One billion people connected through virtual reality: is the goal Mark Zuckerberg declared last week at Oculus Connect 4, but a few hours later a virtual reality old pro like Philip Rosedale, already Second Life founder and at the moment committed to the development of High Fidelity, replied on Twitter: (to bring) “1 billion people together in VR will require about 50 million servers. And not even Facebook is going to run 50 million servers”.
What’s the real technological edge?
Yet Facebook run without too much trouble 2 billion monthly users on its own social networking platform, that for many younger users could become the web “tout court”. How is is possible?
The problem is with the different technology used by “classic” web and virtual reality even through the web (for instance through the WebVR protocol) and with different connections management cababilities that they need.
A server can host over 350K sites
To be clear: Mondivirtuali.it site is hosted on a server together over 358 thousand domain and while every host foresees some contemporary access restrictions for a single site hosted on its servers, not to saturate the whole band, it’s clear that with “classic” web there are no major issues to connect up to some million users simultaneously.
High Fidelity look at shared server networks
High Fidelity’s architecture, on the other hand, as explained Wagner James Au on New World Notes allows a single domain (i.e. a single sim or “experience” if you like) to be distributed across a group of networked server, each of which manage different aspects of the domain environment and the functions needed to create a sense of presence for users.
Costs and limits are different
There are, however, still some limits both in terms of contemporary connected users (about one hundred, like in Second Life), both of costs (and event for 100 people costs 10,7 dollars per hour, plus 6,4 dollars montlhy as storage fees, versus a few tens/some hundred dollars per year in hosting fees for e classical web site).
Cloud will provide a hand
It is quite impossible, therefore, to think that Facebook can meet the just declared target with technology and current costs without adapt an approach such as those of High Fidelity, based on shared software networks of companies and private consumers.
However technology runs and the very idea of sharing resources brought from cloud computing is taking off to the extent that the same Linden Lab announced last August wanted to migrate Second Life’s structure on the cloud.
Will a billion potential VR users exist?
You know: if at the time probably Philip Rosedale is right, maybe Mark Zuckerberg has the potential to reach his target in a not too distant future. Provided that will exist a billion users interested in connect in virtual reality from all over the world, of course.
If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).