Saturday, October 04, 2008

BT Group presence in Second Life

Earlier this week I blogged about the AvaTalk project which British Telecom ran in Second Life. I wasn't really positive about this project, which is about making phonecalls from Second Life to the Real World. I kept looking for positive things, and yes, there's more to BT in SL than first meets the eye.

First, let me introduce the players in the arena, which off course starts off with British Telecom.

"BT Group plc (formerly British Telecommunications plc) which trades as BT(previously known as British Telecom and still occasionally referred to by that name) is the privatised UK state telecommunications operator. It is the dominant fixed line telecommunications and broadband Internet provider in the United Kingdom. BT operates in more than 170 countries and almost a third of its revenue now comes from its Global Services division.

BT Group is the largest communications service provider in the United Kingdom. It is also one of the largest communication companies in the world." [Wikipedia]

British Telecom worked with Clarity International to create their Second Life experiences (note the plural).

Clarity International is a global design and communication management consultancy firm, headquartered near Milan in Italy, with offices in the United Kingdom and USA. specializing in helping clients simplify complex propositions and problems through focused expert consulting and visualisation of strategies, key concepts, products and services. (Clarity website)

Viewing Clarity's portfolio they have done quite a number of projects with BT, not only virtual, but in the real world as well. One of these projects is BT Contact - Your Personal Communication Hub! in which Clarity has been selected to work on the UI designs of BT Contact, a new way to manage all your IM, Email, VOIP and SMS communications on the web. If you link that to the AvaTalk project it starts to make a little sense.

BT Tradespace

Aside from the AvaTalk concept they have created a number of projects in Second Life. First of which is the BT Tradespace project.

BT Tradespace is an online community incorporating a business directory and marketplace. On its site you can buy and sell products and services, find a business and network with other like-minded individuals. Unlike a conventional business directory, BT Tradespace members can use social media tools such as blogs, photos, videos and podcasts to promote their products and services. For prospective customers, it provides the opportunity to get to know a business before buying from them and Clarity has brought this existing Tradespace into Second Life.

Read more on the BT Tradespace Trial on the SL Tradespace website.

BT 21 CN Innovation

Another Second Life project BT has done with Clarity takes place on an island named BT 21CN Innovation, which I think stands for 21st Century Innovation. In thisproject the virtual environment of Second Life is usedto explain the reuse concept. Avatars interact with a virtual shopping basket of capabilities to understand them, and view how these capabilities are "mashed-up" to create new products/services.

BT 21CN Innovation - Second Life - The funniest videos are a click away

A lot of my earlier scepsis has been taken away after digging into the other projects BT has done. They weren't the first of the telecom providers to dive into Second Life, they were probably the last one. Not everything they are doing is a smashing success, but at least they are trying to work out what they can do with their core business in virtual worlds, rather than use it as a marketing toy.


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Thursday, October 02, 2008

BT AvaTalk - TTYL

Sometime Mid 2007, at the height of the hype, we saw a number of telecom providers digging into Second Life. Now, these first wave pioneers are slowly moving away, such as Vodafone. Others still have got no clue as what to do in Second Life. When I talked to someone from KPN earlier this year, they were in Second Life, fiddled around, explored a bit, but couldn't find any real use yet. However, what they did do was setup a messaging center that could send SMS from SL to RL.

So, I was kind of surprised when I learned British Telecom ran a trial with inworld-outworld communications, a trialperiod which just ended though. They set up a splashing website called BT AvaTalk.

Interested to see where this would lead, I browsed the website to see where I could find BT in Second Life. Finally, I ended up in the FAQ section:

Where can I find the BT AvaTalk Phone Box?
You will only be able to find BT AvaTalk Phone Boxes in select number of exclusive Second Life regions

Well, that doesn't lead me anywhere either. Let's immerse then and seek out the goodies... The review at Digital Urban pretty much sums it up though:

The movie below provides full details into a service that we cant quiteunderstand - sure the main pull is that its free, but take away the free aspect and why would you ever want to call someone in the 'real world' from Second Life rather than just use a 'real' phone on your desk or a service such as Skype?

