3Di Web Plug-in Heralds Tsunami of Virtual World Adoption

The Coming 3D Tsunami

The Coming 3D Tsunami

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.

3Di Open Viewer Demo

3Di Open Viewer Demo

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.

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One Response to “3Di Web Plug-in Heralds Tsunami of Virtual World Adoption”

  1. I agree about the revolution aspects here. But since the plugin uses the LibOpenMetaverse communications platform, which is common to OpenSim and to Second Life, it should be able to be used as a front end to Second Life-based grids as well.

    Meanwhile, on the access point — looking at the code used to access the plugin, it looks as though you can specify the user name and password for the avatar. So, for example, you can set up your web page to offer users a choice of 20 avatars to log in as — and you can only use those that aren’t currently being used by other visitors. (That’s how the 3Di furniture store demo does it.)

    Of course, this will all be a moot point if Adam Frisby and the rest of the gang working on OpenSim are able to automate load balancing or get more avatars into a single region. (Intel is promising 1000 by the end of this year — I’ll believe it when I see it! And I really want to see it!)

    Meanwhile, this is a great step forward for small group meetings (I can see using this for my staff, offering the access on the password-protected staff-only parts of my website). Can’t wait for the texture issues to be resolved.

    — Maria

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