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High Fidelity gives up.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Resi Pfeffer said:

Somehow i expected already it wouldnt be that easy, otherwise everyone would do it that simple way :)
I´ll try to read and understand the whole post you just wrote. Im an absolute mesh newbie, and maybe your pics and descriptions help me a bit.

One of the things you can do is use one of the OpenSim servers and have your own little grid on your pc to use for building and testing after running through Blender. That is my preferred method so I don't have to deal with the beta grid or spend a bunch too much uploading. 

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2019 at 12:51 AM, animats said:

"Virtual Worlds Startup High Fidelity Lays Off 25% of Staff, Pivots to Enterprise Communication" - Variety

High Fidelity, the virtual worlds startup led by Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, laid off 20 staffers, or about 25% of its staff, this week. Rosedale said in a blog post that the company was changing course to focus on enterprise communication, and blamed lower-than-expected VR headset adoption for the decision. ... “Daily headset use is only in the tens of thousands, almost all for entertainment and media consumption, with very little in the way of general communication, work, or education.”

High Fidelity launched as a kind of VR-based successor to Second Life in 2016. The company pitched its platform as open and decentralized, giving artists and others a chance to create their own virtual worlds. It also briefly experimented with original content production, ordering a season of a VR talk show exclusively for High Fidelity.
...
High Fidelity shut down its own public spaces in its virtual world effective immediately, but the company will continue to support third-party developers who are working on their own spaces.

 

 

Philip coined or popularized a saying, "Fail fast, and learn from the experience."

It's important in Silicon Valley to fail fast, and not spend years on a failed idea. Interestingly, Philip had just received $32 million in VC cash not long before this announcement. Perhaps the VCs put a word in his ear that consumer VR was not the money maker planned. And why would it be, when it makes many people dizzy and others just don't immerse because they prefer real life, or at least Facebook. It's a niche.
 

The headline on this post is completely false. Read not just High Fidelity's own site but even read the site linked to.

Philip didn't give up on High Fidelity or VR, and didn't close it and it didn't "fold" -- he just gave up *on the consumer facing side of it*, which involves us. Note the headline says "Pivots to Enterprise Communications". This isn't just techno-babble -- it's where there is a lot more cash, and steady cash, by contrast with ordinary users.

Third-party developers aren't just kids in their basements -- it's the US military and corporations who will use the enterprise version. The old virtual world "There" had a good long run with such customers even after it closed its doors to ordinary people.

Philip is not going to end up in the poorhouse, nor are the Lindens he lured over to that project. SL Hamlet may whine in "New World Notes" that Philip isn't reporting the "actual latest" numbers of concurrency for the VR worlds cited but honestly, if he's 1,000 off or even 10,000 off, it doesn't matter. VR worlds don't have a lot of uptake. Even 3D videos and 3D Facebook photos don't have a lot of uptake. The future is unevenly distributed, and we do well to remember how the lamps appeared in my grandmother's day -- one part turned up with a light-bulb for the newfangled electricity which was sometimes spotty; the other part turned down with a gas jet for the gas lighting which still reliably worked. 

People in this thread are likely too young to remember the first "VR winter" in 2008-2009. That followed the incredible boom of SL when it really shot up to its first million accounts, and even if these were alts or try-bys, the concurrency really was much higher. There was a time when there were close to 100,000 premium accounts; I doubt the number is half that today (the Lindens used to publish these statistics because they were proud of them). SL was such a fad then that a popular TV detective show even built sims here and made an episode about SL. 

That "VR spring" of 10 years ago came because PR AGENCIES (which now have all kinds of other euphemisms like "Experience" or "360" or anything that doesn't sound like "advertising") were the drivers. THEY were afraid of the IBMs and the Xeroxes being "left behind" as they were with the original Internet and PC desktops. They really thought -- as they all buzzed among themselves on the virtual world of Twitter, which still had the fire-hose turned on in 2007 -- that this was the "next big thing". THEY convinced their really reluctant and skeptical clients from IBM to Sears to buy islands in SL. THEY were infatuated -- so much so they even paid the SL Herald and their band of griefers to be "consultants" and made story books about them. They then rapidly grew disenchanted when they found their stuff got stolen, their sims crashed, they were griefed, but worst of all, they built it and nobody came -- not even the existing customers of the virtual world, who didn't want to go to Sears to buy a RL washer; they wanted Sears to make a little virtual washer they could put in their homes in SL.

