I-Room: Creating a Room for Intelligent Interaction


I-Room is a room for intelligent interaction. It can be used for formal business meetings, tutorials, project meetings, discussion groups, informal gatherings, in short for any purpose where people go to interact.

Using Second Life for this kind of purpose is a powerful concept. Avatars can meet each other face-to-face in SL, when their human counterparts cannot. While meeting in SL is not the same as a real world meeting, some of the benefits are retained through immersion in the virtual world. In many cases, virtual world meetings are more effective than the real-world alternatives to face-to-face meetings, like teleconferences and videoconferences, because in SL, all the avatars in the meeting are in a similar situation.

To support intelligent interaction, the I-Room should provide the things that a good real-world meeting room would have:

In addition, the I-Room can support, and in some cases take over, some of the tasks that should be performed during a meeting:

While some of these tasks are simple, others can be performed well only if knowledge about meetings in general and the current meeting in particular is available to the I-Room. Linking the I-Room to existing, real-world knowledge-based systems can potentially make all their support available in SL.


There is a set of tools that can support the I-Room vision:


I-Demo-Meeting Room

The first of the I-Room examples is a simple meeting room demonstrator. I-Demo-Meeting Room is a part of the I-Demo suite of demonstrators which is intended to illustrate the different aspects of configuring and using I-X technologies. I-Demo-Meeting Room illustrates how to use I-X process panels to support meetings in virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) or in the real world. In more detail, I-Demo-Meeting Room shows how I-X technologies can support common requirements for meetings:

If linked to Second Life, this demo also shows how to support the following:

The Scenario

There is a series of meetings related to a project, held at regular intervals (e.g. weekly). Each meeting has an agenda and a set of participants. One of the participants is the chair person, and there is a designated secretary. During the meeting, agenda items are discussed by the participants and minutes are taken by the secretary. There are generic agenda items that are part of every meeting (e.g. approve minutes of last meeting; set date for next meeting) and agenda items that are specific to a particular meeting. Actions may be assigned by the chair to participants and others. This is minuted automatically.

Although the demo has been developed in a way that is independent from virtual worlds, it is envisaged that the meeting is held in Second Life. The chair person of the meeting runs I-X and interacts with I-X during the meeting to access the meeting support available from I-X. Some of the support is also available directly from Second Life.

The demo is an internal progress meeting conforming to the SCRUM and SPRINT meetings of Agile method of software development (see Wikipedia SCRUM meeting). The meeting is the third in a project of developing an ocean game. In this meeting, the design of characters in the game and the game's development progress are to be discussed. Several images need to be compared and feedback for the artists is to be prepared.

Jussi Stader <J.Stader@ed.ac.uk>