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This Little Wristband Will Replace Your Passwords With Your Heartbeat

November 4, 2013 Leave a comment
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BY LIZ  STINSON 09.11.13

Companies have been dangling the promise of hyper-connected smart environments in front of us for years. We’ve been told that soon we’ll be able to walk into a room, and our devices will instantly cater to our preferences. In this world, Spotify has learned that you enjoy listening to hip hop while making dinner, and your Jambox knows how loud you like the volume. Upon entering your kitchen, the lights dim to a warm glow, just the way you like it, and based on what you’ve indicated you’re making for dinner via a cooking app, the oven presets to 400 degrees with just a wave of your hand.

Sounds pretty great, right? But the problem is, how do these devices even know who’s there? Tailoring environments to our desires is reliant on devices knowing and understanding the people who use them. But short of manually programming your preferences, there’s no easy way for our gadgets and apps to know who we are or what we like. “We see ourselves as sort of the central point in enabling that in a really simple way,” says Karl Martin, CEO of Bionym, a biometrics company based in Toronto.

Tailoring environments to our desires relies upon devices that know the people using them.

Martin an his team have created the Nymi, a plastic wristband that is aiming to be the common thread that connects your identity to the smart devices of the future. Born out of research done at the University of Toronto, the device uses a biometric sensor to authenticate identity through a person’s unique electrocardiogram. Which is a fancy way of saying, the pattern of your heartbeat could be your new set of keys.

The Bionym team found a way to extract features of your heartbeat that allows them to create a robust biometric template. So if you get nervous and your heart speeds up or you just ran a few miles, the waveform of your heartbeat might appear more condensed, but it’s still essentially the same pattern. The idea is that users will strap on the Nymi each morning, touch the topside sensor to read their ECG and will be constantly authenticated until they decide to take it off.

Other devices like the NFC Ring and Motorola’s Skip are using near field communication technology to do away with passwords and make the world more wirelessly connected, but they don’t really take the individual into account. Those devices are essentially like high-tech keys that if lost, could theoretically be used by whoever found it.

The Nymi’s biggest advantage (and biggest risk) is that it uses biometrics to validate a user’s identity. This puts the Nymi in a position to make personalization and identity more easily accessible than ever before, but it also carries a massive responsibility for protecting privacy. The band won’t work unless it detects your specific ECG, so depending on how you intend to use it, it needs to be around your wrist all day long. This allows for persistent authentication, meaning you don’t have to continually touch a pad to register your fingerprint or swipe a ring to open your front door. Depending on the proximity determined by developers, you simply have to walk into a room to engage with devices or apps. “If your identity is being used to provide a personalized experience, the value of that is that you don’t have to think about it,” Martin says. “If you had to enter things every time, that’s not as valuable.”

Martin believes the interactions between people and technology should be passive, but not absent.

Of course, wearing something all day every day is a lot to ask, particularly because no one has gotten wearable technology quite right. The Nymi looks a lot like the fitness trackers on the market: a relatively inconspicuous rubber wristband with a sensor on the wrist and at the top. Though it doesn’t scream “Look! Technology!” it’s certainly not invisible. Bionym is toying with the form factor and has considered making the Nymi into a necklace or embeddable into clothing. One thing they’re not doing, is following the shiny smart watch trend. “You have to think, ‘Well, what is it people are willing to accept?’” Martin says. “There’s been so much talk about smart watches and how they’re the next big thing, but nobody’s really justified why somebody would want to put a big screen on their wrist. We’re following the philosophy that wearable tech is less about the digital interaction with the user and more about technology that melts into the background.”

Martin believes the interactions between people and technology should be passive, but not altogether absent. The most recent version of the Nymi will communicate with users by little vibrations that let them know their identity is being used or that the band is talking to other devices. “The idea is that users want some awareness and it can be really subtle,” he says. “But it goes toward this assurance of privacy and security and this idea that it’s not doing things without you knowing it.”

Privacy is a big concern for the Nymi, and you can imagine the company is going to encounter some serious questions about the security of wearing your biometric identity around your wrist. Typed passwords and pin numbers can be discarded and easily changed, but if your ECG gets into the wrong hands, that’s a big problem since you can’t exactly reset your heartbeat. Martin says the Nymi was conceived with the idea of “privacy by design,” which is basically Bionym’s policy of building a product that’s rooted in keeping data protected. “There’s going to be major pushback if users feel their privacy isn’t protected,” admits Martin.

The wristband uses a cryptographic chip, which means all data is encrypted at the hardware level. And Martin says it’s impossible for  anyone to trace the signal emitting from the wrist band back to the user unless people opt-in to allow that access (the default setting is opt-out).”Whenever there’s a new technology that people don’t necessarily understand, there’s always going to be a backlash and fear,” he says. ”It’s not immediately obvious, but this product is actually a way for people to improve their privacy and take more control over their information.”

You can pre-order the Nymi for $79, but it’s not going into production until spring of 2014. In the months leading up to the official launch, Bionym’s main task is getting third-party developers on board to create a thriving ecosystem of apps and devices that the Nymi can be used with. Proving the Nymi’s value to other companies is the first step to this new technology being adopted by the larger public. “There’s almost a chicken and egg thing here,” Martin says. “You need a lot of people [users] on board to make it justifiable for others to want to integrate, and for people to want to get on board, they want to know that there’s a lot of integration and that it will do a lot of things for them.”

Infographic Alert: Multichannel Marketing Can Be Puzzling

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment

 etail-west

November 1, 2013 -

by Elyse Dupre and James Jarnot

Creating optimal customer experiences is a top priority for many retailers. In fact, 65% of retail executives polled say providing the best customer experience possible is the most important factor when obtaining approval for sales and marketing technology investments, according to the “Breaking Through Customer Engagement Barriers with Innovative Marketing and Technologies” report by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Retail Touchpoints. And the best customer experiences are those that are relevant—powered by multichannel customer data and messaging.

