×

Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg Lifts the Curtain on Sansar Virtual Reality World

Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg gave the audience the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. Wednesday a first demo of his company’s upcoming Sansar virtual world.

The demo showed participants meet in a virtual version of the actual conference, and then beam themselves to other places within Sansar, including a holodeck-like cinema for 360-degree videos and a landscape with ruins that looked like straight out of “Outlander.”

Altberg then showed off how users can decorate their own living spaces within Sansar with easy editing tools, making it possible to move around virtual furniture with the Oculus Touch controller.

Sansar will be available for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as via a desktop app that will make it possible to navigate through virtual worlds without a VR headset. It is making use of input controllers for both Rift and Vive, making it possible to pick up virtual objects, and for example toss balls back and forth.

Linden Lab is best known as the creator of Second Life, a virtual world that has been operational since 2003. Altberg said Wednesday that Sansar is taking some aspects from Second Life, including the ability for consumers to buy virtual objects. “In Second Life, there is $0.5 billion GDP,” he explained.

However, Sansar will also be different from Second Life in many aspects, and Altberg told Variety this week that the company actually has been careful about managing assumptions to make sure that users don’t try to recreate Second Life. One example: Sansar’s early beta testers have not just been Second Life creators, but also some that don’t have any experience with Second Life at all, and are able to start with a clean slate.

Linden Lab opened up Sansar to a small group of creators in August. More than 10,000 creators had signed up for access. The company is looking to gradually add more over the coming months, with the goal of making Sansar available to consumers in the first quarter of 2017.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content