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Here's an idea: A video call application where participants can make conversation groups on the fly and organically. Like Zoom's breakout rooms, but managed by the participants and visible to everybody in the "master room".

@noeldemartin DW did a feature about a Russian marketing firm that launched an app like you describe. Virtual bars. I can't remember the name but you could look it up on the DW news site.

@noeldemartin Might be a bit more than what you're looking for, but an interesting concept is hubs.mozilla.com. Walk around in a virtual environment while voice chatting - but you can only hear those close by.

@vinnl It seems cool, but I'm not sure it'd work. I thought about this because one of the problems I've noticed in virtual conferences is that after the main "talk", some people start talking but it's only one track. What's nice about physical conferences is that after the talk, groups of people form organically and you can enter/leave those group conversations easily. Maybe that wouldn't work in a virtual environment but it was just an idea I had :).

@noeldemartin That's definitely an experience they're trying to recreate: walk up to a subgroup of people and start a somewhat private conversation, while being able to walk over to a different group of people to switch conversations at any time. The two main things missing IME are seeing facial/bodily expressions (though the latter is supposedly possible in VR), and recognising people.

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