Vancouver-based software company Utherverse has been quietly amassing millions of users on its virtual-world platform, including organizations that use the software to hold meetings and collaborate.
In an email exchange, Utherverse founder and CEO Brian Shuster, explained how the company has grown, how people use the technology, and what we should expect to see from the firm in the future.
Q: Utherverse is experiencing a 12% monthly user growth rate, and about 13.5 million people use the technology. What’s driving interest in this?
A: Prior to 2010, the construction of massively multiuser virtual spaces was very expensive – on the order of millions of dollars – and the utility of those spaces was limited.
The new generation of virtual world software… has brought the cost down to free or nearly free, and the stability and utility of virtual worlds has become radically better.
Now, virtual worlds are a real option for a vast array of content that the traditional “flat” web is not well suited to deliver. Things such as meetings and conventions can be simulated at very low cost, so companies from around the world are starting to adopt the technology as a substitute for bringing their sales force together, for example, or requiring people to undertake the expense of traveling to a trade-show.
Q: Can you give us a sense of what sorts of organizations use Utherverse?
A: Companies are able to take advantage of the Utherverse Platform in two ways: they can connect a virtual world to the existing Utherverse network; or they can obtain a franchise for a private network.