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难忍“满屏人脸”,这家公司把派对开进视频会议

难忍“满屏人脸”,这家公司把派对开进视频会议

Alyssa Newcomb 2021年01月25日
Artery公司所做的实际上是把远程会议、视频会议和游戏技术相结合。

在新冠疫情爆发之前,Artery公司致力于举办现场活动业务。疫情对Artery公司的业务造成了沉重打击,因此公司创建了一个新在线平台,这个平台不只是满屏的人脸。图片来源:Courtesy of Salimah Ebrahim/Artery

去年11月,萨莉玛•易卜拉欣正在参加一次电影节派对,她在四处走动的时候被人认了出来,对方邀请她找一个安静的地方聊聊她的初创公司。

她们穿过了几个充满欢声笑语和嘈杂音乐声的房间,在活动现场的一处露台上找到了僻静的地方。

派对上经常会有这种自发交流,只是这一次,易卜拉欣和参加派对的其他人在Bramble的世界里。易卜拉欣参与创建的公司Artery受到新冠疫情的影响,导致公司的现场活动业务暂停,因此他们开发了这款沉浸式视频聊天平台。

易卜拉欣告诉《钜富》杂志:“Artery利用技术手段,让人们在现实生活中联系起来。简单来说,它就是文化领域的爱彼迎(Airbnb)。Artery支持几乎任何人开放自己的客厅、屋顶或后院,用于举办长达一两个小时的展示活动,城市里的任何人都可以付费参加。”

例如,如果一位诗人在卧室举办一次展示活动,95%的收入将归艺术家自己所有,5%归Artery所有。该公司在纽约市和多伦多市试运行了该平台,从中发现了“网络效应”,即在其中一个城市参加过活动的人回到冰岛或西班牙后,会举办自己的Artery活动。

说到2020年,易卜拉欣表示:“我们正在为真正重要的一年做准备,因为经历过两年之后我们对服务的社区已经有所了解。”

全世界都知道后来发生了什么。新冠疫情导致现场活动行业一片萧条。

易卜拉欣说:“最开始遭遇停工的时候,事情发生地非常突然。我们很被动。我们担心的是社区中的创作者和主办方。”

在疫情之前,一个人报名参加某项活动后会收到主办方的地址。3月,Artery改为提供基本直播链接,易卜拉欣称,这一举措当时吸引了数以百计的艺术家,他们渴望在这段艰难时期进行表演和赚取收入。

她表示:“我们举办了一些展示活动,人们也会在活动中进行交流,但我们总觉得缺少了些什么。对于在线上举办的这些展示活动,它们并不是Artery的活动。人们来这里不仅仅是为了看表演。人们来的目的是为了观看展示活动,也是为了与自己认识的人交流,或者结交新朋友。房间里的观众对我们同样至关重要。”

随着Zoom、Google Hangouts、Microsoft Teams等视频会议平台变成了居家办公新时代的关键商务工具,易卜拉欣表示“满屏的人脸”很难培养人与人之间的关系。这一刻,Bramble的创意开始成形。

易卜拉欣说:“我们所做的实际上是把远程会议、视频会议和游戏技术相结合。”

Artery的首席工程师有游戏领域的从业背景,另外一名团队成员来自工程专业,有在空间音频和视频领域的工作经历。他们合作创建了多个虚拟世界,让参加派对的人们能够直观地走过红毯,前往户外,在房间中穿梭,快速结交朋友。

在Bramble中,人们交往的方式与现实世界里的派对一样。人们会分成小圈子聊天,而且人们可以随意聚集和离开。在一个房间里可能有人在演奏音乐,这可能促使人们一起走开,找一个安静的地方聊天。

明尼阿波利斯北部社区高中(North High School)的图书馆媒体专家利兹•阿拉姆表示,她从兄弟那里听说了Bramble,他们利用这个平台举办工作假期派对。

