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A Lively test room

July 10, 2008 Comments off

Played around a bit with Google Lively and made a simple test room. Picked a café themed room and added some furniture and items.  There are some items (screens, TVs, frames) which one can show videos from YouTube and picture slideshows. One can add URLs to show on different items also.

Some of the items which supposedly should show stuff, like the XKCD poster, did not work at all for me.

Showing a few pictures in a frame worked fine, although it seemed to cut off at some not quite determined size and if the picture does not fit exactly it seems to only show a part of it rather than include some empty areas. When I changed some pictures, it suddendly stopped showing the pictures entirely, not sure what the error was since there was no message or indication what was wrong. Pictures uploaded through Picasa (another Google venture) can also be used to show pictures and that worked fine.

The YouTube video option is a bit annoying since it is playing continously including with sound, hopefully they will introduce some option for visitors to selectively choose videos to listen to.

There is also an option to upload your own music to play in the background for the room, although this is limited to 512Kb in size for a file, so you cannot upload your MP3 library there. I am not sure what the legal implications are if people upload parts of songs/music which is not their own creation here.

A few items are animated and thus “move” when clicked on. In general if you want to find items that you can show pictures and do other stuff with, search for “gadget” in the item catalog.

I did not put the room in the public Lively list since this is just a small test to play around with it and see how it works.

Categories: Virtual Worlds

Google enters virtual worlds space

July 9, 2008 1 comment

Yesterday Google annloced Lively, a new service where people can create virtual rooms and avatars and share that with others, i.e. people can visit each others rooms and socialise (chat and emotes).

Curently the set of avatars to choose from are a bit limited and the initial set of clothes and furniture for the rooms as well. However, at least for the furniture and clothing one can add more items from a catalog with a larger number of items. The same goes for rooms, the inital set looked a bit limited, but there were a few more options available in the catalog.

At this stage users cannot create their own items, just use items from the provided catalog. But it is possible to for example show your own pictures etc in picture frames. And since the Lively client runs in a web browser (Internet Explorer or Firefox, only Windows XP/Vista though) it can also be shared with others through links on web pages.

They seem to have some integration with Facebook also, but since I do not use Facebook I cannot comment on that.

I would expect that this is just the beginning though and with Google’s name behind it virtual spaces will become more mainstream.

Categories: Virtual Worlds