There is a buzz spreading across the internet that search giant Google is testing a virtual world, known as My World, for release later this year. The rumours are based upon a questionnaire received by Arizona State University students on Monday, leading many to conclude that ASU will be testing the 3D social network.
Google is one of the most successful technology companies on the internet today, if not the most successful, and supplies ad supported services to anyone who wants them. From the ubiquitous search engine, to powerful online office apps and email services, Google looks to be moving the operating system from the desktop to the web. The giant company also provides Google Maps and Google Earth, making a virtual world akin to Second Life seem to be a logical progression.
Arizona State University has had close associations with Google in the past, being the first to test Google Apps and having fully formed 3D models of its campuses already built in to Google Earth. The questionnaire from “a major internet company” asks questions about students use of online services such as Gmail and MySpace as well as mentioning 3D modelling, avatars and video gaming.
Speculation abounds as to whether it is in fact Google that distributed the questionnaire, what the purpose behind it is and where it could lead in terms of the interaction between online and offline worlds. We’ll Just have to wait and see.