The animated avatars for members of the popular virtual world Second Life are about to get more realistic. Massachusetts-based Vivox said that its technology will enable the three-dimensional avatars representing people in Second Life to "speak with each other simply by walking up to other residents and talking." The speech capacity will add a new dimension to Second Life; voice conversations alongside the current instant messaging mode of communication. "Integrated voice is a natural extension of the virtual world our residents are building. Voice will further enrich that community and introduce new opportunities in social development and commerce," said Linden vice president Joe Miller. The speech program will include spatial audio to "mirror real-life" by making voices sound as though they are coming from the speakers' directions.
The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. "The Second Life Grid, with its resident-created world and highly immersive structure, is an ideal platform for business and social interaction. Live voice is essential to realizing the full potential of this environment, particularly for collaborative, academic and economic purposes," said Vivox chief executive Rob Seaver. Second Life, which was launched four years ago by San Francisco-based Linden Lab, is host to more than four million members from over 100 countries.
News source: Physorg