Bringing online marketing to life

Dream Axis founder, Winne Soh, talks about the marketing green field of virtual spaces and her hopes for growing Singapore's 3D talent.

Virtual reality presents a green field of marketing opportunity--the green fields of Second Life islands--said technopreneur Winne Soh.

The 25-year old founder of Singapore-based Dream Axis, which specializes in creating 3D environments on virtual platforms such as Second Life, sees much potential in the 3D online space as a marketing platform for companies.

Soh told ZDNet Asia in an interview: "There is so much opportunity for Web 2.0 to move to Web 3.0, where social collaboration in the 2D space goes to 3D."

Dream Axis recently completed building a set of islands for the National University of Singapore. The tertiary institute last year developed the online replica of its campus in an effort to reach out to potential students.

"The virtual space was more appealing and immersive to students, and helped bring personality to the faculty too," said Soh. Lecturers showcased virtual versions of projects on the island.

Founded in January last year, Dream Axis was a project "self-funded" by the two co-founders. "We were lucky because we got our first project within a month," said Soh, who was then able to expand her staff and hire two more developers within the next four months.

She hopes to have a part in developing the country's 3D talent. The company is looking to partner schools to provide training in the relevant skills, such as modeling and animation. "We hope more can be groomed to help contribute to this space.

"The Internet will eventually be all 3D," she said.

Soh was awarded an IT Youth Award at the annual SCS (Singapore Computer Society) IT Leader Awards ceremony on Friday.

The awards are in recognition of individuals who have contributed to IT, both professionally and personally.

Also handed out were awards to the IT Leader of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and Hall of Fame winner.

This year's IT Leader of the Year is Robert Chew, chairman of the ITSC (IT Standards Committee).

SCS president, Pearleen Chan, won the Hall of Fame award, and Rakesh Kumar Gupta Rakesh, founder of Heulab, was named Young Professional of the Year.

Speaking at the awards dinner, Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said: "Infocomm has been achieving steady growth. Today it is an important sector of our economy.

"It contributes about 6 percent to national GDP, and there are altogether 139,000 infocomm professionals employed in the economy."

On the economic slowdown impacting jobs, Dr. Lee said the country must nonetheless focus on retaining and growing its talent pool to remain competitive.

"Any loss of infocomm talent will have a negative impact on the industry," said the minister, who also outlined a set of training and career packages directed at keeping the manpower pool healthy in the country.