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Back in June, the amazingly capable Reena Jana who writes and edits for the Innovation & Design channel, did a terrific story on how American Apparel was using Second Life to get close to its customers and design its clothes. The trendy t-shirt maker opened a virtual store and people can outfit their avatars. That gives American Apparel and inside look at what they want in the real world.
Now W Hotels is opening a virtual hotel in Second Life to test out “virtual architecture” for ALOFT, a new hotel idea. I think Starwood, owner of the W brand, will be testing out how people interract with different hotel concepts and that data will inform the company on just what and how to build the rooms, spaces, etc., of ALOFT.
This is important and fascinating stuff. Testing out ideas, and getting close to your customers in Second Life is a whole new step in designing better consumer experiences.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.