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NEW YORK & SAN FRANCISCO - 08 Jul 2008: Linden Lab®, creator of the virtual world Second Life®, and IBM (NYSE:IBM) have successfully demonstrated virtual world interoperability by teleporting avatars between the Second Life Preview Grid and an OpenSim virtual world server. The joint development project represents an industry first of a quantifiable milestone for virtual world interconnectivity.
A video of Linden Lab and IBM’s development teams successfully teleporting avatars is available by clicking here (http://torley.s3.amazonaws.com/Across-the-Metaverse.mp4).
Teleporting an avatar between platforms has the potential to have a significant impact on the future of virtual worlds. An open standard for interoperability would allow users to cross freely from one world to another in a seamless transfer, just as they can go from one Web site to another on the Internet today.
“Interoperability is a key component of the 3D Internet and an important step to enabling individuals and organizations to take advantage of virtual worlds for commerce, collaboration, education, operations and other business applications,” said Colin Parris, Vice President, Digital Convergence, IBM. “Developing this protocol is a key milestone and has the potential to push virtual worlds into the next stage of their evolution.”
Linden Lab and IBM are exploring ways to expand the capabilities of virtual worlds and to help meet the industry-wide demand to develop platforms and protocols that will make these environments appropriate for enterprise use. Interoperability is a key facet of this mission and the recent work of Linden Lab and IBM’s development teams is an important proof point and step in that direction.
To facilitate the continued development of this interoperability function, technical details will be made available to the community. The protocol interactions used for the teleport will be documented on the Web site of the Architecture Working Group (AWG), an open forum that is designing and publishing the Open Grid Protocol. IBM plans to offer the extensions developed for OpenSim to the OpenSim community, and Linden Lab plans to make the extensions developed for the Second Life viewer available as open source. To foster testing and further development, a test grid will be made available by Linden Lab.
“IBM and Linden Lab both support an interoperable approach and see the industry moving to an interconnected model in the future,” said Ginsu Yoon, Vice President of Business Affairs, Linden Lab. “Interoperability is not only important for enterprise use but also has the potential to improve overall scalability and stability.”
The interoperability protocol was tested and deployed on a separated test environment involving the Second Life Preview Grid and an OpenSim server. The companies have not announced plans or a schedule for when it might be made available on the main Second Life Grid™.
For more information on the Architecture Working Group visit: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Architecture_Working_Group.
For more information about IBM’s 3-D Internet initiatives, visit: http://www.ibm.com/3dinternet.
About The Second Life Grid
The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. In May 2008, Mark Kingdon, former CEO of Organic Inc., was named CEO of Linden Lab with Rosedale assuming the position of Chairman of the Board. Noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, also sits on Linden Lab’s board. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.
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