BT AvaTalk - Second Life - video powered by Metacafe

We tend to get a bit of flack at times for using Second Life in our research, but we fully believe that there is a strong argument for these collaborative environments in the realm of geographic and architectural visualisation. However, we still cant see why we would want to pick up the phone in Second Life to ring someone, as we obviously are not actually in the environment.

Perhaps we are missing something on this one...

I wouldn't be that sceptic either. I think it is a road we must pursue, even if it has no immediate use. Eventually it is about fast changing ways of communication. Who would have predicted we would stream microblogs to our mobile phone a few years ago? If we do move to a world like Second Life to do real business meetings calling in and out to the Real World might be very usefull for the ones left behind in a Traffic Jam, or could not be present for any other reason.

For now, it's TTYL (talk to you later) though, and I'll pick Orange as the most successful telecom provider in Second Life. There is activity there, for instance with the currently running Innovation Week.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Basic Belgian Business Builds

Up till now I haven't seen much Businesswise activity from the Belgians in Second Life, although there is a pretty active Belgian community present in Second Life, which shows in a pretty large amount of Belgian cities to be recreated in Second Life; We've got several Brussels / Bruxelles sims, Brugge, Gent etcetera. What I'm told though is that most attention still goes to entertainment and mature content.

One of the first Belgian companies to rez was Dutch / Belgian radio station Q-Music (which has already left Second Life again). A second was telecom provider Belgacom and in november 2007 there was the Keytrade bank (which I blogged just before the weekend). When I published the updated version of the RL Brand Directory though, I was prompted with a number of Belgian firms on the grid. Most of these aren't on dedicated sims, so it's no wonder I haven't spotted them.

First of these firms are on the bordering sims Chopin and Beethoven, and are build by Metapartners.

MetaPartners NV currently owns 15 islands in Second Life®, making it the largest sim owner in Belgium: Beethoven, (home to Packaging & Converting Essentials), Grieg (home to MetaPartners itself), Chopin (home to UniPartners) as well as Vivaldi Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, which are the R&D areas of UniPartners. Other islands are Albinoni, Bizet, Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Haydn, Ravel and Brahms.

The companies in question are Packaging & Converting Essentials - which deal in... guess what: Packaging and Converting -

Packaging & Converting Essentials has been using Second Life® for almost a year now as an additional communications tool to its RSS feeds, newsletters and website and has expanded its already global reach to a virtual environment, where residents can read the newsheadlines and access the
website directly.

and the second one, UniPartners, is an IT Service provider.

UniPartners NV, with over 80 IT specialists, uses the virtual world as a recruitment area, a meeting place for its own employees, a place for staff meetings, trainings and conferences. In addition to that, UniPartners NV also has a competence and R&D center.

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed when I visited the sims. It's all pretty basic. Here are a few snapshots:

There are a few other Beglian firms I intend to visit, I hope they'll be more like the Keytrade and Belgacom builds than these firms who probably don't have a clue to what the potential of virtual worlds can do for these companies.

SLURL Unipartners:

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nokia: Connecting Communities

Many telecom companies have ventured into Second Life in the past year. Usually they've played with the environment without much success. Once I noticed the Nokia sim and went over for a quick visit, my first impression was that it wasn't much different then what the other Telco's have done. The longer I stayed, the more positive I got though.

There are several Nokia Islands to be found, usually the Nokia-Siemens combination, but these aren't accessible. yet. This blog will focus on the Nokia island, in a later stadium I may blog Nokia Italia, which focusses on the Nokia Trendlabs.

"Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications corporation, focused on wired and wireless telecommunications, with 112,262 employees in 120 countries, sales in more than 150 countries and global annual revenue of 51.058 billion euros as of 2007. It is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile telephones: its global device market share was about 40% in Q4 of 2007. Nokia produces mobile phones for every major market segment and protocol, including GSM, CDMA, and W-CDMA (UMTS).

Nokia's subsidiary Nokia Siemens Networks produces
telecommunications network equipments, solutions and services.

Nokia plays a very large role in the economy of Finland: it is by far the largest Finnish company, accounting for about a third of the market capitalization of the Helsinki Stock Exchange (OMX Helsinki) as of 2007. "

The first thing I received on the island which opened in february was a notecard which read:

Welcome to Nokia Island!

Have fun and relax!

Visit the beach and take a swim, and get a yourself a brand new free Jetski!


Enjoy the spectacular experience of being inside a real Holodeck.


You can view some models is the shop, from where you can 'Zoom in' on the object in the designated productrooms. Use the Shop sign to return to the store.

(Note the immense typo in the virtual devices part - I know my blog isn't typo-free, but this is a corporate build, come on!)

The second thing I saw was the Auditorium Maximus (left), which didn't really impress me. With this mindset I turned towards the Nokia shop (right) and thought it to be just one of those things.

Inside the shop it got a little better. On the ground floor it focussed on the usual promotion stuf, but it offered huds and flying phones as well.

The second floor has a phonestand in which you can give feedback on the various models

When I walked out of the shop, my view was largely blocked by a large peacock, which stood in front of a rental sign. "Oh no... not rentals," was my first thought.

Then suddenly I noticed the virtual representation of the Burj Al Arab, the world's tallest Dubai, which had several empty floors, several Nokia branded offices (mainly Scope Cleaver Design) and finally I noticed a MetaLife office. Here I got my first impression that they are really trying to fit their slogan "Connecting People" to this virtual world.

With that in mind I suddenly looked upon the build with new eyes. The whole of the sim is set up as a beach resort with various huts and bars along the inner lake. Although the main landmark is the Burj al Arad from Dubai, the statues from Easter Island dominate the scenery. The beachhuts are filled with benches, fireplaces and jacuzzi's to meet up. The sitting animations are always in couples. It's about connecting people, not sitting alone.

Finally, I took a ride with the Jetski and noticed a Greenie on the sim as well.

It wasn't really busy at the sim, so I can't really tell if it's a big success. To me it looks like they've managed to take their presence a step beyond their competition, but I don't know if it will be enough to really start connecting communities. It will probably depend on the type and frequency of events they will plan at the island.


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Sunday, March 02, 2008

NEC calls from SL, but says what?

Last wednesday I picked up a press release by Nec, stating they are going to connect Second Life to real life with their SCI Platform solution;

NEC Corporation, a provider of Next Generation IP Voice and Media service solutions, announced that their intention to connect the virtual world, namely "Second Life" to the real world using their SCI Platform solution. SCI Platform,
which incorporates components of NEC's Service Delivery Platform (SDP) for providers of IP voice and multimedia services, will liberate currently closed virtual world communications and connect them to the real world by using a unique `NEC communicator` placed in Second Life world.

Virtual to real world cell phone calls
NEC's vision for "real world gateways", as illustrated by this demonstration, helps its customers to find new Web 2.0 revenue streams by taking critical "virtual to real world"
interface roles in terms of ubiquitous communication, payment, media distribution and context distribution. NEC will further communicate their vision for IP Voice and Media innovation, convergence and service evolution through other exciting demonstrations.

SCI Platform at Mobile World Congress
At NEC's booth, Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, visitors can enter Second Life and control an avatar to make calls to another person in the real world by using the
NEC communicator. Additionally, visitors can send text oriented messages such as SMS, email and IP Messaging from Second Life to the real world.

Second Life phone calls
The NEC Communicator will be located at "Tokutoku Pocket Island" in the Second Life world during Mobile World Congress 2008. NEC launched "NEC Island", "Tokutoku Pocket Island" and several other virtual points of presence in September 2007 to initiate branding, marketing and new business opportunities activities in the virtual world.

