The following is a guest post by Daniel Ruscigno of Mingleverse.
Mingleverse is a new service offering browser-based virtual rooms where 2 to 50 people can get together to talk using 3D audio while watching various types of media together (pictures, presentations, videos, webcam, screen broadcasting, etc).
Although predominantly a consumer-facing service, Mingleverse is used not only by friends and family in Facebook, but also by teachers and trainers, and small businesses. However, the most interesting adoption has been with authors and athletes who are using their Mingle Room to mingle live with their fans.
For example, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell had a live virtual mingle with 25 of his fans, where they were all able to ask him questions about his books and his future writing plans. Gladwell mingled from the comfort of his New York apartment and came into the room via webcam for all of the fans to see. He commented afterwards that it really did feel like meeting 25 new people, and the fans were ecstatic that they got to meet their favorite author.
The Vancouver Canucks NHL team have also taken advantage of Mingleverse’s virtual Mingle Rooms by embedding one directly on their website. After each home game the Canucks invite their fans to join the Mingle Room to talk about the night’s game, watch live post game interviews and press conferences together, and watch highlights streamed directly from YouTube.
There are now several professional sports teams who are looking to be the leaders in live fan interaction and are excited about providing fans the opportunity to mingle live with players and coaches.
As Mingleverse has shown, virtual world technologies allow us to become more interactive with people from all over the world and can afford us new opportunities not regularly available in our daily physical lives. As we adopt these new technologies, perhaps our celebrity idols will ask you to meet them in their Mingle Room in their next tweet!
Related: Mingleverse picks up $1.4M in seed funding for video conferencing with cardboard cutouts (from VentureBeat, Dec 2010)