阿拉姆告诉《钜富》杂志:“我正在为老师策划员工假期派对,绞尽脑汁也想不出如何设计一次与Zoom对话的感觉截然不同的活动。Bramble的独特之处在于,我们并不是要在一个巨大的屏幕上轮流讲话。你能够随意走动、交流、与人们一起冒险。人们进入这个世界,并熟悉了如何操作之后,就会开始成对或分组进行交流。

其中一位老师是一个乐队的成员,他听到其中一个派对房间里的虚拟音箱正在播放他的音乐,这让他大吃一惊。阿拉姆表示,这种独特的体验让老师们真正感觉他们是在某个地方举行派对。有趣的是,当人们离开派对时,人们在线上的行为甚至与现实生活中一模一样。

她说:“我开始注意到当有人要离开时,他们会在房间里四处走动,对不同的人群说再见,就像是在真实的派对中一样。最搞笑的是,我发现不少人最终离开的时候不是简单地退出账号。他们会控制虚拟形象走出房门,来到被白雪覆盖的道路上,这里是我们最初进入这个世界的地方。然后他们会暂停一下,这时他们才意识到只要退出账号即可,他们在这个世界里随时随地都可以这样做。”

阿拉姆现在加入了Bramble的团队,负责创建一个虚拟图书馆。她计划在这个图书馆里辅导仍然在远程学习的学生们。

科技界已经从Bramble身上看到了巨大的潜力。这个平台得到了多位天使投资人和机构投资者的投资,包括ICQ、Wattpad和Meetup的创始人。

Bramble计划在今年2月向公众初步开放。该平台的服务价格不同,用户能够租用一个Bramble世界举办一次性的派对,也可以支付一个月订阅费。

易卜拉欣表示,从电影节和个人表演到派对与学习,Bramble能够有无数的应用场景。她还设想未来潜在客户可以在该平台上与销售团队互动。

易卜拉欣表示:“对于Bramble和下一个级别的视频聊天,我们的预测是能够多人共享。就像20世纪90年代人人都创建网站一样,每个人都应该有一个Bramble作为新网页。它是人们聚会的客厅。”(钜富中国网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

去年11月,萨莉玛•易卜拉欣正在参加一次电影节派对,她在四处走动的时候被人认了出来,对方邀请她找一个安静的地方聊聊她的初创公司。

她们穿过了几个充满欢声笑语和嘈杂音乐声的房间,在活动现场的一处露台上找到了僻静的地方。

派对上经常会有这种自发交流,只是这一次,易卜拉欣和参加派对的其他人在Bramble的世界里。易卜拉欣参与创建的公司Artery受到新冠疫情的影响,导致公司的现场活动业务暂停,因此他们开发了这款沉浸式视频聊天平台。

易卜拉欣告诉《钜富》杂志:“Artery利用技术手段,让人们在现实生活中联系起来。简单来说,它就是文化领域的爱彼迎(Airbnb)。Artery支持几乎任何人开放自己的客厅、屋顶或后院,用于举办长达一两个小时的展示活动,城市里的任何人都可以付费参加。”

例如,如果一位诗人在卧室举办一次展示活动,95%的收入将归艺术家自己所有,5%归Artery所有。该公司在纽约市和多伦多市试运行了该平台,从中发现了“网络效应”,即在其中一个城市参加过活动的人回到冰岛或西班牙后,会举办自己的Artery活动。

说到2020年,易卜拉欣表示:“我们正在为真正重要的一年做准备,因为经历过两年之后我们对服务的社区已经有所了解。”

全世界都知道后来发生了什么。新冠疫情导致现场活动行业一片萧条。

易卜拉欣说:“最开始遭遇停工的时候,事情发生地非常突然。我们很被动。我们担心的是社区中的创作者和主办方。”

在疫情之前,一个人报名参加某项活动后会收到主办方的地址。3月,Artery改为提供基本直播链接,易卜拉欣称,这一举措当时吸引了数以百计的艺术家,他们渴望在这段艰难时期进行表演和赚取收入。