We've seen claims made in the past about unique stuff in a Virtual World. I have noticed NEC island before, I've never been able to enter at that time, and later I just simply forgot about them., so this time I went down to see what is going on.

The Tokutoku sim certainly looks futuristic. Nec really is communicatiing a whole lot, but I don't have a clue as to what they're saying as it's all in Japanese. Please comment if you know what the island is about ;)

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Geekend, Backend & Open-end

Orange Geekend.

Trough Ogoglio Trevor Smith's twitter stream I noticed phone company Orange had organised an interesting meeting on Scalability and called it the ‘Orange Geekend’. It was a rather interesting technical update by PhD John Plevyak on scalability. The obvious thing in the future of Virtual Worlds is in cloudcomputing but Plevyak suggested some of its load will go back to the user in peer 2 peer sharing of CPU power. The meeting was interesting, yet a little out of place. It would have sutied better in a natural habitat, like Intel...

Xeon 5148 upgrade for Linden Lab

... but Intel was celebrating a nice new deal as Linden Lab purchased a nice load of new Xeon 5148 servers. Starting February 1 you can upgrade your sim from class 4 to class 5. Upside is you get better performance, downside is rentals go up from $ 195 to $ 295 monthly (US Dollars).

Residents didn't take that rise very well and reacted heavily on the Linden Blog, and dearly want Linden Lab to open the source of the servercode shortly. This will make islands a lot cheaper and will give users and companies alike better opportunities to experiment with Virtual Worlds.

Linden loves Open Source

Linden Lab did react to the user comments by stating:

‘we’d dearly like to open-source the servers’

Which sounds pretty hopefull, but...

‘The big problem is that in the current architecture, servers are trusted. Identity information, ownership information — all that is stored on the servers, and in a closed-source, behind-the-firewall environment, we can communicate between the servers securely. Trust, identity, connectedness — all of these are huge problems.’

However, I've already seen infrastructure designs that would make this possible. The plan is on the table, so please don't hesitate to make it happen.

(The Grid Now - Tao Takashi)

(The next Grid - Tao Takashi)

... we'll have to be patient though. I remember Linden Lab's Joe Miller stating that Second Life has no future as long as there's only one company controlling the grid. Outsourcing or Opensourcing seems to be question for Linden Lab as it is said that Linden Lab does want to open up its sourcecode --but only to a select group of companies (often mentioned names include Google and IBM).

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alcatel Lucent

It's been a while since I've visited a good corporate build. I have to be mild nowadays since our own Sogeti island opened up. On the other hand, that was a DIY job and we didn't hire a big MDC. Alcatel Lucent did, as they brought in Millions of US to immerse in Second Life.

Alcatel originally is a French telecom hardware company doing a lousy 18 billion Euro a year. They make pretty good stuff too. I've worked with Alcatel stuff before and a friend of mine just told me last week he purchased the Alcatel Unified Communications suite for his company.

Millions of Us did a very good job on the build again... at least, the quality of the build lived up to my expectations. Great texturing, quality stuff, but lacks innovation. If you hire a big name in the industry, I'm sure you've got the intention to build a community in Second Life; which in this day and age means you have to have gadgets and entertainment. That I didn't see at Alcatel Lucent.

What I saw was a purely functional build, with corporate information and an auditorium. If it is functional though, the engagement has to come from events, but there wasn't a schedule to be found. The only community-gathering-tool used here is a competition to do xtreme innovation (more at the bottom). So in short, a class act by Millions of Us, but not one that I'm about to revisit


Alcatels' Xtreme Rip-off: Contest Guidelines


Imagine it is the year 2017 and you have the power to create the ideal technology and devices that would fit your lifestyle in your virtual and real-world lives. Technology that would allow you to socialize, communicate, entertain yourself and your friends, get and share information and content, and/or manage appliances and devices in your home.

