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Keep this press-release out of reach of children. Online 3D Space Provides Innovative and Cost-Efficient Way for Businesses to Meet, Collaborate, and Showcase Their Products

DLAB, a multi-disciplinary team of designers, researchers and digital specialists based within the Institute of Digital Innovation at Teesside University, announced today the upcoming launch of OnLand, an online business district designed to provide an innovative and cost-efficient way for firms to collaborate. OnLand is powered by Blue Mars, an online high definition 3D virtual world platform created by Avatar Reality, Inc., and allows users to conduct business in interactive showrooms, boardrooms and meeting spaces.

“OnLand is a uniquely innovative approach to business collaboration and online presentation,” said Philip McClenaghan, deputy director of DLAB. “As firms cut back on travel, OnLand provides an equally effective and less expensive way for clients to connect with customers, suppliers and distributors and showcase their products 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.”

OnLand will be officially unveiled at an event on Thursday, October 21 at the Institute for Digital Innovation at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England. A simultaneous in-world event will be hosted by a major OnLand tenant, the Northern Design Quarter (NDQ), a £1m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (allocated by the European Union and implemented by One North East) funded project for North East of England Creative Sector SMEs, and will allow attendees from across the globe to listen to a variety of presenters, including Avatar Reality CEO Jim Sink. In-world attendees can also browse shops, including one featuring executive fashions created by well-known virtual world designer Estelle Parnall.

“DLAB is the first developer to deliver a business productivity application using Blue Mars, and they have certainly set the bar high,” said Sink. “OnLand is a truly impressive step into the next generation of immersive online collaborative spaces.”

The launch event is open to anyone interested in online collaborative spaces for business, and users are required to register for the event via the Northern Design Quarter portal http://www.northerndesignquarter.com/events/onLand.aspx. More information about this event and the Northern Design Quarter can be found at www.northerndesignquarter.com

About Dlab

The Centre for Design in the Digital Economy ( dlab ) was established in 2006 as one of Teesside University’s new business units – a creative and technical team free to explore and develop new markets for R&D and enterprise. With the objective of identifying the new markets that will emerge from the capacity to move 3D content across the internet, the Lab identified the Blue Mars platform as representing the generational shift in technology that would trigger those new markets.

Dlab was founded by Professor Brian Wilson whose background bridges private sector corporate communications and new product development, and R&D in digital design technologies. His senior colleagues are Philip McClenaghan and Michael Gilkes who respectively manage the commercial and R&D sections of the Lab – both coming from substantial commercial and new digital technology backgrounds. The wider team include industrial, product, transport and graphic designers, computer scientists and a social scientist. For more information, visit http://www.dlabtees.com.

About Blue Mars and Avatar Reality Inc.
Developed by Avatar Reality, Blue Mars is a premium 3D virtual world platform featuring unparalleled interaction, fidelity, scalability, security and connectivity.  Blue Mars enables artists, game, and application developers to create and distribute amazing interactive 3D experiences for a global audience. Blue Mars launched in Open Beta in October 2009 and began selling virtual land to third party developers in January 2010.

Avatar Reality was founded in 2006 by interactive entertainment visionaries Henk Rogers – best known for introducing Tetris to the world – and Kazuyuki Hashimoto, former CTO of Squaresoft and vice president at Electronic Arts. Led by CEO Jim Sink, the Avatar Reality team features industry veterans and world-class experts in casual, PC and console games, and virtual worlds and economies.  Privately held, Avatar Reality is based in Honolulu and San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.bluemars.com/.

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