Where’s that 3D Web we were promised?

Whatever happened to all the business infatuation with the 3D Web?  Until a little over a year ago, when Second Life was all the rage, it seemed like we would one day interact with each other as avatars, on a 3D Web and two-dimensional interaction would be history. Young people would check into Habbo Hotel,  and business folks would mouse over to IBM, PR types would exchange virtual business cards on Reuters’ island, car buyers flock to Pontiac island, and those needing a technology fix would fly over to Circuit City.

It’s not entirely over with SL. Accenture is still recruiting  at their virtual career center there. But lately the bloom is off the rose, and instead of spending time over sculpted prims and private islands, people are getting into more pragmatic modes of interactivity. Reuters (!) reports that the Second Life Community Convention (in real life, mind you)  in Florida last September, only drew half the number of attendees that came in 2007.

Flash has grown up to a point that we could give users a simple 3D experience like this without crashing their computers. An interactive game or animation with data input could hop across a number of platforms. Even create realistic simulation and movement like this.

We don’t live in one dimensional worlds, and some form of 3D will be part of our online experience. But I was at a tech meetup yesterday and one of the takeaways from that was, despite all the ra ra about web 3.o being upon us, we all seemed to agree with Aaron Post that those sites that will be valuable will be those that have an offline component.

Offline, as in Real Life. As in the original 3D, interactive experience!

I say this, even though a lot of impressive work we do and showcase here at the Decision Theater is in 3D!

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