I mused in a previous posting that Second Life would get more interesting once the environment became more realistic, and when you could actually speak to people, using your voice, rather than typing. Well, nearly four years after the metaverse launched, voice chat is finally here!
I first heard about this at the Blogs and Social Media Forum last week, from Roo Reynolds, who rejoices in the title of Metaverse Evangelist at IBM. Voice has, in fact, been in beta since March. I gather it’s quite good, and even three-dimensional. So, if someone approaches you from the side, they ‘sound’ in the right place. All sounds a bit freaky, doesn’t it?
Today, Linden Labs made the voice option available on the Beta grid. What is being called the Voice First Look Viewer is available for download to use in the live grid, meaning everyone can now speak in Second Life. It will still be in beta for a couple of months, but, following user feedback, it will then become a standard feature.
This has all sorts of implications for author readings, book launches, conferences, meetings and other events.
It has been suggested that we will still use a mixture of instant-messaging-style typing and voice. For example, voice for one-to-one conversations, readings or presentations, but text for larger group discussions. I’m looking forward to trying it out, anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes.
My avatar is currently having a bad hair day. I need to seek out Ina Centaur for an image makeover. But, once I’m in, I’ll let you have a teleportation link so you can come and chat to me. In text or voice.