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Text Chat

Open Cobalt's integrated text chat tool allows you to communicate with others using instant messaging. There are two chat modes available: local chat and XMPP-based (remote) chat.

Local Chat

Local chat can be used once users have gathered together in one space via teleport or space-linking.

Launching Local Chat

There are 2 ways to launch local chat.

Option 1: From the HUD (i.e. the set of icons that appear across the bottom of the Cobalt Screen)

  1. Click the talk bubble icon

  2. Type text into the text entry box and then press your Enter key.

Option 2: From the People Menu

  1. Select People>Text Chat>Open Chat Window...
  2. Type text into the text entry box and then press your Enter key.

Tip: You can set the name that represents you in your chat session by selecting People>Text Chat>Set Chat Nickname... 

XMPP-based (remote) chat

Cobalt includes a second option for text chat, one that allows for remote communication. This second chat mode enables users to chat even if they're occupying separate Cobalt spaces. Cobalt uses XMPP for it's text chat tool, the technology behind both the open source Jabber and the Google Talk chat services. If you have a Jabber or Google account (Gmail, Google Talk, etc) you're ready to begin using Cobalt's chat feature. If you don't have an account with either Jabber or Google Talk you must first establish one.

Create a Jabber account

  1. Using your web browser, go to
  2. Complete the account registration form.
  3. Note your User ID and Password.

Create a Google Talk Account

  1. Using your web browser, go to
  2. Complete the account registration form.
  3. Note your User ID and Password.

Login to Cobalt

  1. Select Cobalt > Login.
  2. A screen pops up "Connect to a Universal Rendezvous area...". Click OK.
  3. In the Edit Account window, select the Start tab.
  4. From the Connection Type dropdown menu, select Jabber.
  5. Select the Existing account radio button.
  6. Click OK. The Account tab of the Edit Account window opens.
  7. Enter your ID, Password, and Nickname. You must enter your complete ID (e.g., The Nickname will be how you're identified in the chat window.
  8. Click OK.

You should now be logged in. To check: Click the Cobalt menu, look halfway down the menu and verify that your account name is showing.

Add contacts to your chat buddy list

You must add your buddy to your Cobalt chat contact list before you can initiate a chat session.

  1. Select People > Show Contacts.
  2. Click the + sign at the bottom left of the Contact List window.
  3. Enter your buddy's Contact ID and Nickname.
  4. Click OK.

Start a text chat

If your buddy is currently logged into Jabber or Google, you'll now be able to chat with them.

  1. Select People > Show Contacts. (If your buddy is logged in, the Cobalt icon will be blue. A gray icon means they are not logged in.)
  2. Double click on the name of any buddy in your contact list who is currently logged in. A chat window opens.
  3. Enter text in the text entry box (to the right of the Join Me button).
  4. Hit the Enter key to send your message. 

Understanding the difference between local and XMPP chat

Local chat works only when users are together in a shared space.

XMPP-based (Jabber or Google Talk) chat, on the other hand, allows you to connect with others both locally, when they're in the same space with you, or remotely, when you and your contacts are in separate Cobalt spaces. In fact, the person you chat with using Jabber or Google Talk need not even be using Cobalt for your chat session. So, for example, two users, one logged into Cobalt on their PC, the other logged into a Google Talk account on their smartphone, could communicate using text chat.