Breakroom Implements High Fidelity’s Three-Dimensional Audio

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Sinewave Entertainment’s Breakroom (the corporate cousin of their social VR/virtual world platform Sinespace) has recently implemented the spatialized, three-dimensional audio API offered by the revamped High Fidelity.

VentureBeat reports:

The deal is a convergence of pioneers who have made their mark on the development of virtual life. Philip Rosedale is the CEO of High Fidelity and launched Second Life in 2003. Sine Wave Entertainment, the creator of Breakroom, got its start as a content brand in Second Life before it spun out to create its own virtual meeting spaces for real-world events.

Adam Frisby, chief product officer and cofounder of Sine Wave, said in an interview conducted inside Breakroom that the High Fidelity spatial audio will help Breakroom create a triple-A quality experience in a virtual world.

“The real benefit of having 3D audio in a virtual world like this is you can have lots of conversations going on simultaneously,” Frisby said. “3D audio is the only way to replicate the real-world experience in an online environment. You can have a 150-person conference and end up with 10 groups of people talking at the same time. That has helped us with engagement.”

Breakroom is among the first group of clients for Philip Rosedale’s company. Adam tells me that they are looking at implementing the same 3D audio in Sinespace at some point in the future.

Here’s a two-minute YouTube video where Adam Frisby explains and demonstrates the new 3D audio:


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

UPDATED! Adam Frisby and Philip Rosedale in Conversation: Some Notes from Today’s Campfire Talk in Breakroom

If you think Second Life was hard to get into, wait until you buy your first NFT and try to show it to a friend.

—Philip Rosedale.
Philip Rosedale’s and Adam Frisby’s avatars in Breakroom at the Campfire Talk:
Adam admits he has become very attached to his bunny rabbit avatar 😉

Today, Philip Rosedale, the founding CEO of Linden Lab (the makers of Second Life) and the current CEO of High Fidelity, had a chat with Sine Wave Entertainment’s Adam Frisby in Breakroom (the corporate cousin of the Sinewave platform), who was also heavily involved with the development of OpenSim.

In fact, I learned before the event started from Adam Frisby that Breakroom had implemented the High Fidelity spatialized audio system, just before the event! A crowd of about 50 avatars gathered in a custom virtual world created by Adam himself, which reminded me strongly of the great Canadian north!

Here are a few quick notes on just a few of the topics from that conversation today (I hope to be able to add a video of the complete event later):

