Parks Associates Blog

Friday, April 04, 2008

Blogging from the Virtual Worlds Conference Show Floor

Chris and his gang runs good shows. My session titled "Virtual Worlds By The Numbers Today and The Future" attracted more than 350 people, standing room only. Jack Myers, Joey Seiler, and I shared some good numbers and perspectives on the current state of the virtual world market and where it's heading. I'll blog somemore next week when I return to the office about our presentations.

On the showfloor, there are quite a few companies coming from overseas, bringing with them innovative solutions. A couple of companies (such as Freggers from Germany) are launching enabling solutions for 2.5D virtual world. No need to download, just open up a browser and play. Companies like Vivaty are bridging 3D virtual worlds and 2D Web. You can download a plugin and initiate a full fledged 3D virtual world right from your Facebook page. There are also quite a few companies offering economic enabling solutions for corporations and even individuals to launch their own virtual world, entering a space already getting crowded. In addition to the incumbent players such as Linden Labs and Makena, upcoming companies include Mycosm, 500 Mirrors and Vastpark. Mycosm is a very interesting company to watch. With deep roots in sophisticated 3D urban design software (still the cash cow of the company), Mycosm will soon provide free software for prosumers to design their own 3D virtual space. As user base scales, these individuals can plug their worlds into a bigger metaverse. Just imagine when you are buying a new house and want hire an interior designer and she invites you to view her portfolio in a realistic 3D space. Wouldn't that impress you?

More thoughts and interview notes to come next week.

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