From Sl Wiki

IBM's work in both Second Life and the wider Metaverse warrants a separate page of its own.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's Vice President of Technical Strategy and Innovation, is "responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments that are critical to the future of the IT industry." Wladawsky-Berger believes online virtual reality environments will provide the next stage of development for internet collaboration. In October, 2006 he told Computing, 'Over the past few years we have seen cutting-edge visualisation and interactivity created in the world of gaming.’

In October 2006, arising from their "Innovation Jam" sessions held earlier in the year, IBM committed to an investment of $100M in immersive 3D environments. Of this huge sum, around $10M has been spent in building a sophisticated presence in Second Life. It is clear from various statements from the company that they view Second Life as an experimental sandpit, in which they can explore various visualisation and communication techniques - but that the real work in IBM is happening behind closed doors, in their own virtual environments. IBM are preparing other virtual environments, and will doubtless be early adopters when the Second Life server is made available under Open Source, giving them a head-start in the rush into 3D internet that they foresee in the next few years.

IBM have used Second Life to:

  • Model complex data and integrations,
  • Trial virtual trade shows. Second Life can provide an "always on" virtual trade show,allowing visitors to view – and sample – their offerings, and provide them with rich content through tailored web links. The environment encourages visitors to interact with one another and with attendant IBM staff, providing a level of communication and collaboration that is not possible with the current 2D internet. Using this mechanism, it is also possible to meet with IBM staff without the need to incur travel and related costs to attend a trade show or symposium.
  • Host large- and small-scale meetings, both client-facing and internal

IBM's lead architect in Second Life, avatar: Jessica Qin, has stated that virtual meetings provide IBM with a means for drastically reducing travel and resource costs.

Links to Internet Articles

  • IBM gets a Second Life, an article in Information Week from November, 2006.
  • IBM investing $10M in Second Life. This article is also from November, 2006 and contains the following: "IBM announced that it would be investing $10 million into developing its presence in the virtual world of Second Life, and it has already held meetings in the 3D forum with thousands of its employees. Its CEO, Sam Palmisano, recently gave an address to 7,000 Chinese workers through Second Life." IBM have subsequently announced a total investment of $100M in virtual environments.
  • IBM brings Sears into SL, and article from Second Life Insider blog.
  • Eightbar blog summarises the findings from IBM's Innovation Jam. One of the 10 innovations they plan to take forward is 3D Internet. According to an IBM press release, in November 2006,this will entail: "Partnering with others to take the best of virtual worlds and gaming environments to build a seamless, standards-based 3D Internet -- the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business operations."

Blogs, Wikis and Other Sources

  • Eightbar is an excellent and informative blog written by "a group of techie/creative people working in and around IBM’s Hursley Park Lab in the UK."
  • Images from bbc online news of IBM's virtual islands.
  • Team Mascot wrote a page in his blog about the IBM SOA exhibit / building in SL.
Personal tools