Last week I wrote about the growing trend of hosting virtual conferences in 3D virtual worlds like Second Life. If you didn’t see it, check out the demo video of virtual conference embedded in that post. It’s way cool.
Ultimately, I think whether virtual conferences go mainstream will depend on whether virtual worlds go mainstream. Some people like Neal Locke, who sparked this conversation believe that in the next 10-20 years the entire web will go from the 2D space it is now to 3D and eventually everything online will be experienced as a 3D space.
That seem at least plausible. After all 20 years ago nobody was on the web, and now just about every organization views a website as essential.
But in order for the web to transition from 2D to 3D, I think at least 4 things will need to happen.
1) Standards – There will need to be some standardization with 3D browsers/worlds/avatars. Either that or Second Life will become to the 3D web what Facebook is to social networking, a proprietary platform that everyone has to submit to because everyone there.
2) A compelling case – The case still needs to be made that a 3D web is better than a 2D web. What does a 3D version of this blog, or CNN, or my doctor’s website look like? And how is that better than the current 2D version?
3) Search – There needs to be a Google for the virtual world. Google revolutionized the web by making it easy to find whatever we’re looking for. I couldn’t find squat in Second Life with their search tool.
4) Better user interface – 3D worlds need to become more intuitive so people can become comfortable and competent more quickly and easily. Improved tutorials would be helpful. A virtual training center would be ideal.
What do you think? Have you spent time in virtual worlds like Second Life? Is the web going to become entirely 3D within the next 20 years? And what do you