SAN JOSE, Calif.--I wrote earlier that I has asked the super-connected virtual worlds expert Jerry Paffendorf what the best thing he had seen at the Virtual Worlds conference here and that he had pointed me to inDuality.
Not long afterward, I ran into another friend, the also super-connected virtual worlds expert Eric Rice and asked him the same question. He pointed me to a technology called Movable Life, which he proudly said allowed him to run Second Life on his iPhone.
Well, I had to check that out. So a little later, I found my way over to the booth of a little Japanese company called 3Di, and asked for a demo of Movable Life.
Seconds later, I was logging into Second Life via a Web browser, and moments after that, I was in-world.
This was, however, a very limited version of SL, as was quickly pointed out by the company's Adam Johnson.
The idea, it turns out, is to provide SL users a way to get in-world for simple things like chatting and instant messaging and moving around, all on a very light client that, because it's Web-based, works behind a firewall.
So, while you can get in-world, you can't actually see a normal in-world view. All you see, in fact, is a map view that you can move around with a Google Maps interface.
Still, you also have access to your friends list, as well as your inventory. So I was able to IM a friend who was in-world at the moment and have a quick conversation.
Like inDuality, Movable Life has limited applications for now. But Johnson said that in the future, he plans to incorporate many more features, including a full in-world view, voice chat, the SL payment system and inventory and real-estate management tools.
Those things will be cool, but for now, it's just kind of cool to be able to log into Second Life from a Web browser.
And, of course, an iPhone.