Keynotes Announced for 2011 Virtua Design Conference EARLY BIRD Tickets Go On Sale

On January 25th, 26th, and 27th, the virtual doors swing open for the 2011 Virtua Design Conference hosted in collaboration with the Professional Virtua Design Society and Intel Labs. This conference will be held on Science Sim.

Virtua Design Conference Keynotes

Keynoting this event are some seriously smart people whose vision and focus with digital convergence and virtual world development is helping to define various aspects of the 3D internet and virtual worlds. Leading the way is IBM Fellow  Grady Booch, who is recognized internationally for his innovative work in software architecture, software engineering, and collaborative development environments. He has devoted his life’s work to improving the art and the science of software development.

Suzy Deffeys is a Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) in the office of the IBM CIO, and has over 20 years of 3D graphics software expertise at IBM. She currently leads projects focused on Augmented Reality, including creating a vision based augmented reality application running on Android mobile devices.  In the past she has led projects on Virtual Worlds Interoperability and OpenGL 3D development and is currently IBM’s representative in the COLLADA working group.

Dr. Mic Bowman is a principal engineer in Intel Labs and leads the Virtual World Infrastructure research project. Mic and his team develop technologies to enable new ways of interacting through virtual environments and online games.

Founder of the Fashion Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on helping designers achieve their dreams with dignity, integrity and respect, Shenlei Winkler is currently the CEO of the Fashion Research Institute that is focused on researching and developing virtualization technologies with particular emphasis for the apparel industry.

Break Out Sessions

Over two full days of sessions, we’ve pulled in even more experts in their respective fields to discuss topics such as licenses, rights and permissions, DMCA, hypergrid content and content solutions. You’ll hear from the leaders in this emerging industry.  The current agenda can be viewed here.

Members of the Professional Virtua Designer Society Attend FREE

As a member of the PVDS, this annual conference is included in your membership at no additional cost. We do still need you to register.

If you’re not a member, you can head on over to the PVDS site and JOIN TODAY! or purchase a ticket for this guaranteed to be awesome event.

Non-Member Tickets On Sale

EARLY BIRD Non-Member 2011 Virtua Design Conference Pass SAVE $$

TAKE ADVANTAGE of the Early-Bird Rate to gain Full access to the 3-day conference, virtual exhibits and opening and closing parties.. all for only $35.00. There are a limited number of tickets available at this rate and the rate only lasts until November 30th.
Non-Member 2011 Virtua Design Conference Pass $50.00
Full access to the 2-day conference, virtual exhibits and opening and closing parties.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

We are offering three sponsorship levels at the Virtua Designer Conference. If you’d like your products and/or services to be featured at this event, head over to the Sponsorship area of the PVDS web site. Your product or service will be visible to your target audience. Sponsors will be featured throughout all of our marketing collateral and inworld.

Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration

FRI publishes white papers on topics of interest. Topics can include OpenSim legal considerations; content standards; licensing concerns; virtual world immersion; and new paradigms in on-line immersive education.

This week we released “Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Collaboration“, which discusses using virtual worlds to restructure entire industries and engineer new business processes, with a particular emphasis on the apparel (fashion) industry. The information shared includes:

* Value Proposition of Virtual Worlds
* Why the Apparel Industry
* B2C Use Case – Avatar Apparel
* Collaboration Use Case – Education
* B2B Case Study: ACLA and FRI
* B2B Case Study: IBM Research
* B2B Case Study: Intel Corporation

You can pick up a FREE copy of this white paper by visiting our website. We hope you will find this information useful and we encourage your comments/feedback.

Fashion Research Institute and Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc. Collaborate to Bring Avatar Content to Youth Project

Fashion Research Institute is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement between FRI and Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc, to bring new content to participants in the PFH project that provides treatment services to rural youth after they leave residential treatment.

Preferred Family Healthcare is convinced that the ability of people to interact in new exciting ways, using innovative technology, will lead the way to solutions to long-existing challenges as well as improving the delivery of critical services in the future,” says Dick Dillon, Senior VP, Planning and Development at Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc.

Having developed content in OpenSim since 2007, Fashion Research Institute is well aware of the lack of premium content that most organizations experience when they first bring an initiative into OpenSim.

“High-quality avatar customization content can help assure the success of any immersive effort because the process of customizing an avatar aligns users with this digital representation of themselves. We were delighted to have the


Female Avatar

Default Avatar Jane


opportunity to collaborate with Preferred Family Healthcare on their OpenSim-based counseling initiative by providing them with high-quality, PG-rated avatars and additional customization content,” says FRI CEO Shenlei Winkler.