However, piecing this multichannel data together can leave marketers feeling puzzled. According to the report, 47% of retail executives rank “using their existing customer data effectively,” as their greatest marketing challenge, followed by “integrating social and mobile data” (18%), “using analytics” (11%), and “integrating new data” (8%).

When it comes to completing the overall picture of the customer, a majority of marketers (58%) agree that transactional and purchase history information are the most valuable types of data, the report notes. Following far behind in importance are behavioral and attitudinal data (14%) and demographic data (14%). Just 5% of respondents say social media data is the most valuable, and only 2% list Web browsing history data as important, according to the report. This lack of emphasis on key areas of customer data may leave puzzling gaps in insight.

Real-time data also proves to be a brain twister. The report cites that less than a quarter of respondents (23%) use real-time data to generate customer offers frequently and less than one third (30%) admit to doing so infrequently. In fact, 11% say they don’t use real-time data to produce customer offers at all. However, 36% say they would like to do so in the future.

But piecing together multichannel data isn’t the only thing retailers are stumped on. They also struggle with multichannel messaging. According to the report, only 37% of retail executives provide consistent marketing messages across all channels. Of the remaining 63%, 50% say they synchronize their messaging across some channels, but not all, and 13% say they treat each channel separately.

InfographicWeekly082313

Elyse Dupre is a reporter at Direct Marketing News and covers ever-evolving trends in the marketing world.James Jarnot is the Art Director at Direct Marketing News.

Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection

December 9, 2009 2 comments

Here are the images from Missy Lavecchia”s Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection. These are the fashions created for Missy’s first solo show in Second Life last Monday evening titled “Jewels of Winter”.

You don’t actually have to be in-world to purchase these virtual garments. You can go to the Xstreet SL Marketplace, purchase them there and they will automatically be delivered to your inventory in-world or if you purchase them as a gift they will be delivered to your gift recipients inventory in world.

Here is a link to Missy’s Bella Fantastique - Midnight Sparkle collection at Xstreet. If the link does not work correctly go to Xstreet SL Marketplace and search for “Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle.”


Links to other related blog postings about Missy:

How Clothing is Made in Second Life: Summary

August 15, 2008 4 comments

I hope this little introductory series about how clothing is made in Second Life has been informative to you. From my own personal experience it all can be quite confusing to a new user or someone that has no past experience with 3D virtual worlds or applications. I have just about completed updating my Introduction to Second Life For Fashion OpenCourseWare Learning Module series. The video above will provide you with a quick overview of the learning modules [listed below for you] that are posted on www.fashionCAD.info

OpenCourseWare Learning Modules

  • Module One:  Getting Started in Second Life – Signing On
  • Module Two:  Getting Getting Started in Second Life After Orientation Island – Video Tutorials o f the Basics in SL; Practicing SL Basic Skills; Snapshot to Disk; Prepare First Avatar Presentation in Photoshop.
  • Module Three: Getting Started in Second Life – How Clothes are Made in Second Life: The Basics; Some Review, First Tee & Outfit in Appearance – File Permissions, Poseball, Snapshot, Make Transparent Mannequin
  • Module Four: Practicing and Modifying Pre-Made Patterns, UV Mapped Items, Flexi-Skirts
  • Module Five: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: TEXTURES Preparing and Uploading your SL Pattern Texture Files 
  • Module Six: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: UV MAPS and More File Permissions
  • Module Seven: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: PRIMS 
  • Module Eight: Fashion Collection Presentation Package
  • Module Nine: Prepare for the upcoming Fashion Show in SL & Set-Up  Franamation OverRider 
  • Module Ten: Create a layout presentation image of your fashion collection
  • Module Eleven:  Prepare for the Fashion Show

You can complete the learning modules (above] at you own pace or you can register for the Virtual Fashion class I am offering as an online and in world class this coming fall semester.

Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']

If you are interested in registering for this course – you better hurry because fall 2008 classes start 8/25/08. This class will need instructor permission to register so make sure you get permission from me before you attempt to even register for it.  You will need to have Second Life loaded on your computer and should have an introductory knowledge of Photoshop [basic functions] as well as the application itself.

One last thing – Here is an informal index to the videos I have created for Second Life. Please keep in mind that while some of these videos represent finished products others are just rough guides completed as an aid during a class project that was in progress.

Second Life for Fashion Students-Video Tutorial Index

 I want to share this information with the hopes that others can use them for educational purposes.

Previous Posts in This Series:

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

August 13, 2008 2 comments

PRIMS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

Finn1 FlintlockYou may have noticed that the hair and shoes and other items you create using the APPEARANCE menu are not as visually appealing as many of the fashions you see in Second Life. This is because many fashion outfits are enhanced by belts, accessories, scarves, ties, handbags, flexiskirts, etc that are created from PRIMS. PRIMS are the basic 3D building tools in Second Life. If you like making clothing in Second Life – you need to learn to build. An excellent place to learn how to build at your own pace is the Ivory Tower of Prims in SL.

Here is a video Tour of the Ivory Tower of Prims by Torley Linden: Learn building at the Ivory Tower of Primitives

Here is a short video I made that will demonstrate how PRIM hair is different from the hair that you can create in the APPEARANCE menu: APPEARANCE and PRIM Hair.you can use the BUILD tool to create simple prims that will enhance your garments in SECOND LIFE. Here is a video that will demonstrate that for you: Create Simple Prims to Enhance Garments in SL . With regards to flexiskirts – you may be wondering, what makes the skirt panels move when your avatar walks? In the EDIT menu under the FEATURES tab the FLEXIBLE PATH field is checked, that makes a prim flexible-there are various adjustments there to fine tune the amount of flexibility you want on the panel. You set the proprieties of the skirt panel before you make it into a flexiskirt.

