The kids over at Linden Labs have rolled out a limited beta version of a speech system. The system would basically allow you to communicate with your own voice with the other people in Second Life.
The cool thing is that the speech system would operate differently then the conventional conversational methods used in games such as World of Warcraft. The main difference is that it would adapt depending on surroundings and distance. Confused? Well basically if someone is further away from you, you will probably raise your voice...that would be adjusted automatically within Second Life.
For the time being the speech activation will only be available in certain geographical locations. However, owners of private Islands will have the option to enable it. If you plan on holding a party, it might get a bit noisy as up to 100 people can be using the system at a time in one specific location.
The technology has been made in collaboration with Vivox and 3D voice tech from DiamondWare. Right now the system is on a limited beta release for 1,000 residents, while broader beta will come in March, and a formal launch virtual world wide scheduled for Q2, 2007.
If you are interested in applying for the beta email firstname.lastname@example.org