Microsoft conducting conferences on Home

PlayStation Home. What is it good for? Hosting corporate meetings, apparently. A project being lead by Dr Nipan Maniar and Manish Malik of Portsmouth University aims to explore virtual worlds (including PlayStation Home) as a platform on which to conduct business meetings. It is hoped that if successful, the project will help firms cross geographic boundaries, save on office space, and cut the impact they have on the environment through travel.

In order to help test the workability of this new method of corporate communication, researchers have persuaded a number of real world firms to test out the technology in the PlayStation 3’s own virtual world. And, in what must be 2009’s first delicious ironic twist, Microsoft have agreed to take part.

Because this is an academic study it is pretty safe to assume that this is not an endorsement on the part of Microsoft, so it is probably not worth putting too much stock in this particular announcement. It is, however, worth putting stock in the notion that over the coming months and years we’ll see more innovative and creative uses of virtual spaces in our every-day lives.