Tuesday 26 August 2008

A Virtual World for Facebook Users

Do you want to show your virtual EFL ESL students images, videos from YouTube or just chat with them all within a 3D environment that runs in your web browser. Well now you can.

I've just been playing with Vivaty a new 3D virtual world that runs from within your web browser with only a minimal download (4.5Mb).

The strange thing about it though is that it runs from within Facebook!

Despite this it's quite good and quite easy to set up and customise. You can also easily add pictures or videos to your own personal room. Within a few mins I had managed to add a TV screen to my room and configure it to play a video from my YouTube channel.

Here's my avatar watching me doing a video presentation!

Once you've downloaded the 4.5Mb program and installed it, you simply log into your face book account and your room appears at the bottom of your profile page and you just click to enter the room.

There are also a selection of other rooms that you can visit if you want to meet other people to chat with.
Vivaty certainly doesn't have the rich graphics and degree of customisation that you can get from something like Second Life, but it is a much smaller download, runs in your browser (Internet Explorer only - Sorry MAC only users!) and or use with EFL ESL students, it is much safer (that's if you trust Facebook to protect your privacy!).

For me though, the strongest thing in its favour is the potential to watch, share and chat about videos whilst in a simple online environment.

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Nik Peachey


Anonymous said...

Nik...I love all your latest hot picks but I am trying to think how I want to use these, where to put them and save them. I have a tendancy to make notes and then newer stuff comes out...so tell me...is this your way of keeping track? Blogging?

thanks, susan

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Susan

I often do the same (make notes then forget). I use something called http://www.instapaper.com to help me remember and revisit stuff. Writing the blog helps too. You could also try http://delicious.com/ which is a great social bookmarking tool.

One thing that I'm thinking of trying is http://www.monkiri.com which enables you to take snapshots of pages / text from within your browser and save them instantly to a blog (or just stores them) It works as a side bar plug in from your browser. Looks good but I haven't tried it yet.



Anonymous said...

I would like to mention that Vivaty now runs on Firefox and will run on the Mac in a couple of months. Also, Vivaty is also adding functionality and improvements every two weeks and seems very receptive to user feedback.
I heard they now have a pet dog, sitting, will have a new GUI, be Mac compatible, have full avatar editing and customization and new social scenes. Also, their avatar animation and facial expressions top anyone currently in the field, even Second Life.
I think this is the application to watch!

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the information. I look forward to those developments, though I can't help feeling that you couldd be displaying some bias in yout recommendation of Vivaty! Do I sense some insider information?

Anyway, hope those things do come together.