Tuesday, September 2, 2008

VastPark announces becoming an open source platform with the release of Immersion, a web-based virtual worlds’ player.

Los Angeles (September 3rd, 2008) – VastPark, a white label virtual world platform company, announced their new generation web-based virtual worlds’ player called Immersion today.

VastPark announced that the Immersion player will be open source from its first release.

The Immersion player will enable virtual worlds created using VastPark's open specifications to be embedded into websites and explored, using one of the major web browsers. Web-based virtual worlds have gained a lot of interest with the recent release of Google's Lively and other platforms.
"We think that virtual worlds will start to become more utilitarian: you can create a room in minutes and decide to have a VoIP based meeting in there. This will lead to many businesses wanting to host their own micro worlds just as they host their website. We want to make that easy, low cost and provide an open source and a commercial white label software choice." says Bruce Joy, CEO and founder of VastPark.

VastPark's current Browser and Viewer technology will be merged into the Immersion player.  The first release will be a desktop version with the following release being a web-browser plug-in that is aimed at all major browsers.

"It will feature the scriptable PowerPoint-style controls that made the Viewer's 3D presentations work so well" says Craig Presti, Lead Developer.
"This is an exciting step towards VastPark becoming a true open source alternative. We have previously announced that the core of our server code would become open source. Today we've finally put the VastServer Core source code online for anyone to download and use. Now we're announcing that our new client software code named the Immersion Player will be open source as well." explains Bruce Joy. "It was always my hope to have a mix of open source and commercially licensed tools that use the best available open royalty free specifications and the best proprietary middleware."

The source code developed by VastPark will be released under multiple licenses. "Our intention is to release under both the GPL 2 and the GPL 3 as well as under a simple commercial license. This means we hope to satisfy both the needs of open source and commercial developers." says Bruce Joy.
Steve Eagle, VP of Strategy and an investor in VastPark explains, 'I'm excited about this, because, for the immersive Web to become mainstream, we need to strike that balance: specifications and code should be open source and the end user software must include the best games technology. It must keep pace with top quality games and work on a wider array of computers and devices without great rendering technology. Lastly we need to really enable the developer community to sell proprietary 3rd party add-ons in a truly open eco-system. Otherwise we're still talking about a controlled garden like CompuServe or today's Apple AppStore. The Web must be open!"
“VastPark is built for developers, by developers”, explains Craig Presti. "The whole system is easily extended by developers creating plugins that can remain proprietary or be open sourced at the discretion of the developer. We’ll continue to release binaries under an entrepreneur friendly end user license. That's much better than being essentially forced to open source your widget or your plug-in by the GNU GPL. We think there's a middle way."

The outcome will ensure that there will be more companies able to run their own immersive online meeting, training and demonstration spaces and embed them right into their websites. The immersive Web is one step closer.

VastPark is presenting its software at the Virtual Worlds Expo in Los Angeles and can be seen at booth #317.
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