Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Creating 3D worlds from webpages using ExitReality

This may ultimately prove to be yet another cool but useless idea (but what else is new from me?), but I've being playing with a service called ExitReality. It's 3D virtual world similar to SecondLife, but is browser based similar to Smallworlds or the now defunct Lively (backed by Google). In terms of functionality it's less well developed than say SecondLife, but you can do the normal things, chat, run around, and to some extent customize your avatar.

What makes it unique is that it automatically generates a 3D world from each webpage (I've seen 2d versions of this which allow users to see and contact each other if they are on the same page), creating a virtual 3d world or room for each page. Users with a browser plugin can visit these auto-generated worlds. If you "own" the page you can further customize the page.

But how does it auto-generate a 3D world from a webpage? See videos below. The first thing I tried was to generate one using our library home page, results are as below

As you can see it converts links and pictures into the 3d world.

Possible use cases?  A fun introduction of your library webpage? A treasure hunt?

Most people would probably try google search results but being a librarian, another thing I tried was library catalogue results. Below we see a search of our library catalogue - Encore with search terms "Stated preference"

Very nice "Tron like" effect.

I also tried it with our libraries Flickr page, as well as SlideShare pages

I also tried YouTube channels, it gave me an interesting movie theater like 3d room but I couldn't play the videos?

Certain pages seems to be specially customized to work with ExitReality, in particular look at Warner Bros  and social networks like Facebook , Bebo and MySpace, but I couldn't seem to sign in from the 3d world.

I've being trying to see how best to use this, auto-generating pages from "Recently added pages", Amazon pages etc.

One interesting idea I think is using a lifestream page. So you can walk through events of your life in 3D with a friend (here's a different kind of 3d lifestream).

I tried with FriendFeed but results weren't good. I also tried with various Lifestreaming services and wordpress templates but none looks particularly good.

I'm just playing around with this and it's unlikely to come to anything, though I suspect one would have to customize html so it would look good in ExitReality autogenerated pages. Or is there some other page that naturally translates well that I haven't thought of?

So far, those who commented weren't impressed at the uses I tried so far

Still it was cool enough to be mentioned on the SlideShare Blog
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