Your Very Own Virtual World
You don't hear much about virtual worlds, a la SecondLife or its knockoffs, very much anymore. That might be because it's costly to host some systems, there is an enormous learning curve for both those deploying and using the system, and by all accounts, they remain a little hokey.
That has not stopped Forterra Systems, a maker of enterprise class virtual worlds, from releasing a new version of its OLIVE (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) software platform. The software does, however, include some interesting features and by the looks of it, the offering is so robust that you might want to consider it over your next webinar or conference call:
- A Virtual Meeting Reservation System that allows a meeting organizer to reserve a 3D room type (ex, auditorium, board room, classroom), room equipment (ex, projector screen size, chairs, and podiums), and to invite mandatory and optional attendees. Invitations are sent out through the user’s native email system (ex, Lotus Notes, MS Exchange), and if accepted the meeting displays in their native calendaring system.
- Presenting on 3D screens and viewing by all participants a spectrum of media, including MS Powerpoint files, streaming videos (Windows Media Player® based), any software application running on a Windows desktop, and collaborative whiteboards.
- Avatar profiles through integration with any social networking system like LinkedIn, Facebook, Lotus Connections, a Learning Management System or enterprise HR system, so users can view the profile of another meeting attendee by right clicking on their avatar.
- Support for 3D model import into OLIVE for Autodesk 3Ds Max and Maya, Google Sketchup, Blender, Poser Pro, FaceGen, and Softimage, and other content-authoring tools that provide COLLADA file export options.