Sunday, March 21, 2010

web.alive worldlets coming to a browser near you

The web.alive ptatform permits creating multiuser virtual worldlets that can be embedded in web pages. The worldlets are full 3D with physics and support multiuser voice chat and streaming video from standard sources. web.alive is very easy to install (visit any web.alive worldlet on the web and accept the installation the web.alive plugin) and very easy to use.

In the picture above I am visiting the new MellaniuM Bar in the MellaniuM Dome, developed by one of the most active web.alive developers, and talking to MellaniuM and Avaya representatives. I often drop in the MellaniuM Dome and other public access web.alive worldlets to talk to developers and users. The visual quality of most public access worldlets is more or less like Second Life. 3D development for the web.alive platform is done with standard 3D design tools and the free version of the Unreal engine as integration environment, so web.alive can host also very high quality 3D models (see the dinosaurs and the replica of the Titanic in the MellaniuM dome.

The picture above was taken in the IBM virtual Business Analytics Center -- which is also based on web.alive and designed to support IBM Business Analytics & Optimization services. VR worldlets developed with web.alive can be integrated with back-end business systems, which is important for business users. See also this review.

The picture above was taken in the Lenovo virtual showroom (see here for a description). In the virtual showroom, customers can see Lenovo products and talk to Lenovo sales representatives. This is an ideal application of web.alive which leverages the main selling point of the platform: 3D worldlets very easy to use and optimized for casual users, which run directly in the browser. Other applications suitable for web.alive are 3D exhibitions, architecture, presentations to the public, and light e-learning applications.

In today's attention economy, many users are just not interested enough to bother installing a dedicated 3D client and learning how to use it, so web.alive is a good platform to target casual users and reach a broader audience. Also, many business operators have the perception (wrong, in my opinion, but this is the perception they have) that end users are too stupid to install a dedicated 3D client and learn how to use it, so they should consider web.alive as a very interesting platform. At the same time web.alive permits creating full and visually compelling 3D worlds (not like those horrible 2.5D worlds) with physics, voice, video and integration with business back-end systems. I can recommend web.alive for all 3D projects aimed at a large audience of casual users. It is definitely one of the few systems that should be taken into serious condideration by serious operators. Others are Teleplace, the best application for professional collaboration and deep interactive e-learning, and of course the beautiful (and now technically very advanced) metaverse of Second Life.