As I walked around my own private convention hall, amazed at my usually small accomplishments, I thought, “I’m getting used to hanging out here in the Meetaverse.”
No, it’s not a misspelling. Meetavers, from Allseated, is a browser -based 3D meeting platform. Meetaverse builds these unique 3D spaces for conferences, business and meetings. Or is it after the launch of the platform this week. I was told by the company that they already have a catalog of hundreds of scanned and 3D rendered sites and 10,000 3D objects that they can drop into the 3D environment.
As the name suggests, the finished Meetaverse spaces have a metaverse flavor. These are virtual 3D environments that include avatars, activations such as articles you can dive in and read, videos you can watch, and, as I have seen in my own space, details in the brand. To make me feel more at home, Meetaverse filled my space with details about me: there were walls with my photos, social media statistics, and articles I wrote.
The avatars – including mine – look like a cross between EVE from Pixar’s WALL -E, and a 1960s television set. The top half of each avatar is filled with a screen showing a live video feed for each meeting participant. There is also a set of NPC avatars floating around just to fill the almost cave space. To the left of my browser screen is a more traditional Foursquare live video feed of me and three Meetaverse representatives: Marketing Director Cal Nathan, Marketing Director Nick Borelli, and Project Facilitation Manager Lauren Holley.
Unlike the Metaverse, the Meetaverse is designed for browsers, not VR headsets (although Mettaverse has been working on Oculus-compatible versions for a while). They want it to work in any browser, but I’m told that, for now, the experience is better in Chrome. Looking at the platform that built my Meetaverse 3D space reminds me of VR 1.0 meeting rooms in the late 1990s. But the graphics and motion of these spaces never looked much better.
Even if not exactly a realistic rendition of a conference room, the Meetaverse looks great and is well-organized. There is an entrance area, a reception section, breakout room with semi-translucent glass walls, and a large presentation area.
I first tried using the on-screen navigation buttons and then my mouse to move around but it was hard to control my movements. At the suggestion of the Meetaverse executive, I moved the arrow keys on my laptop and found the movement to be intuitive and relatively smooth. I don’t like, though, how after releasing an arrow key you continue to progress almost a step or two – the leaders insist it’s by plot.
While you can walk on solid objects (again, another informed design decision), there’s no way to quickly teleport from one Meetaverse location to another (you can, though , move in and out of all Meetavers events or meetings). I was wondering if, in the case of a busy Meetaverse lounge, you could press the tab key and jump from booth to booth. Borelli insists that can kill some serendipity in the system.
While my demo space is a conference room, Holly told me that the first use case is the same for meetings, as you can with Zoom or Google Meet. I asked them if their approach was too much.
“It’s more in the line of experience than the other platforms you’ve mentioned. The addition of a lot of experiential elements further accelerates the oasis from these atmospheric classes. [ike static Zoom and Google Meet]”, By Nick Borelli of Meetaverse.
All right, of course. I find Meetaverse making a meeting more fun, but all the weird 3D avatars can be a bit distracting.
Meetaverse can create an environment in three to four weeks and charges $ 15 per head (with a minimum of 500 users). The price per seat will go down if you sign up for more than a year.
In the meantime, I need to find out if I can start providing tours of my own Meetaverse.