Applications and Tools, Visualization in 3D

Could iPhones Control Avatars?

I’ve always been a bit uncertain about running virtual worlds on mobile phones - at least the kinds of worlds with full 3D, immersive, camera angles, building tools, whatever. Habbo Hotel maybe, or isometric worlds, but for others I can’t help thinking you hardly have enough real estate to even SEE very much let alone cam around or actually chat.

Comverse had a demo of an iPhone client - but really, it wasn’t a client, it was a video stream from a PC.

Somewhere in there, however, are some new forms, new approaches, for integrating mobile devices and virtual world spaces. Rivers Run Red launched Mobile Ripple to, as Justin said, “(play) to the strengths of each device and objects around us to their own core strengths.” Mobile Ripple sets up a text/chat stream between you and your Immersive Workspace (and its companion Web application) with promises of video and voice notes to come.

But what about other uses? How about using an iPhone, for example, to control your avatar. If you already own one, it would be a lot cheaper than a 3DConnexion mouse. Here’s an example of the iPhone in action as a game controller:

Or instead of controlling your avatar, what if the iPhone became a hand-held camera for virtual world machinima? The “view” of the camera would be represented on the iPhone with secondary streaming of the video to your desktop.

We’re at early days in the integration of mobile devices and virtual worlds. I’m just not convinced that the innovation will arise from creating a ‘client’ for phones - instead, they might end up as supplemental interface devices, information appliances, or…now THIS would be innovative….to make phone calls.


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