  • Rohan Freeman of Sine Wave Entertainment gave an introduction, mentioning that their business had started in Second Life
  • Wagner James Au of the blog New World Notes had a few audio difficulties, but eventually was able to speak, thanking everyone for coming, and mentioned a few features of the web-based Breakroom app (including emojis and hand-raising)
  • What is a metaverse? Adam said it is a powerful blank canvas, allowing people to create and express themselves. Philip said that the older he gets, and the more he contemplates virtual worlds, the less sure he becomes about what the “metaverse” is. He defines it as “the digital space between us”, a creative space that consists on our shared agreement on the space between us (based on consensus). That space is the metaverse.
  • The nature of virtual worlds includes the idea of the person/individual/avatar, a concept that is missing from the internet, which mainly exists to connect information
  • Most surprising or humbling thing about user creativity? Philip said the infinite creativity of people building upon each others’ work over and over again, and how far Second Life has come in its history, which is inspiring to him. Adam said the game-building that has taken place in Sinespace, how people continually subvert the rules of the platform and make amazing things like first-person shooters
  • What aspects of SL user creativity should newer platforms learn from? Philip is proud of SL, particularly the economy and the ability to creative derivative works/derivative rights, which he says still really hasn’t been replicated elsewhere. Adam said the financial and legal work required to enable that economy and operation, allowing people to create and sell their goods, calling it a “self actualization economy”.
  • Adam: you can succeed in building a virtual world without an economy (cites VRChat), but if you want to get people to invest, you want to attract professionals who expect to be able to earn money, let them run free, which makes them more popular (e.g. Roblox)
  • Is the metaverse limited to younger people? Philip said no, but the youngest generation which has the most time and energy, determine whatever happens next. Second Life started off with a younger userbase, which has aged over time. (Many people tell Philip that they got their start in SL.) Adam talked about the pivot to Breakroom during the pandemic, which has had huge adoption in areas such as banking conferences and events (something that he would not have previously predicted). Adam got his start in Active Worlds, when he had lots of energy! Different people want different things: socialization, creativity, etc.
  • How important is the adoption of VR headsets? Adam said that it is still too easy to “break the spell” when in virtual reality, and thinks that VR might reach 30% of households at some point. VR per se will not make or break a metaverse. Philip said he learned that it’s still to early: the VR headset is still not going to be a replacement for something like the smartphone anytime soon (e.g. the awkward workarounds for typing in a headset). “We’re absolutely not there yet.” Divisive with respect of the people willing to wear an “electronic blindfold” (creates an imbalance in the social fabric). Despite this, he is still enthusiastic about VR, despite his pragmatism based on his experience with the old High Fidelity social VR platform.
  • Cryptocurrency and NFTs: Philip said that there are still many challenges to face, saying that cryptocurrencies tend to concentrate wealth even more rapidly than regular currencies. Neither do NFTs. “If you think Second Life was hard to get into, wait until you buy your first NFT and try to show it to a friend.” Adam is NOT a fan of crypto, citing losing your passwords and losing access to your wallet as a serious problem (and customer service cannot help you!). These sorts of things are complete antithesis of something consumer-friendly, plus the environmental destruction caused by mining cryptocurrency. Philip thinks SL’s governance helped open up the conversation on how best to manage economies.

The event ended with questions from the audience. All in all, it was a wonderful event, with a great many people in attendance who are active in the metaverse!

UPDATE June 30th, 2021: As promised, here is the unedited, 80 minute-long YouTube video of the event:


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

UPDATED! Collective Dreams: The Metaverse As a Shared Imagination, Taking Place in Breakroom on June 24th, 2021

On Thursday, June 24th, 2021 at noon PST/8:00 p.m. BST, the following four speakers will be taking part in a panel discussion titled Collective Dreams: The Metaverse As a Shared Imagination. The event takes place on the social VR platform Breakroom (created by Sine Wave Entertainment, the makers of Sinespace).

  • Philip Rosedale: Founder of Second Life and CEO and co-founder of High Fidelity
  • Adam Frisby: Co-founder of Open Simulator and Sine Wave Entertainment
  • Rohan Freeman: CEO and co-founder of Sine Wave Entertainment and Breakroom
  • Wagner James Au: Blogger (New World Notes) and author of The Making of Second Life and Game Design Secrets

According to the official announcement:

Since its inception in the early 90s, the Metaverse has inspired our wildest imagination — even if the technology to fully realize that dream has seemed just out of our grasp. But now, with advances in edge computing, VR, and 3D graphics/audio, nothing seems impossible. Given such powerful tools at our fingertips – what could this look like?

Join Metaverse pioneers Philip Rosedale, co-founder and CEO of High Fidelity, and Adam Frisby of Sine Wave Entertainment, for a candid, interactive fireside chat about virtual worlds, their past, present, and the shared creative vision for what they could be — live and onstage in the highly immersive virtual world of Breakroom.

You can register for the event here. It promises to be a fascinating discussion. See you there!

UPDATE June 24th, 2021: When you register you will receive an email message with a special link you have to click on to load the web-based Breakroom app in your web browser. Here is the schedule for the event:

– 12.00pm/8.00pm:  Arrival and Networking
– 12.10pm/8.10pm:   Fireside Chat with Philip and Adam
– 12.40pm/8.40pm:  Q&A
– 1.00pm/9.00pm:     After Party & Networking
– 1.30pm/9.30pm:     Event Closes

Adam Frisby worked personally on the venue for the event and it is simply gorgeous, strongly evocative of the great Canadian north! See you there!!


