High Fidelity to have nested content, peer-to-peer avatars

High Fidelity founder and CEO Philip Rosedale released a blog post a couple of days ago outlining the company’s network architecture.

(Image courtesy High Fidelity.)

(Image courtesy High Fidelity.)

One unique aspect of the platform is that virtual objects are stored in the form of voxels, which can be nested inside one another or averaged together.

This allows a large number of objects to be viewed at a distance, since the voxels average together, with, say, an entire tree becoming just a speck on the horizon.

In addition, a city can be composed of buildings full of fully-furnished apartments, with each apartment stored on a separate server.

“In this way, cities and other interesting virtual space can be created containing an almost infinite amount of content,” he wrote.


Another interesting aspect of the plan is for voice communications and avatar movements. Typically, voices and movements are transmitted from the user to a central server, and the server then transmits the information to all the other users, a “hub and spoke” model.

With High Fidelity, the central servers can be augmented by distributed, peer-to-peer communications, similar to the way that Skype works, or BitTorrent.

Another innovative peer-to-peer functionality is that of paying users for processing that’s done on their computers through the use of cryptocurrency.

That cryptocurrency will also be used to allow people to buy and sell virtual goods, either directly or through High Fidelity’s virtual marketplace.

Rosedale did not specify what exactly the cryptocurrency will be.

The most popular cryptocurrency in use today is BitCoin, but High Fidelity can also simply create its own.


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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

12 Responses

  1. marymoorexxx@ymail.com' Mary Moore says:

    Sad opensim is going to be replaced what should be known is who voted for this?

    To have the same company who has abused its residents for over a decade come in and claim they are taking over by replacing opensim with a linden dominated system.

    How many left secondlife to come here? many and now everyone is bowing down and not fighting for whats ours by cuddling philip and his crew who are much more responsible for secondlifes failings then any Ceo that was appointed and this kind of management will be repeted.

    Philip was on linden board the day they decided to kill its support for this opensim but becouse he has ‘charm’ we should just not take any past lessions in considerations and end our dreams so he can begin his new one.

    He has left secondlife a mess and who knows the flaws this system will present itself with but the first ones that come to mind they will be linden gods under currency and names so basicly over life and death of an avatar!

    I hope i am not alone in smelling the crap behind the roses.

    I will give hope our opensim will not become another bluemars or active worlds becouse philip had a dream.

    • sebastian.gula@gmail.com' Sebastian says:

      We can always fork High Fidelity if Philip becomes a tyrane with his services, High Fidelity is completely open-source unlike Second Life.

      • crestmagic@yahoo.com' Crest says:

        I would love to see inworldz make their own version of it!
        They have made their grid better then being in SL in many aspects and know how to fork and fork well.
        I might even try to do it myself with this open-source software.
        (above was directed at Sabastian and ‘NOT’ a green light for someone to bash inworldz over hurt feelings/other reasons)

    • hanheld@yahoo.com' Hannah says:

      Allow me to put your fears to rest -Opensim will most assuredly follow the path that ActiveWorlds has blazed. The technology is dated and inefficient, and with the looming bandwidth challenges (brought about by the lack of network neutraility) it will be amazingly impractical to use. And that is not even addressing the fact that the opensim market has reached the saturation point.

      Opensim is a technology whose time has come and gone. It’s greatest promise is as a way to empower people and enable them to host virtual enviroments on their desktops -however, with the decrease in desktop usage, it loses its’ relevance (also, bandwidth challenges).

      I don’t honestly know if HiFi represents the next “virtual world” wave or not, but I do know that it’s time for something new to come along; and when it does we have to recognize it and either jump aboard or step aside.

      • lmpierce@alcancemas.com' lmpierce says:

        I wouldn’t write OpenSim’s obit just yet…

        The technology continues to improve, i.e. new versions are created and released, and the improvements are noteworthy and visible. Usually end of life applications are preceded by cessation of development activity, or marketing considerations related to ROI. Since OpenSim is largely a volunteer, limited-resources effort, it isn’t following from the same path of expectations we place on a for-profit entity at the beck and call of investors.

        As for the issue of “net neutrality”, the current situation is that people have inconsistent Internet access and performance already. Some of the issues are purely technical, such as the distance to data centers. Other issues are regional. Whatever changes come about, there will continue to be improving high-speed broadband available to an increasing base of users and I predict access is going to be better in the future for products like OpenSim, net neutrality or not.

