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September 12, 2023

New in Virbela: More Expressive Avatars, Speech to Text, Meeting Features & More

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Virbela has recently unveiled a series of exciting updates and enhancements, aimed at improving user experience and immersion. In this blog post, we'll share the latest details, highlighting key changes and improvements that users can expect.

Have questions? Reach out to your account manager, or contact to learn more.

Interacting in Virbela

Introducing Speech-to-Text

We’ve integrated an experimental speech-to-text function for use across Virbela campuses. 

  • This accessibility tool shows conversations on the screen, updating in real time as each person speaks. 
  • You can also use speech-to-text for real-time translation between speakers of different languages. 

You can activate this feature by going to Settings in the upper right corner of Virbela and selecting Preferences. Scroll down to see language options. 

Expanded Language Support

Virbela now supports Filipino, bringing the total number of languages we support to 18. 

When you select Filipino from our language settings, the change applies to the full Virbela user interface, including navigation and menu items. Customized signage may still appear in the language in which it was created. 

You can also speak Filipino when using speech-to-text. 

Avatar Enhancements

Virbela's avatars have received a range of exciting enhancements, including new apparel and more natural movements.

These updates make it easier for everyone to relate to each other. With more realistic facial expressions and individual appearance choices, interactions become more organic and fluid, leading to more immersive conversations and experiences. 

New apparel includes blazers and layered hoodies, a crewneck tee, a mid-calf skirt, clam diggers, and joggers. 

New hairstyles include a wavy bob, a flipped bob, a low buzzcut, and textured hairstyles.

New footwear includes two-tone oxfords, Chelsea boots, block-heel booties, and Chukka boots. 

Walking and sitting appear more natural and true to life with adjusted posture and movement.

Emote reactions have greater subtlety, mirroring the real-life microexpressions that cross our faces when we have a reaction. We’ve updated the expressions for Confused, Impatient, Laugh, Thinking, and Wave.

A New Emote Panel

A new control panel makes it quicker and easier to express yourself. Find and share avatar reactions by using the flyout menu on the side of your screen. The dance panel is here, too. 

Productivity Tools and Enhancements

In-World Timer for Meetings and Reminders

A new in-world timer has been introduced for authorized users in private volumes. This timer can be used to track meeting durations or set reminders for upcoming events. The timer is synchronized across users within the private volume area and offers options to set the duration and enable sound alerts upon countdown completion. Timer access is managed by user roles, with leaders and above having control by default.

New Office Doorbell Feature

A new doorbell feature lets you connect with users in locked offices. Clicking on the doorbell icon notifies users inside that someone is waiting outside. The doorbell remains active until the door is opened or after one minute. 

This feature is a simple notification to anyone inside who may not see you waiting at their office door. 

Classroom Enhancements

The classroom scene has undergone several improvements, including increased seating capacity, audience control options, and customization features for web boards. 

Increase classroom seating with simple configurations that allow administrators to double the number of seats or give permissions to classroom leaders to make the change in real time. 

You can also automatically set individuals to mute when they enter the classroom so that background noise or conversations don’t disrupt lessons or presentations. 

Campus Administrator Features

Member Profiles

We’ve developed Member Profiles as a new way to balance organizational requests for more user profile control, while still ensuring the individual details of user profiles remain under the control of the user.

Member Profiles provide campus administrators with the ability to manage specific profile fields for users within their campus. Let's delve into the key differences between User Profiles and the new Member Profiles:

  • With User Profiles, only users can input data, which spans across campuses. User data can only be updated by users, not via bulk upload or API.
  • With Member Profiles, administrators can input data and control fields and customize fields by campus. Member profiles are unique to each campus and can be updated in bulk or via API. For example, a human resources manager could add departments and locations to users. 

This new approach empowers campus administrators to tailor the profile experience for their users while maintaining individual user privacy and security. 

Updated Dashboard UI

We've revamped the Virbela Dashboard to make navigation and management smoother than ever. You’ll find improved navigability across different dashboard screens, allowing campus owners to decide which users can view specific pages. This customizable approach empowers you to manage your virtual space the way you want.

Enhanced Role Management

With our enhanced role management system, you have more control than ever over who can access what. We've introduced features that let campus owners decide which elevated roles can access specific dashboard screens. From Members and Roles to World Configuration and Room Permissions, you can fine-tune access rights for each role in your campus.

More In-World Control

The in-world control screen allows campus administrators to determine how users experience the world once they log in. 

We've added various options to customize the user experience, including controlling where users spawn, enabling favorite and recent rooms, and managing custom help menus.

Room Permissions

Fine-tune the speech-to-text control and chat moderation in your rooms by choosing which roles can access these features. Campus administrators are in command of how these functionalities are managed in your campus, ensuring a secure and engaging environment for your users.

Getting Started with New Updates

You can find new campus administrator features available in the Virbela dashboard now. Other campus updates will be pushed at the end of Q3 or early Q4 via patches that run when you open Virbela. You may have experienced these patches for other updates before: They’re seamless and require no extra effort from you or your team. 

If you have any questions, you can reach out to your account representative or email

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