In the second half of the 1990s, VRML became the platform of choice for ‘virtual worlds’ filled with ‘avatars’ – digital representations of real people. The Web goes big – and stays big – yet VRML crashes back to Earth, as Second Life becomes the last best hope for the Metaverse. It’s all melodrama, all the time, in ‘Days of our Second Lives’!
Tony’s Intervista Software had a very 1997 website. Check it out here. Have a play with Jan Mallis’ Floops – an early VRML animation – here! Watch the five episodes of ‘Bliss.com’ Jan and Mark created — in your web browser, here. “VRML: The LSD of the Internet” from the May 1996 Red Herring. Mark Jeffrey co-created The Palace – a 2D avatar chat. It’s still going, here! Christopher Caen co-founded OnLive – a 3D chat with audio streaming. He also has an amazing/hilarious Substack, “A Long Time Ago in a Valley Far, Far Away”, telling the tale here. And Philip Rosedale created Second Life – still going strong!
Tony and Mark – supported by a global community of technologists, enthusiasts and dreamers – brought 3D to the brand-new Web with VRML. This episode features Owen Rowley, Neil Redding, Linda Jacobson, Brian Behlendorf, John McCrea, Coco Conn — and Neal Stephenson.
A new series, a new podcast production partner – and a new theme: WORLDCHANGING, bringing together amazing talent, tools, and a driving need change the world in this decade! We’re bringing you WORLDCHANGING stories in series 6 of The Next Billion Seconds.
Back in July 2016, Pokémon Go opened the doors to the brave new world of augmented reality – an overnight success fifty years in the making. With companies like Magic Leap and Facebook working hard to create augmented reality ‘spectacles’, the next billion seconds will see us put our smartphones down — instead placing the screen over our eyes. We’ll like what we see in our new, “improved” reality – but who’s creating and controlling that reality? That’s a question confronting all of us at the dawn of “The Last Days of Reality”.