My cell phone is low end and for good reason, which I will get to. However, a new reason to upgrade has been announced. No, not another iteration of the iPhone, but the introduction of beta software for a mobile phone based Second Life.
Unfortunately, I have destroyed many mobile phones in my time. As soon as cell phones were small enough to carry in my pocket (barely), I did. Then I crushed them. Sitting down, against a table top and just about anywhere there was a hard surface I managed to crack the screen. Then I started attaching them to my belt loop and carried them on my hip in a protective leather case.
A good friend of mine works with operating systems for cell phones and he would constantly berate me for my cheap gear. Because he had access to a wide range of phones that were high end but no longer necessary for testing, he graciously taunted me into taking one, just to check out the great system and features. I broke it within a week. It was almost surreal. The first phone literally jumped out of the case on my side while I was walk/jogging. I saw it in mid air as it leapt ahead of me and landed, just as I was landing. Somehow I stepped right on it. I watched the whole thing as it happened and was not fast enough to change my step.
The second one was crushed in a less than spectacular fashion, but the third one, ouch. I swear I wasn’t going to answer it and talk, as I was busy at the time. But I did want to see who was calling so I took it in hand, or at least tried to. It fell into a small indoor body of water that will remain unidentified and was immediately toast.
Tom and I agreed that I should stop receiving them after that, and, having to once more fend for myself went to a phone store to purchase one. I took the cheapest I could find. Everyone in my family has a nicer one than me.
Oh, the iPhone is tempting, but can I afford to pay that much for something I will lose or break within months if not weeks?
But now, Second Life is going mobile. Don’t get the impression that I spend THAT much time on virtual soil. Actually, I don't. But I do study it and other Internet, Web and social network related offerings. And the idea is cool.
But is it feasible?
Jessica Dolcourt posts on the announcing and even starts with that question:
Demanding a better-than-average processor, a 1024x768 screen resolution, a boatload of RAM, and a strong video card just to take part, it's hard to believe that Second Life, the virtual world developed by Linden Lab (download for Windows and Mac), could ever survive on a mobile phone.
Vollee, a company which provides video gaming to 3G mobile phones and the provider of the solution says it
“enables content which has never been possible on mobile devices before. We take into account the screen size, the key layout and we adapt the application to make it fun on the phone while preserving the high quality of the original.”
If you are interested in trying out the Beta, you can download it here.
As for me, I come up for renewed service this month, which means I get a substantial discount on a phone upgrade. Maybe if I’m REALLY careful…..