The SLENZ Update – No 52, March 6, 2009

IBM makes face-to-face

easier with Sametime 3D

Sametime 3D demo

IBM is expediting the “marriage” between “virtual world” Web sites, and “unified communications and collaboration tools” — technology that links such things as voicemail, audible chat, and instant messaging – allowing  geographically  widely dispersed meeting-goers to teleport themselves from instant message chats to virtual conference rooms (http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Ibm-NYSE-IBM-957273.html)

Big Blue announced this week that it now allowing selected clients to test Sametime 3D, a new tool which allows business colleagues not only to exchange instant messages and chat verbally, but also share presentations and ideas in private, prefabricated, reusable meeting spaces located in a variety of virtual worlds. These spaces allow participants to, literally, throw ideas on the wall during a meeting to “see what sticks,” and to vote on, organise, and save the most promising proposals. Avatars can make presentations to one another, socialise, debate, or, literally, examine ideas and 3D objects from all angles.

Along with the new software tool IBM is providing several, secure reusable meeting spaces, including a theater-style amphitheatre, a boardroom and a collaboration space which can each be used for impromptu or scheduled brainstorming sessions, status updates, town hall-style meetings, rehearsals, training classes, and more.

“This project is part of IBM’s ongoing work to redefine the nature of online meetings,” Colin Parris, IBM’s vice president for Industry Solutions and Emerging Business, said “The work that takes place during a meeting is hard enough; people shouldn’t have to struggle with logistics. Whether through improvements to Web conferencing capabilities or with special offerings such as Sametime 3D, IBM is offering new ways to engage and collaborate, making meetings more effective and productive.”

The new software overcomes several challenges that have existed for businesses wishing to hold meetings in virtual worlds: First, businesses can collaborate the way in which they are accustomed, using software they may already have, such as electronic presentations, enterprise security, and instant messaging tools. Second, IBM has prefabricated a variety of re-useable spaces specifically designed for productive meetings, making it unnecessary for adopters to painstakingly build meeting rooms each time they want to meet. Third, these spaces are secure, overcoming privacy concerns manifest in many public areas of popular virtual worlds. And finally, colleagues not wishing to participate in a given virtual meeting can still view documents, presentations and results from those sessions — or even snapshots of a previous meeting.

In the future, the software will provide a variety of ways for participants to circulate reports to one another that document the meetings’ progress. IBM will also make it easier for users to chat verbally and exchange information generated by and for virtual meetings, with traditional computer software already installed on their computers and servers.

The new software, which may be made available by the second half of 2009, uses version 8.0 of IBM Lotus Sametime, and a plug-in designed by IBM Research for virtual worlds. When the software is developed fully, clients will be able to use it to connect any number of virtual worlds, such as OpenSim or Second Life.

EVENT

joykay1

Sunday 8 March – NZST time, 4 pm;  AEST time, 2pm, SL time 7pm, Saturday, 7 March: The Islands of  jokaydia’s Community of Practice’s  monthly Mini Unconference  at joykadia Castle will feature:  Annabel Recreant and Konrad March, updating their work on the Virtual Classroom Project (http://jokaydia.wikispaces.com/vcp09 ); Launch of the Annual jokaydia Community Photo Comp;  Skribe Forti, an Australian expert on machinima and video production for the web,  on Video in a Web 2.0 World;  and a visit to Al Lurton’s latest exhibition over at the Kelly Yap Gallery. (Slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/jokaydia%20Waters/76/126/44) Further details:  joannamkay@gmail.com.

2 Responses

  1. Hello,

    Nice article. I can’t believe that IBM is not into virtual worlds. I think it is going to be the next big thing. If you need more info about virtual worlds, visit my blog here http://zatun.wordpress.com/

    Regards,
    Abhinav

  2. Abininav,
    IBM is very much into Virtual Worlds with its OpenSim project, its involvement in Second Life, and its involvement with Forterra, and has been for years. One of their researchers, SL’s Zha Ewry was the first to teleport between two independent virtual worlds, IBM’s OpenSim and Second Life, although the avatar arrived without any assets. It also is rumoured that IBM plans to mount OpenSim or other VW software on all the servers it ships sometime in future although it is “agnostic” about what that software might be.. I have written about IBM’s successes with MUVEs a number of times in the past..
    John Waugh/Johnnie Wendt

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