The Alcatel-Lucent Second Life Island is all about imagining the future and making it happen now. We are opening up our sandbox to the residents of Second Life to inspire them to come up with the future of what the next generation of wireless can bring. This is a call for Xtreme innovation!


  • Latency (lag) problems are a thing of the past (wireless and wireline)
  • Devices are creative flexible and can be designed to meet your needs (oh, and they are affordable too)
  • Wireless streaming of audio and video in real time for unlimited time periods with quality levels equal to the best HDTV
  • Always-on wireless connection with simultaneous use of both voice and data
  • Or how about having your household appliances, car, laptop, and mobile devices have the ability to talk to each other and send data remotely (and yes, this is all really easy to do)
    We want you to submit your ideas! Show us the awesome device or technology that would just make your Second Life…or real life, so much better.

Enter our “Next Generation Wireless Design Contest” for a chance to come up with the future and a chance to be noticed. In addition, you can win up to 50,000 Lindens. Your entries can be submitted to Alcatel-Lucent in accordance with the following guidelines. By submitting an entry, you agree that the official contest terms and conditions, which can be viewed at [enter web address here], will be applicable to and govern the contest and your submission.

Winning entries will be displayed in our showcase center on Alcatel-Lucent Island.

Contest Guidelines:

  • What: Enter one or several design prototypes for a functional device (gadget, HUD, wearable item, video) that makes Second Life or real life more enjoyable.
  • When: Entries must be submitted by December 1, 2007.
  • How: Submit design, notecard, video (flash, wmv. Mov) or prototype to Alcatel-Lucent Next Generation Design submissions display (located on the Main Plaza ). Include a note card with design description and functionality. • All Entries will be confirmed within 48 hrs, and will become the property of Alcatel-Lucent.
  • Prizes: First Place winner gets 50,000 Lindens and the chance to have their design built or displayed as an ALU island asset. Three runner ups will each get 20,000 Lindens
  • Judges: Millions of Us, Alcatel-Lucent

Submissions can be dropped to the pod post box or given to Hilary Millionsofus.Confirmation will be given within 24hrs.

Crowdsourcing is cool. Crowdsourcing means you draw ideas from the crowd, the general public. This isn't crowdsourcing anymore, this is a rip off. If you've got a great idea about the next generation computers or mobile phones, find yourself a trusting partner and have your intellectual rights properly documented and legally recorded, and don't sell them off for a lousy 200 USD from which Alcatel could make millions of USD (no pun intended).

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Saturday, October 27, 2007


A number of telecom providers have immersed in Second Life in the past year, including (Dutch) KPN, Vodaphone and T-Mobile. Now we've got Orange. As Orange is somewhat the national color of the Netherlands, some think it's another Dutch company. Here's a little from Aleister who sorted it out:

The company history is somewhat convoluted, but it was acquired as the mobile phone (cellphone) arm of French communications giant, France Telecom, in 2001. Since 2006 it has taken a broader role, as the global brand in front of many of the parent company's services - in particular, internet.

The folks over at Metaversatility are responsible for the build, and it shows. It is of superb quality. It is a double sim build which is very open and green. If I'd list the features of this island, you'd say it's nothing special, nothing new.

In this build you will find the usual stuff: Auditorium, workspace / meeting room, some info spaces and some spaces to chill. The quality of this build is that it's not all jammed together in a real-life office building but uses the option that a virtual world has to offer. The spaces are set up in an outdoor scene with lots of trees, water and small hills. You won't find a rooftop here and you can just fly in to wherever you want to be. For those who are still a little awkward with flying around, there are also paths that lead you to the various spaces.

There's a few things that are worth checking out. There's a massive sound sculpture blocking your path (should you choose to walk the path). There's also a hangglider if you don't want to navigate yourself.

