realXtend has remained on a fairly fast-paced development course in recent months, with some interesting announcements in the last few days:
– the current cross-platform viewer has had an upgrade
– a brand new viewer is underway, but not expected to be released until a fair way later in the year
– a new community-driven forum for realXtend is now live
– the realXtend Wiki is set to be expanded in coming weeks
One of OpenSim’s touted strengths is its abilities to run alternate protocols for Client to Server communication at the same time. The Metaverse Exchange Protocol (MXP) is the latest one to come on board. This actually has some big implications for OpenSim and its positioning as a competitor to Second Life. MXP and the related Open Metaverse Structured Data (OMSD) allow for the integration of input devices for real-time recording of gestures.
In clearer terms, that means that any OpenSim user in the future will have the ability to create custom gesturing and “bone driven facial expressions”. That’s an enormous step ahead of the current state of play in Second Life. Of course, it’s all theoretical at this stage but the OpenSim team are stating “they are currently in process of adopting” MXP.
What’s it all mean?
For the non-developer, the above information is a long-winded way of saying that OpenSim is continuing its momentum at a cracking pace. There’s some features on the way in the medium term that will provide some marked differentiation from Second Life – on the brave assumption that Linden Lab aren’t working on something similar themselves.