        Desktop computers will continue in office environments, studios, and a high percentage of homes. They will evolve of course, but they always offer the advantage of greater power and greater security. The decrease in desktop usage isn’t imposed on anyone, it is a reflection of changes in user preferences. So, for anyone who wants the advantages of a desktop computer, the market is still rich in choices, and there is no reason whatsoever to jump ship. Another way to say it is that when people have a good reason to buy a desktop computer, they can and do. In fact, the special importance of the more powerful non-mobile computer is more apparent than ever. It’s kind of like television – tablets and phones have not caused televisions to lose relevance, just their exclusive predominance for media.

        But just to acknowledge the shortcomings of being “tied” to a desktop, it nonetheless seems clear that we can expect lighter clients in the foreseeable future for mobile devices, for accessing OpenSim (and other virtual reality systems), and some excellent work already demonstrates this as a proof-of-concept proposition.

        I also think the “new” that everyone is seeking has to come not only from technology, but the way we learn to integrate whatever technology we do have into our lives. Virtual reality as we have it now already has a lot of untapped potential, either because people don’t understand or relate to what it can do, or because it just takes time for new ways of interacting with the world to take hold. And in my opinion, it has never made sense to expect OpenSim or any virtual reality system to become a mass market phenomenon.

        But as to whether OpenSim has lost relevance – the numbers show that it’s finding its place(s) in the world – that’s not proof it’ll be here in 10 or 20 years, but it’s certainly not a bygone technology. And while there will obviously be better systems some day, there will always be better systems someday than what we have in the moment in time we call “today”. I don’t think that characteristic of evolution makes what we have now irrelevant.

      • joeybhyx@gmail.com' Joe Builder says:

        I totally agree, As Inworldz and Kitley may keep it alive for a while with there work on slowly improving it. Seems opensims in general is heading back to day 1.

  2. ta2025@gmail.com' ta2025 says:

    Do you people actually think Philip is still a Linden or that somehow the Opensim people voted to replace the opensim architecture with Hi Fidelity? I applaud this new peer to peer infrastructure and I think its going to make a world of different over all. If you want to keep playing dress up in opensim, no one is stopping you!

    • Well, right now, there isn’t much of an alternative. High Fidelity doesn’t actually have a product you could buy yet, so we don’t really know what it’s going to look like, what the price is going to be, whether it will work in the use cases where OpenSim is currently dominating — commercial social grids (no other platform currently allows you to build a commercial social grid at this low a price point) — or for schools, companies, or personal creativity.

      Which makes me think — what features would a new platform have to have to make me switch? I sense a column in there…

    • joeybhyx@gmail.com' Joe Builder says:

      I’m sure he is last word on that subject is he’s the main holder in the company.

      • ta2025@gmail.com' ta2025 says:

        Philip Rosedale has has very little input into Second Life for a very long time. Its built on a failed architecture that the rest of the internet has long surpassed.

        • joeybhyx@gmail.com' Joe Builder says:

          Are you new to virtual worlds? SL as of today is the most successful Virtual 3D Chat room with a in world economy out there. These other 3D virtual chat rooms like Red Light Center or IMVU can’t hold a candle to what SL has achieved. If there multi million dollar business is bad architecture then please I would love the floor plan. As for Rosedale’s input he’s a business man and business is very good for him to say other than good job guys.

        • crestmagic@yahoo.com' Crest says:

          He owns shares in the company he helped found and only left the board a little over a year ago so he was active 9 years and his start up is funded by linden lab plus everyone on the board including new ceo is all his golf buddies
          I would say his input goes a long ways
          Looking at your comments record I could be safe to say your tech geek of sorts well here is thing it all means nothing without the social human element because you could build the most perfect replacement for SL but it will mean nothing if people will not use it
          The unfixable issue with High Fidelity is they expect SL residents to rush in but it will not happen because people are too invested in assets and land holding with it not being uncommon for people to have 1000’s of real dollars invested in their avatars they will not be convinced to leave and will not want to be alone, so they will convince friends to stay also , it will have domino effect and it will!
          His past greed effects and its aftermath will be his future downfall of a failed replacement for SL
          Philip Linden! could have turned SL very closely into HIFI but he let SL fall apart so when the time came he could claim he could offer salvation and get people to join his new money making machine well that will blow up in his face. Time will tell who is right for certain!