Gartner gives Second Life a dose of virtual reality

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Gartner gives Second Life a dose of virtual reality

Virtual worlds, such as Second Life, might one day be a useful business tool but they are not yet enterprise-ready, analyst group Gartner has warned.

Virtual environments can be used by firms as an easy way of holding conferences, meetings and other collaborative activities. But they may require "gaming class" PCs and other devices to ensure the user experience is not compromised, said Gartner's chief of research, Steve Prentice.

Other potential problems of deploying a virtual environment include security, downtime and concurrency – the number of users that can access an environment at any one time.

"Eighteen months ago Second Life was the poster child of everything, but it's in a bit of a trough these days," he added. "Linden Labs has improved it, but stability and reliability are still not great – it's no good if you set up an island for a demonstration and the grid goes down."

Prentice also cautioned against firms entering the Second Life space as retailers, noting that although it may extend their brand presence, the platform's user base is still too small for firms to build a compelling business case.
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