I can't wait to see the major web browsers include 3D rendering clients as part of their normal offerings ... not sure if or when it will happen ... but we sure need to transition from the 1 client per VW mapping that is currently the norm. Imagine if each web site required its own and different web browser ... I believe we are going to see 3D web standards being developed and an emphasis on interoperability and data portability between VWs. IBM and Linden Lab seem to be working on this as we speak ..
Don't know if anyone remembers this but Adobe attempted this concept (web sites embedding 3D Virtual Worlds on their web page) back in the late 90's. It was called Adobe Atmosphere and the graphics were superior, even by today's standards. I can supply some fantastic screen shots if anyone is interested. Unfortunately Adobe decided to discontinue this program after 2000. Not sure why although the rumor was that it may have been a bit early (you needed to have a very good video card and a broadband connection and those were not very prevalent in those days).
Does anyone remember? I still have some of my test projects files!
It had great potential but also suffered from the same issues of 'loading' that most VW have with users loading in huge heavy avi's. If you kept everything 'lite' it worked really really well iirc. I guess when they said they were going to charge an arm and leg for it that people dropped it like a hot potato.
I'm really sorry to hear that about Atmosphere. It seemed to me to be the best 3D VR place online at the time and would still be one of the best even now. I acquired a much better graphics computer just a few months before it all shut down and I was very disappointed. There seemed to be a nice growing community of private world owners and the graphics were super! With all that going for it, I still hope that someday Adobe will roll out a new and improved version of that system soon.
I used Adobe Atmosphere (A World Maker), it had all the ingredients required to develop even beyond SL, only much earlier. The concept of having your own hosted 'sim' on a standard website, that a casual user could click a link and simply 'drop in' using a simple browser pluggin, was by far superior to the clunky client LL adopted.
I quite often grab a moment and click one of my 'sim links' and go back to the 5,500+ prim Cruise Liner 'sim' I created, if for no other reason, than the simplicity of the whole experience.
It is true to say, without development it could not compete with the 'web 2.0' styling of SL, but 10 years ago, what was being done then, with a bit of development and investment could have seen a different player (Adobe) in the VR platform of today.
I still have all the programmes that I could simply install and begin creating VR platforms again, the avatar creator, and poser, pluggin for browsers etc. Its truly amazing to see what can still fit on a floppy disc.
A whole raft of competing 'sim' style platforms appearing as common as standard websites of today. All seamlessly linked as http is now for the 2d internet. Passing from one VR world will be as transparent as a SL sim crossing, well, hopefully smoother. Central custodians of your VR goods, which is the key development to allow that to happen even now, being of the ilke of Paypal, or your local bank styled company, possibly a VR banking institute.
VR tax offices, possibly a World VR Goverment and police force.
VR banking, stocks and shares, shopping will be the driving force, along with advertising and sponsoring. My hope is that Education and Technology sharing, the reason for the birth of the internet, will grow as expotentially.
The VR platform becoming less system hungry, so those with less ability to keep upgrading, can still share in the wonderment of the rebirth of the internet.
To include those that by birth alone, keep them from doing, what we take for granted.
To substitute many things that are done today, at a high cost to the planet and the human race.
The ability to explore a VR representation of a place the otherside of the Earth, to sample the many cultures. To meet people that add something to our lives.
There are two "killer apps" I look forward to seeing in Virtual Worlds within the next couple of years: the so called "web on a prim" application which will allow full web access on virtual machines within an environment, so that you can perform web browsing without popping open Explorer or other web browser, and the ability to retain avatar identity across VW platforms so that social connections can be maintained in multiple worlds without having to reinvent yourself.
These two developments aside, I think the big change in usability will see more and more non profits and for profits using VWs as a platform and "driving" (herding?) customers and potential customers into VWs as opposed to the current model which is generally to try to make connections only with avatars who are already resident.
My name is Dean Jones and I am the CEO of new browser based 3D web platform, Exitreality .
Recently, Giff Constable posted an excellent article on his blog that talked about the potential shift from traditional MMO's or Second Life style places to simpler web based 3D/Virtual World functionality...
"This is where virtual world capabilities come into play, but not necessarily in the form commonly understood, where virtual worlds equals a giant MMO or Second Life-like place. No, these capabilities need to come to where the consumer is, i.e. on the Web, and need to be simple and specific enough to be useful and fun rather than overwhelming."
Exitreality will help publishers quickly and easily build out virtual world environments within a web browser.