Fully Capable Second Life on Mobile Phones

Vollees SL Client Running on a Motorola Phone

The company Vollee is creating a client that offers cellphone users full access to Second Life. The company is accepting registrations for their beta rollout that begins in May. In short (and they provide all in short): All heavy lifting (graphics rendering etc.) is done on their servers and then streamed to the user’s phone. They’ve published a video which is embedded below.

The requirements of their system is 3G phone (for rapid streaming), is less than 100k and runs on “any platform”, and their service is free — at least during the beta. Martin Dunsby, CEO of Vollee, presented at GDC’08 which resulted in reports such as the following:

“The results are stunning. A PC-perfect version of Second Life runs on a phone that could barely handle some of the most elemental mobile games. Vollee also optimizes the controls and user interface for phones, so in Second Life’s case, instead of having pop-up windows for chatting or maps, a tabulated system lets you switch between each screen. It may not have keyboard-and-mouse support, but Vollee tries to make the keypad perform most of the same functions, so moving and flying around in Second Life felt quite natural and looked great to us.
[1UP on Vollee's SL at GDC'08]”

3G Focused, Wi-Fi Enabled

Being interested in the emerging world of mobile computing, and not being an owner of a 3G phone, I dropped Vollee an email and asked whether they didn’t support Wi-Fi access, as most major cities now have Wi-Fi covering large portions of urban areas.

Their answer was yes. And this lead to even more curiosity. I expected a no because there is no mention of Wi-Fi on their pages (you’d think that’d be mentioned, right? Even if 3G is the focus). So this raised more questions that are not explicitly answered in their FAQ; specifically the following three which I’m now waiting for an answer to:

  1. Could you provide me with any kind of technical explanations of what your software is? Is it Java?
  2. With Wi-Fi connections possible, is it a requirement that the phone is 3G [enabled or that people have] a 3G contract with their carrier?
  3. Will it technically be able to run on iPhones currently in circulation; and if not, will it be able to run on iPhones after a software update from Apple?

I’m really pushing it with that last one, I know. It’s not too far fetched that they’re collaborating with Apple, but if they were they’d hardly reveal anything. The answers, when and if I get them, will be posted here. In the meantime enjoy this video of the system in action on a Motorola phone.

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. I can’t wait until I can use this on my iphone! Thanks for the post.

  2. Yeah. I have a bit more on that which I’ll post soon.

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