These companies rapidly discovered that even with a "private island" they had a problem -- their business communications were still open and exposed to LL itself. They also saw the copyright of "little dressmakers" as "a problem" and even insisted on their own corporate store with separate content uploaded by the Lindens to special sims, etc. Now they're gone, all these corporate customers. Remember "Nebraska"? Not likely. The Lindens probably prefer not to think about it.

Griefing was one big factor -- remember Anshe Chung and the Business Week cover and the CNET press conference with Daniel Terdiman? There is a cultural reason for this not fixed by technology: a good chunk of the user base, let alone the griefer groups, as well the Linden staff itself, loathed capitalism and despised law and order. As soon as they saw SL become commercially successful and viable for its time, they wanted to kill it because they're little totalitarians who want everyone to live in "freedom" and "creativity" as *they* define and dictate it. At best they were "anarcho-capitalists" of the Internet type or rather more anarcho-communists.... As we can see from the history of the Internet itself, nerds and dreamers required to build an idea like the Internet can't keep it paid for, and it gives way to entrepreneurs that techs loathe like Amazon. 

Linden apparently decided to develop various other games or worlds -- Sansar being the biggest -- to compensate for that VR Winter that was decimating SL, which never recovered.

The "second VR winter" (there are actually people like cube3 old enough to remember even earlier the 1990s VR winter which I'm not even counting here) shouldn't be a surprise to those who watched the first or previous winters. Philip predicted that virtual worlds would become so ubiquitous that office towers in NYC would go empty and downtown would be an empty canyon. He actually said things like that at the first meet-up in 2004, even after 9/11 showed the real way that office buildings become useless, from virtual extreme ideologies learned on YouTube. Fast forward 15 years, and office buildings are filled with stores on odd upper floors containing things like men's suits boutiques whose owners can't afford street-level showrooms; people living in their offices because they can't afford rent; multiple strangers jammed into "co-working spaces" together which is supposed to be "cool". Yes, some floors are empty. But not because of virtual worlds.

Edited by Prokofy Neva

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On 5/11/2019 at 3:08 AM, CoffeeDujour said:

said that about the Catholic Church in western Europe too

The Catholic Church still exists and has millions of faithful followers and a Pope who is listened to, not only by Catholics.

Capitalism, which has existed through the millenia because human beings find it more convenient and more prosperous to buy and sell in a marketplace rather than wait for sub-standard goods to be distributed to them badly by corrupt leaders.

Pussycat's notion that VR can only succeed if people "get over" capitalism actually contains the reason for why VR fails -- it is made and promoted by people who believe in either outright communism or some version of socialism, or state capitalism which is really oligarchic communism. VR in fact will succeed when it can *get over those people who think we need to get over capitalism*. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 1:14 AM, Fritigern Gothly said:

Philip has always been a dreamer. That trait worked well when he was working on the Sims, but later, on SL he harbored unrealistic expectations of how people would use the platform and what kind of dwellings people would choose to inhabit but that did not get in the way of SL's growth and development... much. 
Then on HiFidelity, he decided that everyone was going to own a VR headset (the same mistake which Sansar is making, only Sansar does it to a lesser extent) and that VR is the next big thing.

System requirements for VR are still way too high for most users, only a handful of people own systems that can run VR the way it is supposed to and even if the requirements become within the reach of average Joe, it will hardly be considered more than just a novelty, a toy to play around with, but soon to be cast aside in favor of tried and tested non-VR interfaces. Because that's what people, in general, are used to and what people are comfortable with. No matter how much Philip wishes VR would be adopted for education and whatnot.

 We use VR where I work as a training tool.  The company I work for is a 48 billion dollar company though... so..

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57 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

One of the things you can do is use one of the OpenSim servers and have your own little grid on your pc to use for building and testing after running through Blender. That is my preferred method so I don't have to deal with the beta grid or spend a bunch too much uploading. 

Good idea. Then i wouldnt do any harm to the SL grid.

