SAN MATEO, Calif., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Makena Technologies, creator of the popular 3D social virtual world There.com, today announced three new ways for consumers to enjoy the There.com experience and make it a part of their experience with social networks. First, There.com, previously only available on PCs, will be available on the Mac OSX platform later this year. Second, Makena has developed ThereIM, the industry’s first lightweight, 3D instant message tool that fully integrates with an immersive virtual world. Finally, Makena has created a Facebook application, which connects Facebook users to their social network in There. Makena also has announced that the There.com environment is now more accessible to German and Japanese-speaking members, offering translations throughout the 3D environment.
Gartner predicted that 80% of US Internet users would enter a virtual world by 2012. However, a common complaint echoed by users of all virtual worlds is that the large download requirements are often a barrier to adoption of the 3D technology. At the same time, sales of Windows desktop and notebooks remained flat in the first quarter of this year, while the NPD Group found that Apple has increased its market share, noting sales of Apple notebooks experienced 50 to 60 percent growth, while desktop sales were up
45 percent in the quarter. Social networking sites are also booming, as people want to be connected to each other; in April, comScore reported that Facebook had 115 million members.
“Social networking continues to explode and in order for virtual worlds to continue to grow, we, as site operators, have to make it as easy as possible for consumers to access them,” said Michael Wilson, CEO of Makena Technologies. “We’ve seen awareness for virtual worlds increase dramatically over the last year, and There.com has seen steady growth. To foster further adoption by mainstream consumers we have to offer several ways to access the virtual world platform so they can experience how the 3D experience takes socializing to another level. These three new access points will enable us to reach more consumers with our platform.”
The three new access points include:
Taking advantage of the latest OSX technologies, There.com will now run on version 10.4 and later. The Mac client interface is consistent with the PC counterpart and was developed using OpenGL graphics. OSX users will enjoy all the features and functionality of There.com experienced by PC users since 2003. Makena Technologies expects a beta release of the OSX platform before the end of the year.
ThereIM is the industry’s first instant messaging tool that allows members to travel between its virtual world and a 3D instant messaging application that sits on their desktops. Using ThereIM, members extend the avatar experience by maintaining their in-world identity while communicating with friends that are in or out of the world. In addition, ThereIM allows members to change clothing, use emotes, shop and instantly teleport into the world. ThereIM has been in closed beta since early this year, and is expected to be released this year.
The Facebook application, Facing There, allows There.com members to showcase their in-world profiles, skills, groups and upcoming events. It also provides links to There.com’s auctions, where members can purchase a variety of virtual merchandise, including clothing, vehicles and home decor items.
About Makena Technologies, Inc.
Makena Technologies is the parent company of There.com, a fully interactive, 3D online virtual world where members can customize and create their own 3D character, meet and hang out with friends in real-time using voice and text chat, build their own virtual homes, participate in events ranging from car races to paintball to fashion shows and even create and sell their own virtual items. There.com is a safe and exciting “PG-13” environment for ages 13 and up that has something to offer nearly anyone. Makena Technologies has offices in San Mateo, CA and Laguna Beach, CA. For more information, visit http://www.there.com .