The Orange venue opened up just yesterday with the following launchparty:

8:00 am SLT - Exploration of the island

10:00 am SLT - DJ Doubledown on the Lower Plaza

11:00 am SLT - Slim Warrior

12:15 pm SLT - Clint

For more on the orange buid there are excellent pictures at KZero and also a good story at Aleister's Ambling in Second Life.


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Monday, July 30, 2007

Telecom Italia brings San Siro

I just picked up a notice on the Dutch Second Life site on Telecom Italia Mobile. Telecom Italia subsidiary, Alice, comes to Second Life with a 4 sim strong build making it about the 12th telecom and broadband provider to immerse.

The venue is brought to Second Life by ISN (Image Solutions Network) which have their office next to the TIM-sims. As we speak there's a lot of activity going on over there, so probably a launch party. Due to my limited knowledge of Italian i thought it best to steer clear of that gig.

The TIM-sims are build around a central venue, the Alice office which is crown-shaped and lies at the intersection of the four sims. Throughout the sims several other office buildings appear.

Telecom Italia is showing that there are several ways of translating its business to the Metaspace. Throughout the sims you will find futuristic phonebooths to communicatie with Real Life and from their Alice broadband division they are bringing Italy's most popular sports; Soccer and Formula 1 racing.

According to the SLNN Alice plans on not only streaming soccermatches from the San Siro stadium (AC Milan and Inter Milan) but also play virtual matches, with a special Heads Up Display (HUD) being developed:

"While some soccer stadiums, most notably KPN's Ajax Arena, and Inter of Milano have featured broadcasts of soccer games, Telecom Italia's sim promises the first full game soccer animation, using a script and a heads up display (HUD) so that users can actually play.

We will organize real tournaments, both for soccer and for car and moto racing,” Mattia Crespi, ISN's CEO said. Alice offers online service selling videos on demand. Videos will be available at the Alice island for free, along with many videos taken from Dailymotion, an Alice video-sharing service similar to Youtube, Crespi says."

For this video on demand venue Alice worked out a fly-in movietheatre (pic right)


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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Nintendo - Xbox and Playstation sighted in SL

First of all a few random islands I've spotted today. One is a new telecom company in SL, Swisscom (Telecom provider from Switzerland) (SLURL). Aside from this sure thing there are two islands look to be holding new business as well, Generali (Banking)(SLURL) and Carpe Diem (Beds of Sweden) (SLURL) may also hold new businesses.

Secondly I ran into a cluster of islands that bring a promise of fierce competition, these islands are called:

  1. Nintendo
  2. Nintendo Wii
  3. Microsoft Xbox
  4. Sony
  5. Sony Playstation
  6. Sega

Finally, Sony has been present with its music division, Sony BMG at the Millions of Us cluster island 'Media' but looks like they're gearing up as well in the Japanese quarters with a sim called Sony Home Pictures (SLURL).

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Holland SL: KPN

Another Dutch company opened shop in Second Life, this time it's the eldest Telco company of the Netherlands, KPN. Their sim is half finished, but already heavily used by KPN employees.

The Dutch Secondlife.NL blog reports that KPN employees went out to STRIKE on the SL island to get better working conditions and salary.
The build is centered around the KPN logo, 3 colored domes, of which only the green one is in use yet. The others are under construction. Inside the green dome a few standard features; info and auditorium things, a few gadgets like waterski's.

A nice feature is the Text Messaging Gadget which allows you to send 3 SMS text messages to first life at the price of L$ 150.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dutch Law wont Block Second Life

Dutch tech webzine reports that the Dutch Minister of Justice won't force ISP's to block childpornography sites. A special note is made that the Justice department wont fix laws on 'virtual childporn' in Second Life either.

Earlier this it was reported that provider UPC would block a number of websites, in accordance with a list supplied by the KLPD, the national Police departments. Not much later KPN went along too. In March there were questions asked on virtual (child) pornography in the Dutch parliament.