MORE ABOUT FLEXISKIRTS

Now more about flexiskirts – they are made from multiple panels of PRIMS but it would be an exercise in torture to try to make flexiskirts without a SCRIPT. SCRIPTS are what make all things in SL interactive. You can automate PRIMS in SL by using scripts. If you notice things like HOVERTEXT – that is the text above items that you see in SL – this text is also created by using a SCRIPT. Sometimes you click on something in SL and a NOTECARD opens or a link to a WEBSITE opens or you sit on a chair or a poseball and your avatar assumes a pose or sitting position – these are created by dragging and dropping a script and sometimes an animation into a PRIM in SL.

The very basic flexiskirt script is free. Here is a link to Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog post titled, Day 97: Flexi Skirts Part 1 (Ged Larsen’s LoopRez Script) which will provide you with excellent instructions on how to create your first flexi-skirt and there is a SURL link that will teleport you into the location SL where you can get the Loop REZ script for FREE in SL. [NOTE: you can also get it on the SLEXCHANGE for $L1]

I have some flexiskirt’s created with this script with open permission for you available on the Buffalo State Island, this is the SURL LINK. Once you complete Natalia’s basic Flexiskirt tutorial you can go to her part II post to learn how to set up the attachment set. It will adjust your flexi-skirt so that it will not melt through another PRIM when your avatar sits down. Day 433: Flexi Skirts Part 2 (Self-Adjustment with AttachmentSet).

Natalia Zelmanov’s blog has excellent detailed how-to instructions for building all kinds of clothing and textures  in Second Life including prim hair shoes and jewelry, fur, satin, semi transparent textures, animations and poses. Here is the link to Natalia’s BUILD TUTORIAL INDEX.

Ged Larsen's FREE LoopRez Script

Ged Larsen also has two other models of the Loop Rez for you to choose from. The first is the LoopRez Deluxe.  Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe  tutorial on his blog. In addition to purchasing the LoopRez in-world you can purchase it on the SLEXCHANGE. If you purchase something to use in-world here you pay at the SLEXCHANGE and it will automatically be delivered to you in world. Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe Personal Edition v0.81 [L$220]from the SLEXCHANGE but keep in mind you CANNOT SELL THESE FLEXISKIRTS IN SL that is why it is called the “personal edition.” The Permissions are : LoopRez Object: COPY [that means for you only] / NO MOD / NO TRANSFER … Skirts: COPY [that means for yourself] / MOD [that means for yourself] / NO TRANSFER

Here is a YOUTUBE Video to show you how Ged Larson’s LoopREZ Deluze works.

If you want to purchase a flexiskirt LoopREZ so that you can create and sell the flexiskirts you create you need to purchase the LoopRez Deluxe Commercial Edition v0.81[L$2200]It is the same as the LoopREZ Deluxe but the permissions are set so that the skirts you create can be copied, modified and transferred.

Here is an interesting video of a Flower Power2 Building tool to create a Flexiskirt…

Previous Posts in This Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

August 11, 2008 5 comments

UV MAPS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

 

Finn1 Flintlock
Another way to create fashion in SL is to download the UV maps and create garments directly on to the UV maps an upload them to SL and apply them on your avatar in APPEARANCE. Avatar UV Maps are 2D representations of a 3D virtual avatar. The markings on the UV map serve as guides to help with matching the seams of the virtual garments that are created that will then be virtually “mapped” on to the 3D avatar.

An excellent way to start is to follow Robin Wood’s T-Shirt Tutorial and create your very own T-shirt graphic for your avatar. Robin provides a link to download a ZIP file of the T-Shirt Template and there are links included  to follow the step by step tutorial.

 

 
Here is a link to a video tutorial I made to demonstrate how you can use Robin’s T- Shirt Template to very quickly make a custom T-Shirt & upload it to Second Life. The next video in this mini-series will demonstrate to you how to create multiple garments that coordinate with the new T-Shirt you created and explains the file permissions on the new garments. It is titled Make Outfit in Appearance, Save it and Set Permissions. Once you created and saved your new outfit you need to wear it and go to the poseballs and take a snapshot to disk – here is a third video tutorial titled Pose With the Poseballs, Snapshot to Disk in Sl. The fourth video this mini-series will demonstrate for you how to make a mannequin for Second Life by extracting the background, making a transparency channel, using the Smudge Tool and uploading it to SL.

Once you get the idea how UV maps are used by using Robin’s T-shirt template you can download a full set of her UV templates from her site and move on to creating more UV mapped garments. Robin’s site is an excellent resource and there are additional links to how to make lace textures, how to add transparencies, adding patterns to cloth and so on.

Just like in the real world of fashion there are many different quality levels of fashions in Second Life. Some UV Mapped garments in particular can require an exceptionally high level of digital graphic illustration skills. There are many extremely talented and highly skilled digital virtual fashion design artists in Second Life. SL fashion design artists use their digital illustration skills on the UV Maps to create highly detailed garments from scratch and they often enhance their creations with prim attachments like flexi-skirts, hats, collars, shoes, belts, etc. UV Maps are also used to create a variety of custom avatar skins as well as tattoos.

There are many beginner SL fashion designers and amateurs that create and try to sell tons of rip-off or knock-offs of fashion items just like in the real world of fashion. Many of the freebie garments in Second Life are created by placing the front and back of a Web image on to the UV Map. Some of these images are then modified and others are just copied “as is” from the real world item. Also as there are technical “product quality” issues in the real world there are also digital quality issues such as “are the seams closed?” “are the seams matched?” What is the digital overall technical quality level of the UV Mapped garment in addition to creative originality of the virtual UV Mapped fashions?

