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Back To The Future


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A review of the most innovative technologies that were launched in the Second Life® environment and how it completely modified and transformed it.

A review of the most innovative technologies that were launched in the Second Life® environment and how it completely modified and transformed it.

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  • 1. “Back To The Future”
    • Gwyneth Llewelyn
    • Innovation Week ’08
    • Orange Island, September 29, 2008
  • 2. What innovations changed Second Life® completely ?
    • Clues to find them:
      • “Disruptive innovation”: suddenly a host of new things start to become common, when they were unthinkable before
      • Fads that never go out of ‘fashion’
  • 3. Since we just have one hour....
    • ... we’ll focus on the kinds of innovations that unforeseenly changed the way we think about Second Life®
    • Often Linden Lab introduced them with completely different goals
    • Residents, however, transformed them and created something new
  • 4. The Economy
    • Second Life started... without the L$!
    • Allowed residents to exchange goods and services using a micropayment currency
    • Things like the LindeX (after the Gaming Open Market exchange) were unplanned and unexpected!
  • 5. Lessig’s IP-on-a-prim
    • Intended to allow deeper-grained control in collaborative building
    • Instead: it made SL an one-of-a-kind virtual world, the single one featuring only user-generated content!
  • 6. Animations
    • Introduced in June 2004
    • Linden Lab thought about “emotes” (inside gestures)
    • But... it was used by the dance industry
    • ... and made the whole sex industry go through a Renaissance!
  • 7. Flexible prims (flexies)
    • A nice addition to tortured prims allowing new types of building elements (e.g. flags, awnings...)
    • Totally used by the fashion industry!
    • The same applies, of course, to sculpties
  • 8. Web connectivity
    • June 2004: XML-RPC allows webservers to communicate with in-world objects (before that: email)
    • Planned to allow simple interactions with remote databases
    • ... but we got web-based shops, market exchanges, social site mashups...
  • 9. Voice
    • Planned to “keep up with the competition” who used voice for gaming purposes
    • But we got business conferences, seminars, live music, even talk shows...
    • LL is the world’s second largest VoIP operator after Skype (in just one year!)
  • 10. Streaming media
    • Perhaps thought to allow people to tell their friends what they were listening to...
    • Generated a huge music economy, where DJs and live musicians now work full time, and radios and in-world TV stations offer regular features
  • 11. Resident innovations!
    • Mostly they addressed SL’s limitations by clever tweaking of certain features, exploiting bugs, or thinking out-of-the-box
    • Some have become so popular and universal that residents think it was “planned this way”!
  • 12. The Ugly Avatar
    • Newer generations will never remember Ruth any more, but...
    • we all have prim hair, shoes, and skirts
    • animation overriders & dance bracelets
    • avatar radars
    • skins
  • 13. Extending Second Life
    • If Linden Lab were any other company (think Kaneva!), these would be part of their services:
      • Snapzilla
      • The online webshops
      • SL Profiles
      • LindeX is just LL’s clone of the GOM
  • 14. libOpenMV
    • Formerly known as libsecondlife, this is a re-engeneering solution to talk to SL without using a 3D viewer
    • It brought us CopyBot and LandBots... but also all sorts of new ways of get rid of LL’s imposed limits on LSL
    • Statistics, metrics, mapping, invites...
  • 15. The future?...
    • As we will see later, new technologies might become the next ‘disruptive technology’
  • 16.
    • Thanks for your time!
    • Feel free to IM me or email me at [email_address]