Macromedia and voice over Internet Protocol specialists, HearMe, will showcase their real-time audio technologies today, at 6pm Pacific time – 2am BST this morning.

The companies’ solution lets hundreds of thousands of site visitors chat together in voice-enabled chat rooms in real-time.

The event will feature US comedian Wayne Brady in an interactive, live-comedy broadcast, based on audience suggestions. Using these technologies, the audience will hear Brady’s voice and see an animated representation of the comic in their browsers – all in real-time.

Brady can control an animated representation – an avatar – of himself that is displayed on every participant’s screen.

The live-voice interaction is achieved by combining Macromedia Director 8, Shockwave Studio and Macromedia Shockwave Player with HearMe VoiceXTRA. Together, the products offer the only integrated solution available for voice-enabling online-multimedia communities.

Site visitors enter a Lobby, where they encounter other visitors, also represented by avatars. The appearance of individual avatars can be changed, and moved around the screen by visitors. They can communicate together using text messages, and enter other areas of the site to suggest ideas for Brady’s improvised-comedy routines, or to participate in the chat rooms. Brady’s routines are transmitted live using Voice over IP, and a giant avatar of the comedian will dance around the screen.

Macromedia’s Miriam Geller told Macworld: "Our software can handle text chat, but you can combine this with the multimedia elements of Shockwave – then you have a host of possibilities for Web-based entertainment.

"When you talk about entertainment on the Web, a lot of this is scripted, this is the first time we are actually using the Web in this unique way."

The demonstration takes place at It requires the latest version of Macromedia’s Shockwave Player.