While the AJAX version may be new, the concept isn’t. Almost 10 years ago, back when VRML was in vogue, there were 3D chat programs. You got yourself an avatar, and you could wander around the place chatting with people around you. And frankly, even on those archaic machines, it was a little faster than Hive7 is. Mind you, you couldn’t really tweak it at all. But you got the same general sense.
I remember the VRML 3D chat rooms and designing your own avatar. I loved VRML, and never could understand why the technology didn’t take off. Here you had the ability to create 3D worlds that ran in all operating systems, on most browsers, and which weren’t that CPU or memory intensive. It was such a fun tech–I wonder if we could stick 2.0 on it’s backend and bring it back?
Anyway, I won’t go back to the Hive7 site — it causes all sorts of havoc, and I’m not sure about the ability of other people to control and add content that then gets broadcast to everyone who turns in — I’ve already seen the site taken over with something that redirects the page to a porn site.