Intelligence Amplification Panel

Philip Rosedale and David Alan Smith

Building the Metaverse
59 minutes, 27.2mb, recorded 2005-09-18
Philip Rosedale and David Alan Smith

In this session of the Accelerating Change 2005 conference entitled "Building the Metaverse", Philip Rosedale from Linden Lab and David Alan Smith from the Croquet project offer their similar yet unique perspectives on the emerging all-pervasive environment collectively called the Metaverse. Inspired by the Metaverse of Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash", both men give functional demonstrations of their separate worlds while discussing issues relating to the emerging trends of social interaction in massively multi-user environments.

In his demonstration of Second Life, Philip Rosedale talks about how the technology behind the world can expand to reach hundreds of thousands of users. If computers are so powerful we can simulate a world that you can live in, how will we do things differently? All of the content in Second Life is generated by its inhabitants, which has led to a vast cosmology of unique content and social innovation in-world.

David Alan Smith shows the technical power of Croquet and how it can enable easy and powerful interactions between users sharing the same virtual space to construct and share social environments.

By using expanding technologies to enable new social interactions, the Metaverse will be as ubiquitous over the next decade as the internet and Web have become over the last.

Philip Rosedale (Wikipedia) has an extensive background in the development and pioneering of streaming technology, having built his first computer in 4th grade, and started his first computer software company while still in high school. In 1995 he developed FreeVue, a low-bitrate video conferencing system for Internet-connected PC's, resulting in the acquisition of his company in early 1996 by RealNetworks. For 3 1/2 years, Rosedale served at RealNetworks as Vice President and CTO, where he was responsible for the development and launch of RealVideo, RealSystem 5.0, and RealSystem G2. In 1999 Rosedale returned to San Francisco, joined Accel Partners as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and began the basic research that would become the technology behind Linden Lab. Rosedale holds a BS degree in Physics from the University of California at San Diego.

David Alan Smith (Wikipedia) is a computer scientist who has focused on interactive 3D and using 3D as a basis for new user environments and entertainment for almost twenty years. In 1987, Smith created "The Colony," the very first 3D interactive game and precursor to today's first-person shooters. The game was developed for the Apple Macintosh and soon won the "Best Adventure Game of the Year" award from MacWorld Magazine. In 1989, Smith used the technologies developed for the game to create a virtual set and virtual camera system that was used by James Cameron for the movie The Abyss. Based upon this experience, Smith founded Virtus Corporation in 1990 and developed Virtus Walkthrough, the first real-time 3D design application for personal computers. Smith also co-founded several other companies including Red Storm Entertainment with Tom Clancy, Timeline Computer Entertainment with Michael Crichton, and Neomar, a wireless enterprise infrastructure company. He is currently one of six principal architects of the Croquet project.


This free podcast is from our Accelerating Change series.

For The Conversations Network:

  • Post-production audio engineer: George Hawthorne
  • Website editor: Charles Lawrence
  • Series producer: Cori Schlegel