Uri Gets All Sparkly

by Alphaville Herald on 23/03/09 at 7:58 am

3D on iPhone3G — Genkii asks "Where the angels investors at?"

by Urizenus Sklar, from the 30,000 iPhone apps and counting desk.

So there I was, reading TechCrunch on the Herald yacht, when I saw that there is a new iPhone app named Sparkle that will let me chat with my Second Life friends without logging in.  I immediately downloaded it, and IM'ed Mimi Coral who was in world.  "Hey Mimi, I'm chatting with you from my iPhone!"  Mimi: "…ok…".  Clearly she was not impressed.

OK, so chatting with someone in world from outside the world is not so impressive, but the planned next iteration of Sparkle -Sparkle 3D — is interesting, since it seems the makers of Sparkle, Genki, are going to use the iPhone as a platform for a graphical virtual world (hence Sparkle 3D).  TechCrunch spins it this way:

Once finalized, Genkii says users will get a full-fledged virtual worldin 3D (the company has a track record in virtual worlds development).Sparkle 3D will have its own economy, customizable personal spaces andavatars, social networking functions, virtual goods, games, streamingaudio support, etc.

And of course what would a discussion of virtual worlds be without the mandatory gushing about the big bux to be had:

The viral potential for a mobile virtual world optimized for theApple ecosystem could be as big as the potential for continuousmonetization: sales of avatar accessories, virtual apartments(utilizing iPhone 3.0’s new subscription option), sales of in-game items, music downloads, branded spaces and conventional ads come to mind.

Rah.  And then there is this:

Currently, Genkii is completely self-funded and has beenbootstrapping for over a year. The company is now actively seekingangel investment to accelerate development of Sparkle 3D.

Opportunity knocks.

11 Responses to “Uri Gets All Sparkly”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    One of the way in which the Genkii people can, uh, monetarize this experience is by harvesting your IP and SL name and password as you log on to Second Life using their gizmo. Oh, they would never, never, never, etc. take your money out of your SL account? Well, probably not. But they can take all your chat and searches and friendship list and harvest, harvest, harvest to sell you ads to this or sell that information scraped to other marketers or — whatever.

    How many virtual worlds do you think can be sustained by this big scrape using i-phones? I’m betting — not many.

    I don’t have an i-phone, and I wouldn’t get one to go play a dinky little VW game anymore than I’d rush out to buy a PlayStation in order to play Sony Home.

  2. marilyn murphy

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    this is totally irrelevant i am aware. its just, when i saw the “uri gets all sparkly” title my first mind picture included pink spandex and a tutu and glitter makeup.

  3. Ken Brady

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    Prok, you’re being overly dramatic. That “little gizmo” is Apple’s, not ours. No one’s taking your ID and password. We (the Genkii we) have no interest in taking anything or selling any of your info. That would be stupid, and we don’t like people who do shit like that anyway. The potential is in the vibrant communities that can be built (and augmented) through Sparkle. Meanwhile, we monetize Sparkle IM in a very straightforward way – you *pay* for it. Why would we want to mess with people who pay us money?

    I think you’re just mad at me for arguing with you on Twitter regarding video game violence. :-)

  4. urizenus

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    Yeah Prok, I suppose in theory Genkii could be harvesting information. I haven’t read their terms of service (but see the comment above). This is just to say that in theory of course any platform has the resources to harvest all the information they want. There is an interesting article about the legal and ethical ramifications of this by Josh Fairfield. I’ll post it.

    Oh one thing the article didn’t point out is that when you use Sparkle, you do have a physical presence in world as a little cloud. So, for example, I can log in at a location and TP someone there and then they can talk to my little cloud. Does this make a difference? Not really but it is sort of cool.

  5. mootykips

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    “social networking functions, virtual goods, games, streaming audio support, etc”

    if only some of that shit could be done without making your users run around as a naked fox or a cloud or whatever soup-of-the-day Web 2.0 internet character avatar metaverse av some guy in an office decides will appeal the best to users of a application whose only genre success story is Habbo Hotel, you stupid gullible morons. how do “companies” like this manage to “fund themselves”? it’s like a guy with a compulsive urge to go run on train tracks living until he’s 90.

    i like their website too,

    “Genkii is:

    * Outspoken
    * Forward-thinking
    * Willing to experiment
    * Excited about the possibilities

    Genkii is not:

    * Shy
    * Tied to tradition
    * Closed-minded
    * Scared of the future”

    thanks for the OKcupid profile, I’ll be sure to throw my money at you instead of all the other faux-futurists promising whatever looked trendy in 2001 over the fact you get “excited” over “possibilities”. Genkii is not: financially solvent, blessed with any talent, going to ever exceed the amazingly steep hurdle of releasing an application on the iPhone, something that a twelve year old with a copy of the SDK could do. wait a second, these people have anime avatars on their about page.