Now the minister said that the providers have shown to be social consious and he does not deem it necessary to come up with regulation.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Belgacom softlaunch

Today I stumbled into Belgacom by accident. I've seen this sim on an earlier trip last month, but then I couldn't get in. But this time I could.

According to Alain Gufler, Belgacom's Marketing Manager the sim opened up May 24 and they're now in softlaunch mode to find some User Acceptance. In the past days they've already seen more than 100 visitors, mostly from Spain looking for Football (soccer for our us readers).

To my question if that wasn't a serious image problem, the answer was quite simple. Belgacom isn't sponsoring a football team, but it is one of their cornerstones for their Broadcasting activities, so that's why it's in their search string.
The sim is build radiating from a central point towards 4 domes, representing Belgacoms productlines: Television, Telecom, Mobile and Internet. Pulsing beams across the walkways symbolise their convergence to crossover mobile television and so on.
It was nice to get some personal attention and explanation of the sims build, and though the guided tour is a smooth ride (available in English, Dutch and French), it's a bit of a long stretch at 5 minutes.
Finally there's a maze which will probably take about 10 minutes to figure out first time, top time right now is 2:07. Fastest labyrinth killer will receive some great freebees, as long as they're Belgian residents.
Now, shortly on the build itself. It's a decent build, no prim-jitter and nice fresh colorings. However, while I dig their philosophy on convergence, there's something missing. It misses immediate active participation or something I just can't put my finger on directly.
Last detail is that Belgacom has hired a Belgian Concent Creation company... I forgot to ask which.


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Sunday, April 15, 2007


Google is looking for the next level in their Search Engine development. They have started an experiment with voice recognition, enabling people to search Google by telephone when you don't have a computer or internet connectin at hand. Google does the search and gives you the results, if so desired per sms.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Sony Ericson

Just 3 blocks away from Second Life's Amsterdam you'll find the Sony Ericson sim. On the one hand SL-Amsterdam is not really the type of sim a bonafide corp would want to have as a neighbour, but on the other hand it does provide an enourmous amount of traffic.

For people looking on the map for Amsterdam, the Sony Ericson sim is hard to miss.

The SE sim itself is not fully exploited as most big-corp-sims, just one small shop stands amid tropical flora. Clean info-desks inform you of SE's latest gadgets and the good old "Finish the following sentence..." competition found its way into SL, giving visitors the chance of winning an SE W880i phone.

Deadcenter is a dancefloor in SE Logo format, with a DJ table next to it. Well, you be the virtual jockey (the VJ ?) and choose from the huge collection of records hovering over the dancefloor.

From a design point of view it's a small and clean design without much sticky content.
Certainly SE has jumped on the hype and wanted presence without much understanding of this virtual world. We'll give them credit for being in time to catch the hype-ride earlier this year but I do hope they're actively thinking on major redecoration in the near future.

The SE sim lies close to most Rivers Run Red projects, so they've probably had a hand in this one too.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007


Early february the Vodafone sim went online, shortly before I opened this blog.
Now, two months later I noticed that Vodafone was still missing.

The sims is built around the Vodafone logo, but to much Alice in Wonderland style in my opinion.
An auditorium, an info center and a goodiecorner are the standard ingredients, but the sim leaves room for visitors to stick some pictures to the wall of an iglo.

With giant drums, horns and a circus act skyhigh-dive-into-a-small-bucket I certainly have to say that Vodafone has an original design, but it doesn't invite me to come back either.

Rivers Run Red are the producers of this sim.

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Monday, March 26, 2007


T-Mobile launched their SL island on the CeBit show in Germany.

The 2 islands share a common "tropical isle" theme, but serve 2 different functions. First, there's the information and events island - the place to go to find out stuff. Then there's the beach island, where you can go to chill out, dance like a loon or laze in the Sun. The second island is largely unadorned.

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