Israel-based Vollee Ltd, the world’s first 3G Mobile Gaming Solution, said it will bring San Francisco-based virtual world platform Second Life to 3G handsets via its streaming mobile games service.
According to Vollee, its Second Life mobile service will work for both existing users and those trying out Second Life for the first time through the mobile service. Vollee’s streaming technology enables to play any PC or console title, including multi-player games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, on a mobile phone.
Apart from the solid technology, much of Vollee’s momentum comes from its business development partnerships with Linden Lab and Activision, producers of Second Life and World of WarCraft respectively.
The results are stunning. A PC-perfect version of Second Life runs on a phone that could barely handle some of the most elemental mobile games. Vollee also optimizes the controls and user interface for phones, so in Second Life’s case, instead of having pop-up windows for chatting or maps, a tabulated system lets you switch between each screen. It may not have keyboard-and-mouse support, but Vollee tries to make the keypad perform most of the same functions, so moving and flying around in Second Life felt quite natural and looked great to us.
The only serious competitor of Vollee at the moment is Sun Inc’s mobile client for Second Life, which seems like a bootstrap in comparison to what Vollee is communicating.
See the YouTube demo of Sun’s mobile client below:
Formerly known as GameStream, Vollee was founded in 2005 by CTO Yaron Buznach (former co-founder of AdWise). The company raised a $4 million rounds in 2007 led by Blue Run Ventures and joined by BenchMark Capital who invested in Vollee back in 2006 (see press release here). The company is headquartered in Herzelia Pituach, Israel and has reportedly a team of 50.
According to Vollee’s official press release from earlier this month, Large scale trials for the Second Life demo are scheduled to begin on May 2008. If you have a 3G phone, you can sign up for the beta at http://vollee.com/secondlife. If you want to meet Vollee in person, they will be at the CTIA Wireless conference on April 1-3 2008.