Second Life Beta Test Voice

Second life is about to incorporate voice — actually 3D voice (as I reported earlier in the post from Mitch Kapor). Now it is Beta. For a full POD cast about this see RezNation.
Here is what Mark Barrett who tested the Beta version says :

While transparent to the user, voice is run through a separate voice server with technology from Vivox, who really know what they’re doing. The experience is great. Last night we had a blast flying around while singing the Flight of the Valkyries.
The sound was clear and the positional sound makes it easy to pick out individuals in a crowd, even when many (15+) residents are talking at the same time! This is because you are “hearing” with your camera, so by alt+zooming around you can change which avatar you want to focus your attention on. We also observed that we’d naturally start forming circles, so everybody can see and hear each other and also make out where someone is talking from.

(See full post here)

Here’s a summary of my notes (+ some reflection)
  • 3D Sound is interesting “the x,y,z of people is tracked 10 times a second.”
  • It will be controlled also by parcel (so you can make your home private not allowing peepers to listen to you).
  • There will be group voice chat. (15+ people?).
  • Interesting core partnership with Vivox (they probably plan to make money like skype from other phone services — I have an account with them).
  • No lip sync yet.
  • Due in April (hummm probably later. — get the main grid working).


I am not sure I like Voice for role playing. But for collaboration, teaching, and actual work.. nice addition. Most people that use voice today have alternatives like Skype or Google Talk but the immediacy and 3D-ness are nice.

Leave a Reply