Implementing a virtual consultation? approaches? [Closed]

Hey guys…

currently i'm writing my bachelor-thesis, and the topic is about Multi-User-Interaction within a 3D-Online-Banking protoype.

It's based on jme and enables a user to check his bank-balance and do bank-transfer.

My outline-topic was Multiavataring.

So the first 2 basic freatures are almost done. Setting up a Client-Server-Structure using JGN for multiplayer, and a basic chat for User-User communication.

So i thought about what might be a reasonable possibility of interaction for the users.

Virtual Conferencing came to my mind, but this would be a quite big thing, and there are already 3D virtual conferencing tools out there.

So i thought about virtual advisory service.

Think about several consultant-avatars in the scene, with different skills. (e.g. building society contract, stocks … )

So a user could interact with one of the consultants, and get something like an interactive faq depending on the topic. In addition,

the user should be able to call a real consultant with these skills, by using e.g. Sykpe or any other VoIP solution.

My question is:

What approach would u suggest to get the automated faq's?

Might some kind of quest-system a solution, or what about virtual agents?

Could u advice an approach?



Perhaps it is obvious to everyone but me, but could you explain a bit more on the topic. I must be missing some points…

What would the benefit be over regular faqs?

What would the benefit be over a chat interface?

How is it related to jMonkey exactly? Do you want to do it in 3d? like AI advisors in a 3D scene with automated replies and possibility of getting a real person if one wishes… or what?

I would just like to get a good understanding of the question in order for tossing ideas at you… if there will be any good ideas :slight_smile:

…it's related to jmonkey, because right now u are able to walk through a bank building in 3D.

The multi-user support should reflect reality, so the scene gets more immersive and alive.

The chat interface offers the possibility for the users to talk to each other, if they want to.

Or if there is a real-consultant controlling a consultant-Avatar in the scene, to talk to him via chat.

In addition the user might get some informations about a special topic.

So for this, there are some non-controlled consultant-avatars the user can interact with.

In a tooltip, shown when the user moves the mouse over one of them, the user can see for which topics this consultant is responsible.

Clicking on an consultant the user should get a menu, where he can get some faq like information.

So u can navigate forward and backward (and maybe linked) through the information menu … and if u have a question which is not covered by the given information, u can click on a call button, to get a VoIP-connection to a real-counsultant somewhere, who is responsible for this topic as well.

There is no "real" benefit over regular faqs, you still have to read information and navigate forward/backward.

But beside of that u can do interaktive online-banking stuff and get information about stocks, insurances etc. over one channel. You don't have to surf throug several websites, don't have to get your phone and get stuck within a waiting loop during the call, until you reach a consultant who is responsible.

But my prob is, how could i achieve that kind of menus with a wise structure? How are quests or faqs stored, including its navigation structure, so you dont have to hard-code every step. I would think about some kind of a tree-structure as e.g. search-trees.

But maybe there are better/sexier/easier solutions…

I thought for quite a while on what to answer you. Here is my take on it:

Seems that the question boils down to this…

You have to read information and navigate forward/backward
You can do interactive online-banking stuff and get information about stocks, insurances etc. over one channel
How could i achieve that kind of menus with a wise structure? How are quests or faqs stored, including its navigation structure, so you dont have to hard-code every step.

In my country in online banks we can do everything you have mentioned here. If your aim of your work is a business requirement analysis and data presentation you can concentrate on this. If, on the other hand, you are interested of making a 3D client interface for an online bank, then it is quite another and you do not have to come up with a 'wise structure'.

How are quests or faqs stored, including its navigation structure, so you dont have to hard-code every step?

Well firstly, I do not think such a system could completely replace the banks traditional online systems. There would have to be parallel system for users not willing or capable of using this new system. It would also be pointless to duplicate all the data in both systems. So I imagine the information - links, faq-s etc could be taken from the non-3d bank interface - basically the web-pages that present all the same information anyways. Well - actually both the web-pages and 3d world would take the data from some common repository that serves it in xml or whatnot.

Which brings me to the crucial point which I am sure you will be asked when you will defend your thesis. Why would someone need such a system and who would be ready to pay for it? Especially if they already have (would anyways develop) parallel systems that are not 3d? Banks are financial (and very conservative) institutions that just have profit in their mind. They do not want to re-educate their customers to a unique and different user interface just for the flare of it. They do not want to waste money unless it makes them more money. As you said yourself - "There is no 'real' benefit over regular faqs".

Still I quite understand that we live in the 21st century :) and that we should look into the future. Having just the Bank's virtual world up seems counter-productive. There are not enough benefits for the effort and money that would be put into it. For a hip and futuristic image and for pulling in young tech-savvy customers the bank could just open business in Second-Life or similar virtual community. Several countries have opened their virtual embassies there - why not a bank? In these communities they would integrate nicely and the users in the system would already be familiar with the interfaces. Perhaps with time and proper security enhancements these virtual banks could also start offering real services like the ones you described.

I am sorry if my post included more criticism and less help than you hoped... I initially considering not posting this second reply, but I felt it would be like cheating. Perhaps someone else would have a different view on the idea and could offer more constructive help. Heck - even I am open to persuasion on this - would be pretty cool to move around in a virtual bank. Perhaps they would even allow virtually drop-kicking the bank president for too hefty transaction fees? 

Hey Mindgamer…

First of all, i wanna catch up to thank you for this post :wink: even if months gone by.

11 days until the delivery of the thesis.

Somehow, partially based on your answer, i thought about the aim again at that time.

Finally the aim was altered to create features for personal consultation in a 3D onlinebankin environment.

So now there is a bank-building, where you as a customer are able to move around,  use transaction terminals (ok, no real transaction is done, but its simulated), read some flyers for information and chat with customers and "real consultants" that are logged in as well. The whole scene is synchronized, you see the other avatars moving around, hear their footsteps and other 3D sounds. A consultant is than able to invite you to a conference room, open a VoIP conference with you, and stream pdf's to you which are synchronized displayed in scene on a virtual canvas. So he can switch the pdf-pages forward and backward, and open the next pdf, while you could ask him questions about the shown presentation.

I will continue developing this for at least the next year.

This just to close this thread.