她表示:“我们举办了一些展示活动,人们也会在活动中进行交流,但我们总觉得缺少了些什么。对于在线上举办的这些展示活动,它们并不是Artery的活动。人们来这里不仅仅是为了看表演。人们来的目的是为了观看展示活动,也是为了与自己认识的人交流,或者结交新朋友。房间里的观众对我们同样至关重要。”

随着Zoom、Google Hangouts、Microsoft Teams等视频会议平台变成了居家办公新时代的关键商务工具,易卜拉欣表示“满屏的人脸”很难培养人与人之间的关系。这一刻,Bramble的创意开始成形。

易卜拉欣说:“我们所做的实际上是把远程会议、视频会议和游戏技术相结合。”

Artery的首席工程师有游戏领域的从业背景,另外一名团队成员来自工程专业,有在空间音频和视频领域的工作经历。他们合作创建了多个虚拟世界,让参加派对的人们能够直观地走过红毯,前往户外,在房间中穿梭,快速结交朋友。

在Bramble中,人们交往的方式与现实世界里的派对一样。人们会分成小圈子聊天,而且人们可以随意聚集和离开。在一个房间里可能有人在演奏音乐,这可能促使人们一起走开,找一个安静的地方聊天。

明尼阿波利斯北部社区高中(North High School)的图书馆媒体专家利兹•阿拉姆表示,她从兄弟那里听说了Bramble,他们利用这个平台举办工作假期派对。

阿拉姆告诉《钜富》杂志:“我正在为老师策划员工假期派对,绞尽脑汁也想不出如何设计一次与Zoom对话的感觉截然不同的活动。Bramble的独特之处在于,我们并不是要在一个巨大的屏幕上轮流讲话。你能够随意走动、交流、与人们一起冒险。人们进入这个世界,并熟悉了如何操作之后,就会开始成对或分组进行交流。

其中一位老师是一个乐队的成员,他听到其中一个派对房间里的虚拟音箱正在播放他的音乐,这让他大吃一惊。阿拉姆表示,这种独特的体验让老师们真正感觉他们是在某个地方举行派对。有趣的是,当人们离开派对时,人们在线上的行为甚至与现实生活中一模一样。

她说:“我开始注意到当有人要离开时,他们会在房间里四处走动,对不同的人群说再见,就像是在真实的派对中一样。最搞笑的是,我发现不少人最终离开的时候不是简单地退出账号。他们会控制虚拟形象走出房门,来到被白雪覆盖的道路上,这里是我们最初进入这个世界的地方。然后他们会暂停一下,这时他们才意识到只要退出账号即可,他们在这个世界里随时随地都可以这样做。”

阿拉姆现在加入了Bramble的团队,负责创建一个虚拟图书馆。她计划在这个图书馆里辅导仍然在远程学习的学生们。

科技界已经从Bramble身上看到了巨大的潜力。这个平台得到了多位天使投资人和机构投资者的投资,包括ICQ、Wattpad和Meetup的创始人。

Bramble计划在今年2月向公众初步开放。该平台的服务价格不同,用户能够租用一个Bramble世界举办一次性的派对,也可以支付一个月订阅费。

易卜拉欣表示,从电影节和个人表演到派对与学习,Bramble能够有无数的应用场景。她还设想未来潜在客户可以在该平台上与销售团队互动。

易卜拉欣表示:“对于Bramble和下一个级别的视频聊天,我们的预测是能够多人共享。就像20世纪90年代人人都创建网站一样,每个人都应该有一个Bramble作为新网页。它是人们聚会的客厅。”(钜富中国网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

Salimah Ebrahim walked around a film festival party last November when someone recognized her and asked to go somewhere quiet to chat about her startup.

They walked through a few rooms where people were loudly chatting and music was blaring before they finally found some solitude on a balcony at the event space.

It was the kind of spontaneous interaction that happens all the time at parties, except in this case, Ebrahim and her fellow attendees were on Bramble, an immersive video chat platform that the company she cofounded, Artery, built after the coronavirus pandemic put their in-person events business on pause.

