I read recently about product platforms emerging for collaboration using avatars like ProtonMedia and even Second Life as an enterprise collaboration solution.
My initial reaction is: who do I want to see in a meeting
or Option B:
Anyone who has used or managed one of these systems for a real meeting, training, PLEASE comment below.
Why would you want to interact with an avatar ? I understand if you are talking to your friend and she turns into a cat and then a wolfman that it is sort of cool and funny. (One of my colleagues can't keep his hands off his Logitech
avatar selector during video calls)
But if you are talking with your boss and see a vaguely lifelike but clearly computer generated likeness, is that better than just using text chat or being on a conference call? Are these systems compliant with industry standardss for secure communication?
I collaborate with full-motion video, and full-duplex audio on a daily basis. Beyond the unmistakeable reality that I am talking to a computer screen, it is like I am there: talking to people in the office and across the globe at the click of a button. It saves me at least an hour and often an hour and a half per day of driving back and forth to the office, not to mention the potential travels to client sites that can be done via video conference.
Please help me understand the value proposition of avatars from a system management and user experience point of view.
Is it a low bandwidth substitute for live video and audio? Is it supposed to make us forget that it is work, and make it feel like play? I am just missing it?
Interested in any comments, use-cases, propaganda, demo movies, education...
Creative Commons Photo Credits: David Shankbone -- Kim Kardashianvintfalken.com -- avatar