Oddcast’s Talking Avatars Have a New Virtual Home with AvatarSpace

By Adam Ostrow
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 6:31 PM EDT
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Oddcast’s Talking Avatars Have a New Virtual Home with AvatarSpace

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Oddcast is taking its talking avatars to the next logical place: virtual worlds. The company is launching a new product called AvatarSpace, a Web application that enables custom avatars to talk to one another through voice or text. However, as opposed to massive services like SecondLife or Club Penguin, Oddcast is targeting individual brands, allowing them to launch their own mini-virtual worlds as opposed to either developing their own or buying ad space in an established one.

The features of AvatarSpace aren’t nearly as advanced as those of some of the larger virtual worlds – it’s more of a group chat that utilizes Oddcast’s existing avatar technology. Using your own voice, you can talk to other avatars in a given chat room, or type them a message via text. Users in the room can also watch videos simultaneously. Moving around is simple enough, and can be done either via your computer’s arrow keys or mouse.

Meanwhile, as opposed to a service like Google Lively, where individual rooms around the Web can still be inter-connected, Oddcast’s rooms are strictly meant to live on the website where they are published. This is because the company is not looking to build a massive virtual world, but rather, provide an inexpensive solution to companies that want to keep visitors on their websites longer.

For Oddcast, AvatarSpace opens up a whole new line of business beyond the one-to-one interactions previously offered for functions like sales and e-learning. While CEO Adi Sideman tells me the technology will be used mostly for promotions with things like multi-user game shows and karaoke, it could also conceivably create a new way to do sales or customer service, especially with the built-in video player.

AvatarSpace launches today in beta, with an official launch expected to come late this year, when the company will also move to 3D avatars from the current “2.5D.”

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