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PresenceScape: Virtual World Mediated Rich Communication



The shift toward more horizontal and distributed organizations has presented communication challenges for individuals and institutions that are physically separated from one another. Video communication platforms such as Skype, Jabber, and the Cisco video communication system are widely deployed in enterprise environments to enable employee communication over a distance. Those video communication tools that are capable of audio-video exchange and document sharing are sufficient to establish and support communication for formal and scheduled meetings. However research indicates that a good deal of communication and interaction within the enterprise environment is not pre-scheduled. Although not supported by existing video communication tools, this informal communication and interaction plays an essential role in creating and maintaining collaborative relationships. This paper presents an innovative application called PresenceScape, which aims to support informal communication and interaction by leveraging a customized virtual world such as Second Life or OpenSimulator. The system is able to capture real life events, translate them into virtual representation based on user-defined rules, and visually represent those interpreted events in a virtual world. By providing an immersive and interactive common working environment with rich presence and context information, PresenceScape creates a “better than real” office working experience for remote users. © 2012 Alcatel-Lucent.