Second Life business tool ideas, Volume One

Some more ideas for SL, this time focused on business or more “serious” pursuits.

  • Second Life Gender Database
    • One of the things that’s a pain in SL is when you’re trying to have a script interact with an avatar and use the correct grammar based on the avatar’s gender.  There’s just no way to tell!
    • I propose that either SL could implement a simple radio button in your profile so that you could state what sex your avatar is (and you should be able to change it whenever you like)
    • …Or a gender database could be built independently.
      • It would not be difficult to make an object that pops open a dialog box whenever it detects an avatar close by and just ask them, point blank “boy, girl or decline to answer?”
      • The results could be shot to a web server, which would provide retailers/script builders with a convenient source for gender identification.
      • Once an avatar has responded to the question, you’d have to make sure they would never be bothered with it again.  The object would check the web database to see if they had answered yet.  Also, the object would keep a small local list of avatars that had recently been asked.  A lot of this logic would be similar to a greeter’s logic.
      • It would take a coordinated effort to get this database going.  You’d need to get cooperation from land owners so you could distribute the survey objects, and then get some interest from developers so they could then use the database.
  • Presentation Systems
    • Think “PowerPoint” but utilizing all the advantages of a 3D environment.
    • A good system would make it easy for a user to put together an immersive presentation without getting too technical, much like PowerPoint allows people to slap together 2D presentations by using templates, etc.
    • A wizard based, step-by-step approach would probably be the best way to to it.
    • You could use a web-hosted wizard to plan out the presentation for the most part (since web pages are the only way to get a form UI into SL).
    • Provide lots of props, sounds, templates for the presenter to string together.
    • Provide 3D charts, graphs and other common presentation components.
    • Ability to script avatar movement/animations/poses, so you could move across the stage to a different place in the presentation.
  • Flowcharts and Diagrams
    • This is a topic that I really need to expand on.  I could use something like this.
    • Imagine a flowchart in 3D that allows you to connect processes, decisions like Visio, etc. , but you can “fly” into a process and see the sub-components…see the sub-processes and then you could dive into those, in infinite recursion.
    • As for the interface, Skidz Tweak’s Skidz Primz have a good system worked out.  You have a palate of shapes to choose from on your HUD, and when you click one it rezzes in-world.  So just replace the prims with flowchart prims and add the ability to hook prims together by particles.
    • The shape browser would probably need to be HTML on the HUD.  There are just too many shapes than could be displayed at one time.
    • You would need a way to easily label the processes.  I’m thinking that each one could just display a simple HTML form for you to enter the text.
    • What if you could describe your process as a city, or as a world?  Zoom all the way out, and you have a Country, which is a series of connected Cities, which then has Streets, and Buildings on those streets.  Some of those Buildings are Factories, while others contain Offices.  Keep drilling down in your process to the atomic level if you need to.  You could also put vehicles on those streets to visualize different processes or communication.
  • Machinima Tools
    • Ability to easily position and script avatars, cameras, lighting, props.
    • Like an animation program, you could define Keyframes that record all the positions of the actors and objects in the scene.
  • Data Visualization – Charts, Graphs, etc.
    • Mentioned earlier – could be used in presentations, etc.
    • Also useful for sim statistics.
    • Already built a 3D pie chart…other charts would be pretty easy.  Bar charts, etc.  The tough part is always the interface.
    • 3D line charts, gauges, lots of possibilities.
  • Web-based particle system catalog
    • An organized database of particle systems, searchable by keyword, category, tags.
    • Should be free to use, free to contribute.
    • Should use a common format for sending the particle system to an object.
    • Can output a script for the user to copy/paste into their object.
    • Ability to upload/display multiple screenshots/thumbnails.
    • Make a rating system of some kind?
  • HTML Form-based Particle Maker
    • Create a form that has all of the parameters of a particle system.  Put that form on a prim that can control a particle system.
    • User can tweak the form and click “Update” to commit the settings.
    • Profit.
  • Web-based SL Texture Library
    • Organized, searchable database of free textures.
    • Should be completely free.
    • Helps people find what they need, save some $L and also saves server space and bandwidth for Linden Lab.
    • People can upload textures, vote, comment
    • …make texture packs for others to download.
  • Medical/Emergency Training Simulations
    • Some work has been done in this field already, but it’s all very esoteric.  It would be great to standardize this kind of stuff.
      • Needs a training scenario scripting engine.
        For example, a teacher could setup a scenario with a gunshot victim and set all of the patient’s vitals and what organs were hit, etc.  The trainee(s) would need to take the appropriate steps to stabilize the patient.
      • The script would need to cover the animations/sounds/behaviors of the patient.
      • Should have the ability to record trainee responses and rewind the scenario.
      • Should be able to branch the scenario based on choices made by the trainee.
    • This will require props to be made for medical equipment, injuries, etc.
  • Sticky Notes for SL
    • Pretty simple idea, and now it would be easy to do since there’s HTML on a prim.
    • Could hook into one or more reminder websites to make this all fancy.
  • Web-Based Dialog Menu Generator
    • Because making menus in SL is a PITA.  A simple tool could be built that would let you define multiple-level menus without the headaches.
    • Cut n Paste the LSL when you’re done.
    • Could it be done in LSL instead?  Sure, but the presentation would suck.  Better to do in HTML.
  • Prim Clock
    • I’m actually working on this one.  Should be ready pretty quick.  Uses prims to display the time.  Most of the code is based on the SculpTitle.
  • Ultimate Color Tool
    • Convert to/from RGB, HSV, RGB Hex, whatever.  Good for matching in-world objects to your web site color scheme, etc.
  • Avatar Automation System
    • I know that these already exist, but I’m not sure of their capabilities.  I think most of them are used as models and greeters.  I’d like to see a scripting system to make them walk around, say stuff.  Not necessarily AI, but have them do more than just sit there.
    • Useful as enemies or squad members in FPS games, victims in disaster simulations, NPCs in quest games.  Would be cool to right-click on an actual avatar as a vendor, huh?  Or as a quest-giver?
    • Good for extras in machinima.
    • Would need a waypoint system, dialog/animation script system, etc.
    • Ability to respond to user questions, commands.
    • Ability to teleport back to starting point if it got stuck or got too far away from base.



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