Monday, April 14, 2014

Is SL Conducive to Mobile? or SLGo's 1001 Uses

March marked working twelve years in the same place in RL.  To get to that I survived two major waves of layoffs.  Since the financial crisis in fall 2008 the company I work for hasn't been the same.  Wellness solutions take a back seat during these rough times, and while we enjoyed a period of recovery, it just wasn't long or strong enough.  Also there's been a definite direction during this time towards mobile usage versus stationary home and office computers.  Stats show (always enable cookies or companies cannot learn what and what not to change) that the majority of people who visit our website do so via mobile web browsers.  Our homepage redirects them to a mobile site but the fact of the matter remains.

We have both online and offline products (our company predates mainstream Internet) and for the first time this past year, people are turning away from the traditional and expecting more for their smartphones and tablets.

I can see where there may be interest in bringing Second Life to full capability in mobile apps, and SLGo makes for an impressive demonstration, but even SLGo does not allow a user to do just anything.  With Pocket Metaverse and Lumiya you have apps with limited capabilities: both are best served by jumping inworld to IM contacts, then jump back out before the battery burns up.  I know because I've used both.  While Lumiya wins for 3D rendering, the landscape is posterized and crude. None of these will ever take the place of a hands on full use viewer on desktop or laptop.

That goes the same for SLGo with regard to functionality.  It's a lite viewer in that its purpose is to experience Second Life.  Explore, shop, adjust your outfit, take in a performance.  You can rez for the purpose of unpacking and such, but you cannot build. This is a licensed product and there are limits, and it does not connect the same way a conventional viewer would.

At an introductory interview / Q&A session hosted by Prim Perfect's Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin, Nate Barsetti - a former Linden - explained the tech behind SLGo.  Their powerful servers do the rezzing and rendering on your behalf and the results are broadcast to your app or plug-in.  One stands a chance to take advantage of superior maneuverability during special events.  SLGo is designed for both mobile AND desktop, and those with particularly slow or inferior resources for Second Life would experience less lag and full-on quality viewing.  Take that a step further: a "season pass" to Fantasy Faire, Home & Garden Expo, or SLB can make these the times of your virtual life.  I suggested that at the time.  

Their rates now include deals. Imagine attending a week of Burn2 and not feeling the heat of an overburdened system. While some lag and sim strain will persist in heavily visited sims, the majority of it comes from your own computer from rendering fellow avatars. I know people who never had to run on low graphics during a Relay Weekend. If they don't have to, with SLGo neither should you. If you were thinking about trying SLGo, smoketest during a special event and let us know how things worked out.

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