Melyon is an online virtual world developed by Iranians. The platform let’s the players to wander around a virtual city and interact with the 3D-modeled surroundings.

Virtual world and virtual reality are a hot topic these days. Many companies are trying to come up with new ways to provide a real life experiment for users. Having the feeling of being immersed in a computer-simulated reality can surely be exciting for many of us.

Melyon is an online 3d world and market place similar to SecondLife. Players can have their own avatars on the platform, play online games and spend virtual money. The platform also lets the players to walk through malls, enter shops and see a 3D real life model of an item which is sold physically. One of the main differences of Melyon with SecondLife is that the user doesn’t need to install any additional plug-in or add-on to use the platform.

 

E-commerce in a 3D virtual world

Although making online purchases is more convenient, many still prefer to make their purchases in a physical store. One reason might be that the buyers don’t get the real feeling of that item. But Melyon is trying to change this mentality. Imagine entering a virtual car dealership to look for your desired car. Every vehicle is 3D modelled and users are able to virtually sit in the car, try the various options, turn on the car and get a real life feeling of driving that vehicle. Merchant is able to setup their virtual shop on the platform and place the 3D models of their items for the users to look and try them before making the purchase. Businesses are also able to advertise for themselves on the platform in the virtual billboards just as the real life.

A virtual reality shop on Melyon
A virtual reality shop on Melyon

 

Developments and challenges

Thanks to WebGL, a JavaScript API, rendering 3d computer graphics has been made possible on web browsers without additional plug-ins. Frameworks such as Microsoft’s Babylon.js and Google’s ThreeJS have also been made for WebGL to easily create 3D model content. But according to the developers of this project, due to the slow internet connections in Iran and the large size of the models built by these engines it wouldn’t have been efficient for them to work with any of them. To overcome this challenge the team built a 3D rendering engine called MelyonJS. With the help of this engine the developers were able to create low-sized 3D models which could be loaded with not-so-fast internet connections.

 

Melyon still has a long road ahead to become a flawless online 3D world and e-commerce platform. But the developers of Melyon have surely shown that obstacles and limitations could be surpassed one by one even with a cutting-edge project like this.

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