The creation of TEXTURES correlate indirectly to the creation of surface print patterns for industry that fashion designers in the real world need to make but the skills needed for UV Mapped garments and PRIM building in Second Life are only remotely related to the skills that real world fashion students require. Real world fashion students need to know how to create fashion product sketches [flats or fashion croquees], technical product specification and costing sheets, a variety of client presentation boards as well as to gain flat pattern drafting and pattern-making skills to actually create the garment pattern and then acquire the skill to assemble the garment in the real world. The file organization skills that are required to create and sell fashion garments in SL are excellent organizational and basic business start-up skills for fashion students as well as learning to work in a 3D environment. [ex: store layout & design and fashion show production] The fashion industry is shifting over to multi-dimensional product development for use in design as well as merchandising so gaining 3D conceptional skills in a virtual application like Second Life is a valuable transitional skill for fashion students.

Here are three excellent links from Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog that explain the UV Maps and how to use them to create clothing in Photoshop. Natalia has a variety of highly detailed and well-illustrated  step-by-step directions on how to build all sorts of fashion related items for Second Life. Robin Wood’s and Natalia Zelmanov’s blogs were a Godsend to me when I first “literally fell” into the virtual world of Second Life.

Clothing Texture Templates: A discussion of SL clothing templates (Robin Wood’s in particular) and how the flat template files map onto the avatar’s body

Creating Clothes Pt 1: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Creating Clothes Pt 2: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Here is another link from Natalia’s  blog that will show you how to create clothes using the UV maps with GIMP (free program like Photoshop) and UV maps to create a garment. Day 181: Creating Clothes with GIMP

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

Previous Posts in this Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part II – TEXTURES

August 8, 2008 5 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

TEXTURES

A very easy way to make your SL APPEARANCE clothing look more unique is to create and upload your own textures. Before you begin using this method you should understand how textures work in SL. Textures work differently in the APPEARANCE MENU then with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool that is used to create PRIMS. I created a video to explain the difference for you – here is a link to the About Textures in Sl video.

Once you understand how textures work differently in APPEARANCE and with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool you can make adjustments when you create and upload your own textures. In a nutshell – the textures that are on a prim [like a flexi-skirt panel] can be tiled and flipped and set into different scaled repeats – this is not possible in the APPEARANCE. I personally think this is a BIG DRAWBACK for flexibility and creative expression using the APPEARANCE menu with custom textures in Second Life but we have to work with what we have.

I have lots of student-created free fiber design seamless textures on the Buffalo State island and I made a video that will demonstrate how you can insert them into garments you create using the APPEARANCE menu in SL. There is a color set and a grayscale set that you can add your own tints to. Here is the link to the video: Fiber Textures in Second Life. The SURL pasted below in this post will take you to the location in Second Life [pictured above] where there are plentiful textures for you to experiment with and the permissions are all opened for you.

Here are a short series of video tutorials that will get you started with creating your own custom textures in Photoshop that you can use on garments you create in the APPEARANCE menu. [NOTE: in these videos I make the textures 256px by 256px - you can make them more detailed by creating them 512 X 512 px or even 256px by 512px , or 1024 or 1024 px but keep in mind larger texture files will need more processing time to come in clear. To get fine detail into your textures you can create them at a very high resolution and creating them in Illustrator will give you even more control. Once you have completed them you can resample [rescale] them down in Image Size before you upload them. I would not go over 512px unless there is very fine detail that is very important to keep in. Here is a link to a site where you can download free high resolution texturesto get your creativity going with custom texture development. You will get a really good look if you create a seamless texture of an area you apply filters to and then place it into a half-drop and make it seamless again.

SL TEXTURES/PATTERN DEVELOPMENT FOR INDUSTRY

The pattern repeat techniques for developing seamless TEXTURES for Second Life correlate somewhat with the pattern repeat development skills that CAD Textile Print Designers for industry need. The primary difference is that when you are developing print repeat designs for industry you need to know how to create and work in reduced colors as well as tonals, there are size constraints that need to match print methods and skill is required to recolor the pattern to match current color trends. If you are working in tonal images [photographic or true color scans of maybe watercolors] you need to know how to create layer masks to recolor your tonals.

PRACTICING APPLYING TEXTURES & TINTS TO CLOTHING

I have created a series of videos that will demonstrate to you step by step how to change colors and textures on UV clothing and flexi-skirts. All of these items in the video are available for you with the permissions open so you can modify, and or transfer them and  customize them to make them your own. Here is a SURL that will take you to the location on the Buffalo State island[pictured above] where these garments are available so you can follow along with the videos. All permissions on the garments and textures for the video tutorials are open.

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

Previous Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

More textures here: Buffalo Loves Cotton Texture Gallery for Second Life

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

August 6, 2008 3 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

This is a first of a series to present an overview of the different ways clothes are made in Second Life.

There are multiple ways clothes can be created in Second Life: adding custom colors and pattern textures, creating UV mapped garments and fashion items created from prims. You not only need to know the different ways clothes are made but if you want to create or try to give away or sell clothing in SL you also need to understand file permissions.

Clothes can be created from the basic APPEARANCE menu and built-in TEXTURES available to everyone from the SL LIBRARY folder in your INVENTORY. You can enhance your SL garments by adding your own custom TEXTURES to make the APPEARANCE garments more unique. You can add custom tattoos and unique avatar clothing by getting a set of UV MAP files  and using a program like Photoshop or Gimp [free] to create custom clothing for your avatar, and finally you can add loads of fashion items by learning to use the BUILD tool in SL. You can make single and multiple linked prims that turn into shoes, hair, belts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pins and lots of other customized fashion accessories.

BASIC CLOTHING FROM THE APPEARANCE MENU

The fist and most simple way to make clothing in Second Life is to create garments in the APPEARANCE menu. When you create articles of clothing using the APPEARANCE you can save each individual article of new clothing you create before you exit the APPEARANCE menu. Here is a YOUTUBE video from Torley Linden that introduces you to using APPEARANCE.

