Online gamers will love this: 3D web conferencing tools

We were quite intrigued when we stumbled upon 3D tools during research – and couldn’t wait to test them. There are different ways of bringing the third dimension into web conferencing. We started with the one tool that seemed most fun: Tixeo WorkSpace3D.

What’s fun about web conferencing you ask? Well, for starters, Tixeo lets you create an avatar and gives you the choice between different hairstyles or differently colored shirts for example. You can then chose between a set of meeting rooms in which you see the other participants’ avatars during a meeting and can walk up to them to literally join the group. If someone wants to present a document, a screen pops up and hovers above the ground. The avatars are pretty fast too, but you cannot jump or punch the other participants…

So much for the fun part, which really is more of a gimmick. A scenario where the 3D bit offers additional value is e.g. if architects or realtors want to give the participants a feel for the planned building or the apartment for sale. With Tixeo you can walk participants through the rooms.

If we step down one dimension again and look at the basic functionalities, Tixeo doesn’t do too good in comparison to other tools. There is no Outlook integration for the invitation process, the host cannot lock the meeting room, and meetings cannot be recorded. Then again, this is an early version, and all the basics are there. But to consider it for our ranking we will have to wait for improvements in future releases.

So what do you think about 3D for web conferencing: Yay or nay?

Good looks aren’t enough – PGi Netspoke is a bit too demanding of users

Our first impression of PGi Netspoke was: Wow! Neat interface, easy to use, and a feasible set of functionalities. Also, PGi Netspoke is one of the few web conferencing solutions that include a specific contingent of audio minutes in its pricing.

When looking more closely we noticed that pricing information is only available for the American market. That was the first turn-off. Other discoveries followed.

E.g. the invitation process is a bit complicated, there being no possibility for integration into Outlook. The tool can only be accessed by logging into the online portal, instead of offering access through the toolbar or a desktop-shortcut.

So PGi Netspoke really is a decent tool for online meetings, but not top-ten-material.

Read the whole evaluation.