3-D ‘Metaverses’ Will Bloom on TV

Virtual SFI’ve been meaning to do a post for a long time on Google Earth’s community 3-D strategy vs. Microsoft’s “top-down” approach to rolling out 3-D environments — and this isn’t it. But here’s a short post on what will likely happen with TV and 3-D.

Despite Google Earth’s 100+ million downloads, it’s not yet a “mainstream” product. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth 3-D, a browser plug-in, though compelling in many respects, is still too slow, which prevents it too from gaining mainstream adoption and usage for now.

But step back and add to this mix Second Life (and the marketing frenzy associated with it) and you have another piece of this puzzle. And then there’s the graphically rich, bigger-than-Hollywood computer gaming industry. (Hollywood and gaming are coming closer together these days.) Along those lines, Sony announced PlayStation “Home” (LittleBigPlanet) a couple weeks ago, which is a marriage of Second Life, The SIMS, social networks and video gaming proper.

I’ve speculated about how the Internet (and search) will or won’t translate to a TV monitor. But gaming, as mentioned, is already huge. Thus you have a massive (no pun intended) installed base.

I think on TV environments like Google Earth and Virtual Earth will have real traction and prove to be a way to translate the Internet into the living room. They and the virtual worlds will have more bandwidth and perform better for users than they could online. And I believe — say within five to seven years — we’ll see a convergence of commerce/advertising, video, community and local/travel in these environments. The big screen and a big pipe permit a lot of interesting configurations.

Search as a utility will be a piece of this but, as with mobile search as it’s presently constituted, would be somewhat awkward on a TV monitor. Instead, alternative interfaces such as voice and browse environments (especially with gaming consoles) may be the way people navigate a 3-D/TV version of the Internet. However, search or directional media as a metaphor for capture of user intent will very much be a part of these emerging metaverses.


Related: Virtual worlds and avatars and How Second Life Impacts Our First Life. And here’s Nintendo’s version.

Here are older posts of mine on Google Earth: The Emerging Geobrowser and on Microsoft’s experimental Photosynth.


10 Responses to “3-D ‘Metaverses’ Will Bloom on TV”

  1. Quick Takes on Too Many Items « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Joost on AppleTV: very interesting. Here are all the competing devices that will put the Internet on your TV. Again, what will search look like on a TV screen? (Related post here.) […]

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    […] forward about 7 years (give or take) and 3-D and virtual worlds are much more common and can be found on Internet-connected TVs too. Kids have been conditioned to prefer these environments — they’re social networks […]

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    […] be the ultimate collision of gaming, social networking, local content and virtual worlds. It will probably require a bigger pipe (see Internet on TV) for this to be fully realized. But eventually there will be a range virtual […]

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  10. Chris Harvey Says:

    Really marvelous post. Theoretically I could write something like this too, but taking the time and effort to make a good article is a lot of effort…but what can I say….I’m a procrastinater. Good read though.

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