The Next Best Thing to Being There

I just finished assisting Claudia Linden with her presentation at the Training Solutions Technology Conference and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah…but I never left my desk in San Francisco. Claudia was presenting to an audience of several hundred people interested in using Second Life for education and training purposes. She had her PowerPoint projected from her laptop on the podium, but she also had Second Life running with the audio from her laptop piped into the conference room sound system. This set up enabled me to join her on stage and present some slides on the business of second life.

video slide of myself

The most exciting part of the presentation was how we streamed the real time video from the iSight on my MacBook Pro through Second Life to the Audience in Salt Lake. With an account from Veodia and just a few clicks, was able to add a real time video slide of myself to my presentation in Second Life.

I first learned about Veodia because a number of people in our large and growing educator community are using Veodia to broadcast live and on-demand TV quality video into Second Life. I’ve been playing around with Veodia for a few months and it worked perfectly for this presentation. I encourage you to visit and sign up for a trial account. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to set up. As soon as you start broadcasting in Veodia, it will display an RTSP link that you can apply to your in world video texture on a parcel that you own as in this knowledgebase article.

If you’re using Second Life for real world business, I’m certain you’ll find a use for your trial account within a few weeks.

[UPDATE] Someone kindly captured and uploaded a video of my presentation/demonstration to YouTube here.

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53 Responses to The Next Best Thing to Being There

  1. Phoenixa Sol says:

    Thank you for the info about Veodia, and glad your presentation was such a success!

  2. Christi Maeterlinck says:

    Zee, I think that what you’re doing here is very important. Those of us who struggle with VIPER (Voice Internet Protocol Extended Reach) to stream sound and pictures to our e-learning students world-wide are going to love this. Real-time visuals— placed into the SL environment that gives us the richness of seeing our students as we talk to them— a potentially stunning combination.
    Never mind the business Suits! Please get in touch with your education group and collaborate on blended/e-learning!

  3. Stephe Erhler says:

    I’m a bit confused, if you want to see real video feed of people and hear their voices talking, why use second life at all? Maybe I’m missing something but if you’re interested in realistic video conferencing, aren’t there already real life platforms for that? I thought the whole point of second life was to interact with people using an avatar.

    A confused Stephe Ehrler

  4. Very glad that your presentation went well. πŸ™‚

    I read the blog post then the comments before I started writing this one. At first I thought the same thing as a previous poster. Why do what amounts to basically video conferencing while on Second Life when you can just do that minus the avatars? Then I realized that this is a very big thing for both business & education. Not only are you able to use the avatar interaction which adds a special touch, you can also use video conferencing to demonstrate various ideas that cannot be re-created in a virtual world. It puts a personal touch then more ways then one. I plan on checking this out as it could be a door to something completely different in the metaverse.

  5. Svend Waldorff says:

    Stephe, I think the issue here is combining both: you can meet up as an avatar and be “present” at the videoconference, and then interact with members of the audience. That adds more posibilities than just recieving a streamed videoconference, I could imagine a prof/teacher giving a conference to the avatar audience and they then interacting with each other aftewards to discuss, Q&A, etc. The videoconf. part adds a lot of possibilities that an avatar doesn’t have (show stuff, richer facial expressions), the avatar part lets the audience interact.
    My two cents, hope it’s what was ment.

  6. Fox Diller says:

    Why isn’t this feature just inside of Second Life?

  7. Jamie David says:

    Apple’s free Darwin QuickTime Streaming server and the apple quick time broadcaster do the job nicely. Wish there wasn’t the lag. Viewed on SL is always a few to 20 seconds delayed from watching it on the quicktime player. Strange that.

    Tried it out a month or so back. Was wonderful to do but useless in that the lag made it a sort of live presentation. Is Veodia lag free ie really live???

  8. bobbyb30 zohari says:

    @6, Please, whatever you do, don’t ask for more “new” features. Most of secondlife is broken, and we don’t need more “new” features. Instead, LL should focus on fixing its current problems.

  9. This is exactly what we’re experimenting with too.
    It is worth checking out NetroMedia who offer great QT streaming services too.
    Also for PC owners, it’s worth a look at Vara Software’s Wirecast3 software for streaming and managing multiple cameras.

    For me its working well with Netro and SL.

