AOL, GNN launch virtual reality chat

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America Online and its sister service GNN unveiled Virtual Places, technology that provides Web users the same kind of chat environment that online users are used to. Provider of the technology is Ubique, a company acquired by AOL last year.

The chat functions will be beta tested on GNN, a service most have thought AOL had forgotten about. Users must add Virtual Places software to their browser via the GNN site.

Among the applications GNN is testing are CAPToons, a robot-conducted Internet tour; Tubetime Theatre, a gathering place for people as they watch their favorite TV shows; and Ballot Boxers, a plitical chat room.

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