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3D life on a mobile phone

New virtual world is headed for phones in Japan

S! Town 3D world

Could this be "Third Life"? Gemini Mobile Technologies is unveiling "S! Town," which it calls the world's first 3D community for cell phones. Mobile Magazine says this third dimension, based on Gemini's patented eXplo software, can be used for such activities as chatting with other avatars, buying goods in virtual stores and sharing multimedia content.

S! Town, which is cutting its ribbon on the Japanese market first with phones from Sharp and Toshiba, would obviously like to duplicate the success of that nation's Mixi social network. But even if it wins popularity there, S! Town may remain a domestic phenomenon. As we've seen South Korea's Cyworld, expanding beyond national borders--especially those that present language and cultural barriers--can be a dubious proposition.

(Photo: Mobile Magazine)