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

Sinespace Celebrates Its 3rd Anniversary: Highlights from Chief Product Officer Adam Frisby’s Keynote Speech

The virtual world Sinespace has been celebrating its third anniversary with a week of in-world events, culminating in a keynote address given today by the company’s Chief Product Officer, Adam Frisby.

I had a long online chat with Adam before his presentation today, talking about various new features coming soon to Sinespace, and the following are some notes I took during Adam’s talk (Adam was also kind enough to share his presentation slides ahead of time with me, for which I thank him profusely for making my reporting job so much easier!).

Adam Frisby’s Keynote in Sinespace

Adam started off with a report on what had happened with Sinespace in 2019. Sinespace’s development team has doubled in size. Among the features worked on were:

The company has also been very hard at work on improvements to the default human avatars in Sinespace (which is actually already in the live release now). This major update to the avatars offers more accurate (less stylized) human proportions, with a new, powerful system of custom slider shapes or “morphs”. (Adam says that no pre-existing clothing will be broken.)

A new set of universal skin detail maps will be added to the existing skin maps on the human avatars. Adam shared a slide of what the new skins will look like, and I must admit they’re rather impressive:

There will also be several improvements to avatar clothing: a new auto-rigging algorithm, and blend shape support (for example, adding features such as dress length sliders to clothing). Sinespace already has support for in-world cloth physics, as you can see in the video below, and this functionality is expected to be improved even further in future software releases.

It’s now very clear that, despite experiencing some significant problems with upgrading Sinespace to Unity to 2018.3 in the past year (“the hardest we’ve ever done in ten years with Unity”, Adam says), the platform has benefited greatly overall from choosing to use Unity as an underlying game engine. In fact, Sinespace is now working in association with Unity, which offers the company even better support and more access to Unity engineers.

After some problems in marketing in 2019 (they fired the external company that was doing their marketing after one particular fiasco), Sinespace has just hired a new Vice President of Marketing, Al King.

So, in summary, 2019 was a big year for the Sinespace team in terms of building the product (mostly behind the scenes) and getting ready for a scale-up. Adam admits that the team has learned some expensive lessons, but ones he prefers that they have made before the platform scales up. Sinespace has also been watching competing platforms make some mistakes too, and hopefully learning from them. (For example, Sinespace has wisely decided to postpone a launch on Steam.)

And among future projects is a big push to provide mobile support (Sinespace has a full-time team devoted to this now, and there is an Android beta app already up on Google Play). They also want to improve the built-in screenshot capability, integrating it with social media. Another focus is improving what they call “the first five minutes” experience of new users, to encourage user retention.

Oh, and I saved the best for last: a brand-new contiguous mainland with in-client parceling, streamed regions and content, and a very cool new feature—voxel terrain editing, including the ability to dig caves and tunnels and create islands in the sky! (And Adam stated in my earlier chat with him today that they have implemented voxels “properly”; these are not the simple cubes used by Cryptovoxels!)

Here’s a couple of brief video previews Adam was kind enough to share with me of the voxel terrain editor in action (the second shows the digging of a cave):

And you can build mind-bogglingly large terrains using this tool: Adam’s test parcel for the voxel terrain editor is 96,100 cubic kilometres. (Approx. 23,000 cubic miles): 131,072 metres by 131,072 metres by 5,600 metres in size!

Oh, and did I mention? There’s voxel water, too!

An example of voxel water in Sinespace

So, as you can see, Sinespace is starting to look better and better all the time! And they are busy implementing features that many other social VR/virtual worlds cannot yet match. I must commend Adam and his team at Sinespace for doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes on the platform, and patiently biding their time before a full-scale product launch (perhaps sometime in 2020?). I’m quite looking forward to seeing how the platform evolves over the next year!