UK-based studio Near has launched Near London
to the business community, a 3D virtual world modeled after the city of London’s retail district and built on middleware developer Qube Software’s Q platform.
Advertised for its flexibility and potential for customization, Q is not only a universal client for the 3D internet, but also a games engine compatible with all the main consoles and operating systems. As a universal client, Q enables users to access different virtual worlds without having to download new software every time.
Near aims to present cities as virtual gateways, targeting retailers and other businesses who want to develop their online presence. Near London
allows users to access virtual worlds for shops from London’s retail district by clicking their doors.
Because Near London
is built on Q’s extensible framework, third parties can add applications to any part of the 3D world and even transport users to separate worlds. The client's flexible architecture means it can also potentially adapt for future needs through new plug-ins.
Near specializes in modeling city destinations and turning them into virtual environments for business, socializing and exploration. The company plans to eventually expand Near London
to cover the City of London and West London, as well as support additional platforms, including Mac, Linux, Wii, Xbox360, PS3 and Mobile.
Said Qube Software CEO and co-founder Servan Keondjian: “For newcomers to real-time 3D it should be stressed that building interactive 3D sites is more challenging than building 2D websites. Q is a serious technical solution, designed for studios that have deep experience of building cutting-edge worlds and games. For this reason we chose Near as our partner to develop a custom platform based on Q for real cities. Near allows less specialised developers access the power of Q for real city 3D applications.”
He continued: “We believe that Q can do for the 3D internet what Netscape did for the old 2D web; make it a seamless experience. It’s a big claim but we don’t make it lightly. It’s taken us 10 years of hard work to get this technology right.”