    “ken brady”, CEO, is looking very insightful in his sketch, probably thinking of how detailed, interactive yiffing can be executed on the iPhone despite its technical limitations. “He is one of approximately six foreigners in Japan who has not taught English.”, it says, as if having a picture of you looking like an anime villain and discussing how all your past jobs involved drinking lots of beer is somehow less pathetic than all those people teaching English to middle schoolers.

    “Yuki Saeki”, CCO, is managing to be both ethnically Asian and hilariously Orientalist, stating that she is a “visual artist with a science education. It’s part of the dichotomy of being a creative person in Asia”. Yeah, it’s not often people elsewhere get biology degrees, can’t find jobs, then resort to entering the wide world of “realiz[ing] client visions” in manufactured market segments, only in The Great Other Land where everyone is Confucian and has a samurai sword and shit that that happens.

    “Jeff Ames”, CTO, is pretty much N3X15 from the PN so I think the joke has already been made elsewhere, the joke being every year of their lives.

    “Adam Johnson”, “COO”, finally, is pretty much everyone who posts on Slashdot. “He has been called a pioneer of open source virtual worlds, and he often ponders what that means”, the page says, as if I’m at all interested in whether he is pondering or not, or there could be some clarification there as to whether the “COO” of a 5 person iPhone application developer team has any actual credentials he’d like to share with me other than someone told him on Digg he was good with those internet thingies.

    the sad part about this is that it’s echoed by every single little startup ever trying to be trendy, except unlike the traditional big-media outlets that just do it to try to get more market share these people actually believe it. welcome to the internet, gentlemen, we’re all fucked.

  6. Joshua McCracken

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    Prok is always overly dramatic, Kris. Extremely intelligent, but nearly impossible to reason with. She’s convinced that I’m still responsible in some way whenever someone drops self replicating dicks on her e-land. Did she call you a communist yet? According to Prok there is some gargantuan evil communist conspiracy and I’m a part of it too, I guess. So is SLH and Uri. And the PN, W-Hat, the Russians, Pixeleen Mistral, and Barrack Obama. Come to think of it, there are very few people that aren’t involved according to Prok. But apparently I’m one of the arch-villains. Cool beans.

  7. IntLibber Brautigan

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    Never heard of you. Evidently you aren’t in the conspiracy *I’M* in according to Prok. You might be in a different one, who knows, there are many paths to the Singularity.

    Really, now. Prok, the real reason nobody includes you in their schemes to make millions of bucks off web 3.0 is:

    a) you refuse to talk off the record
    b) you refuse to talk off the record
    c) toxoplasmosis triggered paranoid schitzophrenia is a preexisting condition not covered by anybody’s HMO plan and you’d jack up employee insurance rates.
    d) you are batshit crazy from sticking your head in the kremlin microwave too many times trying to schmooze russian thugs into letting you translate their memoirs, badly.

    While I am indeed a transhumanist and in favor of all the great futuristic technologies coming down the pike, including genetic engineering, the only thing that makes me less in favor of that particular technology MORE than the idea of some basement dwelling losers modifying their genomes to grow hair all over their bodies like furry animals, is the idea some other basement dwelling weeaboos will use the same technologies to make themselves look Japanese…

    While Sparkle is great for increasing connectiveness, I do wonder when we’ll see the first highway fatality cause some idiot is busy texting cybersex with their SL partner while driving.

  8. mootykips

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    she once compared me to Yasser Arafat, i probably would have been more insulted had she compared me to Sharon tbqh

  9. markbyrn

    Mar 23rd, 2009

    If you’re dying to use SL from the IPhone or IPod Touch, the best option I’ve seen is Ajaxlife by Katharine Berry. Unfortunately, her servers tend to be an off and on affair, and presently off.


  10. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 24th, 2009

    Um, no, Ken, even though you are wrong about video game violence.

    But I’ll repeat: who is gaining access to the SL log-on? Surely your API, even if a third-party API on the i-phone, is what is gaining access to my password and log-on? Yes or no? And if this is now “Apple’s” — what does that say about you, so ready to turn over passwords to Apple, and about Apple? I’d like to hear the mechanics precisely.

    And I notice how neatly you ducked the issue of the data scrape and marketing lol.

  11. storm

    Mar 24th, 2009

    the app costs $4.99 so they are already making their money outright no need to harvest data. If i would use it would only be with an alt tho.

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