Update October 26th: As noted in the comments, it appears that the new client may be using the OnLive streaming service / application. This has been reported in a recent comment on the forum thread linked to in the article, and also in a further thread on the subject.
Linden Lab has been issuing an e-mail to a limited group of users inviting them to sign-up to be a part of a beta test for a Second Life client for mobile devices.
The e-mail, which has been popping-up in user’s in-boxes for the last day or so, reads:
We’re looking for enthusiastic beta testers to evaluate a version of Second Life designed for mobile devices.
Sound interesting? Then simply…
- Visit [link removed] to create a FREE account with <link removed to be safe>, then
- Visit [link removed] to complete a 5-minute questionnaire
You have to finish both steps to be considered for the beta.
We’ll email those selected when the program begins and check in periodically over the next couple of months to get their feedback.
This is your opportunity to be among the first to try a new mobile version of Second Life, and we hope you’ll help us to make it a great product with your input.
Thank you for your consideration!
Some concern had been raised on the SL forums as to whether the e-mail was genuine or not. While some were able to confirm it was indeed genuine. However, just to be clear, I contacted Peter Gray, the Lab’s Director of Global Communications, and to ask whether the Lab would be prepared to point to any specific platforms they’re looking at (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, etc). He replied saying:
The email you’re referencing did indeed come from Linden Lab. The originating address is related to the system used to send the messages out, and there was initially an unfortunate problem with links, which has since been resolved.
It’s too soon to share details about this service that would bring Second Life to mobile devices (as you can see, we’re beginning a limited beta test), but we’re hoping that with the help of some enthusiastic beta testers, things may progress to a point where we can share more information with the community at large soon.
Do note that the beta programme is via invitation only; there is no public sign-up page available – so don’t go looking for one! Also, not all of those responding to the e-mail will necessarily be selected to participate in the programme.
Getting SL onto a mobile device has been a much demanded option. As I reported in April 2012, Comverse had a stab at getting SL onto the iPhone back in 2008, complete with graphics. Back then, it required an intervening server in place and didn’t get too much further than an initial proof-of-concept.
However, mobile devices have come some way in terms of power and capbilities, although until now all moves in the mobile arena have been left to third-parties, with text-focused clients such as LittleSight and Mobile Grid Client on the Android platform, and Pocket Metaverse on iOS, and of course the incredible Lumiya for Android with its rich graphical capabilities and which I routinely cover in these pages.
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what the Lab have put together, and the code they’ve used – home-built, or perhaps using something like Unity3D? Time will tell!