 

BASICS: Editing your appearance – Second Life Video TuTORial

When you are in the APPEARANCE MENU you can add colors and tints to your garment and you can access the universal Second Life LIBRARY folder in your inventory to place a TEXTURE file on to the garment you are creating. The TEXTURES in your LIBRARY folder are available to everyone in Second Life. You can also create your own custom textures and upload them to SL for L$10. You will notice that some texture files do not have all over texture patterns on them – they are shaped and formed like your avatar. These are custom avatar garments that were created using UV maps of your avatar. If you received some textures or custom garments for free in Second Life – you should take note of the fact that some of the file permissions for these items may be set to no-copy or no- modify or no-transfer.  You can easily see what the file permissions are set to by right mouse clicking on the file in your INVENTORY and reviewing the permissions That is why it is best to create your own content in SL  – because then “you” can set all the permissions. Previously set file permissions are the reason why you may run into a bit of confusion and difficulty if you try to make modifications to UV garments you either purchased or got for free in SL and try to save additional copies in APPEARANCE by making an outfit or try to make a copy of the file from your INVENTORY or try to give [transfer] it to someone else.

New articles of clothing you create in SL are all located in your CLOTHING folder in your INVENTORY. Fashion items you got for free or purchased may be placed into your INVENTORY in it’s own folder. You can mouse-click and drag any other folder containing fashion outfits  to be a sub-folder in your clothing folder. You can easily rename any file you created in your INVENTORY by right clicking on it and selecting RENAME.  You can create a new SUB-FOLDER under your CLOTHING FOLDER by right mouse clicking on your CLOTHING FOLDER and selecting NEW FOLDER and naming it. You can move the files by dragging and dropping them to a new location.

WEAR & TAKE OFF CLOTHING FROM APPEARANCE

To wear an article of clothing from your inventory – right click on the file and select WEAR. There are multiple ways to take an article of clothing off that was created in APPEARANCE. You can go to EDIT>TAKE OFF CLOTHING>SELECT THE ARTICLE YOU WANT TO TAKE OFF; you can right mouse click on your avatar and select TAKE OFF>CLOTHES>SELECT THE ITEM TO REMOVE or you can right click on the files itself in your inventory and select TAKE OFF.

Here is a link to a video I just created that will review for you how to organize your CLOTHING folder in SL. Organize Your Clothing Folder in Second Life.

Next post will provide and overview of TEXTURES in SL.

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Virtual Fashion – What is it?

June 18, 2008 5 comments

Shenlei Winkler (aka: Shenlei Flashart in SL] has an excellent post titled, “Avatar Apparel vs. the Real Apparel Industry,” clarifying the differences between what FRI [Fashion Research Institute]  terms, virtual fashion that is designed specifically for virtual worlds and gaming and the “1.7 trillion USD apparel industry.”

Actually it’s even becoming even more confusing then Shenlei mentions because the global apparel industry is now transitioning over to multi dimensional product development applications like Optitex [in the video below & see previous posts] that will empower the industry to develop in virtual 3D digital format [using virtual avatars] from square one.

So the term “virtual fashion” can refer to fashion developed specifically for end use in the the virtual world or fashion that is developed “virtually” via a multi dimensional application or “in the virtual world” for the real world global apparel industry. To add to the confusion :) I  have developed a totally in world Introduction to Virtual Fashion online college course that prepares real world students of fashion to think, create, develop and work together and communicate in a virtual world setting. Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08'] I believe that an application like Second Life provides fashion education programs with the tools to teach students a specialized (fashion) conceptual skill set from working in a 3D virtual reality environment that is free and open access for all fashion programs. Gaining these introductory virtual skills will begin to prepare students for emerging employer expectations relating to 3D conceptualization.

Some real life fashion designers like Nyla from the House of Nyla design and create one of a kind real world fashions and replicate them for virtual sales in a virtual world like Second Life.

 

House Of Nyla

 

And then there are the real life fashion designers like KOZMARA that create real world fashions using a multi dimensional product development application like Optitex that enables virtual development of a real world garment that can be easily manufactured.

KOZMARA

What Shenlei is developing with IBM is real world apparel production design and development in a virtual world setting – this is really quite exciting and it takes a bit just to wrap your brain around it but once you do it leads to endless possibilities!

Shenlei goes on to describe how virtual fashion for end use in a virtual world is often developed in a 3D application like Photoshop or Illustrator and is never actually manufactured so the designer does not have to conform to a variety of size, trend, quality, production and time constraints.

She continues with a comparison of funds generated by the gaming industries and the global apparel industries. In her post, she eloquently details the four years of dedicated highly focused multi-faceted cross training involved in preparation to become a fashion designer in today’s global fashion industry.

All of these real world production details that a fashion design student must gain an understanding of are not required for a virtual fashion designer that designs specifically for the virtual gaming worlds. As Shenlei states, “the realities of manufacturability and wearer’s comfort are not even a consideration.”

Her blog post explains that the FRI research is not about fashion designing for the virtual world but working “in” and using virtual worlds to develop real world apparel for manufacture. FRI is,”focused on helping the apparel industry to cut its time to market, slash its development costs, reduce its carbon footprint, and enhance its profitability and revenue opportunities.”  FRI is, “using virtual worlds to insulate designers from technology and to enable them to focus on design.”
 

The real world apparel industry product development research that FRI is conducting is exceptionally exciting and has the potential to have a transformational impact on the global apparel industry. Anyone involved in the real world apparel industry is welcome to visit the Fashion Research Institute [FRI] in SL.  The FRI has made available new resident avatar kits in the welcome area of the FRI corporate sim complex in Second Life tm Shengri La. Here is a link to Shenlei’s post titled “Beautiful People….”

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']

I will be accepting students for my first totally in-world Introduction to Virtual Fashion in Second Life class. Students can register for credit or non-credit. I have been teaching fashion in Second Life for three semesters now st Buffalo State College as a Web enhanced course. I am working over the summer to develop this special course so it can be taught totally online on ANGEL and inworld in Second Life.

