While Sony's PlayStation Home has thus far met with a mixed reception among gamers, enterprise is apparently finding a use for it.
As part of a research project, some major companies are exploring Home as a site for virtual meetings, aiming to reduce travel costs and fuel emissions.
According to a report on finance website GAAPweb, companies like Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch are giving Home meetings a try
-- alongside Microsoft, too, even though it owns its own avatar-based, voice-enabled service in Xbox Live.
Plenty of the attention to the online worlds space thus far has focused on its possible business uses, since meeting, talking and collaborating in virtual environments via avatars is more interactive than teleconferences and less expensive -- to budgets and to environments -- than in-person meetings.
The project was commissioned by Advanced Workplace Associates, and is headed up by Portsmouth University's Dr. Nipan Manier and Manish Malik.
"Increasingly we are living in a world without borders where workers need to collaborate on a global scale," Advanced Workplace Associates managing director Andrew Mawson said.
"Audio and video-conferencing solutions have emerged, but the use of virtual worlds may offer the next evolution in overcoming the tyranny of distance - a more realistic and learning-enhanced environment."