Several months ago I mentioned an article titled, ” Will your SL wardrobe soon be coming to a closet near you?” by Scarlett Qi posted about her product development work in the SLNN Business News.
If you remember – Shenlei Winkler has been mentioned in previous posts relating to her activities at Prim & Proper in Second Life but also relating to her partnership with IBM in the virtual product development project. Shenlei Winkler is the Director of the Fashion Research Institute.
Here is a link to a great video relating to the virtual product development project Shenlei Winkler has been working on with IBM….
MUST WATCH VIDEO LINK>IBM Creates the Chic Accessory for Designers In Tuesday’s Random Acts of Fashion, Kristin Bentz shows how IBM’s virtual technologies can cut down on design costs.
Shenlei invited me to see the virtual (PLM) solution area that is featured in the video – some images of the visit are posted here….it was quite impressive. There were costing sheets, color swatches, multiple color and pattern presentations, and a 3D fashion product that you avatar could see from all angles. could instantly be made to modify the color and pattern as well as the product itself. This is cost effective quick response at “virtual warp speed.” As the video above states this virtual “real time” product development process “reduces the cycle time, reduces the error rate and reduces the cost.”
A press release announced today (2/7/08) by IBM titled: New IBM Podcast Gives Listeners a Glimpse Into “The Future of Shopping,” has a podcast titled “The Future of Shopping,” the fourth episode in its 2008 series of conversations with thought leaders on how technology will change everyday life. Here is another link to the podcast announcement from MSN MONEY.
Here is another interesting IBM fashion-related video link. It’s part of IBM’s “immersive retailing experience.” This video is titled “IBM’s 3D Device Too Sexy for the Catwalk.” Talented Blonde Kristen Bentz shows you how IBM will bring the catwalk into your living room – changing the face of fashion and retail. Here is a link to a Retail Technology blog post about it.
Watch the videos and listen to the podcast …
Several months ago Shenlei gave several presentations at FIT in NY and Nyla Kazakoff from the House of Nyla and I also presented – but Nyla and I presented virtually from inside Second Life.
Here are link to Shenlei’s posts titled:
Louise Guay sees the online shopping trends moving from a catalog era to a fashion magazine era – where the user is at the center. The world of catalogs has evolved and people are more into the fashion, the fun and the design – individual creativity will be able to be expressed in the 21st century.
Shopping with the fashion magazine concept is something that is currently available with a product like StyleFeeder (personal shopping engine). What is different with Dressing Room and Showroom will be the user interactivity and the additional personalization, search and stylized outfitting search components.
Components like the ability to import any 2D picture on the Web – it will be like developing and creating a personalized Fashion Book. Development of a Fashion Book is what a designer creates when they are preparing a new collection for the season. The user will have the ability to bring in any product even if it’s not tryable and to move it around and rearrange it on the fashion board. It will be a great inspirational tool for students to create fashion trend boards.
The user can now superimpose their own face on their MVM model. With the StyleFeeder enhancements, the user can bring in any product from the Web in 2D, MVM is adding the capacity to cutout individual items and outfit – which means that the user can combine 2D and 3D items to become the fashion stylist of the personalized Fashion Book. Each product that is posted on the style display page is set to be recommendable by the user because Style Feeder has a recommendation engine.
Products can be rated by the user and when a user clicks on a particular product, it will trigger synchronous ads for similar products linked to an ad network manager, so the ads will be customized to individual.
Users can currently apply makeup on their personalized avatar face. MVM is currently working with another collaborator to integrate these makeover solutions – for the personalized face into the BrandMe Dressing Room application. They will be able to apply makeup, change hair color and style and place the personalized modifications to complete the look on to their own outfitting fashion style board. The user will also have the option to upload their own fashion items. The expanded Dressing Room and Showroom applications that are the result of the MVM/StyleFeeder partnership are scheduled to be released March or the beginning of April, 2008.
Louise Guay is very proud and believes in what MVM is developing to reflect the user centric personalization trends that retailers and users are espousing.
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What can the Dressing Room and Showroom outfitting visual display solutions do for the user and the retailer? The upcoming Dressing Room and Showroom outfitting concepts will empower users to create their own individualized personal style fashion books and/or catalogs. They can add value (by increasing the average order) for retailers by driving the top line along with an expansive product assortment from 2D and 3D catalogs. The result will be to drive customer satisfaction to build brand loyalty as well as to acquire new users from the social networking world.
The Dressing Room and Showroom solutions will enable customers to help make the best purchase decisions by seeing the complete look prior to purchasing. The solutions will also provide a platform for the retailer and customer to have a private conversation. The user can shop from the expansive 2D and 3D catalogs where they can visually search for the desired items for fashion including a variety of fashion and accessories or home fashion products including kitchen, bedroom, patio or recreation room.
For fashion the user can mix and match apparel and accessories and create their own fashion look ala fashion magazines. Every item will not be tryable because the world is not yet totally available in 3D – but 2D and 3D are combined for the user to access ALL the products. A personalized style or look can be developed and shared with a group of friends, stored in a personal closet or posted to a fashion network. In turn retailers can then present a targeted product recommendation based on user profile and behavior.
The same visual search and sharing concepts and features can be integrated into the Showroom solution. The user will be able to personalize a variety of virtual rooms. Everything that lives together, from major appliances to linens, can be visualized all in one place. User can compare multiple items, to help make the best purchase decision.
The user will be able to create multiple rooms and can add items from the favorites listing to complete a look or to help make purchase decisions. The user will also be able to upload items to complete a customized style or look. They will have access to 2D and 3D catalogs that they can use to furnish and/or decorate multiple rooms (that can be compared, saved, printed, shared and published to a social networking site) with their own personalized style.
Next and last post in this series: Part IV MVM in 2008 – From Online Shopping Catalogs to the Era of Personalized Fashion Magazines
Currently, MVM company products are being developed primarily as tools for merchants. The tools being developed are user centric and MVM is actively partnering with merchants/retailers to better serve a new era of personalization where it’s all about new personalized advertising and shopping experiences. Guay feels that the real value for merchants is for MVM to develop tools that will empower people in their lives not only to shop in the digital/virtual world but to augment and extend reality to facilitate visual goals in the real world as well.
According to Gray, BrandME, I am the Brand is the first social shopping platform that connects advertisers and the users. It is targeted for the apparel, footwear & accessories and home décor market segments As stated in a previous posting BrandMe is a social shopping experience that is focused on the desires, needs and wants of the user. The user can personalize, mix-and-match, create looks, and then share them with their friends and social networks.
What is different now with the Dressing Room and Showroom is the integration of expansive 2D and 3D catalogs and powerful search tools to empower users to create thei own personalized fashion look book. The StyleFeeder collaboration has contributed to this expansion of services to include the 2D catalogs and intuitive search tools. This translates into increased time spent on advertiser and publisher sites.
Advertisers/Publishers will also have the ability to create and serve real time targeted relevant, actionable, and non-intrusive advertisement to users as well as the ability to gain insights (correlations between selected items) on user behaviors to optimize their target strategy.
Next Post: Part III MVM in 2008 – Adding Value and Brand Loyalty for Retailers