Version 1.4 features include:
-- Custom Character Animations - For the first time, Second Life Residents will be able to animate their avatars to do almost anything they can imagine. Using an open .bvh file format supported by products like Curious Lab's Poser(R), Residents can create and upload animation files to Second Life endowing their avatars with distinctive "moods" and movements. And, in creating everything from guitar-strumming rock stars to world-class swimmers, Second Life Residents are discovering they can live out their wildest dreams in-world. To date, users have developed realistic boxing matches, recreated action sequences from major movies and put together elaborate dance routines. The most talented Animators will have their hands full trading and selling their work - adding to an already robust in-world economy.
-- Theme music for everyone - Live streaming audio support allows Residents to link to Internet audio sources broadcasting among other things, live sportscasts, talk shows, DJ soundtracks direct from real world clubs to Second Life clubs and even programmed soundtracks for one's own property.
-- Live Connections to the Real World - XML-RPC allows data and commands to be sent back and forth between disparate systems over the internet. In Second Life, this means computers outside of Second Life can communicate with Resident-created objects and scripts in-world. Some applications for XML-RPC include faster in-world blogging, the ability to send newsfeeds into Second Life and the capacity for store owners to manage their inventory remotely.
-- Profess Your Love - With the new Profile option, Second Life couples can make their relationships official. Married and connected Residents will be able to designate their partners on their profiles in-world where their relationships will be visible to the rest of the community. Can't be married in real life? Try Second Life.
The unique addition of Resident Created Animations to the Second Life feature set adds new dimension to the Second Life experience. "The one thing I'm most looking forward to with custom animations is the ability to really give avatars a distinctive character," says Second Life Resident and designer Chip Midnight. "People with the motivation and a bit of skill will be able to really make themselves unique in the Second Life world. Imagine a shuffling bitter old man, a swaggering drunk, a hip swinging tight-rope walking supermodel...as the community matures with the tools and how best to use them, I think we'll see them used to create genuine character." Some designers are already making over USD$1,000 monthly selling their virtual clothes and goods in Second Life -- with over 240,000 transactions taking place and generating over US$200K in sales every month.
"My fantasy is to be Uma Thurman in Kill Bill," says Philip Rosedale, CEO and founder of Linden Lab. "And now I can. I'd pay $10 for her yellow jumpsuit and sword moves and I'm sure other people would too. Custom Animations are going to liberate the world of Second Life in ways I'm sure I can't imagine."
About Linden Lab
Linden Lab was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to create Second Life, a revolutionary new form of shared 3D entertainment. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today's streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. Noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, serves as Chairman.
Recently named one of 2003's Best by PC Magazine, Second Life is a digital world like no other. Residents retain their intellectual property rights in their creations, are able to own and control the land where they live and congregate, are starting businesses that are paying off in real world income, and have the freedom to shape the future of their digital reality. Second Life is currently growing explosively at more than 30% per month.
Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior development team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking. Team members have previously worked for market leading companies such as Electronic Arts, Maxis, Disney, THQ, Acclaim, Hasbro, Mattel and RealNetworks.
Note to editors: Second Life(R) and Linden Lab(TM) are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. Kill Bill is a trademark of Miramax Film Corp.