Re: [vmeet] IETF Island in Second Life

"John Buford" <> Fri, 22 January 2010 18:46 UTC

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From: "John Buford" <>
To: "'Lisa Dusseault'" <>, "'Henning Schulzrinne'" <>
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Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 13:46:31 -0500
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Subject: Re: [vmeet] IETF Island in Second Life
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One potential advantage of meetings in virtual worlds
leverages the spatial audio capability supported there.

For example, side conversations during a meeting 
can be achieved in a natural fashion by having the
conversants move slightly away from the principal meeting


-----Original Message-----
From: Lisa Dusseault [] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:04 PM
To: Henning Schulzrinne
Cc: John Buford;
Subject: Re: [vmeet] IETF Island in Second Life

On Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM, Henning Schulzrinne <>
> Not having done much in SL, I'm curious what you see as the principal
advantages compared to more boring tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx. Was
interaction easier and, if so, how?

This is one of those "works for me" things:  not speaking for anybody else,
but I'm easily distracted.  I knit during many meetings so my mind doesn't
wander.  SL provides some of the same advantages but more directly related
to what's going on: viewing the avatars keeps my focus on the proceedings,
almost as much as real life and much more so than a voice-only call.  This
surprised me when I experienced it, and I was also surprised that having
meetings with a brass robot (my boss) and a nautilus shell (my colleague)
was interesting rather than distracting.  YMMV.

I just wonder how many social responses are triggered by sight as well as
sound.  Is it a general human trait that it helps us listen to have
something to look at that represents the speaker?  How much does it help if
we can look at a face instead of a non-mammalian avatar or image?  How much
does it help if the visual focus is animated along with the voice?  Would a
smiling cartoon avatar in a meeting foster cooperation compared to a frowny
cartoon avatar?  Does this effect strengthen with increased avatar realism
or not?  I'm not the person to study these things, but I read the studies
avidly in between working on the technology.

> Did the meeting feel more productive? Beyond seeing some avatars, what
capabilities were used?

None as yet; next time we try this we're going to try a slide presenter
in-world.  I've been in other meetings with slide presenters or shared video
and that's been an aid, though so far no better than real life (just

> Can somebody dial in by phone or is this headset-only?

Yes you can dial into a group by phone, although I believe that's not a
feature available to all groups just yet.  The dial-an-avatar feature only
recently got added (for $:

The voice stuff is SIP by the way :)