As many of you probably have heard, Second Life is very soon going to have voice integration. (Which may or may not be of benefit to you — depending on which side of the whole “voice vs. text chat” debate you agree with. There’s a debate that erupts on SLED every time someone suggests that one method of communication is better than the other in an educational setting in-world. I tend to end up somewhere in the middle, preferring a mixture of both text chat and voice, but that’s just me being wishy-washy.)
Anyway, last week Johnny Ming, podcaster from SecondCast and the Metaverse Sessions (which I hope he’ll bring back this year) posted an audio preview of this voice functionality along with Philip Linden (founder and CEO of Linden Labs), Joe Linden (LL VP, Platform & Technology Dept), and Oz Spade (virtual worlds advocate). In this clip, you hear what the sound quality is like (which is actually pretty good), and the group discusses some of the features included, such as voice levels depending on avatar proximity, management at the estate and parcel levels of voice functionality, phone bridge capabilities, and the coming ‘lip-synch’ functionality.
It’s incrediby exciting. As soon as this is up and running, I’m planning on hounding our poor recruiter until she gives in and does an SL Info Session for our school. Integrating voice into SL makes (imho) communication in-world much more powerful.