SecondLife meets Voice Over IP: a promising voice chat test at NMC Campus

March 20th, 2007 Karine Joly 4 Comments

I’ve just spent a few minutes listening to lots of “Can you hear me, now?” at NMC Campus in SecondLife at the beginning of a stress test for SL integrated voice application. It’s supposed to be released in June.

And, this was pretty exciting and very… clear. It sounded like a Skype conference call or a Skypecast, but sure looked different ;-)

I couldn’t stay until the end of the test, but this is a very promising start for voice chat in SecondLife, which I identified as a very important step for the future of the platform in higher ed marketing and admission fields in my first post about SL last summer: “Should your institution hold virtual open houses in SecondLife (SL)?”:

Voice instead of instant messaging – In SL, communications between avatars are only done via the game instant messaging application. I’ve heard and read that voice over internet protocol is in the plans and should happen soon. When slow typers will be on equal grounds with their faster counterparts, exchanges will become easier. That’s what I’m calling online interactivity, the next best thing after face-to-face interactions ;-)

Now, it won’t be long until we can mark this one “checked.”

4 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    After VoIP, they’ll integrate tools like the wii remote so that simulate your own movements…that would be my guess.

  2. Karine Joly says:

    And, then we can just toss real life, I guess… Maybe not ;-)

  3. Sardionerak says:

    These voice chat capabilities are not really new for people who are into gaming. World of Warcraft guilds have long been using Ventrillo as their communication of choice, where a large number of people can voice-chat at once.
    It would be interesting to see if SL introduced distance-based voice chat, ie the closer you get to a person, the clearer you hear them. I think that would be very neat, but it would obviously cause quite an intense use of bandwidth.

  4. Karine Joly says:

    That’s exactly what it is, Sardionerak.

    When I first arrived at the teleportation station, I was able to hear a very low chatter, people talking and laughing. This is actually how I found the group. The closer I was the louder I could hear them.

    I’m not a WOW user, so I don’t know how different it is, but I can tell you that SL voice chat is also stereo-based. You can hear different people from the left and the right.

    When somebody is talking, you see a green waveline icon above his/her head, a visual way to signal voice chat for people who aren’t enabled, I guess.

    re: use of bandwith, this is why they are currently performing stress test on different locations.

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