SpotON3D leaves questions unanswered

SpotON3D has two other patents, for the use of augmented reality in a 3D environment, the company revealed on Friday.

The information was presented by SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, who was speaking at a discussion in Second Life hosted by SpotON3D and titled, “SpotON3D’s patent pending plugin: Is it a threat or a benefit?”

Click image above to watch full video by Vanish Seraph of TGIB.

However, the event did not produce any new information about what the OpenSim community should expect moving into the future, nor bring the two sides any closer together.

According to Lieberman:

  • SpotON3D is not going to provide more patent specifics than the information they have already provided.
  • Patent approvals are not anticipated for at least three to four years, and perhaps even longer.
  • No decisions have been made regarding the details or fees for future licensing.
  • Stevan believes very strongly in patents. He believes they drive the world forward and give people a reason to invest in technology.


SpotON3D has filed for patents on:

  • Double Dutch multi-grid content delivery system (one patent)
  • Augmented reality for use in a 3D environment (two patents)
  • Browser-based viewer wrapper plugin (one patent)
  • Key account multi-grid registration system (one patent)


As a result of ongoing technical problems with Lieberman’s voice — he was unable to hear spoken questions, and occasionally his audio got cut off, as well — a couple of questions were never answered.

For example, one meeting attendee said he was working on a Facebook interface and a viewer in a browser app. He asked whether SpotON3D would try and charge a licensing fee at some future date for people using this other technology, even if the other developers had never seen the SpotON3D code.

Another unanswered question was whether SpotON3D will be making any policy changes, such as not charging some groups to use the viewer, or pledging not to sue other OpenSim startups offering similar technology.

Both Lieberman and his co-founder, SpotON3D COO Tessa Kinney-Johnson, said that their company was dedicated to helping the greater OpenSim community, and that SpotON3D’s patents will have an overall positive effect.

“If it isn’t us protecting it… then that leaves it wide open for someone else who isn’t a part of the community and doesn’t care about the people involved on a community level,” Kinney-Johnson said.

During the final third of the hour allocated to the event, the discussion became increasingly acrimonious, and Lieberman finally refused to take any more patent-related questions.

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Lawrence Pierce

Lawrence Pierce specializes in new media design and production. He began as a computer game programmer and has been a systems consultant to corporations such as DuPont and the J. Paul Getty Art Trust, art director on the first computer game for MTV and a featured artist in the Hollywood Reporter.

15 Responses

  1.' sargemisfit says:

    I'm wondering what he means by augmented reality. I picture stereo-vision glasses, stereo headphones, tactile feedback gloves and a Kinect like motion system being used. If so, they're going to have a hard time getting that one. From what I have seen on such programs as Discovery and Nova, and from what I have read, the military and universities in various countries are already using similar systems and are working on improving performance and "reality" of such systems. They are likely far in advance of anything SpotON3D may have, given budgets and resources.

  2.' Anonymous says:

    Augmented reality in a 3D environment is already covered by in existing examples in some patents, and other aspects of it are in the public domain. This is total BS.

    •' sargemisfit says:

      Agreed. But I am questioning what exactly SpotON3D means.

      Augmented reality is where you have glasses or other device that projects a semi-transparent visual display over your RL view. That is, you go walking down the street and the display shows you information about buildings, shops etc as you look around. There are variations on this.

      I find it extremely difficult to believe that SpotON3D can use a virtual environment for for this. What i described earlier is more accurately described as immersive virtual reality. This also reflects on SpotON3D's truthfullness and accuracy. I mean, what can we believe? Are they knowingly misleading people or is this some sort of mistake? If its a mistake, then what does that say about how they run their business? Frankly, with a CEO that is a lawyer, I cannot believe that its a mistake.

      • I guess this will fall under the category of one of those questions we won't know the answer to for 18 months, until the patent application is published. So if you're planning to invest a lot of money into something similar you may … or may not … wind up infringing on their claims.

        Although these days, with all the patents flying back and forth, you'll probably wind up infringing SOMETHING.

        •' sargemisfit says:

          That's what makes it all so horrible. The patent system is supposed to protect the creators and innovators, but how can anyone be creative or innovative when the system is so abused?

  3.' alexsandro says:

    Very simple. They are selfish and very bad business people. The grid that will prosper is the one that offers freedom and at the sametime innovation and an INWORLD economy so its residents can also be creative and make money. Progress and prosper!
    Another thing what is the technology good for is there is no incentive? Just like a 1 million dollars car. Good to look at it but how many people will actually buy it?
    Alex AvWorlds
    AvWorlds Grid.

  4.' Per says:

    If I understand well, anyone wishing to create a facebook button to connect to its virtual world or trying to use Kinect Wii or else with OpenSim, or content delivery in OpenSim may be sued ? Tell me that I'm wrong. 🙁

  5.' Rob Knop says:

    Both Lieberman and his co-founder, SpotON3D COO Tessa Kinney-Johnson, said that their company was dedicated to helping the greater OpenSim community, and that SpotON3D’s patents will have an overall positive effect.

    So… are they lying or are they delusional?

    •' Vanish says:

      I'd say delusional, but I'm not really sure. They're repeating their mantra, in which the fact that they "attract more eyes to the technology" will benefit everyone, and the fact that they provide certain services (including, but not limited, to their double dutch delivery system, broadcasts, free uploads (!)) is actually "giving back" to the OpenSim community. If you twist it very very much, you can kinda start to believe that, but you'd have to be in some kind of hermetic business-marketing thought-sphere. So honestly, maybe they've been drinking their own kool-aid so much they don't know any better, or they're just hoping we won't notice.

  6.' cubicspace says:

    "patenting" virtualities in a virtuality…. well toss non obvious out of the books…
    as i said. nuts. nothing changes but the nut's names.

  7. Some scholars suggest that a Prize instead of Patent would solve the problem of deadweight lose, when innovators got their reward from the prize, provided by the government or non-profit organization, rather than directly selling to the market, see Millennium Prize Problems.

    However innovators may accept the prize only when it is at least as much as how much they earn from patent, which is a question difficult to determine.

  8. Who would go to a grid like this. . Opps watch what you say they will sue you next… Oh and free forever until you have to pay fees to rez anything on land you pay for. Play on words….

  9.' alexsandro says:

    Well…. This is all a waste of time. What good is it to be able to login even upside down on your head in a grid with no incentives. Yeah!! A meeting place! Meetings can be done in SKYPE, conference calls and much more!
    Virtual Wolrd needs to be a VIRTUAL WORLD! Its not the way you login! Its what you get once you login into that particular world. In other words….Whats next after you have logged in? That is what I am going for.
    Alex AvWorlds
    AvWorlds GRID

  10. Well said Alexandro. Keep up the good work. Hey, I shall have to visit and see what you guys are doing.