London Company Creates Virtual Meetings Like Sims Environment

At-home workers are getting Zoom fatigue. Recently a company based in London began offering an alternative that’s an exciting take on the usual Brady-Bunch style group meeting that Zoom offers—a virtual world in which the cartoon avatars of meeting attendees can gather in meeting rooms or any venue they can imagine to discuss business

Teooh launched its online simulated meetings that look like the virtual worlds of Second Life or a Sims game back in April, and companies that have discovered it report that they’re pleased with the results, according to a story on Wood-paneled lounges, an auditorium with chairs and a fireside chat are among the environments available to users.

“Rather than adjust your webcam and make sure you’re in front of a professional-looking background, you tweak an animated avatar that represents you in the meeting, customizing your hair, skin tone, body shape, and other features as you want to be seen,” the fastcompany story reports.

Users of the service include newsletter authors, motivational speakers, event organizers, non-profit groups, podcast hosts and TikTok influencers, according to the company’s website.

“Gamers have been doing this for a decade in World of Warcraft and Second Life,” said CEO Don Stein. “We can now do that for the everyday person who may not own an Xbox, or a gaming PC, or a headset.”

People can customize their avatars’ look and they’re able to use emojis to register emotions.

That’s part of the benefit of Teooh: There’s no need to fuss about attire or backdrops or stress about shaving or putting on makeup since you can customize your avatar to look as polished or scruffy as you want,” writer Steven Melendez reports.

What’s unique about the platform is that it’s more flexible than Zoom, and even allows attendees to talk to each other individually, turning to the avatars seated next to them by clicking on a private room setting. The settings even have the acoustics of the location in which they are placed.

“The animated film festival Animayo recently held an online conference using Teooh, using virtual rooms designed for panel discussions, complete with digital screens that can show slide shows or even video clips.”

Teooh will continue to offer free hosting, but will also offer premium plans with more customization, as well as the option to add logos, change seating arrangements, lighting and seat details, among other tweaks. They also plan to offer a ticketed option for events.