    Would also like to say the customer support at Netro is outstanding!

    Push Infinity
    Nokia Siemens Networks
    (My views expressed here were personal and not the views of Nokia Siemens Networks)

  10. Simeon Beresford says:

    So you managed stay on line and interacting with a few hundred Non-sl members without crashing for what ten minutes? Well done but a bit risky. If you had crashed it would have put them all of joining.

    When you can reliable present a one or two hour lecture to people in sl and not have at least one person crash. then you will have a technology that would be more than a toy.

  11. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    Checking the Veodia website – I don’t see any pricing information (yet).

    Any comments on the cost?

  12. Bobo Decosta says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us Zee. Would like to see more examples of on how we can use second life out of second life.

  13. D. Spitz says:

    Hey Stephe and Svend,
    just a vision of me, but maybe it would be real cool to stream ur rl-head in sl ab project that on ur avatars sl-head.
    Could u imagine this effect? WOW!
    THAT would be a meeting!

  14. This is not a new feature. Its already here, you just have to sign up for a Veodia account and then put the url in to the media stream, its just like streaming music in SL with SAM or Winamp. And #8 stop the complaining and start helping to find a fix for the problem, or up grade your computer. I am logged in to SL for days at a time and do not crash, my internet (ComCrash) goes out more cause of wind and rain then I crash in SL.
    Just my Spontaneous Thought.
    Keep up the good work.

  15. oh yea, I stream music, talk on skype and can run 2 avators with out crashing. More memory and better video cards, will help your crashing problems

  16. Davina Glitter says:

    Not so sure I want to use that service from what is containted in their TOS; “You grant Veodia a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, irrevocable license to reproduce, transmit, display, disclose, create derivative works of, perform, and otherwise use and exploit your Content on the Site or elsewhere for our business purposes in all media now known or later developed. We are free to use any ideas, concepts, techniques, know-how in your Content for any purpose, including, but not limited to, the development and use of products and services based on the Content.”

    I am working on projects for our university that are copyrighted works and I can not grant others rights to the content.

    The technology looks very interesting though, pity.

  17. Pingback: Second Life News for October 16, 2007 « The Grid Live

  18. Stick says:

    anyone having problems loggin onto SL ?

  19. Can’t wait to use this for a door com system ;O)-

  20. Blinders Off says:

    I’ve seen this before. “Sign in with a free Beta account and help us test the system.” Saw that on Kneeya. Then as soon as their “beta” period is over, what happens to the beta testers? LOL

    No thanks. Let them pay for their Beta testing like Microsoft and SL. Oh wait…. nevermind. XD

  21. Zack Blabbermouth says:

    YOU WHERE IN UTA- #$%^ i should have been there T_T

  22. Jayden B says:

    I try to use SL for real world things, but a critical component has been broken for a month now, Friends online from the web. Without this you cannot tell if the person you wish to conduct business with is online, or if they are… where they are.

    Not everyone can get into SL from businesses or schools all the time, having a working friends online so you can continue as if you are there is critical.

  23. Reg Mannonen says:

    Just goes to show no matter how many scream “the scy is falling!!” there are still wonderful ways to use SL for business….. and pleasure.

  24. Dusty Runo says:

    Wow, Yeah D.Spitz That would be cool…I crashed with having screem size problems on a money chair..i know wierd….and now i can’t log on

  25. Yes, live video in SL is so obvious. Yes, latency is always a problem. Yes, there are thousands of live streams one could dream of from keeping an eye on RL things back home to educational purposes. No, I cannot use my Windows Media Servers. :-/

  26. Storm Nordwind says:

    I agree Davina (16). I would like to use Veodia for business training but cannot for the same reason as you. It amazes me that they are specifically targetting businesses – or perhaps some businesses don’t care about giving away their company confidential information…

  27. Milo Bellow says:

    Big Head! Big Head! Big Head! πŸ˜›

  28. Alexander Regent says:

    @#16 …. yup…it is this very type of TOS that made me decide NEVER to use MySpace….. poor musicians…pity the first one of them that makes it big.

  29. Jayden B says:

    /me yays \o/

    It’s back, after a month being broken, it just came back

    /me falls over dead from shock and can start living in SL again when RL raises it’s evil but necessary head.

