Wednesday, 28 February 2007

SL to get voice support

This has been on the cards for a while but is now confirmed in a post on the SL blog - though, not yet, in any code. I think a beta is coming soon.

Oddly, the addition of voice to SL is something that I'm finding it hard to get really excited about - even though I know I should. Yes, chat and IM are limiting as the main communication channels in SL, particularly in situations like group meetings and presentations. On the other hand, I suspect that for many people one of the attractions of SL is the ability to leave RL behind on entering. Much harder to do if you take, or are expected to take, your voice with you.

My personal view is that the addition of voice will change the SL experience quite fundamentally... change it for the better in many ways, but one can see from the comments after the SL blog entry that it's not a change that is to everyone's taste.

Having said all that, the 3-D aspects of the way voice is being integrated, to give a better immersive experience, seems to be very interesting. And definately of interest and value in the context of any meetings taking place in SL. Chat conversations between anything more than about four people simply do not work well curently.

All in all, it'll be very interesting to see how voice integration works out.

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