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VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, is a very popular method of communication used within a large number of software packages world wide. It allows users to speak to each other as if they were using their telephone but either to a larger audience or privately by using their microphone on their computer.
The practicality and importance of a system like this within a conferencing and meeting environment is obvious and there are several options to use this technology, which is built directly into the Virtual World.
The following are the options available in world:
This includes in world broadcasting, private VOIP zones and private chat
An in world text based chat system
Dynamic hand raising, waving and objext interaction
3rd Party Integration
There is a selction of 3rd party applications available for use, this includes Skype, Lync Meeting and confrence calling to land/mobile lines.
In World Broadcasting using Voice
The broadcasting system allows you to talk to other people in the world through your microphone.
Setting up your microphone is very easy and is a pre-requisite of logging into the virtual world.
Once you have entered your user name and password, you will be prompted to allow voice/camera communication within the world through a menu prompt.
By pressing allow, the user will be able to activate both camera and microphone in world when needed.
However, “Denying” this option will not allow the user to use their microphone/camera or re-enable these options in world. Users must refresh the page where the Virtual World is open and allow these settings before entering the world.
When you “Allow” permission, you will be presented three options to choose from:
"Continue" which will use the default sound device and enter the Virtual World
"Change" to change the sound device you wish to use
Volume control by clicking the highlighted "here"
There will also be a sound bar to show the level of activity from the microphone.
By choosing "Continue" you enter the world without changing any options or by choosing "Change" you will be given the option to choose which sound device you wish to use.
If there is more than one sound device installed on the system, like the picture above and you are unsure of which device to use, check the activity bar beside each device and choose which one has activity on the microphone. The majority of computers will only have one option available, but some may have two or more.
Once you have chosen your device, you can then adjust the level at which the microphone transmits at and if applicable which camera to use through the Adobe Flash settings. This can be accessed by clicking "Here" highlighted in the text.
Should you choose to contine without confirming that your microphone is active, the message below will appear. This indicates that the system has been unable to detect your microphone.
At this point you can return to the Setup to correct your microphone settings or you can continue to enter the virtual environment.
Warning: Should you Contine anyway, your microphone and webcam will not be active in either the YOVO environment or in your virtual office. You will need to exit the virtual environment and login again to activate these functions.
When you first enter a room the broadcasting system for your character is off but you can still hear other people if they are talking.
To Start Talking
There are two options for this:
Press and hold the space bar - this activates Broadcasting while you hold the bar down only when you want to speak.
Click the Broadcast button on the top right tool bar - this toggles ON / OFF as indicated by the Broadcast Indicator but will leave the microphone broadcasting until you turn it off.
Broadcasting is – OFF
Broadcasting is – ON
To bring up the broadcasting options first click on the broadcast bar arrow on the right.
This menu gives the option of configuring your web cam and microphone options. These options are the standard Adobe Flash options that are given at the microphone setup.
There are two methods used to connect users through the VOIP services in world. From the Broadcasting Options, there is Direct Connect and Web Based connections. Direct Connect will automatically route connections to each device's IP and will give a better quality voice. However, this is susceptible to firewall blocking and will not work properly.
The other option is Web Based Connections. This is a lower quality voice option, but will bypass firewalls as its fully integrated into the world engine.
To use this option, click on "Using Direct Socket Connection" and it will change to "Using Web Based Connection"
You will always be able to hear other people that are broadcasting unless you have muted your speaker volume
VOIP Zones are areas where users can congregate to have private voice discussions. There is no change to the way the VOIP is used or how you communicate, it will mean that only people in the VOIP zone will be able to communicate with each other and no one outside of that zone will be able to hear the voice communication.
Zones are indicated through boxes on the floor like the picture below. They come in Blue, Yellow, Green and Red, with the colour making no discernible difference apart from indicating different zones.
To use them, just walk into them.
When entering and leaving a VOIP zone, there will be a message displayed indicating this on the left hand side of the screen.
There are three places where microphone volume can be too low: On the microphone itself, in the Operating System (Windows or Mac) settings, or in the Flash settings.
If the microphone is built into the PC or laptop, skip this step. If you are using a headset check to see if there are any switches on the cable running to the PC or on the headset itself. There’s an example below, but the switch or toggle could look very different depending on your headset.
If there are any switches or toggles, check that the microphone isn’t muted here, and that the volume is turned up.
The Flash settings can be accessed by clicking “Here” highlighted on the microphone test page. Try and move the slider until the meter on the right fills up when you speak, or until you can hear yourself speaking clearly.
The following pages describe how to check microphone settings in different versions of Windows
Windows Vista and Windows 7
Right click on the volume icon next to the clock in the task bar (shown below), then select Recording Devices
Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Recording
This will open the following screen.
On this screen, try speaking into your microphone. If the bar on the right doesn’t move, then the microphone is not receiving any input, and will need to be adjusted.
Select the device you want to use > Press Properties > Select Levels tab
Check that the icon to the right of the microphone bar doesn’t have a red circle like this:
If it does, the microphone is muted. Unmute it by clicking on the icon. Make sure that the volume level isn’t set to low.
Right click on the volume icon next to the clock in the task bar, select Adjust Audio properties, then select the Audio Tab and check the Sound recording device volume.
Start > Control Panel > Sounds and audio devices > Audio > Sound recording and select volume
Windows XP Audio Tab Windows XP Microphone settings
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