June 1st-2nd saw the 7th annual Augmented World Expo take place in Santa Clara, California. Billed as “the largest event dedicated to AR, VR and Wearable Technology”. Among the 200 speakers appearing at the event was one Ebbe Altberg, who sat down with Mark Piszczor of Occipital to chat about Project Sansar.
The interview, embedded below, doesn’t touch on anything significantly new for those of us who have been following the Sansar news. Time frames remain unchanged since the last Lab Chat event. The creator preview will open its doors to applicants in August; there have been “thousands” of applicants (and I’m still itching to know the ratio of Second life creator / users to non-SL creator / users in that number); public access so start around the end of 2016 / early 2017, etc. That said there were various points of interest for me.
Early on, we get a somewhat familiar discussion on the “social” approach being taken with Sansar, and the drive to (initially at least) address various markets where there is liable to be a real take-up in the use of VR. In this case, education and training are specifically mentioned at relative length.
At the 6;55 mark, while discussing Ready Player One, Ebbe touches on how Sansar is a platform on which many experiences put together by many different organisations, companies, groups and individuals can be hosted, some of which may be interconnected. This again got me wondering as to how much Sansar will be a white label environment for clients to use, and whether it is still planned to let those who wish use their own user authentication processes to control access to their Sansar experiences is still on the cards. This was initially mentioned way back in the 2015 VWBPE Q&A session with Ebbe, but hasn’t been remarked upon since.
Also in terms of interconnecting different experiences, it was interesting to hear the term “teleport amongst” experiences being used (07:12), rather than the more customary reference to experiences being “stitched together”. Whether this is indicative of whether movement between connected Sansar experiences might be somewhat analogous to moving between separate private islands in SL, or whether it was a slip of the tongue isn’t clear – so it will be interesting to see if “teleport” is used elsewhere when discussing Sansar.
From 08:30 onwards, there is a discussion of where Sansar might be in a year’s time. This again is interesting, as Ebbe’s reply suggests that while the Lab may well have a development roadmap for the platform, they are very open to building upon the feedback and lessons gained from their core users (or quite possibly “content partners”), rather than simply ploughing ahead with their own plans. Quite how this works in practice will have to be seen, but having an ear to users’ wants and needs is no bad thing.
All told, an interesting interview and well worth the 10 minutes required to watch it.