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On 5/9/2019 at 7:14 AM, Fritigern Gothly said:

System requirements for VR are still way too high for most users, only a handful of people own systems that can run VR the way it is supposed to and even if the requirements become within the reach of average Joe, it will hardly be considered more than just a novelty, a toy to play around with, but soon to be cast aside in favor of tried and tested non-VR interfaces. Because that's what people, in general, are used to and what people are comfortable with. No matter how much Philip wishes VR would be adopted for education and whatnot.

 

That's precisely right!

The whole VR thingy is a bit of a bust, as it is. Too heavy/uncomfortable to wear, and still always this 'first generation' feel about it: you know that 6 months down the line, they're gonna come with a new model, obsoleting your current one.

Also, the concept of a VR helmet is fundamentally flawed even. The way our brains work, is that we get 'car sick' when there's too much of a decrepancy between our visual inputs and our actual movements. That is pretty much unsolvable (unless with heavy medication) or like the STEAM VR system, which requires an entire empty room to make the physical movements in (bulky solution, but one that actually does not make you nauseous).

So, VR is simply a gimmick. One of those 80'ties 'this is what the future will look like' B-movie sci-fi concepts, that, superficially, looks modern, but is just a bad idea.

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2 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

So, VR is simply a gimmick. One of those 80'ties 'this is what the future will look like' B-movie sci-fi concepts, that, superficially, looks modern, but is just a bad idea.

I do not think VR is a bad idea. It's just that at this stage it's still so far from a finished product you can barely call it alpha.

To really immerse yourself into a virtual world, you need something like a holodeck for a start, partly to keep your physical body safe while your mind is busy elsewhere, partly to keep RL distractions out.

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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

I do not think VR is a bad idea. It's just that at this stage it's still so far from a finished product you can barely call it alpha.

To really immerse yourself into a virtual world, you need something like a holodeck for a start, partly to keep your physical body safe while your mind is busy elsewhere, partly to keep RL distractions out.

 

Well, that 'holodeck' idea is pretty much what the STEAM VR system tries to do; but, honestly, who has en entire empty room dedicated for VR? (Probably some do, but not enough ppl for mainstream). And yeah, like I said, it keeps all feeling too much like a 'first generation' product, like a proof-of-concept thingy. O, and even with a 2080 Ti, our hardware is simply still too slow to do it properly (at sufficiently high enough resolution). I, for one, am not going to touch VR with a ten-foot pole for the next decennium or so. I'll just wait for that neural interface. :)

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29 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

Well, that 'holodeck' idea is pretty much what the STEAM VR system tries to do; but, honestly, who has en entire empty room dedicated for VR?

Military forces and multimillion-dollar companies. ;)

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On 5/10/2019 at 5:18 PM, CoffeeDujour said:

The entire SL platform is built on a lot initial design decisions that, with hindsight, perhaps not the best. LL are committed to maintaining compatibility and not breaking anything you might have paid for, even if that was years ago.

Truth is we lost compatiblity anyway. nobody uses anymore SCULPTS, nobody uses anymore system layers (well now tih Bakes on Mesh we are back). We go forward and  now i must talk as creator: if people keep old things then there is no economy, also in rl there is the programable obsolescence, to force people to buy again and again, so Linden Labs need to look forward but with another idea of business

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24 minutes ago, Ramses Meredith said:

nobody uses anymore SCULPTS

Sure they do. The way the SL implementation of Mesh was crippled, sculpts can never be replaced without major re-engineering of a series of shameful, shortsighted design decisions.

If we were really interested in the long term, existing Mesh should be deprecated and eventually drop compatibility with the current clunky format, and start again from scratch.

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2 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Sure they do. The way the SL implementation of Mesh was crippled, sculpts can never be replaced without major re-engineering of a series of shameful, shortsighted design decisions.

If we were really interested in the long term, existing Mesh should be deprecated and eventually drop compatibility with the current clunky format, and start again from scratch.

I have sayd in wrong way, what i mean is nobody buy anymore sculpts, of course old places made with sculpts well them will stay but you will never see a woan wearing a sculpt gown, as example.

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3 hours ago, Ramses Meredith said:

Truth is we lost compatiblity anyway. nobody uses anymore SCULPTS, nobody uses anymore system layers (well now tih Bakes on Mesh we are back). We go forward and  now i must talk as creator: if people keep old things then there is no economy, also in rl there is the programable obsolescence, to force people to buy again and again, so Linden Labs need to look forward but with another idea of business

I still use some sculpts and system layers. Some of the clothing creators still use system layers because many of their customers don't have mesh bodies.

