I received a press release today from Singapore-based company ‘Virtual Worlds’, touting their Mirror World which is under development and due for launch at the end of this year. The full text of the press release is below by essentially it’s a platform that will allow creation of replicas of real-world locations for the purpose of 3D walk-throughs. It’s aimed squarely at tourism operators and its appeal is obvious. Never been to Egypt? Then do the virtual tour of key locations and decide if it’s the holiday for you.
It looks promising but like any new development it will face the challenge of a growing number of competitors. Interoperability with other worlds is a holy grail for any option at this stage but any new development needs to take the growing movement in that respect into account.
We’ll be following this development closely and hope to do a more detailed preview in coming months.
The full text:
22 January 2008, Singapore — Virtual Worlds , developers of the world’s first “Mirror World” ,announces the availability of the world’s first platform for virtual tourism to industry operators today in Singapore.
From key tourism destinations, places of interest , historical sites to realistic full scale 3-Dimensional replicas of entire cities. This mirror world of our existing planet – “Mirror World” allows end users to journey through “virtual words” in the comfort of their homes – creating a brand new exciting marketing tool for tourism industry players like tourism destination operators, Hoteliers, Shopping Malls, Retail Outlets and more to showcase and sell their destinations and facilities to key markets around the world.
What sets Mirror World apart from other 3D environment developers in the market is its commitment to the recreation of reality. All images, environments, content and cityscapes are designed to be as life-like and accurate as possible to the real world. A Beta version of the software with the capability to show certain parts of the world is already available today. The technology today allows support for up to a million objects per view area as well as sound and music , complete with special effects showing realistic weather patterns and powerful animation effects. Providing the most realistic virtual reality tour of any destination available in the market today. The company is already in discussions on several projects with tourism authorities and facilities operators in the region to build 3D replicas of their existing sites. Virtual Worlds expects to completely map the globe in phases, providing a brand new exciting, interactive platform for vacation , travel planning and learning.
Another interesting factor about the platform lies in its ability to be able to import exsiting 3D drawings of existing infrastructure and buildings . That means we can do a
very rapid buildup of the location. Targeted for a world wide launch in end 2008, consumers will be able to explore parts of the world in 3D, meet and chat with friends from all over the world all from their desktop over a internet connection and most importantly win prizes to travel around the world.
“This is an important and necessary step in the development of Virtual Worlds,” said Terence Mak, Director of Virtual Worlds Asia. “Virtual Worlds has always been depicted with a fantasy, its about time we changed that thinking and use of the same technology to make the world a smaller place. Air Travel & Tourism is booming with the availability of budget airlines, consumers are beginning to be more world conscious, what is missing is a technology and a platform to showcase the World in 3D to a global audience. We hope to be the partner with many of the worlds interesting places and help them showcase what they are doing to make the world a more interesting place.”
A more global site will be announced later in the year. For more information, please visit the Virtual Worlds Site.
Update: an interview with Terence Mak can be found here.