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It is 1994 all over again, however, the stakes are even higher this time around. A new struggle for development, acceptance, and control of data delivery is underway in Silicon Valley and throughout the world. Which company will win? What business models are they using? How will the future look? The shift in technology will be so great it is going to affect how you use the world wide web, how you communicate, and even change the equipment you use to access the world wide web.

It's not Netscape and Microsoft that time. Facebook and MySpace have already lost. The new guard is Second Life, Active Worlds, World of Warcaft, IMVU, Shanda, Red 5 Studios and others. It is a rich and robust three dimensional world that could convey information and culture in an effective and engaging way. Within these robust virtual worlds, the only limit is our own imaginations. Virtual technologies are in their nascent growth phase, but are increasing faster than anyone could have ever predicted. A confluence of infrastructure, computer engineering and social behaviour theory is yielding strong new ways to interact and socialize over the Internet. The notion of"goggling into the Metaverse along with your personalized Avatar to get a meet and greet" as called in the futuristic fantasy of Neal Stephenson's novel"Snow Crash" is not far from today's reality. , World of Warcraft (WoW), also IMVU offers a fantastic view into the near future of immersive communications and the following generation browser growth. Watching how people team together to conquer the match struggles in WoW has spawned attention from social interaction to leadership development academics, as well as the Military. The application of immersive environments on learning and education are limitless. In bingo blitz free credits , teamwork and leadership might no longer be a pedagogical exercise comprised to school courses; it is going to be a totally immersive hands-on learning experience where students learn skills in various digital settings and scenarios. The U. S. Army believes in this vision so much that they spent six million dollars in development and research and sponsored"America's Army" video game to train their youth before they ever enter basic training. Ubisoft, the game's developer, wrote that"America's Army" was the"deepest and most realistic military game ever to hit consoles." A little audience by WoW and Shanda standards, the sport has over 30,000 players everyday and can be on Xbox, PlayStation, mobile phones and Game Boy. Another and perhaps better use for the tech is instruction. Hiring recently minted MBAs with little real world experience has always been a sticky point with employers, especially with the current education and ability challenges. What would companies pay to hire an MBA graduate that had spent a few hundred actual hours at Jack Welsh's simulated shoes? And we believed EA's Madden Football was large. In the near future we will be able to teach, test and hone vital skills to produce better knowledge workers and leaders together with the improvements in new immersive browser technology.

Today, the virtual world business versions are in development. WoW has a subscription service at which it charges about twenty dollars each month to login to the virtual dream world. China's Shanda with its Legend of Mir along with other digital possessions has a pay-per usage and subscription versions. IMVU includes a publication version. Its chat environment is so rich and realistic that users real pay for virtual clothes to get their avatar and virtual gifts for others. Active Worlds has taken a more stage centric approach charging for the foundation application for others to develop upon. Second Life has virtual money named Linden dollars which is utilized to pay for service and goods within the virtual world. Linden bucks can be bought with real money. Walking round in Second Life and viewing all the billboard type advertisements does make me consider the Internet's early days where advertisements popped up out of nowhere and there were no usability guidelines or design best practices. But, which version will triumph? There is room for many models, but it's too early to tell that browser will win.

I bought my last background seven decades back and do not plan on buying another. Being tethered is no more an option. Surfing while walking between rooms, booting up at the coffee shop, and logging on at the airport is standard behavior for the majority of us. But with new emerging technologies, our computing habits may change even farther. Myvu and iTheater are creating goggles that job information right in front of your eyes. It's mostly for game consoles and iPod movies now, but it has potential. In the near future, you may have a pair of goggles which have a higher resolution and are lighter than your laptop LCD display, in addition to delivering more privacy while on your plane. Celluon has tech that laser projects a keyboard on any flat surface, eliminating the need for a physical keyboard. With advancements such as these, will our future computers seem much like a soda can hooked up to goggles than the rectangular paperweight of now? Hardware advancements together with the growing interactive digital software will merger to provide us a brand new totally immersive user experience.

One downside is that the most virtual worlds require a large application download and installation. requires its own application, so if you create for Second Life you are confined to Second Life residents and don't have any access to other audiences. The application diversity is a huge drawback for revenue scaling. It harkens the browser back interoperability of the'90s, in which firms had three variations of their sites to accommodate browser differences. But finally, there will be a de facto standard and the winning program will come preloaded in your computer. I am interested in seeing if this shakeout also generates anti-trust litigation.

Will Silicon Valley create the next 3-D interactive browser standard or will China? However, the impact of immersive 3-D virtual worlds communications, social interaction, and instruction may change our lives just as much as the microwave and remote control. . .and perhaps TiVo.