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It is 1994 all over again, however, the stakes are even higher this time around. A fresh battle for development, acceptance, and control of information delivery is Published in Silicon Valley and across the globe. Which firm will win? What business models are they employing? How will the future look? The shift in technology will likely be so great that it will affect how you utilize the Internet, how you communicate, and also change the equipment you use to access the world wide web.

It is not Netscape and Microsoft that time. Facebook and MySpace have lost. The new guard is Second Life, Active Worlds, World of Warcaft, IMVU, Shanda, Red 5 Studios and others. Their new landscape is not the quaint two dimensional reproductions which we've become accustom to in Explorer, FireFox, and Safari. It is a rich and powerful three dimensional world that can communicate culture and information in an effective and engaging way. Within these robust virtual worlds, the only limit is our own joys. Virtual technologies are in their nascent development stage, but are growing quicker than anyone could have ever predicted. A confluence of infrastructure, computer engineering and social behavior concept is yielding strong new methods to interact and interact over the Internet. The notion of"goggling into the Metaverse along with your personalized Avatar for a meet and greet" as called in the futuristic fantasy of Neal Stephenson's novel"Snow Crash" is truly not far from the reality.

Second Life, World of Warcraft (WoW), and IMVU provides a fabulous view into the near future of immersive communications and the next generation browser growth. Watching how people team together to overcome the game challenges in WoW has spawned attention from social interaction to leadership growth academics, in addition to the Military. The use of immersive environments on education and learning are limitless. In the future, teamwork and leadership might no longer be a pedagogical exercise comprised to sterile classrooms; it is going to be a totally immersive hands-on learning experience where students learn skills in different digital settings and situations. Ubisoft, the game's developer, wrote that"America's Army" was the"deepest and most realistic military game to hit consoles." A small audience by WoW and Shanda criteria, the sport has over 30,000 players everyday and can be available on Xbox, PlayStation, mobile phones and Game Boy. Another and possibly better use for the technology is education. Hiring newly minted MBAs with little real world experience has always been a sticky point with companies, especially with the current education and ability challenges. What would companies pay to hire an MBA graduate that had spent a couple hundred real hours in Jack Welsh's simulated shoes? And we thought EA's Madden Football was large. In the near future we'll have the ability to teach, test and hone key abilities to produce better knowledge workers and leaders with the advances in new immersive browser technologies.

critical ops hack , the virtual world business versions are in evolution. WoW includes a subscription service where it costs about twenty dollars a month to login into the virtual dream world. China's Shanda with its Legend of Mir and other digital properties has a pay-per usage and subscription versions. IMVU has a publication version. Its conversation environment is so rich and realistic that users actual pay for virtual garments to get their avatar and virtual gifts for others. Active Worlds has taken a much more platform centric approach charging to the foundation application for other people to grow upon. critical ops hack has virtual money named Linden dollars which is used to cover goods and service within the digital universe. Linden bucks can be purchased with real money. Walking around in Second Life and seeing all the billboard kind advertisements does make me consider the Internet's early days where ads popped up from nowhere and there were no usability guidelines or design best practices. But, which model will triumph? There's room for several versions, but it's too early to tell which browser will triumph.

I bought my last desktop seven decades back and don't plan on ever buying another. Being tethered is no longer an alternative. Surfing while walking between rooms, booting up in the coffee shop, and logging at the airport is standard behavior for the majority of us. Myvu and iTheater are making goggles that job information directly in front of your own eyes. It's primarily for game consoles and iPod movies today, but it's potential. In the not too distant future, you might have a set of goggles which have a higher resolution and are lighter than your laptop LCD screen, in addition to delivering significantly more privacy while on your airplane. With progress like these, will our future computers seem more like a soda could hooked up to goggles than the rectangular paperweight of now? Hardware advancements together with the developing interactive virtual applications will merger to deliver us a new completely immersive user experience.

One downside is the most virtual worlds require a huge application download and setup. Every digital universe requires its own program, so if you create for Second Life you're limited to Second Life residents and have no access to additional audiences. The application diversity is a big negative for earnings scaling. It harkens back the browser interoperability of the'90s, where companies had three versions of the websites to adapt browser differences. But eventually, there'll be a de facto standard and the winning application will come preloaded on your computer. I'm interested in seeing if this shakeout also generates anti-trust litigation.

Will Silicon Valley produce the upcoming 3-D interactive browser regular or will China? On the other hand, the effect of immersive 3-D digital worlds communications, social interaction, and education will change our lives just as much as the microwave and remote management. . .and perhaps TiVo.