I suppose you have listen about Second Life or games like WoW, these sites are known as virtual worlds where you can be anyone, even yourself. Few days ago, Sun announce its solution for virtual meetings named Project Wonderland, a evolution of their experiments with Looking Glass (I made an article for GLiB). This approach create a virtual enviroment where people can be reunited with 3D avantars and talk (also you can be a weird floating ball when you are using a phone communication).
Today Google launched Lively a personal "world" (maybe more like a personal room). Lively is like Second Life but small and owned by yourself, the bad point is that requires MS Vista/XP at this moment. The concept is good, take the good things in SL and apply for a minimal space and with Google support, it can be big and soon we'll have many variations or improvements.
When will be we as close as the Metaverse written by Neal Stephenson in the cyberpunk novel Snow Crash?
By the way, Neal said there's not better Spock than the original, I'm not a Trekkie but I agree.