Zoom, High Fidelity

Getting a glimpse at the group video chat service Zoom made me think a lot about the future of distance, group interactions. Having everyone’s zoomed in head within its own little box, lined up on the screen was a little disconcerting. I think that seeing the realness of each others faces made me expect a more realistic spatial representation of the group. The gridded video  on Zoom is also different from traditional face-to-face interactions in that it would be really impossible, not to mention uncomfortable to be zoomed in on everyone’s face at the same time within physical space.

This made me think of another approach to group-distance collaboration – virtual worlds. Most exciting to me in this field is the impending release of High Fidelity. (highfidelity.io) I think real-time avatar manipulation is the way to go! Conducting a class in a virtual world, all played out by avatars manipulated by learners in real-time (in other words, when they blink in front of their web browser, their avatars blink immediately after) would be a fun experiment.

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2 thoughts on “Zoom, High Fidelity

  1. I love how you are always one step ahead. 🙂
    And I will play devils advocate. I am not sure I understand what the advantage of an avatar over a real face (in zoom) would be. also, are you suggesting that the avatar might be even better than everyone together in a classroom (i.e. physically there?) or just a better alternative to zoom?

  2. I had the same thoughts and question as Aaron. Virtual worlds have been around for a while, as have avatars, but not being a gamer, I personally don’t see the appeal of avatars. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but when I watched the recording of the Zoom class session, it really felt like a formal, distanced, stiff kind of interaction, so different from our face-to-face class discussions.

    Compared to Google hangouts, where whoever is speaking fills the screen (and seems like overkill), at least in Zoom you could see a small image of everyone. I agree, though that the “gridded” video on Zoom might be a little uncomfortable (too much detail about each person’s facial expressions for too long a time period) …

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