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Nortel to Develop Unique 3-D Virtual Web Tool for Online Collaboration


OTTAWA – A group of R&D technologists within Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] are developing a prototype that will harness the power of Web 2.0 and 3-D audio-visual virtual world technology to bring new dimensions to business collaboration.

web.alive is being developed by a team of technologists within Nortel’s Incubation Program under the codename “Project Chainsaw.” web.alive will be a virtual world software application that provides an immersive, interactive and web integrated world with 3-D voice and graphics. It will help facilitate internal collaboration as well as customer and partner interactions over the web. For example, businesses can hold virtual web-based meetings and allow employee avatars to interact in real-time.

* See a video demonstration of the new web.alive solution and interview with Arn Hyndman, web.alive chief architect at
* Visit the Project Chainsaw team’s blog at to hear about the progress of web.alive development, their thoughts on virtual worlds for business and new forms of collaboration
* Read John Roese’s blog post about a Global Employee session held in web.alive

Also today, Nortel announced that it has acquired DiamondWare**, a pioneer in high-definition, proximity-based 3D positional voice technology that brings life-like sound to virtual web and voice communications. DiamondWare’s technology will be a key component of web.alive.

web.alive will leverage voice, HD audio, presence, identity and corporate security technologies to bring boring conference calls to life in a virtual world within the security of each corporation’s own network. It also eliminates call confusion over – who’s speaking? What did they say? Who else is on the call? What chart are they on?

“Nortel’s R&D and incubation teams are focused on creating revolutionary communications experiences to improve the way businesses interact with their employees, partners, and customers and web.alive will be one very tangible example of that focus,” said John Roese, chief technology officer, Nortel. “web.alive will help businesses deal with one of the major drawbacks of most communication technologies today – the ability to give users a ”real-life“ experience that is more interactive and intuitive. For example, if you’re participating in a conference call today it is difficult to have sidebar conversations, to know who else is in the meeting, who is speaking and the relationship or business history of all the participants. web.alive will address those issues by pulling together the IT and telecom worlds to give each avatar access to a wealth of information in ways we have never seen before.”

“People are no longer satisfied with existing collaboration tools or with static web sites supported only by a telephone contact center as the main point of interaction. They want to discuss potential purchases with others, exchange ideas, make business proposals, and fluidly interact with others in real-time,” said Arn Hyndman, web.alive chief architect. “Additionally, web.alive will offer security not available with other virtual environments today because it is integrated with corporate enterprise systems and software.”

* web.alive delivers a more engaging, interactive and integrated communications experience compared to old technology approaches like conference calls that can be boring and less productive
* web.alive can be added to a company’s external web site so that customer avatars can not only interact with each other but also with a company’s customer service avatar to make purchases, receive a product demonstration or resolve other issues
* Businesses can leverage web.alive to connect to corporate networks and existing corporate programs including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Project Management software
* Businesses can cut travel expenses by allowing workers to collaborate in several virtual locations at the same time using web.alive


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