Qwaq is a company building enterprise applications that use 3D virtual environments for realtime collaboration and conferencing. Qwaq's flagship product, Qwaq forums, includes built-in voice communication and text chat, as well as the ability for users to share existing applications. The underlying system is built on top of Croquet, an open source 3D space system manager.
Users begin as they enter a virtual room, occupied by other users and objects like tables and posters on the walls. Many of those objects are standard desktop items -- a poster on the wall, for example, might be a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. When users click on the poster from "across" the room, or access it via keyboard shortcut, it expands to fill up their screen. In addition to chatting with the other users, users can add or subtract objects, or move through different rooms as desired. Qwaq Forums is designed for business computers, which tend to be less powerful than home computers. The company charges between $30 and $60 per user per month.
France based Tixeo, is another start-up focused on the same market. A slew of other companies offering tools to set up and collaborate in virtual worlds include Second Life, VastPark, ProtonMedia, Forterra Systems, and Multiverse.
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