This course will require very basic level one introductory Photoshop and Illustrator skills.

Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Photoshop functions

Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Illustrator functions

Course Name: FTT495: Intro to Virtual Fashion in Second Life

Semester: fall 2008
Credit Hours: 3  credits 
Catalog no.: 3347
Location of class Buffalo State Island in Second Life and ANGEL online course

Days: TR 7PM-10PM EST on BSC island in SL 
Instructor’s Name: Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 FLintlock
e-mail: polvinem@buffalostate.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Learn the basics of the 3D world of Second Life. Learn how to navigate, communicate with others and create fashion related projects. Introductory multi-disciplinary skills for 3D virtual fashion design, brand development, presentation and fashion show production. Research projects focusing on incorporating 2D into 3D conceptualization in Second Life.

Prerequisites: Basic introductory skills with Photoshop and Illustrator. You are required to already have established an Avatar in Second Life and to have worked through orientation island. Second Life is a free application that must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Download Second Life HERE. Information about hardware requirements for Second Life can be located on the download page. Any version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop will work for this class.

OBJECTIVES:

At the completion of the Virtual Fashion CAD Project student will demonstrate introductory:

  • 3D virtual organizational skills.
  • 3D virtual creative Thinking skills
  • 3D virtual visual Communication skills
  • 3D virtual multi-tasking skills.
  • 3D virtual creative Problem solving skills
  • 3D virtual collaborative skills
  • 3D virtual technology skills.
  • 3D virtual presentation skills
  • 3D virtual Market trend research skills
  • Flexibility to link existing and learn new concepts.
  • Skills for working and strategizing completion of various assignments in a multiple 3D virtual reality settings.
  • Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment development.
  • Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment presentation and product packaging.
  • Development of a 3D virtual fashion collection.
  • 3D virtual fashion show production videos
  • Web 2.0 skills

If you are interested in registering for this online college credit course FTT495 (3347) - please contact Buffalo State College Admissions

Here is a link to student fashion collections and shows from a spring 2007 SL project.

________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a link to another online course offering this fall ’08 Register for Online Adobe Pattern Development for Industry

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part V: MVM Louise Guay

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

This brings us to the closing remarks: Virtual Identity and Visual Search was to be presented by Louise Guay, PhD., Founder and President of My Virtual Model [MVM].  I was extremely disappointed that Ms Guay was unable to make it to the Technology Day conference but she did manage to send a video of he presentation. I am including it here .

Louise mentions and illustrates how the Virtual Model and Virtual Home applications augment the users power to extend themselves. She mentions some of the ever expanding brands that MVM works with. She speaks about how the BrandMe application provides the user with access to mix and match (and save) multiple brands as well as post the virtual model to e-mail, blogs or a variety of social sites including FaceBook.

She is very excited about the new MVM Visual Search application and explains when and where it will be released. The video illustrates the data base visual search application that will enable the user to try on literally any product.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT – Part I

April 26, 2008 5 comments

Steven Zucker and Beth Harris. Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

Kudos to  Beth Harris, Assistant Professor, History of Art at FIT. She carefully sowed the seeds that started this entire Technology Day Conference at FIT yesterday . She did a wonderful job of presenting an overview of all of the transformative 2D, 3D and virtual technology changes currently taking place in the real world and the effect they will have on the educational world.

Steven Zucker and Beth Harris are pictured above. Read Steven’s post on the conference here. Beth Harris started the conference off by introducing Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT to give the welcoming remarks.

Here is a link to the Bio page for the conference speakers.

The Keynote was The Second Life of Fashion Design: Meta universe as Prototype Platform W. James Au His book is coming out this month — The Making of Second Life and James keeps the blog, New World Notes.

James began the presentation with an explanation of the basics of what a virtual world like Second Life is and how it works on a grid of servers. He spoke of the principles of SL notably: Impression as opposed to consumer. The goal standard in SL is creativity and commercial engagement. Be-bop reality – user created art and mirrored flourishing – the more stuff you do the more important you are in Second Life.

James went on to explain to the group that in SL users make unlikely friendships and alliances based on creative affiliations. He noted that religion, memorials and non-profits are widely represented in SL.  In the area of SL fashion – they are now merging RL and SL brands represented by the Playboy brand that includes SL designs as noted in his article Smart Bunny: Playboy Sells Fashion Created and Co-branded by Second Life Designers.

A novel and relatively new use of virtual reality is the Wickpedia concept for creation of 3D architecture in Second Life.  James mentioned the primary groups in Second Life were: social gamers, role players, fashionistias, capitalists and innovators.

I was kind of disappointed that he did not include educators because from my point of view (as an educator of course) Second Life is expanding on an ever expanding large scale. There are literally hundreds of educational institutions in Second Life. NMC currently has 50 Sims in Second Life and is continually growing. NMC serves over 80 colleges alone in Second Life. Here is a link to NMC’s plans for 2008.

Janine Hawkins aka: Iris Ophelia also presented to the Technology Day Group. She covers fashion for New World Notes and is the Editor of Second Style in SL. She has been a SL fashion journalist since 2006.

Janine spoke about the fashions in SL and mentioned some of the top SL fashion designers as well as the promotional impact that SL fashion publications have by focusing attention on talented new SL fashion designers from all over the world. She mentioned that Japanese designers were very talented but had a language obstacle marking and promoting their designs in SL. The SL fashion publications spotlighted the Japanese designers and drastically reduced and/or eliminated the language obstacle once the SL fashion buying community was aware of their high quality designs. Janine also mentioned that some SL designers are finding success with marketing and promotional strategies for the virtual shopping community. Free items, social events, blogs, virtual community building are all tools of the marketing trade in SL. She spoke about why Sl can be a marketing tool RL businesses and how RL businesses can get it right. Most RL businesses don’t really understand the virtual platform and how to translate their brand values over.

