Linden Lab and IBM Teleport Avatars Between Second Life and OpenSim
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, and IBM have demonstrated virtual world interoperability by teleporting avatars between the Second Life Preview Grid and an OpenSim virtual world server. The Second Life Grid is a development platform created by Linden Lab, and OpenSim is an open source server for hosting 3D virtual environments.
The two companies are exploring ways to expand the capabilities of virtual worlds and develop platforms and protocols that will make these environments appropriate for enterprise use. Interoperability is a key facet of this effort.
"IBM and Linden Lab both support an interoperable approach and see the industry moving to an interconnected model in the future," said Ginsu Yoon, VP of business affairs at Linden Lab. "Interoperability is not only important for enterprise use but also has the potential to improve overall scalability and stability."
To facilitate the continued development of this interoperability function, technical details will be made public. The protocol interactions used for the teleport will be documented on the Web site of the Architecture Working Group (AWG), an open forum that is designing and publishing the Open Grid Protocol. IBM plans to offer the extensions developed for OpenSim to the OpenSim community, and Linden Lab plans to make the extensions developed for the Second Life viewer available as open source. To foster testing and further development, a test grid will be made available by Linden Lab.
The interoperability protocol was tested and deployed on a test environment involving the Second Life Preview Grid and an OpenSim server. The companies haven't announced plans or a schedule for when it might be made available on the main Second Life Grid.
A video of Linden Lab and IBM's development teams successfully teleporting avatars is available here.
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About the author: Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.