MPK16 in the Virtual World!
By user9141613 on Oct 12, 2009
My next few blog entries will discuss the different aspects of the virtual world instance of our MPK16 Pilot Space, starting out with a little background on the project.
The MPK16 pilot space, in the “real” or physical world, was built to facilitate collaboration for teams that are physically seated together, as well as those that have some distributed members. Currently, most of Sun’s MPK campus consists of closed (four walls plus door) offices, which, while excellent for heads-down and isolated work, is a poor choice for team collaboration. The MPK16 pilot space contains the following features to enable collaboration:
- open plan studios, dedicated to a team
- multiple informal areas for collaboration such as Laptop Bar, Network Den, and Break Area
- formal collaborative areas (conference rooms, Team Room)
All of these areas are enhanced to specifically improve collaboration, both locally and at a distance.
We originally built a virtual world replica of our physical version of the MPK16 space to train and tour our Sun counterparts throughout the world, to let them see the prototype space so they could see the functionality, layout, and obtain training in the use of these newly implemented collaborative areas and tools.
It has since become another “node” in our network of places, in addition to other nodes such as other Sun offices, client sites, travel locations, and employee homes. Most of my co-workers are local to the Bay Area, as I am, but my boss and another co-worker are in other states. Although our first choice is to meet face-to-face, that’s rarely feasible for us, so we can now choose to meet “in-world.”
In our Second Life version of MPK16, you can move your “avatar” around, walk around the space, and see and talk to your co-workers (the other avatars). This space exists in a private area, only accessible to Sun employees, so your conversations and presentations won’t be overheard.
Next, I will explore how we have replicated some of the aspects of the MPK16 real world space.
Diana Foster (originally posted on her blog)