By Lisa Peyton

Nick Wilson from Clever Zebra, a firm that advises companies on emerging 3D technology, discussed “the major players” in the virtual world arena to a Second Life audience.

Nick Wilson presenting in Second Life about virtual worlds

(Nick Wilson from Clever Zebra presents in Second Life)

The event held at their SL Location (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Zebra%20HQ/127/87/23) was attended by about 20-30 residents and lasted one hour.

Second Life Virtual World presentation by Clever Zebra

During the presentation Nick outlined his picks for the top VW’s for business and outlined the pros and cons of each. A brief outline follows:

Screenshot from virtual world, Active Worlds

1) Active Worlds – http://www.activeworlds.com/
• $6.95 per month fee to become a ‘citizen’
• Healthy group of developers
• Easy building tools
• Firewall available
• No productivity tools, white boards, ppt presentations, etc.

Recommended Uses:
• Rapid proto-typing
• Experiment privately behind a firewall
• IBM and Wells Fargo have worked in the space

2) Proto Sphere, by Protonmedia – http://www.protonmedia.com/
• Free demo
• Learning and knowledge management training
• Integrates blogs, social networking web 2.0 tools
• Search functionality
• Shareable office applications
• Firewall issues
• Content creation controlled by proto sphere
• Steep learning curve for available tools

Recommended Uses:
• Training
• Sales Training
• Insurance adjusters using to view auto accidents in 3D
• Global virtual meetings

3) Qwaq Forums – http://www.qwaq.com/
• 30 day free trial
• Collaboration Application
• Voice issues
• Pre-built content via templates
• Low system requirements
• Easy to set-up, about 10 mins
• Poor graphics, immersion, and avatars

Recommended Uses:
• Remote teams working on regular office documents
• General VW experimentation

Graphic for virtual world, OLIVE by Forterra Inc.

4) OLIVE, by Forterra Inc. – http://www.forterrainc.com/
• Contact sales to request a demo
• Government, military, education simulator
• Training and simulation
• Low system requirements
• Functional on mid-range PC
• Easy to use
• Firewall ready
• Bulky install
• No video or ppt presentations yet

Recommended Uses:
• Training and simulation

Virtual World Second Life

5) Second Life – http://secondlife.com/

• Free account and download
• Largest social virtual world
• Business to consumer focus
• Highly unstable
• Advanced system requirements needed
• Steep learning curve

Recommended Uses:
• Not recommended for Business use with the exception of possible experimentation

Future Players – VW’s to watch out for

Project Wonderland – https://lg3d-wonderland.dev.java.net/

• Free Download
• Sun Microsoft
• Ugly interface
• Open source
• Java based
• Modular architecture
• API’s available, easy to integrate with almost anything

Screenshot from virtual world, Vastpark

Vastpark – http://www.vastpark.com/

• Free download
• 5 applications – creator, browser, viewer, publisher and Vast Server Core
• Build your own world
• Firewall ready
• Licensing available for educational and corporate use

 Screenshot from New York demo of virtual world using the Multiverse platform

Multiverse- http://www.multiverse.net

• Build your own world
• Netscape developers
• 2000 avatars in one place
• No virtual office document sharing

Project Chainsaw, Nortel – http://www.nortel.com/

• Nortel Networks
• Voice emphasis
• Browser based
• Ecommerce capabilities, i.e. – shop in 3d environment, talk with sales staff and other customers