Mobile phones and devices can already access virtual worlds such as Second Life on 3G networks. Vollee delivers Second Life to more than 70 handhelds by rendering it on the server side. Their Second Life iPhone client is in beta.
LivePlace plans to take cloud rendering of 3D virtual worlds to a new level. TechCrunch has posted a very impressive video of LivePlace's City Space which is a Photo-Realistic 3D virtual world. The beautiful ray tracing is done on the server side or "in the cloud" and delivered to the clients via OTOY. OTOY is a 800k web plug-in that enables cinematic quality 3D rendering in a browser with compressed content streaming.
The City Space demo shows beautiful and highly realistic rendering of different environments. It looks and feels more real and immersive than Earthmine, Everyscape or Google Maps Street View.
The demo video shows real time rendering using an ATI RX 1900 GPU and live streaming to a Treo 700 at 240 kpbs. The final product is said to be even more impressive! The first comment on the demo: "this is the pinnacle of what has been dreamed of since computer modeling and rendering was begun."
TechCrunch has more details on OTOY and LightStage here including interesting interviews with Jules Urbach, the founder and CEO of OTOY.