Tuesday, July 22, 2014

'Lync Has a 3D Virtual Environment Secret Weapon' Article from Aragon Research

Jim Lundy, founder and CEO of Aragon Research, is a well respected analyst who has covered the collaboration industry for quite a number of years. He has written about and advised on all aspects of the space, including 3D, so we were delighted when he blogged about us earlier this month on his site.

Here's a snippet from the post:

ProtonMedia has evolved over the years with more enterprise deployments featuring its flagship offering Protosphere. Ron Burns, the Founder and CEO, is still at the helm of ProtonMedia. His move to partner with Microsoft Lync is timely and it will help both ProtonMedia and Microsoft.
3D Virtual Environments have lots of use cases, particularly in the Enterprise. Microsoft has not made a big deal out of this, but as enterprises seek to justify continuing investment in Lync, ProtonMedia could be a difference maker.
We see the demand for 3D Virtual Environments going up, partially due to the fact that we see Facebook, Google, and Microsoft starting to promote the concept, even though others, such as IBM, were involved with this concept early. For now, Microsoft gets special treatment from ProtonMedia. We expect to see more integrations as enterprises start to realize that collaboration can be interactive and engaging.

You can read the entire article over at the Aragon Research blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sneak Peek at the New Look of ProtoSphere

Our development team has been hard at work on the next generation of ProtoSphere and has been making really nice progress on it these past few months. Last week I spent some time with Jim Seaver, ProtonMedia's Art Director, getting a look at the upcoming version and capturing the video below.

He gave me a tour of the environment, the new interface, and some of the beautiful spaces being created with the improved dynamic lighting, shadows, and normal mapping that the game engine is capable of. I even got a sneak peek at the 3D object management tools that will be providing customers a lot more flexibility to create custom spaces and artwork in ProtoSphere.

Monday, May 19, 2014

CBS News Features New Milford High School Students Using ProtoSphere

The students and teachers at New Milford High School in New Jersey were featured in a story on Friday by CBS News about how they are using ProtoSphere to learn in a whole new way.

For the past few months we've had the pleasure of working with Laura Fleming, the Library Media Specialist there, who has helped bring 3D learning into the school. She's partnered up with a number of teachers to pilot the software with their students and gauge its effectiveness in providing a learning platform that's engaging, interactive, and dare I say… fun!

The students have been learning about a variety of subjects from Art History to Chemistry and everything in between. The video shows them working together in class, helping each other understand certain topics, and how even the teachers can get in on the action. You can hit this link to the article and watch the video on CBS' site.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top Ten Rules of Etiquette for Virtual Collaboration... And One Extra for Good Measure

Just like any other social situation, there are certain "rules" of etiquette for interacting with other people in a virtual environment such as ProtoSphere. In talking to our customers, I've found that they've come up with a few of there own, and the list below is a collection of some of those best practices. Some of them are specific to ProtoSphere, but many would apply to any virtual collaboration tool.

  1. Just as you would in real life, turn your avatar toward the person who is speaking, or to whom you are speaking.

  2. Respect others’ personal space. You wouldn't walk up to your colleague in real life and stand only a fraction of an inch in front of him while talking would you? In ProtoSphere, people have a sense of personal space… respect the space of others and don't get too close or step on their toes. It helps to keep yourself in 3rd person view so you can see how close you are to others.

  3. Business appropriate language should be used in group conversations.

  4. Please refrain from spamming the group conversation window with text that isn't relevant to the conversation.

  5. Avoid using all capital letters when sending text messages back and forth - it's usually perceived as "yelling".

  6. Mute your microphone. This is a big one folks… Lync audio is very sensitive and any background noise (dogs barking at home, very loud typing) can be distracting to other participants in your events.

  7. When others teleport into your location, wait a few extra seconds before you start speaking. Their avatar will often appear in the space before they connect to the audio conference and you don't want them to catch you mid-sentence.

  8. During a presentation, only the presenters should advance the slides.

  9. While in a meeting, keep an eye on your Avatar to make sure it is not randomly standing, pointing the laser, or turned the wrong way in a chair while zoomed in on a board – (this is usually caused by an inadvertent tap on your keyboard).

  10. Instructors should use the remote control feature as often as possible, instead of facing away from the participants to look up at the screen. Seeing the instructor’s face is a better, and more realistic experience.

  11. If you have to step away for a few minutes or take another call, so the Instructors or Administrators do not call on you during a class inadvertently, move to the back of the room or other designated that has been established as an “Away” area. It is also helpful to change your Lync status to “Away”.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Conferencing Featured Article on TMCnet

A couple of weeks ago while at the Enterprise Connect conference, our CEO Ron Burns met up with TMCnet's Content Director Rachel Ramsey to discuss some of the things we're doing with ProtoSphere and how our 3D virtual environment can have a positive impact on collaboration and learning needs.

Here's an excerpt from the article she wrote:

Virtual environments are not new, but they are definitely growing. Virtual events, for example, have started to integrate with traditional conferences, tradeshows and networking opportunities. They reduce costs, allow attendees to target messaging and communications and offer real-time access to content. Eighty-seven percent of marketers predict by 2016 events will be half virtual and half face-to-face, which can be a great thing for those face-to-face events – 82 percent of online attendees think virtual events are helpful in decisions to attending events in person.

But virtual environments go beyond events. There are also solutions and applications out there for enterprise communication and collaboration, and that’s what ProtonMedia provides. Its ProtoSphere solution is a 3D virtual workspace designed for enterprises and employees to efficiently collaborate, learn and be productive. It integrates Microsoft Lync and SharePoint to maximize the efficiency and features.
Jump over to TMCnet to read the full article.

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