IBM sees real promise in virtual world

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. ? IBM Corp. is using 3D Internet technology increasingly to hold meetings, teach courses and allow far-flung employees around the world to interact as if they were in the same place.

Sandy Kearney, global director for 3D Internet and global business at the company, said the environments are in their infancy, but will become more useful with time. She was the luncheon keynote speaker at the Executive Leadership Conference today.

"It allows people to be transported into an event without having to be there," she said. "Imagine what economic benefit there might be if we don't have to travel for every face-to-face encounter."

She demonstrated the 3D interaction using IBM's virtual offices in ActiveWorlds, one of several popular 3D platforms available today.

Federal agencies could gain similar advantages by using 3D technology she said. While popular platforms such as Second Life and There.com might not be secure enough for corporate and government needs, organizations can build an "intraworld," the 3D version of an intranet, to address that, she said.

ELC presents sessions intended to give federal government and business leaders insight and ideas about issues they face. It is put on by the American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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