Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


Virtual Worlds to Become as Important as the Web

Computerworld's Heather Havernstein provided (in the 1/9/08 issue) a synposis of a Forrester Research report which states that "within five years the 3D Internet will become as important to companies as the Web is today." Within five years? I am a bit skeptical about the strength of that statement, but I have a healthy wait-and-see attitude.

The Forrester report is titled "Getting Work Done in Virtual Worlds." It discusses the effect virtual worlds will have on remote collaboration, training, and building and sharing 3D models. While today's collaboration tools do not allow people to see gestures or emotions, avatars in a virtual environment can be directed to show these expressions. The report also says, "In a virtual meeting room, you can see who is present, who is multi-tasking, who has raised a hand, or who has been away from their keyboard so long that their avatar has fallen asleep." Professionals who can find specific value in virtual meetings are surgeons, architects, engineers, and product designers who use CAD or visualization systems to create projects. Examples cited in the Computerworld article include:

  • Duke University and Virtual Heroes are creating a high-fidelity 3D virtual environment to train teamwork and communication skills to health care workers
  • University of Maryland and the I-95 Corridor Coalition built a virtual world simulation of highway emergencies
  • Princeton University is using a 3D virtual world to manage distributed teams of a large-scale astrophysics project


  • Virtual worlds certainly have the ability to positively impact the way that business is done. Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs. Sometimes this means that although they want team members to meet and discuss ideas, they don't want to spend on the transportation costs necessary.

    Virtual meetings reduce the need for this type of spending. Companies that try this method can share ideas more quickly and move faster on projects.

    By Anonymous Go to Meeting, at 9:04 AM EDT  

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