Some SL Designers that Janine spotlighted in her presentation:

Dressing for Two: What Avatars and Their Humans Buy and Wear, by Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD, Managing Director of Marketing Truths.

This presentation was from inside Second Life. Mary Ellen Gordon worked so hard on this presentation and the large projection screen did not seem to do justice to getting a clear view of the various models she had arranged especially for her presentation. On top of that there was a region shutdown 10 minutes into her presentation. She did manage to continue it a bit later in the session.   PowerPoint and/or video link to post Mary Ellen’s research of fashion preferences and buying habits in SL. One strong point I remember from the presentation was that in SL people tend to purchase the reverse of what they purchase in RL.

Pasted below is a link to Mary Ellen Gordon’s Presentation PowerPoint that she  generously is sharing that includes brand new research done by Market Truths.

dressing-for-two-_-what-avatars-and-their-humans-are-buying-and-wearing

Read an interview with Mary Ellen here.

continued on…  Technology Day at FIT Part II

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Second Life II: First Virtual Fashion Class

April 20, 2008 3 comments

 Last Spring 2007 I had several posts relating to the first BSC Introduction to Fashion in Second Life Project on this blog.

I am currently working with a new Intro to Second Life class this spring [Intro to Second Life: Part I]  and I will share more of that in the next post, but I also completed a class last fall 2007 that I would like to share with you in this post. [note: see Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']}

I finally got a chance to document the assignments and links to some student work from a class I held in the fall of 2007 titled Virtual Fashion. This class was a continuation of the Introduction To Fashion in Second Life Project that I incorporated into my FashionCAD class the previous spring. The class began with introducing students to various Web 2.0 applications that they could incorporate into the virtual fashion class. I have posted a series of assignments that students completed in the class.

Assignment #1:
Establishment of a WordPress Blog: Student set up free WordPress bolgs to document the project we worked on in the Virtual Fashion class.

Assignment #2:
Establishment of a FLICKR sites. Students set up free FLICKR accounts to upload Second Life images that would be linked to their WordPress blog.

Assignment #3:
DEL.ICIO.US accounts Students set up DEL.ICIO.US accounts to keep a record of the Web research they conducted.

Assignment #4:
BLOGHUD accounts Students set up free Second Life BLOGHUD accounts to document their Second Life explorations.

Assignment #5:
The first assignment (and WordPress entry) involved visiting some Second Life fashion establishments. We all had an excellent in-world treat visiting Sheliei Winkler’s [aka: Shenlei Flashart]. Shenlei is the director of the Fashion Research Instituteand is on the cutting edge of integrating virtual world product development for the fashion industry.  Shenlei who is a master builder and fashion designer in Sl and RL was an excellent presenter to the fashion students that were new to Second Life.

Assignment #6:
Each student set up a free Zazzle account and upload designs to it. ZAZZLE is a site where you can upload your designs and potential clients can choose custom items to purchase with your design. The designer earns a percentage of the total cost of the item. It’s a wonderful intro to mass customization and personalization business experience with no overhead costs to the designer. They posted an entry on their blog.

Assignment #7:
Students uploaded about 10-12 repeat pattern textures to Second Life. Students could also use high resolution versions of these designs to place on various ZAZZLE products. They posted their texture collections on to their blogs.

Assignment #8:

Go and purchase a Loop Rez Deluze in SL and sue it to develop your own flexi skirt designs. Here is a link to ged’s anti-blog, there is a link to a link to a tutorial there.

Assignment #9:
Virtual Store Layout and Design Project – Students developed their own virtual world fashion boutique concept and built their customized version in Second Life. An example of MeuMeu’s fashion boutique in different stages of construction is displayed below, beneath that is Jade Seilings fashion boutique and under Jade’s is Fausto’s Boutique. Student posted these entries to their individual blogs. SL locations of individual student boutiques in SL on the Buffalo State island are:

Jade Seilling [aka:Christina Jade]: 210,47,37MeuMeu\'s SL Fashion Botique
MeuMeu: 212.24,31
Fausto: 242,15,34
Sleena Ivory: 205,72,38

SURL – BSC Fashion Student exhibit in SL

Go to the Buffalo State island. Open the MAP and click on it to activate the red circle location icon. Type in the coordinates listed above for the different boutique locations and teleport over.

 

Chrintina Jade's botique

 

Assignment #10: Simultaneous real world virtual world marketing project.
Students developed their custom ZAZZLE page to include 10-12 designs and replicated these RL designs in SL to place into their customized SL fashion boutiques. They created product presentation packages in SL that included a pose of their avatar wearing the t-shirt they designed. The permissions were set on the SL presentation packages so that anyone could get a free copy of the t-shirt for their avatar to wear in SL. Each presentation package also included a Web link to their ZAZZLE page that had a RL version of the same design that could be purchased in RL. The presentation packages are displayed in their customized SL fashion boutiques. They posted this entry on to their blogs. Below are examples of MeuMeu’s SL ZAZZLE packages [larger images are on MeuMeu's Webblog.]

 

 

 

Assignment #11:
Industry Project – During the course of this class we had an opportunity to collaborate with a contact from Sears. Each student located two RL items for sale on the Sears Web site and developed replicas of those items for SL. Web links to the RL item were added to the SL item. Since this project was completed in the fall of 2007, all the RL items from the Sears pages were sold out – all that remains are the SL items. All completed SL items were sent to the Sears contact to conduct some in world marketing research on simultaneous virtual and real world promotion. The location of the Sears student exhibit on the Buffalo State Island in SL is 228,82,38

 

Sears Project in SL with Buffalo State Fashion students

Assignment #12:
Virtual Fashion Pro and POSER – the last project in this class involved developing custom garments in Virtual fashion Pro and exporting them to Poser. In Poser student posed the fashion and photographed them for their professional portfolio. An example of MeuMeu’s poser example is posted below.

