For 13 years, San Francisco-based Linden Lab has been presiding over Second Life. Now, the company is about to create a virtual reality network, dubbed Project Sansar, to provide an environment for individuals and businesses to experiment in VR. Sansar has been constructed to be incredibly scalable and immense, which could be either exciting or daunting to potential users. Linden Lab hopes it’s the former, and that people will use Sansar to build innovative VR worlds for problem-solving and social interaction.
TechCrunch reports that Linden Lab is looking for 3D content builders to be part of Project Sansar Creator Preview. In a conversation about Sansar with Linden Lab executive Bjorn Laurin, the project is revealed as a space that enables “every average Joe to create their own VR-facing presence or space on the platform as easily and non-technically as they desire.”
The project will be monetized with an app store for “VR creative properties,” which could include anything from a trade show template to a classroom or lab model.
Calling the project “frighteningly ambitious,” TechCrunch says that, similar to Second Life, Project Sansar doesn’t need to be perfect at launch, but “just has to stay consistent, evolve with the hardware/interface trends of modern VR and steadily push boundaries as it updates.”
Although Second Life isn’t in the limelight anymore, almost one million people still have digital lives and businesses there.
“Facebook and the social media revolution have taken off and taken hold, powerful smartphones found their way into a few billion people’s pockets and the way we all interact online has grown richer and more engrossing,” notes TechCrunch. “Yet all those people keep logging in to take stock of their virtual lives because regardless of how much the theoretical polygon counts on the latest systems increase, the hardest thing to replicate online will always be a sense of community.”
Second Life has been successful in doing that. However, building such a community in VR will also be the biggest challenge for Project Sansar, “for a new generation of Internet users on a medium that’s not yet fully understood.” But, says TechCrunch, “the early beta shows great promise,” even if the wide release is “likely months away.”