  30. Gracie says:

    I wonder how much Linden Labs got paid for that little bit of advertising?

  31. william Fish says:

    As always great to see things working properly for the mass’. Also i like to plug in my own little bit here since we seem to be free to do that πŸ˜›

    Zee Linden in IMHO is one of the best Lindens out there. Over my nearly 1 1/2 years with SL Zee Linden has come to my rescure time in and time out. Zee Linden is very helpful and professional with his job at SL.

    I finally get to say this in public. Thanks Zee Linden!

  32. Storyof Oh says:

    did the presentation include underground shots of ghosts of av’s past all piled up on the same seat? did they bend at the knees then sink down to Australia? did they get fired out to Uranus? did they tap their unresponsive mouse for ages then crash ‘cos off sim? were they completely dressed? or was their hair and shoes up their butt? did they try stocking a store with runaway x y z parameters? did they find their complete inventory? did their desk rez within 5 minutes? Did they crash on tp? could they relog? Were they all using high spec gaming graphics on what should be a business use bit of word kit…
    were they paying VAT and reclaiming it as a business expense? ‘Yes Mr Taxman we held a virtual reality meeting…the booze bill was completely justified…the escorts left a bit to be desired…’

    Fix the grid for bog standard premium paying customers and we can marvel at the corporate possibilities…
    Er wasn’t there something called Net Meeting???

  33. LoriVonne Lustre says:

    Thanks for the info Zee. I do appreciate hearing how tools / software interface in real life situations (even in SL there is RL). While I have signed up for a beta account to play with, my concerns are as Davina (16). The ToS will never get by my college, and nor should it.

  34. Guillaume says:

    Clarification about the Veodia TOS: @ Davina (16), Storm (26), Alexander (28) and LoriVonne (33)

    The Terms that you read are ONLY FOR THE FREE evaluation accounts. Once you sign up for a full paying account, you retain full ownership of your content (contact us at for more info if you’re interested). It’s the whole point of Veodia! We’re not making money from advertising with YOUR content, instead we offer a subscription model that gives you privacy, control and ownership. That’s true too when you upgrade from free to subscription. Hope that clarifies!

  35. Desmond Shang says:

    Fascinating and interesting!

    Zee, anything in this nature that helps unlock the business potential of Second Life is more than welcomed.

    While I’m now primarily a ‘native metaverse’ business, I can see the day when first life businesses will regularly do business on my virtual lands (the first already had about one year ago in Caledon Moors, a bookstore) and every survival tool we can get as a metaversal business solution is appreciated.

    Desmond Shang


  36. Simeon Beresford says:

    tell me Spontaneous Radio what do you think we should up grade to

    I t cant be Vista because “Second Life does not currently support Windows Vista.” it cant be Macs because they seem to have more problems than any one.
    so what Do you think lecturers shold be telling their students to buy.

    As for helping to fix the problem. thats what I thought the money from my premium account was being used for.

  37. Dello Martov says:

    Any business (or individual for that matter) looking to use Veodia may want to read their Ts and Cs on content. Specifically:

    “Any communications, content, video, or other material of any kind that you e-mail, post, upload, store, or transmit through the Site, including, questions, comments, suggestions, and other data and information (your β€œContent”) will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. You grant Veodia a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, irrevocable license to reproduce, transmit, display, disclose, create derivative works of, perform, and otherwise use and exploit your Content on the Site or elsewhere for our business purposes in all media now known or later developed. We are free to use any ideas, concepts, techniques, know-how in your Content for any purpose, including, but not limited to, the development and use of products and services based on the Content. You grant the other users of the Site a non-exclusive license to reproduce, transmit, display, disclose, create derivative works of, perform, and otherwise use your Content through the functionality of the Site.”

  38. Capo Freenote says:

    As a MacBook Pro user, I am interested on how you were able to do your presentation in Second Life without crashing? This is not sarcasm, my question is truly sincere as I find it almost impossible to function in Second Life anymore.