 

Here are the WordPress blog links for some of the Virtual Fashion Students that participated in this project:

 

OptiTex #6: What Else and Why?

April 19, 2008 1 comment

There are several more videos I will share with you in this final post of this OptiTex Outside of the Box Technology Series.

The integrated collaboration and development goals of the OptiTex product have resulted in a unique multidimensional  product development tool for the Fashion industry that is leading many to ask is it real or is it virtual?

 The OptiTex cloth rendering and animation engines are exceptional. I will share two more videos [posted below] to demonstrate that in this final post of the series.

 In a past post I mentioned that companies and/or brand could use the OptiTex multidimensional application to develop their own set of sizing standards either by inputting body scans of the fit models or using a plug-in for standardized industry dress forms.

 

Companies and/or Brands can also globally centralize the fabric/material testing and  input the individual cloth properties such as bend, stretch, shear, damping, shrinkage, weight, thickness for the OptiTex fashion product developers.

3D Chalk/Vector Tool

Another upcoming development in a future version will be the OptiTex 3D Chalk Tool [see video above]. It is another example of expanding communication options by working simultaneously in a multidimensional 2D>3D environment. It enables the user to sketch notes anywhere on the 3D image. More important to me then the 3D Chalk tool is the vector Pen Tool. This handy little Pen Tool enables the user to position the 3D image in any rotational view so that a technical vector flat sketch can easily and quickly be drawn over the 3D fashion product. This is an exceptional technical spec tool. The user can very quickly develop front, back and side technical specs from the 3D rotational views. This feature will be available in Version 11.

Why?

This brings us to the end of the most recent OptiTex series. You may be wondering why I have focused so much on the OptiTex product?  Quite honestly I an a fashion/textile technology addict for the past 21 years. I started out transferring all my traditional, aesthetic and technical skills over to 2D technology in 1987 and have been retooling ever since. I love all aspects of Fashion Technology and the OptiTex product is the first product I have come across over the years that truly integrates all the separate aspects (on an equally high quality level) of fashion technology ( first 2D and more recently 3D) that I have been working on for the last 21 years like garment pattern development, marker making, technical specs, texture mapping, print,  weave and knit surface CAD design, [and more recently] 3D fashion product development, simulation and animation.

Yes, there are many other excellent high quality widly used industry flat pattern development and marker making applications like Gerber, Lectra, Assyst, PAD and 3D applications like Maya and 3D Studio MAX.  Quite honestly some of the most widely known fashion applications in the industry have only recently realized the critical necessity of integrating 3D technology into existing 2D applications and the highly significant impact the resulting quick response, cost effectiveness, global fitting standardization, pre-marketing and marketing uses this multidimensional application will provide for the fashion industry. In house development on some integrated 2D/3D integrated systems has been uneven. Not all companies embrace external partnerships and collaborations like OptiTex has with established leaders in industry.

I can tell you from many years of first hand experience in fashion education with struggling to integrate different technology applications that there is nothing like a turn-key integrated equally high quality multi-application system for all aspects of fashion product development. It is an exceptional educational tool for visually teaching students how their 2D flat-pattern designs will look on a 3D form.

I wanted to share the results of my years of hands on experience and research with you. If I run across another similar high quality integrated system I will share the results of my new research with you…
 

OptiTex#5: Flattening Technology

April 11, 2008 2 comments

OptiTex has developed a new flattening and stitching technology. Here is a link to a flat pattern to 3D video. How you may be asking is this flattening technology different? The difference is that you can trace directly onto the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form to create a 2D flat pattern piece that can then be stitched together.

This powerful feature is possible because of unique partnerships and/or linkages that OptiTex has formed with leaders in the 3D rendering, simulation and animation industry.

When I first reviewed this video I had to watch it several times. Each time I watched it I was looking at it from a different perspective. Try it – review the video three times, each time you play it wear another hat. First wear the hat of the product developer, then the retailer, and finally the educator.


This flattening technology really powerfully illustrates the fact that the OptiTex product is the first fully integrated multi dimensional product development package that empowers the user to work in real time from 2D to 3D to 2D again is a smooth seamless back and forth workflow. Change the measurements in the number fields and you will instantly see results on the 2D flat pattern of on the 3D virtual model avatar form. The 3D rendering, cloth and animation engines are just as advanced and high quality as the 2D Marker making and flat pattern development applications are.

As a fashion product developer think about how much an application like this can shorten the development time and cut costs as a result. As a retailer think about the 3D imagery created during the development process – and how this 3D imagery can be used to market (and pre-market) the product online using a personalized avatar. Remember how Virtual Product Presentation was using the imagery? Here is a link to that VPP stitching process that they also are using to market their pattern making service. You instantly have access to a 360 degree rotational view of the product to use on your marketing Website. Instant access to this digital 3D imagery will eliminate steps and cut costs. You can even pre-market your products using this technology. As an educator this application will teach students how to conceptualize their 2 patterns being pieced together and sewn into a 3D garment right in front of their eyes. What an educational tool!

Optitex_flat_stitch_technology
  1. Start by directly tracing the patterns pieces you want directly on the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form.
  2. When you have the desired number of pieces, make any changes to your lines or add notches or buttons.
  3. All you have to do to create your 2D pattern pieces from your tracing is click directly on the traced pieces that you created on the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form.
  4. Your 2D flat patterns will be instantly created in real time on the opposite side of the same screen.At this point you can make any modifications you would like to the 2D flat pattern.
  5. Once your 2D pattern is complete, click on the 2D pattern seams that you want to have stitched together.
  6. Once the pattern seams that are to be stitched together are identified and marked, simply place (click place icon) the pattern pieces into the 3D window.
  7. Stitching process is completed.

The Flattening Technology will be available for sale in V11.

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