Enterprise communications vendor Nortel has acquired 3D audio technology firm DiamondWare in a $10m move designed to enhance its VoIP, multimedia and voice conferencing capabilities.
DiamondWare's technology, which has been used by the US military and in gaming environments, will enable Nortel to offer more immersive and life-like online communications experiences, according to the firm.
For example, if several participants in a virtual meeting are speaking at the same time, DiamondWare's technology allows each person to hear other participants in relation to how far away they are in the virtual space.
Nortel also announced today that it is developing new 3D audio visual technology which it claims could be used by staff to collaborate internally or engage with customers and partners more productively.
Web.alive is virtual world technology in the mode of Second Life which could be used on a firm's customer facing site to allow sales staff to interact with customers via their avatars.
"Web.alive will help businesses deal with one of the major drawbacks of most communication technologies today: the ability to give users a 'real-life' experience that is more interactive and intuitive," said Nortel chief technology officer John Roese.
"People are no longer satisfied with existing collaboration tools or with static web sites supported only by a telephone contact centre as the main point of interaction."
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