They’re baaack! Yes the Sims is back and now they’re mobile. Now you have the power of virtual worlds right in the “palm” (iPhone really) of your hands. You can create your own experiences for your sim and take care of them right from your iPhone.Virtual worlds you say? Oh yeah…virtual world marketing etc. Yes, it has not gone away, but it has changed. It has changed not only from a technology point of view, but from the end benefits and goals that companies are using it for. However one thing that has not changed is that virtual world meetings will never be an outright replacement for face to face.
As we saw happening a year ago, one of the stumbling blocks was the fact that you had to download an application the size of the government’s deficit. Then you had to deal with your IT department telling you to go play video games at home because you ain’t getting past our firewall. Hrrrumph. Well enter browser accessible virtual worlds. There are several of them making it easier for companies and consumers to utilize for their communication and marketing needs.
What are companies utilizing virtual worlds for these days?
Before the big benefit was the amount of press and awareness the companies received. The presence of taking innovative risks that positions the companies as forward thinkers. And it worked. However, it also educated those that dove into virtual worlds to take advantage of future strategies and benefits of how virtual fits within their business plans.
In a down market, businesses have to find ways to be cost efficient, but cannot lose sight over the power of connectivity, and the fundamental need for collaboration and networking. So yes they will cut back on travel, but why load $$ into travel and hotels when you could virtually meet. The key is, we all seem to get more quality of our meetings when we have more human intervention whether it be via televideo conference, virtual video cam streams, or…a dragon.
Higher education has been able to utilize virtual worlds. Educators say the immersion facilitates experiential learning, simulation, roleplay, collaboration, co-creation, experimentation with new ideas, and learning from teachers and from each other
Training and new hire orientation are among the common usages using virtual technologies. Virtual interviews are still considered but in a more direct environment using pop up live video streams. It’s an employer’s market with so many people looking for work. Naturally if candidates can knock out twice as many interviews in one day it increases their chances of employment. At least as a foot-in-the-door tool that enables both parties to assess the fit first before a whole day is wasted traveling around to a job interview that may not be right from the get go.
Here are some browser based virtual platforms that enable a 3dimensional experience other than a 2 dimensional chat and video cam experience. Some of these are pure gaming platforms, and others are business communications based.
Marketed and use for busines to business, employee communication and collaboration.
A popular online virtual tradeshow platform used often for virtual career fairs
6connex is a virtual meeting platform designed to integrate social media power into virtual meetings. Quite a powerful suite of tools too. You can manage virtual campaigns off your mobile too.
To give you an idea of the 3d engines out there, take a look at the away3d engine offers and what other brands are doing with it. It is basically utilizing flash cs3 in combination with Papervision to Maya. Quite nice.
This is one of the best browser based 3d gaming experiences out there. Scary how the experience is very close to console quality.
The virtual world dust, just like social will do, has started to settle down as companies are figuring out the best usage, while technology adapts to the needs.