Monday, February 18, 2008

realXtend Offers Avatar Portability

From realXtend, "Global avatar architecture - The avatar is the most important single element of the virtual reality experience. It is the user's communications channel and user interface to the new world, but even more importantly it is the projection of the user's personality. In virtual reality the personality is always a matter of choice, since all the rules are artificial and if necessary they can be changed. Unlike real life, virtual reality can be molded according to the users' wishes, no matter how fantastic or mundane they may be. Gender, age, height, weight and all the other attributes can be chosen freely, but no matter what the choices are and how often preferences change, the virtual representative will always convey more than a touch of the user's personality. Because of the great importance of the avatar, the users will invest great amounts of time and effort, perhaps even money into them. They will grow attached to their avatars and in some cases, others' avatars as well. It isn't even all about looks and emotional attachment, the avatar will also become an extremely useful tool for communications and different user interfaces. To enable such multi-purpose usability, the underlying technology must be sufficiently sophisticated. The number one requirement for the avatar to function in a network of interconnected virtual worlds is to have the ability to travel from one place to another. The avatar can only truly become the user's virtual persona, if it can be brought along wherever the user goes. The time for separate avatars for every world and in many cases even games is over. In realXtend architecture the avatar storage is a separate entity that is mainly used to store the avatar and its assets in a specific place so that it isn't directly dependent on any single world server. The world server and clients connected to it will fetch the necessary data directly from the avatar storage, reducing the world server's load and making seamless transitions between different worlds as simple as browsing the Internet. The avatar service providers are in a central position, offering the users bandwith and secure identity for virtual worlds browsing. There are still some challenges ahead of the developers, for example controlling intellectual property rights for users who create content such as clothes and accessories for avatars, or other objects and scripts. The challenges are not trivial, but the truly challenging questions are always the most interesting ones and the answers to them most valuable. In the future, the global avatar system's security and usability features will form a powerful and useful tool for everyone to enjoy."

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