December 8, 2020 – Glue Collaboration, a provider of real-time virtual reality (VR) software services, has today announced a major new release of its ‘Glue’ VR collaboration platform. ‘Glue 2.0’ enables greater immersion and frictionless interaction for remote teams allowing them to co-create, learn, plan and share together.
“Available to all our users today, this is our most significant release so far,” said Jussi Havu, CEO at Glue Collaboration. “Alongside a new operating system with speech-to-text capabilities, we’re introducing our ground-breaking new avatars. Everything adds up to our most immersive VR meetings yet, providing a space for remote workers to effectively collaborate even when they’re thousands of miles apart.”
Glue provides shared virtual environments where dispersed participants can come together as if they were face to face in a real physical space. Appealing to people’s visual, haptic and auditory senses, Glue provides a level of immersion in remote meetings that goes beyond what is possible with conventional video conferencing software.
In the latest update, Glue introduces its most expressive avatars yet. According to the company, these leverage artificial intelligence and advanced graphics capabilities to more closely mimic people’s behavior and features. The enhancements are designed to make communication feel more natural, ensuring users focus on meetings rather than worrying about adjusting their camera.
To develop the new avatars, Glue has integrated new AI-powered facial animation technology. For this, it turned to Edinburgh-based Rapport, a provider of facial animation and lip syncing technology.
“We worked with Glue to enable facial animation that looks as natural as possible and is generated in real-time from audio input alone,” said Gregor Hofer, CEO and Founder at Rapport. “We’re especially delighted with the new Glue avatars as they exhibit a level of expressiveness that makes them highly engaging and compelling.”
Using the new built-in avatar configurator, users can also create their own avatar, adjusting face shape and features, hair and clothing as well as customizing colors. Millions of permutations are possible, according to the company.
“We let our users choose their own appearance, as Glue is a place where everyone can be themselves,” said Sami Syrjä, Head of Design at Glue. “We have deliberately chosen to use expressive, animated avatars rather than lifelike virtual representations of ourselves. This prevents ‘uncanny valley’, the eerie sensation people experience if a digital representation imperfectly resembles human behavior.”
Other new features in Glue 2.0 include:
- New speech-to-text technology that lets users say what they want to type;
- A new whiteboard for ideation, now also accessible to non-VR Glue users, as well as a camera that zooms and shoots in the resolution users choose;
- Improvements to the way users manage their teams, files and spaces.
Glue is also expanding the library of ready and customizable spaces that teams can use with a new space called Mont Matiz – a hill-top, open-air space that provides users with a relaxing setting for creative workshops and large events like employee town halls.
The company highlighted several enterprises that have been using the Glue platform for virtual collaboration, including: Air France-KLM, Fazer, Microsoft, Patria, Axel Springer, BCG Platinion, T-Systems Multimedia Solutions, and Maillefer.
For more information on the Glue platform, please click here.
Image / video credit: Glue / Vimeo