Planning Holiday Season Parties?

Go Virtual for your holiday events!

Enabling Your employees to have fun by getting together in a 3d venue is the best way to develop your human capital while cutting costs.

Instead of spending tons of money on travel cost to gather your employees in one place, go virtual. Altadyn’s avatar-based 3Dplatform enables you to create an entertaining corporate atmosphere for your year-end gatherings. It is easily accessible to your employees from home or office computers, eliminates travel costs, and increases productivity by saving time and can be setup quickly.

Want to learn more? Join us for a 30 min demo to see how it may apply to your group. Participants to this presentation will also receive a 10% off promo code for their next virtual event.

.3dXplorer

3DXPLORER VIRTUAL HOLIDAY PARTY DEMO

Tuesday, October 25 from 8:00 – 8:30 AM PST.

Click Here to Register

You can utilize virtual events to provide a memorable alternative to the typical corporate meetings. Act now for this limited time opportunity!!

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Avon Uses 3D Conferencing For National Sales Meetings

In an article published this week by Network World, and relayed by the Association of Virtual Worlds, two 3DXplorer customers talk about their experience with the platform used for web conferencing. Here is one of them, through an excerpt from the mentioned article:

… Global cosmetics giant Avon Products had a problem. The teenage girls who were the primary salesforce for its “mark” brand of youth-oriented cosmetic products had a hard time sitting through Web conferences composed mostly of PowerPoint presentations. But the need for online meetings was unavoidable – the girls were located all over the country, and needed to participate in training and attend sales meetings.

Avon goes 3D for conferencing
“When you’re sitting in a Web conference, it’s easy to be distracted, check your email, watch TV,” says Natalie Wood, assistant director for the Center of Consumer Research at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University, which was asked by Avon to help solve this problem.
The Center for Consumer Research had experience working in various environments that were more engaging than watching slides on the Web while on a conference call. The most popular of these was Second Life, but this platform wasn’t appropriate for Avon, chiefly because of its steep learning curve and technical requirements.
The platform the Center for Consumer Research decided on, 3DXplorer from Altadyn, is a Java-based online meeting space where companies can fully customize the virtual environment and hold meetings similar to the ones they would have in Second Life.
“It’s Web-enabled,” Wood says. “You don’t need a fancy computer, and you don’t have many firewall problems. And you do not need to be highly competent to use 3DXplorer. Second Life definitely has a steep learning curve.”
The Center for Consumer Research has already begun holding virtual meetings for Avon’s young sales agents in the 3DXplorer environment, and the feedback has been positive.
“One of the things we’re finding is that the girls no longer feel anonymous,” she says. “Girls are commenting to each other, ‘It’s wonderful to finally meet you!’ – even though they’re not actually meeting, they’re meeting the avatar.”
They also felt that the meetings were more serious and legitimate, she adds.
Avon’s virtual meeting space in 3DXplorer is modeled after its headquarters in New York City, and visitors can actually see the New York skyline when they look out of the virtual windows.
“It gives them the feeling that they’re really in the ‘mark’ offices in New York,” Wood says….

Saint Joseph University - Center of Consumer Research - 3D Conferencing

Read more here.
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Why Virtual Events Look Like In-Person Events?

Since we launched ALTADYN 9 years ago, we regularly hear the above question. Why Virtual Events Look Like In-Person Events? Why Meeting in a 3D space ? Why using AVATARS? Why not having Virtual Events user-interface as simple as buying a book on AMAZON or renting a movie on NETFLIX ? Etc…

A few consultants who covered this space have done a decent work answering to these questions, including FROST & SULLIVAN (who predicts more “presence” will be required in Virtual Events), and THINKBALM (who has published several reports on this matter).

We see a few reasons why Virtual Events NEED to look like in-person events if they want to become mainstream:

  • 3D immersive creates the Sense of Presence, and the Feeling of the Space
  • Avatars lead to more « Human » Interactions, more engaging, more networking among attendees
  • Avatars and 3D immersive lead to stronger Visual Memory of the Meeting
  • Importing 3D objects improves communication and collaboration on 3D virtual products
Virtual Events: 3D avatar based Tradeshow with 3DXplorer

Virtual Events: 3D avatar based Tradeshow with 3DXplorer

Have you ever questioned why corporations have always spent so much time and money in building well designed and greatly architect-ed headquarters, and reception areas? Do you have the same feeling when you walk in an underground dark railway station hallway, compared to when walking in a bright glass bridge with a green landscape around your meeting room? Are you familiar with the emotions that environments create in you?

The 3D immersive environment and its design by itself creates feelings in each attendee. Now add the fact that you see another avatar in front of you talking and/or chatting. Is it the same sense of communication compared to trying to visualize someone just by their name, in text, in the lower right corner of the screen?