I have things from as long ago as 2005, many of which are scripted and still work. I'm not deleting them from my inventory just because you think it affects the economy. 

You can't force people to spend what they don't have!

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10 minutes ago, Ramses Meredith said:

I have sayd in wrong way, what i mean is nobody buy anymore sculpts, of course old places made with sculpts well them will stay but you will never see a woan wearing a sculpt gown, as example.

True. Although coincidentally enough, just yesterday I spent a few hundred L$s on a sculptmap kit (a texture animation "track" for fluttering butterflies, dragonflies, bats, etc.) for several reasons even though a mesh version was also available from the same creator.

Also, although sculpt gowns and hair are pretty much a thing of the past, avatar attachments are especially crippled by one of the worst of the Mesh decisions: forcibly confounding the mesh instance with its model, so it's impossible to push a new model on an existing object instance. That's particularly bad for attachments because there's no way to attach a new item by script (except through RLV, which is another whole can of worms).

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3 hours ago, Ramses Meredith said:

Truth is we lost compatiblity anyway. nobody uses anymore SCULPTS, nobody uses anymore system layers (well now tih Bakes on Mesh we are back). We go forward and  now i must talk as creator: if people keep old things then there is no economy, also in rl there is the programable obsolescence, to force people to buy again and again, so Linden Labs need to look forward but with another idea of business

 

SL works because it's easy. Yes, you can do complex mesh, Blender, etc, but you can still do simply prims and sculpts. That's another reason Sansar is fail: you need a degree in Blender to build something there. There are many beautiful mesh homes in SL; so many even, that one might get the impression it's all easy. It isn't. A good mesh home takes considerable effort and talent making. That is why Sansar can never be for the masses.

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I dont even remember hearing about this

I was searching info abovt VR because I was talking with friends about how it didn't take off

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7 hours ago, Louminca said:

I dont even remember hearing about this

I was searching info abovt VR because I was talking with friends about how it didn't take off

Anyone remember 3D glasses for the Cinemas. ? It was an 80s thing. Maybe 90s thing. I'm hazy.  But they were a flop too. If we are not prepared to wear even spectacles to game what chance was there ever of strapping googles on our heads for ... ahem ... 6 hours a day ?  Laughs !

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3 hours ago, rasterscan said:

Anyone remember 3D glasses for the Cinemas. ? It was an 80s thing. Maybe 90s thing. I'm hazy.  But they were a flop too. If we are not prepared to wear even spectacles to game what chance was there ever of strapping googles on our heads for ... ahem ... 6 hours a day ?  Laughs !

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2017/12/29/3d-movies-fuel-overseas-box-office-driving-expansion-of-new-theaters-in-asia-pacific-region/#1be0bc5f212a

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I always found the home 3D experience to be far superior to the cinema - specifically the LG system with passive glasses and alternate lines on the display having alternate polarization.

I'm sad 3D has kinda died a death .. but I think that's entirely down to everyone involved figuring it was a great excuse to bump the price.

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7 hours ago, rasterscan said:

...what chance was there ever of strapping googles on our heads for ... ahem ... 6 hours a day ?  Laughs !

google-china-1533921762.jpg?auto=compress,format&q=90&fit=crop&w=1440&h=720

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, rasterscan said:

Anyone remember 3D glasses for the Cinemas. ? It was an 80s thing. Maybe 90s thing. I'm hazy.  But they were a flop too. If we are not prepared to wear even spectacles to game what chance was there ever of strapping googles on our heads for ... ahem ... 6 hours a day ?  Laughs !

Not many years ago (2008/9) I worked for a company (XPAND Beaverton) assembling 3D glasses for theaters. I see they've finally made them available to the public.

http://xpandvision.com/products/universal-3d-glasses-x103/

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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4 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Not many years ago (2008/9) I worked for a company (XPAND Beaverton) assembling 3D glasses for theaters. I see they've finally made them available to the public.

http://xpandvision.com/products/universal-3d-glasses-x103/

Wow. I confess I own a pair of Red Blue lens '3D specs' which I use for viewing 3d nasa pics of Mars and the like. 

82ba34fcb1dd0f64921a1681615776cd.png.b8db623ebf30c9fa9398d4057a0c7c3d.png

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