Web 3D (aka Web 3.0) – where is the cyberspace heading?

Linden Lab, the creator of Second Life lays off 30% of the staff. Is the dream of a 3D Web over? Many called this also Web 3.0 and I’m still a strong believer in this as the future of the Internet. What Linden Labs definitively succeed in is the awareness of such a platform for advertising purposes. In the good days of Second Life companies like Dell, IBM, Nike or Reuters created 3D places on Second Life that you could visit but the problem with that is that not many people visited these places (they are still around btw – like dead websites where someone still pays for the hosting). Probably the critical mass of SL (Second Life) users has been too small. Linden Labs made efforts to open their platform but it seems this attempt failed. In my opinion this is key for really making SL the 3D Web. There have been 3D standards like VRML but companies who tried to build a business on it didn’t succeed. A good example is Blaxxun that has been based in Munich. Many years ago (probably around 2002/2003) I applied for an intern job there but they already knew they won’t survive at this time and didn’t hire me. I guess the business model has been just not solid enough. This is how a VRML based world (called CyberTown) looked like… and yes, it has been always empty.

I hope that Linden Labs will survive with their new strategy. There was something about Facebook integration in it. Not sure… maybe it will work. Good luck!

So what’s the future of what is know as Cyberspace? The Google developed O3D format (see screen shot below) or some Adobe supported U3D format that renders in your Adobe Reader? Or even the VRML successor X3D?

Do we need maybe a new device to explore 3D worlds? I’m not really sure about that but I guess it’s really the hardware and the usability! Imagine SL on a 3D TV with a Xbox Kinect control!

I also think that Sony’s SL-clone Home (http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Home/bd-p/b_EN_PS3_Home) has good chances to gain some ground!