IBM and Linden Lab have announced that they will collaborate jointly on new technologies and methods based on open standards for virtual worlds. Together, the companies say they'll be exploring the the interoperability of virtual world platforms and technologies in a series of industry-wide efforts aimed at expanding the possibilities in online worlds and the 3D Web.
IBM and Linden Lab plan to work together on a series of issues relating to integrating virtual worlds with the current Web, driving security-rich transactions of virtual goods and services, working on interoperability among worlds, and building stability and service into virtual world platforms. All of these initiatives, the companies say, will help make virtual worlds more accessible for enterprise.
The companies released a list of specific projects, outlining the initiatives on which they'll collaborate: "Universal" Avatars, which aims to allow users to transport the same avatar and all its attributes among multiple worlds; creating requirements for standards-based software to facilitate secure asset transactions in online worlds, and improving platform stability and ease of use to accelerate user adoption and enable high-volume business use.
Other initiatives include the formation of open standards for interoperability with the current Web, including open source development of interoperable formats and protocols. In other words, IBM and Linden aim to develop standards to allow users to travel persistently among virtual worlds, the way we navigate from one web page to another on the Internet today.
Colin Parris, vice president of Digital Convergence at IBM said, "As the 3D Internet becomes more integrated with the current Web, we see users demanding more from these environments and desiring virtual worlds that are fit for business. IBM and Linden Lab's working together can help accelerate the use and further development of common standards and tools that will contribute to this new environment."
Added Linden Lab's vice president of Business Affairs Ginsu Yoon, "We have built the Second Life Grid as part of the evolution of the Internet. Linden and IBM shares a vision that interoperability is key to the continued expansion of the 3D Internet, and that this tighter integration will benefit the entire industry. Our open source development of interoperable formats and protocols will accelerate the growth and adoption of all virtual worlds."