FRI provided the PHF project with 2 full avatars in 6 skin tones for male and females in multiple facial hair and makeup options, as well as a range of additional clothing, jewelry, shoes, and hairstyles. All skins have been created for a PG audience.

Dillon goes on to remark, “Through amazing collaborations such as this, we are beginning to see the enormous promise we have before us, and to realize what we can do, together, with these remarkable tools.”

Virtual Worlds and E-Commerce: Technologies and Applications for Building Customer Relationships

JUST released by IGI Global – Virtual Worlds and E-Commerce: Technologies and Applications for Building Customer Relationships. Author/editor Barbara Ciaramitaro (Walsh College, USA)  gathered an amazing group of industry experts to present various opinions, judgments, , and ideas on how the use of digitally created worlds is changing the face of e-commerce and extending the use of internet technologies to create a more immersive experience for customers.

Virtual Worlds and E-Commerce

Shenlei Winkler authors Chapter 13, Opening the Content Pipeline for OpenSim-Based Virtual Worlds

Fashion Research Institute CEO, Shenlei Winkler, contributed her insight by authoring Chapter 13,  Opening the Content Pipeline for OpenSim-Based Virtual Worlds.

Here’s the abstract for Shenlei’s Chapter.

Open-Simulator (Open-Sim) refers to a three dimensional application environment that can be used to develop virtual worlds similar to those that exist in Second Life®. Open-Sim is considered open source software, i.e., software that is developed by a community of volunteers and is available for use by the public free of charge (Open Simulator, 2009). Although participants in virtual worlds are generally considered by law to be the owner of any Intellectual Property (IP) they create, content creators and owners of OpenSim-based virtual worlds struggle with issues surrounding licensing, content delivery, and usage in these immersive spaces. The Fashion Research Institute (FRI) is specifically exploring these issues in a case study involving the licensing its Shengri La virtual world creations to external users. This case study is the basis of ongoing legal research by FRI’s legal steering committee of attorneys from the American Bar Association’s Virtual Worlds and Online Gaming committee who are working on a pro bono (volunteer) basis. This chapter presents the result of the ongoing case study. It offers a practitioner’s view of issues related to licensing and distribution of content in virtual worlds.

To order a full copy, visit IGI Global.

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-808-7.ch013

It’s that time of year – New York Fashion Week!

Vogue editors Anna Wintour and André Leon Tall...

Image via Wikipedia

Fall Fashion Week kicked off in NYC yesterday. Our very own Shenlei will be rather busy attending events and networking with some of the hottest designers. Don’t worry Shen, we’ll hold down the fort.

If you have a passion for fashion, check out this article at on HOW TO FOLLOW FASHION WEEK ONLINE.

Send us you comments on what you adored and what you abhorred!

Virtua Society Kicks Off Weekly Speakers Series

We’re thrilled to kick-off our weekly speakers series at the Professional Virtua Designer Society this Friday, September 10th, 2010 at Noon PDT.

Join us as we welcome Callipygian Christensen, who will be addressing the  challenges and advantages of creating 2D art in a virtual world.

Shooting a variety of subjects, Callipygian Christensen uses SL snapshots  to document her view of the Second Life® we lead. Calli displays some unretouched images, but also uses post-processing to create photographic art – removing ugly angles and texture blurs caused by SL animation and movement, and to enrich the depth and tone of SL colors.

Calli presents images in many different styles, from portraits to landscapes, from the mundane to the erotic, and  has won Best in Show awards in numerous juried SL arts contests and Fan Favorite ballots.

Professional Virtua Designers’ Society

The purpose of the Professional Virtua Designers’ Society is to promote and protect the social, economic and professional interests of its members.

The Society is committed to improving conditions for all digital artists designing and developing virtual goods and products intended to be used in virtual worlds.  It is also committed to raising standards for the entire emerging industry. The Society embraces digital artists at all skill levels and provides professional development to lift these special content creators to new levels of professionalism and skill.

Fashion Research Supplies Avatars for Science Sim Demo

On August 31, 2010, Intel Labs posted this video discussing the advances in scalability in the OpenSim platform of Science Sim.  Fashion Research Institute has the pleasure of collaborating by providing the avatars and apparel shown in the video.

“John” is the basic default corporate male avatar provided by Fashion Research Institute to ScienceSim.  John’s feminine counterpart, Jane, isn’t shown in this video.  Just like in the physical world, it seems the price of beauty presents interesting challenges – Jane’s hair, jewelry and other accessories have a much higher avatar rendering cost than John’s much more simple attire.

Jane will make her appearance at some point, however, along with the four other new default avatars being provided by Fashion Research Institute to ScienceSim as part of a corporate donation of a new content library to ScienceSim.

Creating and Visualizing 3D Content in Science Sim