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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 27, 2009

Genkii to launch first virtual world for iPhone

A Tokyo-based start-up, Genkii, is harnessing the iPhone's global networking potential and releasing what could be the first ever virtual world for the device.

by Helen Leggatt

Reports are out about Genkii's Sparkle 3D, the first ever virtual world to be developed for the iPhone. As TechCrunch's Serkan Toto points out, many developers haven't yet made the most of the iPhone's massive networking potential, perhaps contributing to the limited lifespan of current applications, but Genkii aims to harness the device's interconnectivity.

According to Toto's colleague, Michael Arrington, "Without a compelling existing brand or a really innovative product with protectable intellectual property (some of the games fall into this category), the only chance these apps have for long term success is to start thinking about ways to have users interact with each other in order to build network value."

Sparkle 3D will be released later this year, or early 2010, and will comprise many of the components expected of a virtual world, including customizable avatars, virtual goods and that all-important social networking aspect.

In the meantime, Genkii have launched an instant marketing tool, Sparkle IM, that allows iPhone/iPod Touch users to communicate with Second Life and OpenSim friends and contacts via their respective accounts.

Tags: instant messaging, iPhone, marketing tool, networking, social networking, TechCrunch, virtual world

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