Shenlei Winkler: Virtual Product Development
Posted by Elaine Polvinen on December 6, 2007
Virtual Worlds are an emerging technology that promises to sweepingly and dramatically alter the way enterprises of all sorts conduct and do business. Using lessons learned from Web 2.0, businesses can harness the substantial power of virtual worlds to cut costs, reduce time-to-market, develop better product; maintain transparency all along the supply chain and above all, for fashion designers, maintain the integrity of the designer’s vision throughout the production process. Initial estimates from technology companies such as IBM suggest that Web 3.0/virtual worlds will be ubiquitous as business tools in as soon as three years. Those individuals who do not learn to use these new tools will find themselves as lost as those who refused to learn to use computers, e-mail or the Internet. Learning to use virtual worlds is an initial step to being able to teach students to use this new technology. While virtual worlds can represent an appreciable barrier to some, with proper curriculum, all can access and use the immense power of these collaborative, persistent workspaces. FRI is working in conjunction with its technology partner, IBM, and with fashion educators such as Elaine Polvinen at Buffalo State, to develop virtual-worlds based fashion curriculum, and to develop seminars for educators to help them access virtual worlds.
Prepare yourself! Sign up for an account with a virtual world – I recommend Second Life, because the Second Life interface will be used commonly for emerging virtual worlds and because it is actually a relatively easy interface to learn…and of course, it can be fun to learn, too. Learn to use the tools. There are many great organizations in Second Life whose sole mission is to assist new residents of the world to use it to its maximum potential. FRI sponsors space on Shengri La where new residents can come in and orient themselves in a safe, visually lush, fun environment. I invite you to join us in Shengri La at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Shengri%20La/194/32/28