When Worlds Collide (pt. 1): search meets virtual worlds


Arguably the two most common topics on this blog are search, especially collaborative exploratory search, and virtual worlds. Now, the new browser-based 3D platform ExitReality, has piqued my curiosity by bringing these topics together. As part of their 3D platform, they offer a search engine optimized for finding and displaying 3D objects and worlds. You can either enter the found 3D sources as a world entire unto itself, or (my favorite) drag-n-drop it into your current 3D space in the browser window. (If you’d like to see the 3D search via a normal 2D web page, that’s available here.)

Note that this 3D search engine is one that searches for 3D objects, models etc., not something like the SpaceTime browser that displays standard search results in a 3D(ish) format.

So it was this morning I found myself standing with a wizard, a Doberman and a rat on the outskirts of Stonehenge, contemplating several quite nice Moon lander models and a gigantic purple flower (Cattleya – one of the search results for “cat”). This all in the space of ten minutes’ carefree clicking around. Dali would’ve had a ball.

Browser-based 3D with 3D search engine

Browser-based 3D with 3D search engine

ExitReality’s tag line is “the entire Web in 3D.” The idea is you can convert your own website to 3D via a fairly simple process – and it’ll still look the same in 2D; you’ve just added a 3D button. In general the interface is very well thought out – where it falters is most likely due to its beta status (e.g. avatars can’t yet fly or change clothes, though you can change avatars).

My second favorite feature so far: when other people visit the web site you’re viewing, you see them as avatars (if they have ExitReality installed). It’s possible to use in a standalone kiosk mode, or in secure mode behind a firewall. My first favorite feature? Check this space tomorrow for details.

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