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Second Life creator Linden Lab and IBM have demonstrated virtual world interoperability by teleporting avatars between the Second Life Preview Grid and OpenSim, an open source toolkit for developing virtual world environments.
IBM said that an open standard for teleporting an avatar between virtual world platforms would allow users to cross from one world to another in a seamless transfer, just as they can switch between websites.
Linden Lab and IBM are researching platforms and protocols that will make the 3D internet and virtual world environment appropriate for enterprise use. The two companies see interoperability as an important stepping stone towards making virtual worlds enterprise-ready.
"Interoperability is a key component of the 3D internet and an important step to enabling individuals and organisations to take advantage of virtual worlds for commerce, collaboration, education, operations and other business applications," said Colin Parris, vice-president, digital convergence, IBM. "Developing this protocol is a key milestone and has the potential to push virtual worlds into the next stage of their evolution."
IBM and Linden Labs are providing technical details to anyone wishing to build virtual worlds. The protocol interactions used for the teleport is documented on the Architecture Working Group's (AWG) website, an open forum that is designing and publishing the Open Grid Protocol.
IBM plans to offer the extensions developed for OpenSim to the OpenSim community, and Linden Lab plans to make the extensions developed for the Second Life viewer available as open source.