Virtual world technology continues to attract money

I'm sure my fascination with this will fade a little, but Frank Yeh's keynote address at TechSec Solutions continues to have me jumping on every piece of information I come across about virtual worlds in the business environment and how they might be applied to security. Across my desk today came news of EveryScape raising $6 million in venture funding, and the description of what they do sounds pretty dang cool:
EveryScape lets businesses and organizations build engaging, immersive relationships with consumers through three-dimensional, photo-realistic experiences of cities & towns, streets & sidewalks, and building exteriors & interiors. EveryScape’s patented technology platform allows anyone with a browser to experience a first-person, eye-level walk down a “scaped” street, gather and share information on businesses and attractions, virtually enter a store and shop, check restaurant menus and reviews or upcoming theater performances. Businesses that build WebScapes on EveryScape create interactive assets that drive consumer purchase decisions, increase online conversions and in-business sales, while providing a valuable platform for email marketing and online advertising.
So, security applications? Well, first, to Franks' point, those virtual environments need security. It's IT-based security, but it's IT-based security that starts to resemble the concerns of physical security. Can a visitor to one of these virtual stores "take" intellectual property with them, through a simple cut and paste? Can they vandalize those virtual environments? Do you need surveillance and access control that follow physical security conventions and not IT conventions? It's interesting to consider. But also, consider how the technology might be used by security companies. Could a guard company use it to plan out routes for guards and best possible positioning without actually having to send people out into the field? Could you better and more easily design a security system for that municipality without having to actually do a site visit? If there is an eventual future where basically every major downtown metropolis is virtualized, could you start to incorporate these virtualizations into your PSIM solutions so that every alarm pulls up a virtual representation of the location being affected? The possibilities are endless, and the "cool" value can pretty quickly be outweighed by the real benefit value when you start to get creative with the application. The money guys think there's value there, that's for sure.


Sam, in my mind there's a direct stepping stone from todays physec "mapping" type UIs into more immersive UIs like Frank described.  Interesting stuff.