Second Life Notes

I am suddenly swamped with RL things to do. So, not much time for a post. However, a couple of notes…

WARNING: Flashlight Apps

Word is going around about a flashlight apps on smart phones. Seems the ten most downloaded flashlight apps are all spyware. A company named Snoopwall has published a report on these apps and named names. See: Snoopwall (Android App) and get their free app.

Battle for VR

Gwyneth Llewelyn, a writer I enjoy reading, has posted: The battle for the future virtual world environment is on! It is a good analysis of the current VR competition.

She points out an interesting statistic. Goods sales at the peak of the SL Hype Days (2007-9) was in the range of a few million dollars (US) per year. Now goods sales are around 500 million, half a billion. That is growth.

Gwyn sees the VR and virtual world products as only serving a niche market with a small number of users. That is accurate today. But, a lot of people are trying to figure out how to make their new VR products relevant to the masses. Facebook and Google are pouring hundreds of millions into development of VR products. While the dreamers like Zuckerberg, Rosedale, Lucky, and others might just jump and spend money, multi-billion dollar companies tend to analyze market potential and size their investment to the potential return.

Check out Gwyn’s article. See what you think.

2 thoughts on “Second Life Notes

  1. Thanks for mentioning me 🙂

    I remain cautious regarding VR. I think that the new gadgets and applications will completely overwhelm the niche market, and this will mean that millions will buy Rifts and similar gadgets, and millions will join whatever virtual world that provides next-gen immersive VR.

    But it will only be ‘millions’. Not ‘hundreds of millions’. Companies investing in VR right now will certainly get their money back from R&D, but they will not create a mainstream product.

    I also don’t think VR be a ‘commercial flop’ (like, say, 3D TV). There is a market for immersive VR. 11 years of a profitable Second Life shows that, and SL is not even very immersive. So I’m definitely not saying that investing in VR is a bad idea: rather the contrary. I like the comparison that I’ve read somewhere: SL has been around even before YouTube existed, and YouTube only got better and better. The same will happen with VR products (both gadgets and applications). SL has a good track record of self-sustaining itself, so long as the business model makes sense (and in SL’s case, it means allowing creative collaboration and buying and selling virtual goods. Can any other model work as well, like HiFi’s, which is based on sharing the costs of CPU and bandwidth? Maybe).

    It just won’t be a huge market. Certainly worth a few billion dollars. Which is not bad. But it won’t be a multi-billion-dollar market, like, say, smartphones, which is expected to be worth US$ 150 billion just this year.

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