“Artery is a platform that uses technology to connect people in real life. The shorthand was the Airbnb for culture,” Ebrahim tells Fortune. “Essentially, Artery allows anyone to open up their living rooms, rooftops, backyards to host showcases that would last an hour or two that anyone in the city could pay to attend.”

For example, if a poet hosts a showcase in a living room, 95% of the proceeds would go to the artist, while 5% would go to Artery. The company piloted its platform in New York City and Toronto and noticed a “network effect,” in which people would attend a show in one of those cities and then go home to Iceland or Spain and host their own Artery events.

“We were getting set for a really big year, because we were coming on a couple years of understanding our community,” Ebrahim says of 2020.

And then, as the world knows all too well, the coronavirus pandemic forced the live events industry to a standstill.

“When we first went into lockdown, it was really sudden. It was very reactive. Our concern was for the creators and hosts in our community,” Ebrahim says.

Before the pandemic, a person would receive the host’s address after registering for an event. In March, Artery pivoted to offering basic livestream links, which Ebrahim says attracted hundreds of artists eager to perform and earn income during a difficult period.

“We did all these showcases, and there were moments of connection, but something was really missing for us. For all of these showcases that were coming online, they weren’t quite Artery,” she says. “It was not just the performance people came for. When people came to the showcase, they came to see the showcase, but also to connect with someone they know or meet a new friend. For us, the people in the room watching were always as important.”

While Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and a variety of other videoconferencing platforms have become vital tools for business during the new work-from-home era, Ebrahim says the “wall of faces” makes it difficult to foster human connection. On that point, Bramble began to take shape.

“What we were essentially trying to do was combine teleconferencing, videoconferencing, and gaming technology,” Ebrahim says.

Artery’s lead engineer has a background in gaming, while another member of the staff has engineering expertise working with spatial audio and video. They teamed up and created various virtual worlds that allow partygoers to intuitively walk the red carpet, go outside, wander through rooms, and quickly find friends.

In Bramble, people mingle the same way they would at a party. Small groups chat, while people can gather and exit at their leisure. Someone might play music in one room, prompting pairs of partygoers to walk together until they find a quieter place to chat.

Liz Aram, a library media specialist at North High School in Minneapolis, says she heard about Bramble from her brother, who used it for his work holiday party.

“I was trying to plan the staff holiday party for the teachers and was really struggling with how to create anything that didn’t just feel like more Zoom time,” Aram tells Fortune. “The reason it’s so unique is because we are not all trying to be on one giant screen taking turns talking. You can move around, mingle, go on adventures with people. Once people entered the world and figured out how to navigate, they just took off in pairs and groups.”

One of the teachers, who is in a band, was also surprised by a virtual speaker that blasted his music in one of the party rooms. Aram says the unique experience gave faculty the feeling that they had actually gone somewhere for their party. Hilariously, online behaviors even mimicked real life when people left the party.

“I started to notice when people were leaving, they moved around the room, approaching different groups saying goodbye, just like you would in a real party,” she says. “Then, the funniest part was, I noticed person after person who did not just log out when they finally left. They walked their little avatar out the door of the lodge and traveled down the snow-covered path to where we first entered the world. When they got to the location they entered, they would pause before they realized they just needed to log out, which they could have done from anywhere in the world.”

Aram is now working with Bramble’s team to create a virtual library, where she plans to offer tutoring to her students, who are still learning remotely.

The tech world is already seeing massive potential in Bramble. The platform is backed by a range of angel and institutional investors, including the founders of ICQ, Wattpad, and Meetup.

Bramble is targeting public early access in February. Pricing will vary based on whether users want to rent a Bramble world for a one-off party or pay a monthly subscription fee for access.

From film festivals and private performances to parties and learning, Ebrahim says the applications for Bramble are endless. She also envisions it as a venue where potential customers can interact with a sales team.

“What we see for Bramble and the next level of video chat is multiple people being able to share,” Ebrahim says. “Just as everyone built websites in the 1990s, everyone should have a Bramble as their new webpage. It’s a living room for people to gather in.”

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