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Toney, Alabama, United States
Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, XML/X3D/VRML97 Designer, Consultant, Musician, Composer, Writer

Friday, August 8, 2008

Real Applications for Virtual Worlds

There is a drop reported in the interest of CIOs in virtual worlds. The mavens are puzzled. Doesn't everyone realize Virtual Worlds Are the Future and Inevitable?

CIOs are prudent investors. They don't buy what they don't have an RFP with a list of requirements to match.

As said so many times before: 3D assets for long term investments are expensive to own even if cheap to make. The artist colonies in the entertainment industry dominate these discussions and they don't tend to be engineers solving enterprise problems. They build virtual parks and nightclubs. These are perfectly good applications but they do have the same problems: butts in seats. CIOs don't like to have hawk for the crowd. They like customers who've done that for them.

Where you will see a rise is not in the enterprise per se, but in infrastructure maintenance and response planning.

The new generation of virtual worlds mavens have been drinking their own kool-aid for too long and missed the markets where real-time 3D models make sense. A critical missing piece as a result of over focusing on artistic design is reuse of CAD and other building drawing resources that can be used to update the real-time models for emergency applications.

Spend some time studying response planning. If it makes you curious, we can talk about it here.

1 comment:

peterquirk said...

You're right about this, but I think that the applications of the reuse of building CAD information are much broader than emergency response. The emergence of open source Building Information Models (e.g. bimserver.org) will provide a ready mechanism for virtual worlds to consume these CAD designs and contribute to wider shared visualizations of exsiting and future buildings.

It's very easy to imagine a large company modeling its major headquarters buildings in an OpenBIM system and generating virtual worlds assets from them. Employees from other locations could "visit" headquarters and experience the scale of HQ, while meeting with HQ employees in the their virtual offices.

Companies with large art assets like Microsoft could keep track of their assets in the openBIM system and enable the display of the art in the actual location in the rendered building.