Virtual worlds are all very well but they are usually closed systems which don’t integrate well with the Web, and since the Web won the platform wars a while back it makes sense to integrate the two a little better. Despite this, virtual worlds are still adding users. There are now more than 200 virtual worlds and Gartner Research estimates that 50 to 60 million people will participate in virtual worlds by 2011.
So, a new London-based startup is going to integrate virtual-world-style avatars with the web on an open web platform. Myrl (which stands for My Real Life / My Role Life) is a collaborative platform for avatars enabling interaction between different virtual worlds and the web. Think of it as a social network based on avatars.
CEO, Francesco D’Orazio has now launched a private Beta with Angel funding, which he hopes will allow users to move their avatar between virtual worlds via Myrl’s open web platform.
Your Myrl avatar profile is automatically updated in real-time from the virtual world to the web via a light-weight app called Profiler, but information published can be selected by the avatar.
Currently the platform supports users from Second Life and There.com. Future plans are to support OpenSim worlds and to create relationships with virtual worlds such as Entropia, Active Worlds, Kaneva, HipiHi and Vast Park amongst the others, targeting a market of more than 30 millions users.
I think Myrl is going in the right direction. With Flash 3D appearing some time next year, virtual worlds and MMO games are entering the cloud and moving away from the desktop, so anything Web-based makes sense to me.