Google is thought to be set to trial an online virtual universe based on its popular satellite imagery software that would rival Second Life.
Arizona State University students are to be given the opportunity to test a new product “that will be publicly launched later this year”.
An announcement by the university, which already has significant ties with Google, said that the project was being developed by a ?major internet company? and contained hints that it would include features related to 3D-modelling and video gaming ? two possible components of a new virtual world.