A 2D Cocktail!by Adrian
We are fed up with not meeting friends and business acquaintances, but Zoom fatigue is also an issue. So how can we bring a group of folks together in a way that is fun and allows a kind of “cocktail party” environment? The answer is to use one of the 2D or 3D systems to meet. Having experimented with Wonder Me, Topia, Gather Town, Mozilla Hubs, Virbella, VISPA, Tricat systems, Aula and Immersive Terf, we decided for this event (given its nature and requirements) to go for Kumospace. This 2D system had the advantage of not requiring any software download and has the option to let those receiving the link to join without having to register themselves first.
Although we had three participants who faced some form of technical problem, but most of the 25 participants from 3 continents who came through during the cocktail hour had no issues. And, as in a cocktail, you could see how individuals (their initials shown in the map attached) moved through the room, going from group to group, sometimes going off in pairs, other times gathering in bigger groups. When your icon was in range of a group, you started to hear the conversation, and more importantly, could see the video feed of faces of the people in that group. In any case it was great to meet and greet a lot of old friends, and something we shall do again!