Check out this video of Sun’s Virtual Workspace. They have built a Second Life style collaboration environment focused on commerce. Very cool.
More detailed info is available on Sun’s site here. They call the initiative MPK20 (obviously not because they want me to remember it).
Being like Second Life, it is avatar based. The idea is you walk your avatar around your virtual office collaboratinig with your colleagues. It looks like voice conversation and document sharing are supported.
All pretty handy given that on any given day 50% of Sun’s workforce is remote.
I’ve been saying for a long time now that Second Life and Habbo Hotel show the power and popularity of 3D environments, that both of those are niche worlds (albeit large niches), and that there must be space for something in between that is easier to use and more focused on a real life application. It looks like the folks at Sun are thinking the same way.
Similarly, I am hearing from IBM that they believe 3D virtual worlds can (will?) be a $1bn revenue line for them in the next few years. That is why they are so active in Second Life.
It feels to me like there is a big market here waiting to be created. Virtual offices might be a great driver.
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