Virtual world tipping point: Is there an enterprise use?
Google has entered the virtual world game with a project called Lively and Second Life and IBM have pulled off a few interoperability experiments. Add it up and we may be seeing a little tipping point for virtual worlds.
Google has entered the virtual world game with a project called Lively and Second Life and IBM have pulled off a few interoperability experiments. Add it up and we may be seeing a little tipping point for virtual worlds. There may be even a few corporate uses in the future.
Second Life was first into the game and got a little critical mass. It got popular, got more buzz than it probably deserved and then faced a little backlash. I noted that virtual worlds have gone from zero to cliche in record time, but acknowledged there might be some corporate mojo there.
While I'm less than enthusiastic about the virtual realm there does seem to be some momentum here. IBM and Linden Labs have teleported an avatar between virtual worlds. That's a critical development if our avatars are ever going to conduct business. Frankly, I'd rather look at an avatar than a teleconferencing setup--as long as the person I'm talking to isn't some freak of an avatar. Besides who wouldn't want to negotiate a software deal in my underwater superhero fortress (right) in Google's Lively?
With a few open standards and interoperability protocols you may find a situation where your avatars can meet at another company just as you'd travel to a meeting. Quirky? Sure. But it'll probably be normal at some point.
Now let's connect Google's move to this. Google enters the fray, gets a little traction and then joins the virtual world Architecture Working Group. Suddenly, there's a little critical mass there--and you have avatars hopping around various worlds via your browser.
What's the ROI to all of this for a savvy enterprise? I have no idea, but there are enough things coming together where it may be worth pondering as you cook up enterprise 2.0--or 3.0.