  39. JoeDrinkAlota BeerBaum says:

    Someone up there mentioned Lag? There is NO such thing as ANY Video Confrence System, without some form of lag, Heck even the Televison’s “Live” News has a delay The Speed of light is only so fast, and to trasmit data takes computers, and god knows they are slow no matter where you go. SO Hey a couple second delay? Pfftt BIG deal, if you can get an idea across to someone half way around the world, and have them understand it and be able to apply it, i’ll wait 30 seconds if it saves a plane ride to another state contenit and or hemisphere to teach someone. Pfffttt LAG! HA! This is the trouble with our Fast Food lifestyle…. Now now now…. I dont wanna wait. Pffft!

  40. sm thibaud says:

    Apple will be glad to know you were using a MacBookPro, Zee. My guess is that you weren’t using one equipped with the Geforce 8600 GPU, whose lame driver is making SL experience very difficult for me, and for a number of people. Odd you’re plugging Apple on this blog: visitors should be aware that MBPs have a serious graphic bug with the SL viewer, and Apple doesn’t seem to give a s**t about it.

  41. Davina Glitter says:

    Guillaume (34), I am with an educational institute and would like to use this service for not for profit events, is there a higher education discount for the service? Thanks! πŸ™‚

  42. Tree Kyomoon says:

    what would be really cool is if we could use the advantage of low bandwidth motion capture streams (via MIDI?) to control our avatars movements. As it is, this is still basicaly video conferencing with some 3d graphics attached for no practical use, except to eat up a ton of bandwidth.

  43. Karyn says:

    That is soo cool!

  44. Hmmmm…. glad this conference worked.
    I had a similar project, but this seems complicated as hell, and in more unreliable. At least my associates don’t wanted to try, even if they were much more experienced than me.

    However to have reliable sound channels manipulation would be great: basically several inputs, scattered on the planet, provide real time or streaming sounds, which are mixed and displayed in a given area of SL, with several possible quality levels (low quality is more prone to interruptions by buffering). Would be great to have this, with no downloading time, no buffering, a simple mixer, and simple to set up so that it don’t need an enginer and days of work to implement and run, and crash att he least mistake. In this way voice can be really useful.

  45. feature is successful, not when it has been demonstrated once, but when basic users (ignorant of computing) currently use it without difficulties and without complaining

  46. Guillaume says:

    @Dello Martov (37): please read comment #34.
    @Davina (41): glad you want to use it! And good news: we do offer discounts for Edu and Non-Profits!

  47. Dusty Lindley says:

    This looks like product promotion. Note that this is the CFO of SL who did this video (yes, finances. Deal with Veodia?). Also note the prompt response of an employee of Veodia. I admit that I would read the comments of a post concerning my own business if it were to be featured on a site such as this, but I might not notice for a week or so. Unless notified, either by LL or by someone who’s posting. If LL notified them, then it seems like LL is asking for attention or money. A reader would not notify the company this fast, mainly because there is not reason to.

    I don’t believe some conspiracy theories, but things like this bug the hell out me.

  48. Zee Linden says:

    #47 – Full disclosure: I found Veodia on my own. I signed up for and used a trial account. I wanted to go to Claudia’s Keynote Presentation so I could listen to her and provide feedback but I didn’t want to travel. We planned for Claudia to run Second Life on her laptop so I could hear her. Then I said “Hey, I could present through Second Life too.” Once we were going to have Second Life running, I thought I’d give a Veodia presentation because I thought the trainers and educators would appreciate a little demonstration of the technology. I did let Veodia know that I would be doing this demonstration. Then I sent them a link to the blog post afterward when someone asked about their terms of service. Other than that, Linden Lab and Veodia have no formal relationship – sorry, no conspiracy. πŸ™‚

  49. Dusty Lindley says:

    πŸ˜€ works for me.

  50. Storyof Oh says:

    ‘on her laptop’ ……. can you share the specification and operating system of said machine? was it wireless?
    finding a laptop with even better than average graphics card and without Vista is a challenge unless you pay mega mega bucks even then you aren’t immune to basic bugs…to quote a certain movie…..’I want what shes having’……

  51. par says:

    we, at veodia, would love to work with each of you on your needs in streaming video into SL. please contact us at and we can discuss the best package for you. also, just to confirm, you will completely retain the rights and management of the content. thanks.

  52. Pingback: Thunder » Veodia

  53. It would be a next big thing,But differenct technologies are also comming forward in market, so i think if it would be really an innovative thing than it will work, otherwise i don’t think so that i ll be stand like a leader in market.

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