Our first goal was to replicate, as best we could, some of the features and functionality of the physical space. This makes the virtual instance of MPK16 a little unusual for a space in Second Life: our ceilings exist and are pretty low, and we have lots of furniture! However, the virtual space is very representative, almost identical, to the physical space, which was our goal. One of the things we found out right away, however, was that most people have very tall avatars, over seven feet tall! But, we still designed our virtual place for more human-sized avatars.
Here are a couple of the features we created in our virtual space to explain and demonstrate the features of both the physical, and virtual, versions of MPK16:
Many of the items in the space have flashing “orbs” of light: These indicate the item has a notecard attached, which may contain one or more of the following:
* Instructions on the use of the object; e.g., how to connect a call using the LifeSize video conferencing systems or that a pedestel can be moved around, locked for the day, or sat upon
* A link to further information; e.g., a video on a vendor’s Web site on how to adjust the chair
* Information on an area and its use, such as the Network Den or the Laptop Bar
* A link to reorder a part or something similar, such as a replacement bulb for a projectorThe notecard is also useful because some people learn or retain better by reading, rather than listening, and they may keep these notecards as a “take-away.” Functionality Demonstrations
Some of the functionality we can show using our virtual world instance includes how we have installed the mounted dual monitors on the desks to act as privacy screens. This also allows us to demonstrate that they may have given up cube real estate, with the loss of partitions, but they have gained screen real estate. We have also replicated much of the functionality of the breakaway rooms, the variable height desks and monitors, and the one-plug accessibility of the displays, keyboard, and mouse.In my next entry, I'll start to explain some of the virtual world features we were able to create, that are enhancements to our physical version!