Linden Lab focusing on higher-end systems for Second Life

Second Life's client software is being developed to take advantage of more powerful computers

A senior Linden Lab executive has indicated that Second Life's client software is being developed to take advantage of more powerful computers, but did not rule out future efforts involving low-end systems.

Ginsu Yoon, Linden Lab's VP of business affairs, told The Industry Standard in an interview last week that the "core part" of the Second Life experience were best shown on higher-end computing platforms.

"I know that there's a lot of theory in the industry that what you really ought to be focusing on is the light-weight experiences, Web-inventable experiences, you can run it on any machine, you can run it on mobile devices, or wi-fi networks," Yoon said. However, he said that virtual worlds was headed toward a richer experience requiring more powerful computers. "If you don't show the capabilities that are possible on the high end, I think that you don't really get an opportunity to develop toward where the world is going," he explained.

Yoon was responding to a question of whether Linden Lab was considering low-powered laptop computers called netbooks as platform for Second Life. Yoon acknowledged the increasing market share of laptops, and said that the rise of laptops -- and wireless networks -- had slowed Second Life's adoption. Users with less-powerful laptops and slower wireless connections often report difficulties using Second Life.

"There is a continued movement toward mobility," Yoon said. "And I think netbooks are a much smaller factor than, for example, iPhones, and more powerful handheld devices. ... Those things are certainly things that we are interested in the future. But it's not sort of the core of where we think we develop toward the leading edge."

Yoon dismissed the idea of the Second Life client being dropped in favor of browser-based access. "I know that the common refrain in the industry is 'Oh, it's got to be in a browser, everything has got to be in a browser,' he said. "But there are plenty of experiences that are in a browser, that are supposed to be in a 3D world, and that doesn't do it."

However, Yoon expressed interest in new types of input devices. "your interaction with the computing environment is not always going to be about a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse," he said. "You will have more natural interactions, in terms of gestural interface and the kinds of things that lend themselves very well to interacting in a 3d environment." Yoon predicted "Minority Report-type interfaces" using 3D cameras to translate the movements of users' hands in a virtual world, as well as brainwave devices to control avatars' movements in-world.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags second lifevirtual worlds

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Lamont

The Industry Standard
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?