just read about Ogoglio in Virtual Worlds Weekly. Ogoglio is a relatively new project, which creates virtual spaces in web pages with web technologies. There are already Media Machines, Metaverse, Areae with Metaplace, and others in the same "area", some with millions of venture capital. This seems to be the time of of virtual worlds in web pages. It remembers me of the VRML/Blaxxun times and I expect a Blaxxun descendant to come forward soon with a similar concept.

So, here comes a new category of systems, which are very close to virtual presence (VP). The category of
- web-based-interconnected-virtual-spaces (WIVS). It joins the categories of
- chat-on-web-pages-browser-plugins (CWP) and
- chat-on-web-pages-iframe-embedded (CWI) systems. All very close to the
- web-based-virtual-presence (WVP), weblin style.

I am very curious which concept prevails in the long run:
1. I do not expect a big future for iframes, only as a demonstrator and for special purposes.
2. Chat plugins are a bit nineties. Most are missing avatar and 3D perspectives, which are a must currently.
3. Spaces in the web page, especially, if interconnected are technically cool, they are the next step after walled gardens like WoW and SL. They get much attention recently also from VC. But they live with the drawback that the content must be created from scratch. There VRML ancestors failed because of the content problem despite big money even in 2000. Still, there are chances, because the time of avatars and 3D has come.
4. They are all strong competition to weblin's concept of "the web already is the virtual world" (WVP).

The verdict: I bet on a combination of 2.-4. Something like weblin as a browser plugin or completely integrated with 3D and interconnections. But in contrast to WIVS I do not expect the good old web content to go away soon. It will stay and only WVP provides a way to be present and interactive with an avatar on HTML content. Many web sites will start to offer 3D content. Some will be completely 3D. But this will take a long time, because users without the 3D browser will not be able to see it unless it's Flash of Java. There can be a seemless integration of WIVS and WVP, which enables a gradual transition from WVP to WIVS or vice versa.

WIVS gets more money currently and more attention. It is the logical extension of walled garden systems. But WVP is more general and will incorporate WIVS. A WIVS protocol will serve as a virtual presence transport protocols, just like XMPP does now. That's the technical point of view, lets see what the market decides.


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