Second Life Gets Ambient

March 6, 2007

While I have never set foot one into Linden Lab’s online virtual world of Second Life, I’ve wrote enough about it to know better to stay away. Truth be told, I care barely manage my first life, and the idea of taking on a second one just seems akin to inviting the kind of self destruction my mother warned me about all those years ago.

However, the folks at technology giant Philips are hearing none of this, as today at GDC the company announced that its environmental ‘ambient experiences’ technology amBX has been brought to Second Life. Phillips has licensed its amBX tech to Rivers Run Red to produce a dedicated amBX-enabled environment in the game, within which players will experience their virtual surroundings in the real world, so to speak. Through a scripting language and unique architecture, amBX utilizes real world appliances such as desktop fans and LED lights to simulate and reflect in-game events.

Philips’ interest in Second Life does not end there however. The company is also developing solutions for open source Second Life client software and the creation of a software development kit, featuring user tools and props, to allow amBX experiences to be easily authored by existing ‘Second Lifers’, creating all new real world effects.