SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Google has rolled out a challenge to virtual world giant Second Life with free software that lets people create their own online 3D worlds that can be embedded on websites and melded with other online functions.
Lively by Google lets people place virtual "rooms" on websites, customize "avatars" to be online proxies, and decorate their fantasy worlds with photos or streaming videos from YouTube, Picasa or other online sources.
With Lively, a user can adapt his personal online realm to his own imagination. Examples shown include hip flats, sprawling ranches, and rooftops backed by cityscapes.
Lively users can invite friends' avatars over for visits by sending them online room addresses via email or instant messages, according to Google engineering manager Niniane Wang.