A company called Genkii is hoping to rope a chunk of the 40-million worldwide web-connected phones and iTouches into a new 3D avatar-based virtual world, Sparkle. Too bad virtual worlds died around 4 years ago.
Genkii appear to have had Sparkle in the works for quite some time, but they must have spat out whatever drink they were drinking at the time when Apple announced their inter-app micro-commerce structure for iPhone 3.0, which is perfectly tailored to Second Life's "pay 65 cents, increase penis length by 200%" mini economy.
Currently, Genkii has a $5 IM app in the App Store that ties into your Second Life IM account. They hope to expand their actual standalone virtual world later this year, preserving the ability to tie into pre-existing worlds like Second Life and Playstation Home.
If there is anyone out there who can't wait to get a mini avatar on their iPhone, buy it clothes and an apartment, and seek out other mini avatars to IM with, forgive my skepticism. But I think Sparkle has missed the boat by about a half decade. We'll see what happens. [TechCrunch]