Monday Oct 19, 2009

MPK16 Launches in Second Life

The Open Work Services Group team had an excellent turnout in our first official tour of our virtual MPK16 in Second Life on October 13, 2009. About forty people (really, avatars I guess) came to look around, hear our descriptions of the replication of MPK16 in the physical world, and try out some of the functionality for themselves. Our friends from the Digital Libraries & Research team managed the communications to Sun employees, signage in-world and even decorated for us!

I didn't know Greylin was such a chef, but she whipped up some dim sum, and a fabulous fruit and cheese platter for our guests. I also saw many folks sampling the punch!

As always, people hung out by the food table, as they waited for the next tour to start. We used Second Life's Voice Chat system, which worked very well, as well as Text Chat. There were a lot of good questions, too, especially from folks wondering how they can get the high-definition video at their location for their distributed team.

I also saw several people trying out the desks with the multiple displays, the height adjustments, and the different media walls with their video playbacks. Watching the rooms reconfigure themselves at a push of a button seemed very popular, too!

We will be offering tours for Sun Employees over the next several Tuesdays, at 10am SLT (Pacific Time). If you'd like to join us, just meet us at the Sun Employee Island (slurl:http://slurl.com/secondlife/Sun%20Microsystems%206/117/110/26). If you'd like to try a self-guided tour, come by anytime, and use the Notecards to learn about all of the features in our space (the Notecards are explained in this entry). (Note: Sun employees only - your Second Life avatar must be registered as a Sun Employee; register or get an avatar here.)

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for our official opening and tour, and especially thanks to all of the people who helped us get everything ready, helped out at the tours, and got us looking so festive for the day!

Posted by Diana Foster - originally posted here.

Monday Oct 12, 2009

More Information on Virtual MPK16

Diana Foster from the Sun Open Work Services Group has posted several additional blog entries on the Virtual MPK16 Next Generation Workspace replica project - be sure to check them out for more details on the space and benefits:

For Sun employees, check the wikis.sun.com  site for Virtual MPK16 for more details.

MPK16 in the Virtual World!

Sun’s Open Work Services Group is opening the virtual world version of our MPK16 Pilot Space in Second Life on the morning of Tuesday, October 13! We will be conducting guided tours at 10am SLT (PDT) this Tuesday, immediately following the Sun Expert Chat: Digital Quicksand, as well as for the next several Tuesdays. If you’d like to come on one of the guided tours, meet at the Sun Employee Island (slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Sun%20Microsystems%206/117/110/26) Tuesday morning. (Note: Sun employees only - your Second Life avatar must be registered as a Sun Employee; register or get an avatar here)

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.

Background

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)

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