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Pondering a Google Project in Social Space

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Google’s Niniane Wang is currently leading a team of Googlers to develop a new product in the social application space.

Details are unknown to outsiders as this is a top secret project, but a colleague of Niniane believes it’s interesting enough to be considered the “best project in the world.”

Now Reto Meier weighs in, hypothesizing this might be a kind of Second Life social 3D world:

Niniane’s background is in Windows programming, specifically real-world simulators. Her project has a c++ client and a Java server (like Google Earth). Before working at Google she was a team leader on Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, and has submitted papers to SIGGRAPH for virtual world innovations like dynamic weather generation. At Google she won a founder’s award for her work on the Windows application project Google Desktop. Who better to conceive of and head up Google Virtual Worlds?

Let’s rewind back to Michael Eisenberg’s post from January 24th:

Heard an interesting rumor today from an academic who heard through the PhD grapevine…Google is working on turning Google Earth into a virtual world a la SecondLife

Caveat: while I think it’s possible Google develops a virtual online world (Google 3D? Google World? Google Life?), I don’t think Google Earth is a good basis for such a project. Just because it’s 3D doesn’t mean it’s a fit for a game.

A screenshot from Second Life.

[Hat tip to Reto and TechCrunch!]

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