Connecting attendees into a virtual event, so that they can see slides, hear a presenter, watch a video (live streamed or not), or even chat to each other, is a resolved problem since 10-15 years ago ( by Webex and webex like platforms). The same way netflix has done with movie watchers  or Amazon has done with book readers or Facebook has done for friends… a simple easy way to accomplish the needed tasks mentioned above. But why do people still go massively to in-person events?

The demand is now for more HUMAN Interaction, more ENGAGEMENT and for virtual events which are closer to the in-person events. So that the attendee “FEELS” like he/she is “THERE”, and interacts with the exhibitors and with other attendees.

Some book buyers, those who miss the human interaction and the seller’s advice, continue to drive a car and go to Barnes & Noble to buy a book where they spend a lot more time and money than just ordering online. Why do they do that? Because they miss something AMAZON is not offering today.

Now for Virtual Events, the HUMAN aspect is even much more crucial than for AMAZON. The goal of Virtual Events vendors should be to enable attendees participate to more events, get more content, be more engaged, connect more to each other, enjoy the experience and even have fun. All this in less time and at a lower cost than the in-person event. That’s why everyone tries to create that SENSE of PRESENCE. Some do it with background images(full-size 3D generated), and some go further with 3D immersive, avatar based solutions. In a platform like 3DXplorer, you can virtually “walk” on the same floor as other attendees, shake hand with each other, use your laser pointer to point out something on a slide or show an object to someone, see where each person is looking at, etc…you FEEL being in the same place. PRESENCE makes sense this way.

Now, are ALL Virtual Events going to look like in-person events? No. But unlike AMAZON for books, here we have the larger market who has not yet gone virtual, despite solutions being available since 10-15 years. because most virtual event platforms can’t provide that feeling of presence, and they simply don’t facilitate networking and engagement that is effective or fun.

If the Virtual Events market wants to deliver on its growth promises, it needs to develop something fundamentally different than Webex which will capture those in-person events.

Register for one of our upcoming webinars and give it a try, and Feel free to react…

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How Did 2010 Turn Out For The 3D Internet Market and For ALTADYN / 3DXplorer?

Virtual Worlds, web 3D, “Live 3D collaboration” or “Full 3D Virtual Events” represent different angles of vision for the same group of 3D immersive Internet technologies. As 2010 was clearly the year of emergence of 3D for consumers, I would like to discuss the evolution of this part of 3D internet technologies.

During 2010, AVATAR, the movie , 3D TV screens in the shops, controller-free gaming consoles such as Wii and Kinect, and glasses-free 3D TV, all played a key role to massively introduce 3D environments to all generations and not just to the younger generations , as games did in the past 15 years. This created a new dynamic wave for the 3D Internet in general.

As a testimony to this new 3D wave, Altadyn, now in its ninth year of business, accelerated its growth in 2010, with over 117% revenue increase compared to 2009  :

ALTADYN 3DXplorer revenue 2010

ALTADYN revenue growth 2009 - 2011

In the past 25 years in the 3D technologies and businesses, we have seen years which left their marks more than other years. For instance;

  • 1982 was the year of foundation of Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Adobe and Autodesk, as well as the year TRON was released by Disney,
  • 1987 was the year when 3D design and modeling applications became affordable to most 3D animators and engineers when  Sun introduced the first non proprietary OS on affordable workstations ,  and 1988 when PTC introduced the first parametric modeling technology ,
  • 1995 when Hollywood started using the first realistic special effects in its productions or just the use of full 3D productions such as Toy Story by Pixar.
  • 2010 was the year of Emergence of accessible virtual 3D environments for all, including consumers.

This general trend of emerging accessible 3D virtual environments strongly impacted technology providers, especially those offering 3D immersive software. Let’s have a look at a few lessons learned in 2010:

1) “Virtual Worlds , a la Second Life” are not meant to be for business, but for entertainment.

The Virtual Worlds market leader, Linden Lab, severely downsized it’s team, during 2010, stopped the Enterprise or B-to-B  Business, and focused on its core business which is entertainment and gaming. The company even hired a new CEO with a clear gaming background. Forterra Inc., a pioneer in this space went out of business, as well as it’s “half sister” company THERE, a leading virtual world. We learned that a virtual world needs to have a purpose. If it’s for entertainment, then it needs to follow the rules of a game business model and the consequences. If it is for business, it has to follow business requirements, be enterprise-friendly, available in SaaS mode (hosted, on-demand), compliant with corporate firewalls, with no software download, etc…

2) Virtual Events are taking off but customers need more engaging Virtual Events.

