vHUD is v cool
What I saw recently from interactive media application developer i3D (formerly Metaverse Tech) confirms my opinion that these guys should have won the Electric Sheep Company/Edelman SL Business Plan contest, as they continue to develop sophisticated tools for use in SL that stretch the bounds of creativity and functionality, while remaining inherently intuitive and useful.
The latest wonder is the vHUD. Although they wrote about it a couple of weeks ago on their company blog, it is to be officially introduced at noon (Second Life time) today, in the Metaversed sim, where they will hand out vHUD prototypes for anyone to try, and announce a working relationship with SLCN, including three new SLCN channels for the vHUD.
This is perhaps the most intriguing and sophisticated HUD I have ever used. Based around their equally innovative Silver Stream System (SSS) technology, the vHUD can stream individually customizable RSS feeds (I am following the RSS feed from Metaversed on my demo vHUD in the image above), HTML, videos (here is a very short video of the vHUD streaming a machinima promo video), and searchable Flickr images to an avatar’s UI. It can also display a list of SSS enabled regions SL, which includes clickable teleport links. “Basically, something for everyone to get their SL info with while they are inworld,” says i3D’s Anthony Reisman.
i3D will distribute the vHUD free of charge, with plans to support continued development the product with unobtrusive, targeted ads. “Most people don’t mind ads, as long as they have relevance to what they are doing,” says Reisman, “so we are going to do our best to implement a relevancy system. When viewing content or an ad, the user [will be able] to put feedback into the system about the ad’s relevance to the location they were and the content they were viewing. We don’t need to store data about the person providing the feedback, just whether the ad is good or bad, relevant or not, and over time, collect enough data so that the ads are relevant to what people are doing and watching.” i3D will also announce today that they have a working relationship with SL Exchange to explore the potential for implementing these ads.
Reisman summarizes SSS for those interested techies: SSS consists of a back end that takes care of interfacing RSS, HTML, etc into a stream that can pass into SL, and an ‘in-world’ server that manages the various streams. This allows the client terminals (such as the vHUD) to simply request content without that terminal having to be owned by the landowner or even caring what media calls are required. Since the owner of the terminal doesn’t have to be the landowner, they retain full control over what content is served based on how they configure that particular terminal. A single SSS server on a Sim can handle requests for any terminal in that Sim regardless of the owner of the terminal, server, or the land.
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