If you think Virtual Worlds/Second Life are only for fun & marketing hype, think again!. Big Vendors like IBM, SAP and their partners have started experimenting the Virtual World platform for more serious applications.
If we can have clones for humans, called 'Avatars', Why not 'clone' your infrastructure? - Thats the idea.
Implenia, a Swiss based Building Mangement company is trying unique and innovative solutions to build more sophisticated services such as Remote Building Management, Carbon Emission/Energy efficiency and Temprature control. The idea here is to link your real world buildings to virtual world buildings in real-time. Sounds Exhilarating!.
Have a look at this article. If you have your little window in the house is open, Close it via Virtual world. Control the real world using Virtual world from being anywhere in the World!. And thats the novelty!.
And take this idea and dip into business scenarios and you get intuitive solutions!. And thats what IBM is experimenting with 3D data center management!.
And You may ask - Can't I do all of this in conventional 2D world using Web/HTML interfaces?. Of course, you can. But the intuitiveness and the exploration the 3D could offer is far ahead of 2D interfaces.
The only bottleneck that I see is the bandwidh availability to support those huge amounts of visual elements data transfer over the internet.
But, if the internet bandwidth becomes a commodity like the mobile airtime has, the 3D world would take off!.