The vendor said that the service allows Lotus Sametime users to create avatars and set up and use virtual meeting spaces securely behind the firewall.
Using Sametime 3D, people can select colleagues from their Lotus Sametime contact list, and then invite them to participate in a virtual meeting. Participants can meet in a boardroom, an auditorium or a collaboration space.
Once they enter the virtual meeting, avatars can use text or voice chat, or both, to communicate. They can then share presentations or other materials, and take notes using virtual flip charts. In the collaboration space, they can share ideas and other information on a brainstorm wall. Participants can then store, update, prioritise and vote on this information. Content can be imported and acted upon both in and out of the virtual meeting space.
Other, flashier features, include spatial voice - meaning that as participants move around a virtual room their voice gets louder or softer. IBM said that this was made possible through work with VoIP specialist Vivox.
"Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime is part of IBM's ongoing work to redefine the nature of online meetings," said John Allessio, vice president, IBM Software Services for Lotus.
"Whether through improvements to web conferencing capabilities or with tools such as Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime, IBM is offering new ways to engage and collaborate, making meetings more effective and productive. The timing is perfect for this new offering as it facilitates effective meetings and brainstorming without the time and expense of travel."
Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime requires Lotus Sametime 8.0.1 or later.
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