Within 2010, the tough economy and budgetary restrictions, corporations and event firms produced even more events virtually than in the past, using mostly non 3D web-ex type technologies or pseudo-3D applications, while starting to use full 3D immersive platforms as well. Although some cost reduction goals were fully achieved, they didn’t meet their goals in terms of direct customer interaction, lead generation, new business relationships (see the TSNN report, tables 9 and 10).  In another study, ROI of engagement, it apparent that customers need more engaging virtual events which facilitate networking and encourage active participation.

3) Perpetual Virtual Events or Permanent 3D Websites are needed more

Those clients, who experienced virtual events, notice that it’s much easier to setup a virtual event than a real event, and the cost of maintaining a virtual event space is a fraction of the cost of building it. Consequently, they are interested in more frequent virtual events  or even perpetual  trade-shows or show rooms where visitors can interact with company’s representatives, at any time. That’s the reason why 3DXplorer’s Meet-in-3D service is becoming more and more popular. This service saw a fast growth in 2010 and the trend for 2011 is continued. As a reminder, 3DXplorer/Meet-in-3D enables the transformation of anonymous visitors of a website into real prospects.

4) Other 3D Immersive  Applications are emerging, or continue their development

Among other applications of 3D internet which gained a lot of customer attentions, we noticed:

  • Replicating strategic corporate facilities and enabling accessible virtual visits
  • Simulation and training
  • eLearning and virtual classrooms
  • On-boarding and other HR applications
  • Virtual Showrooms and Art galleries

The trend in 2011 is in the continuity of 2010, with the market getting shaped in a more determined manner as per the above orientations, and we all look forward to it.

Darius Lahoutifard
CEO

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New Release: 3DXplorer V 5.4.08 is released today!

Eight months after pre-announcing V5.4, and with an intensive and long set of tests and real meeting experiences, a new version of 3DXplorer V5.4 is released. As of today, the ‘Last Release” status is attached to V5.4.08.

The most important feature is a more robust and higher quality VOIP, which uses a dedicated port if the user’s firewall authorizes it (if not, the standard port 80 is used).

Among other new features:

  • “Mute audience” button is replaced by a moderator’s control panel allowing a moderator to control separately voice, Desktop Sharing, lasers, chat moderation and video broadcast
  • “Voice” button is replaced by “Mic” and “Speakers” buttons to increase users control on audio settings
  • Presentation features (ie: Desktop Sharing, laser, video broadcast), voice and chat moderation can now be activated/blocked individually for each avatar
  • Skinning import improved for max 2010 COLLADA exports
  • Faster and more reliable network synchronization
  • The size of a video overlay/popup can be set in the material editor
  • New meeting planner with invitation text supporting 8 different languages for 3DX/Online Meeting and 3DX/Conferencing, and customizable invitation templates.
  • And many bugs fixed.

Many of you have set your version to a test release to use VOIP, so please make sure you reset your space to LAST RELEASE status.

Enjoy the new features and please feedback.

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Want A Christmas Tree For Your 3D Space?

If you have tried our 3D lobby recently, you have certainly noticed our season decoration with the Christmas Tree.

Meet in 3D

You can download this same tree here, and upload the 3DS file into your own space and get a season’s feeling….virtually.

Enjoy it!

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quidexpat.com Likes Meeting Website Visitors Live !

QuidExpat.com is a leading website where the French-speaking population around the world finds useful information on expatriation.

The website features a network of French-speaking professionals whose mission is to respond quickly and efficiently to questions of many individuals and businesses in different categories, such as expatriation, real estate, legal, employment, health, technology, etc …, over the phone. The provided services have been focused on the USA, so far. Other countries are about to be added.

Since a few weeks, their home page has a new amazing feature: an awesome 3D space to meet and greet visitors.

 

quidexpat 3D space built with 3DXplorer

quidexpat 3D space built with 3DXplorer

Commenting on their use of 3DXplorer, Biba Pedron and Laurent Millour, co-founders of QuidExpat.com said:

“The 3DXplorer room is a great asset to our company. After seeing the whole potential of this new technology during the demo, we decided to acquire our own space to greet our visitors, show our customers the full extent of our services, and organize seminars on different topics related to expatriation.

Here are the reasons why we like our 3D room:

• It allows us to interact with customers all around the world in real time
• It sets us apart from the competition
• It gives us the opportunity to organize virtual seminars with attendees from all over the world
• It creates a buzz in the French-speaking community since QuidExpat is the pioneer in using this technology ”

Biba Pedron and Laurent Millour who successfully ran their first seminar, are now looking forward to even broader use of their 3D space: “No doubt that our 3D room will bring a lot of interest to our company, improve our customer service, and will make it easier to convey our message and services to our customers”.

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