Google Labs Latest Offering

Google has entered into a new domain, virtual reality, despite what some would say is heavy competition already in place. Lively is the latest offering in Google Labs. It is a product of Niniane Wang’s, an engineering manager, 20% time project. Her reason for this latest creation, as citied in this article from, is:

"A while ago, I looked around the social Web and wished that it could be less static. Sure, you can leave a comment on a blog or write a text blurb on your social networking profile. But what if you want to express yourself in a more fun way, with 3D graphics and real-time avatar interactions?"

Features of the new app are that it runs solely through a browser using a Google account. Similar to other apps of its type, users create their own avatars, and the rooms can be customized to feature TV’s displaying YouTube clips, and photos on the wall. Another article, from ReadWriteWeb, noted that that a difference between Lively and Second Life is that:

Google's idea seems to be less to create one large virtual world, but to give publishers an opportunity to create their own small virtual world for their readers and visitors.

While Google does have an impressive track record with their product launches from Google Labs, as Brad Stone from the New York Times pointed out in his review of Lively,

Google’s success is not assured, of course. Other test products it has introduced have languished, like Product Search, originally known as Froogle.

Despite heavy competition already in place from heavyweights such as Second Life, do you think that Google and the strength of the brand will prevail?


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