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Working in OpenSim most of the day used to mean that my team members in SecondLife would be unable to contact me except via email or out of world messaging.  Anything requiring immediate response meant I had to move through various windows or log out of Shengri La OpenSim and into Second Life.  The process of departing one world to enter the other was breaking my immersion and cutting into my productivity. Couple this with my need for social stimulation, and it was clear we needed a solution in order to allow me to remain connected to core team members without impacting my productivity in OpenSim.

Enter the immersive-friendly Message Bridge. 

Anytime you have a solution that is simple for the user (me) to actually use, it’s a winner, regardless of what it looks like from the technologist’s point of view.  The Message Bridge is simple.  One simple chatted command, and  I’m connected to colleagues and friends in Second Life without breaking immersion in OpenSim.  I can stay in touch, handle issues as they arise, and remain safely tucked away in our OpenSim doing real work.  It’s a small advance in technology, but a huge social advance for people doing real work in OpenSim. 

People who are working in OpenSim usually have roots in Second Life, and are likely to have business contacts and actual business in Second Life as well.  It is a matter of business productivity and quality of the work environment that the two populations can communicate through messaging without breaking immersion.  It’s not teleporting, it’s not asset sharing, but it is a critical component to supporting actual workers doing actual work in these virtual worlds.  It lowers the barriers to doing business across worlds.

I would like to thank our lead developer for Black Dress Technology, justincc, for enabling immersive-friendly messaging between OpenSim and Second Life.  Since it so greatly improved the quality of my working environment in OpenSim, I asked Justin to donate it to the OpenSim community for all to use and enjoy. 

The release is hosted at    

http://forge.opensimulator.org/gf/project/psimb/frs/

It is our hope that others experience a similar improvement in their working environment and productivity  in OpenSim.

Best wishes,
Shenlei Winkler
CEO and Founder,
Fashion Research Institute, Inc.
& subsidiary Black Dress Technology, Inc.

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