{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

There is no technology company in the world quite like IBM.

Its history dates back to 1889 and perhaps no other technology company has been through as much and reinvented itself as many times.

IBM is synonymous with innovation. It produces more patents than any other technology company in the US and it owes much of its success to its focus on R&D. Thus, it's no surprise that a company like IBM would develop a teleportation system.

There's only one problem - IBM's teleportation is not real - it's virtual.

That's correct. The company known as the world leader in supercomputing teamed up with Second Life to make sure that users of virtual worlds can "teleport" their avatars between them.

According to a press release issued by Linden Lab and IBM:

"Teleporting an avatar between platforms has the potential to have a significant impact on the future of virtual worlds. An open standard for interoperability would allow users to cross freely from one world to another in a seamless transfer, just as they can go from one Web site to another on the Internet today."

IBM's Vice President of Digital Convergence, Colin Parris stated:

"Interoperability is a key component of the 3D Internet and an important step to enabling individuals and organizations to take advantage of virtual worlds for commerce, collaboration, education, operations and other business applications. Developing this protocol is a key milestone and has the potential to push virtual worlds into the next stage of their evolution."

Evolution?

By most measurements, virtual worlds like Second Life have not yet caught on, despite the hype.

Even advertisers are recognizing that their Second Life investments were based more on sex-appeal than sanity. Michael Donnelly of Coca-Cola, for instance, admitted that his company's decision to have a Second Life presence "had a lot to do with hype."

The NBA, which entered Second Life in May 2007, had only 1,200 visitors to its island by July 2007. But that paltry number didn't faze NBA commissioner David Stern because he was told "that's very, very good" and in any case, "we just want to be there".

And who can blame him? After all, where else can you find so many NCLs (naked conga lines)?

Putting aside all the futuristic notions about a 3D internet that we interact with much the same way we interact with the real world, the marginal popularity of Second Life and virtual worlds like it makes it difficult to justify why a company like IBM would, at this time, invest in a "joint development project" with Linden Lab to enable users to teleport their avatars between virtual worlds.

Yes I know. IBM employs nearly 390,000 people and an executive with the title "Vice President of Digital Convergence" needs something to do. But I couldn't help but think that the Linden Lab-IBM announcement was emblematic of the state of the technology industry today.

While companies like IBM are still doing groundbreaking research in important areas, it just seems like there's an increasing trend of more effort being made in clearly unimportant areas too.

That's disappointing to me.

To be sure, every era in the history of computer technology has seen its fair share of investments in less-than-useful endeavors. But it's the willingness of so many leaders (like IBM) to participate in today's never ending string of flavor-of-the-month technology fads that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Call me a romantic but when a company that helped lay the foundation for today's world of computer technology announces that it has teleported an avatar between virtual worlds, it's hard not to ask, "Is the technology industry headed in the right direction?"

I'd hope that the minds at IBM know what they're doing on this one but I "think" IBM's project with Linden Lab is a waste of time for such a prestigious company.

I hope IBM proves me wrong and on second thought (no pun intended), if it could somehow invent a teleportation device that transports a real human into Second Life as an avatar, that just might be very worthwhile.

I'll have to send that idea to IBM's Vice President of Physical-Digital Convergence.

Drama 2.0

Published 10 July, 2008 by Drama 2.0

237 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

Avatar-blank-50x50

Martin

A user has a "package of information" on one platform through which they represent themselves, communicate, interact and transact with the world ...

They get to take that package and easily transfer it to another platform, seamlessly...

that actually sounds very cool from a consumer perspective.

See past the fact that the story is about Second Life and dig a bit deeper...

aren't you meant to be promoting leading edge thinking and research in online not dissing it from a surface view point?

disappointed...

over 8 years ago

Drama 2.0

Drama 2.0, Chief Connoisseur at The Drama 2.0 Show

Martin: just because something seems "cool" to you doesn't mean that it's worthy of praise.

Here are the facts:

1. IBM and Second Life have teamed up to create an interoperability protocol that allows data to be transferred between virtual worlds like Second Life.

2. There are lots of protocols that enable "packages of information" to be transferred between two or more different systems. Technology-wise, there's nothing inherently innovative or special about what IBM and Second Life have done.

3. From both a consumer and business standpoint, qualitative and quantitative data shows that virtual worlds have been overhyped. While this is not to say that there is nothing of value to be found in them, at the present time to state that they are anything more than marginally popular entertainment platforms is exaggeration.

Thus, I reach the following conclusion:

1. The "technology" IBM and Second Life have developed is hardly groundbreaking. Frankly, I see nothing more noteworthy about it than a big company's EDI implementation.

2. Because this "technology" has been developed to facilitate interoperability between entertainment platforms in an overhyped market, its value is questionable.

Given all this, I can only surmise that you equate "promoting leading edge thinking" with "praising the application of existing technologies to overhyped markets."

That not "thinking" at all.

over 8 years ago

Drama 2.0

Drama 2.0, Chief Connoisseur at The Drama 2.0 Show

Martin: just because something seems "cool" to you doesn't mean that it's worthy of praise.

Here are the facts:

1. IBM and Second Life have teamed up to create an interoperability protocol that allows data to be transferred between virtual worlds like Second Life.

2. There are lots of protocols that enable "packages of information" to be transferred between two or more different systems. Technology-wise, there's nothing inherently innovative or special about what IBM and Second Life have done.

3. From both a consumer and business standpoint, qualitative and quantitative data shows that virtual worlds have been overhyped. While this is not to say that there is nothing of value to be found in them, at the present time to state that they are anything more than marginally popular entertainment platforms is exaggeration.

Thus, I reach the following conclusion:

1. The "technology" IBM and Second Life have developed is hardly groundbreaking. Frankly, I see nothing more noteworthy about it than a big company's EDI implementation.

2. Because this "technology" has been developed to facilitate interoperability between entertainment platforms in an overhyped market, its value is questionable.

Given all this, I can only surmise that you equate "promoting leading edge thinking" with "praising the application of existing technologies to overhyped markets."

That's not "thinking" at all.

over 8 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Gee. O. Palmer

I like this TELEPORT stuff. I beliave IBM will get it done, that is if its not done already. I cant wait to groove this tech...I was just talking about something like this two days ago with my wife over the phone,,,a tech that would enable me be where I am and still be with her in another city and here IBM is about to give it to us,,Go IBM Go!!!...you did it before, and now you are doing it again. We dey wait you online. Abeg make you do am sharp sharp!!!

over 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Richie R. Hölzken

Thinking of it, I would consider to conclude that they've lost the original thought of Teleportation. Though, on the other hand it's a nice step in the technology as well. Second Life is really populare and even overpopulated. As it will be used, there will follow improvements. And even more techniques. At the end, this could lead us back to the original idea of Teleportation, which would be world changing.

Maybe I'm thinking to much ahead, but can you blame me? I'm 17 years old and I discuss a lot about new technologies. Though due the age of Quantum Technology, it is really time consuming to even create a working virtual Teleportation. The information it will release is everything except unuseable.

over 6 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.