IBM creates the "virtual conference room" - HotHardware
IBM creates the "virtual conference room"

IBM creates the "virtual conference room"

Teleconference calls are so 2008.

IBM today announced a new software tool, Sametime 3D, which allows people to hold virtual business meetings in virtual conference rooms.

It has its origins in the worlds of Sim City and MMORPGs. Users will be able to create their own avatars to represent them in the "rooms," and will be able to talk, share presentations and, in a cute move, be able "to, literally, throw ideas on the wall" to "see what sticks." The 3D technology means that users will be able to view presentations from all sides - an architectural model or gadget design, for example.

The "reusable meeting spaces" can represent many different types of commonly used meeting rooms, including an amphitheater, a board room and a "collaboration space" where people can work together on a project. Suggested uses include "brainstorming sessions, status updates, town hall-style meetings, rehearsals, training classes" and can be used both on a scheduled and impromptu basis.

It seems the biggest deal is that people on opposite sides of the world would be able to come together in a group setting on a moment's notice and be able to do virtually everything but feel and smell what's going on. IBM put together a video to show the capabilities - the good stuff starts about 1:20.

The program can integrate software the companies already are using and promises to be as secure as the company's network. Documents, presentations and snapshots from the meetings will be available to those who can't attend. The software may be fully available later this year, and is being tested by some of IBM's clients now. It uses version 8.0 of IBM Lotus Sametime and eventually may be able to connect to existing virtual worlds, such as OpenSim and Second Life.

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Wait until the go to an EQ1 mall and think about what it could do for retail space in the real world. I have been wondering when the would figure this out. Heck with modern graphics or even special tools in DX11 for this type of thing the avatars may actually looks somewhat real. I mean damn they have realworld full body suit virtual sex with pornstars in japan (at least if there with Vivid video I think it is) I remember hearing about that over a year back now. That in a full body suit with a wrap wround helmet and sound. A business meeting should actually be simple compared but they just now figured it out.

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I know a lot of high-level management types, and I don't think it would be going out on a limb to say: THIS WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER BE CONSIDERED FOR PRACTICAL BUSINESS USE.

There's absolutely nothing in the video that couldn't be more efficiently and better done with whiteboarding and shared video. Microsoft LiveMeeting and Cisco Telepresence, FTW.

BTW: Spending time to create a 3D model of a server down to the component level just to show an installation procedure instead of sending a couple of pictures or a video? Hilarious!

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