Everyone Loves a Critic....Review #2 ExitReality

Wednesday was the official launch of ExitReality, the free Internet plug-in that allows anyone to view a web page in multi-user 3D at a click of a button. I did blog about them a few months back when they were in closed beta, but now it's time for a full review.

The 4MB plug-in works with IE, Firefox, and Google's Chrome and installs a logo button on the browser toolbar for instant "web3D-ing" a site. It supports X3D/VRML and COLLADA content as well as an extension for interactive Flash as a texture. It has a drag/drop feature for adding content directly into any scene. I have found it does have issues loading interactive content, but it was still neat to see my static X3D converted World of Warcraft character and VRML body scan in-scene.

The interface is stylish and hugs the border of the 3d window. The top bar consists of an address bar that allows for "Launch in 3D or 2D", tabs for Search (it finds 3d content), chat, standard editing tools (move, rotate, scale, clone, delete, save), and help. The bottom houses onscreen arrow keys, options for walking, light on/off, see avatar, gestures, and buddies options.

Executing this plug-in from the desktop drops you right off in the ExitReality Plaza. You will find the Carl's Jr and Hardees stores of the beta, but also Ebay, NASA, Blinkx, Dell, and others are showcased with logo here. Click on the doors to go inside certain buildings to further explore the space. Bummer to find not all are decorated and furnished but a great starting scene overall. Tonight when I logged in, the plaza was busy with users and chat from all around the globe. I couldn't see them all but there were between 60-70 users just in the plaza space chat at one time.

Convert any webpage into a 3D scene using the plug-in or an ExitReality button on your site. Search to browse through ExitReality's own 3D spaces or any .x3d or .wrl worlds that are anywhere on the web.

Typing in a personalized Facebook, Myspace, AIM, BEBO, Flickr, Friendster, or Youtube URL in the plug-in loads your profile information from those sites into your own 3D apartment. Here you can customize, configure, and save your personal space with your own video and audio files. There is a good selection of themes, objects (furniture, TVs, etc.), spaces, and avatars to choose from.

There still seem to be some bugs to work out here as not all avatars could be seen even though in the same space and interactive X3D content doesn't seem to parse or load correctly. Overall a great start for this company from Australia with offices in the UK.

I spoke with co-founder and now CEO Danny Stefanic, a nice guy and huge supporter of the Web3D open standard and its students. Check out his ExitReality introductory video below.


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