For a while now, I have not posted a story about Second Life or other virtual worlds in banking … because there has been no story to tell.
This is because the virtual bank collapses in Second Life during the summer of last year took the shine off this area a little. Although banks are still running internal operational meetings as avatars in there, as are other firms, there just has not been so much buzz about virtual worlds for a while.
Virtual worlds will be coming back with a vengeance, as Techcrunch report three new exciting developments.
The first is that the Electric Sheep Company, who design many of Second Life’s commercial zones, has integrated virtual world capabilities into normal browser based systems.
Called Webflock, the technology looks as good as Second Life, but it works using Flash media and ActiveX controls in a normal browser. No special downloads needed.
Here’s the screen shot from Webflock’s home page:
I like the look and feel of this, and it is worth reading the Electric Sheep Company’s blog, as they are the leaders in this field of future metaverses.
However, there’s now competition as two other services are now available.
First there’s Vivaty Scenes, a virtual world capability built-into Facebook. Here’s a demo of what they do:
Then there’s the new Google service, Lively. Anything from Google is worth checking out, and this may prove to provide the killer app for Virtual Worlds success as a browser-integrated service. Here’s their demo:
Between these three announcements, expect much more from Virtual Worlds in Banking for the next year or two. This is because they are now available without having to download massive megabytes worth of applications to the desktop. In other words, virtual worlds are now fully enabled as web services.
That’s the importance of these developments. Making Virtual available anytime, anywhere, anyplace from any device.
Therefore, expect that the best Virtual Bank Worlds to date – the Q110 Project of Deutsche Bank:
soon to close down, and Wells Fargo’s Stagecoach Island:
will soon be available on a browser near you.