Connecting First and Second Life

Matt Biddulph (
11:45 Tuesday 15 May
Ubiquitous web Amphitheatre C
Chair: Dave Raggett (W3C/Volantis)
Presentation: Connecting First and Second Life Presentation [PDF]

Ways for computers to gather information from the real world and project their presence into it are becoming cheap and ubiquitous. Once confined to text interactions and specialist interest, virtual worlds are becoming graphical, mainstream and popular. Using a number of real-world examples, this talk will demonstrate how developers use HTTP — the universal connector of the Web — to bridge between the metaverse and the real world.

Research teams at companies like Amazon, Nature and IBM are building new 3D environments in Second Life full of living toys; demos you can walk around and sit on. Cellular tomography, Flickr photos, Wimbledon sports telemetry and USB sex toys are just some of the services and devices people are using to blur the boundaries between their online and offline lives.

This is a new frontier for developers. The design patterns change when your code is literally object-oriented — because it’s embedded in spimey objects that can sense, speak and move. There are new scripting languages to learn, new ways to structure systems, and a way of thinking about the web that goes far beyond the web browser. This talk will look inside the code and the architectures that make it all tick.