Call yourself a remote worker, telecommuter or home office, the
desire for local convenience for some can become outweighed by a
sense of isolation.
Just as Second Life acts as an Avatar world in the personal realm,
Qwag has developed a virtual office world to help remote workers
feel more socially bonded.
Inspired by Linden Labs’ intricate 3D civilization Second
Life, Qwaq designed the peer-to-peer environment especially for
collaboration within companies. To protect data exchange between
team members of secured groups, passwords, permissions and authentication
keep tight controls on who can view or edit documents and designs
within the workplace.
Setting Up Your Virtual Office
Just as in Second Life, each team member creates an avatar.
The office is selected from several templates or imported from
a 3D modeling software. The workplace includes standard office fare
like conference rooms, whiteboards, and areas for presentations
and demonstrations of new product designs.
Other team members are found inside, also represented by avatars,
identifiable by a name above their head or by their own animated
The team can conduct work much like they would in the office, attending
meetings, speaking with coworkers in the hall, sharing documents,
even giving presentations on designs for other members of the team.
The workplace is open all the time and you don’t even have
to pay a night security guard.
Using A Virtual Office
Key benefits of these virtual offices include:
- Sense of Presence – avatars can visit
the virtual workplace at any time, sharing work over different
time zones. Meetings can either be planned or spontaneous.
- Easy File Sharing – virtual spaces display
Word documents, PDFs, Excel files, designs and presentations that
you or your teammates have left for viewing. Simply drag-and-drop
these documents to and from your desktop, you can post files for
others to view or edit.
- Wiki-like Collaboration – edit documents,
designs, or view work in the virtual space. See what changes have
been made since your last visit. Present a design to either a
closed or open group.
- Dynamic Meetings – use high-quality
voice-over-IP and instant messaging to simulate boardroom discussion.
These can be informal chats by the water cooler or planned meetings.
And a single keystroke, enter and leave other chat sessions. Check
out to see what avatars are ready in the conference room.
Currently still in beta, MPK20 is being tested by Sun's own employees.
Qwaq Forums is still in the evaluation phase for use on Windows
and Linux operating systems.
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