While the real world struggles against the perils of global warming, nuclear threats and terrorist warfare, the virtual world seems to get better and better. Last month the developers of Second Life launched a beta trial version which integrated sound for the first time. This long-awaited feature will provide Second Life’s users with a new way to communicate besides text chat or third party applications such as Skype.
The beta trial was accessible only to a reduced number of people. This is probably the best way to test the voice feature thoroughly before making it available for the whole Second Life universe. According to Philip Rosedale, Linden Lab’s CEO:
I hope to see voice officially launched in Second Life within the next several months.
Besides sound capabilities, Rosedale also gave some hints about other future improvements in Second Life during his keynote speech at Gartner Symposium ITxpo. These will include the ability to use your own picture as avatar and the enhancement of graphics to achieve a higher degree of realism.
When you look through a computer screen, everything will look real, like you’re looking through window glass.