Introducing a New Concept: the ‘3-D Virtual World Website’


Fashion Research Institute is pleased to announce its newest concept in the evolution of virtual worlds for business purposes, the ‘3-D Virtual World Website’.  In conjunction with its new website redesign, FRI has also launched its corporate web site in IBM’s v-Business grid.

By placing its corporate information within a virtual world region, interested parties immerse in a visually lush, rich setting where the company information is presented in context.  Topics are easier to locate and to remember their location when they are sited contextually, and when there are easy to understand ‘data pathways’ in the form of sidewalks and staircases.

Visitors to Fashion Research Institute’s Shengri La vBusiness land at the entry point, with a sweeping sunrise view and quick tips on moving, looking, and touching objects in vBusiness.  They then may start their explorations first at the avatar customization salon, where an array of premium design is available to them to customize their avatar.  Customization is provided for both men and women from the skin out, which is a good way for potential customers to sample FRI’s licensable avatar customization content for other grids.

From there, our visitors may explore our work in our various research areas, our innovative fashion design education programs, and our publications.  Finish your visit to our Shengri La vBusiness region by strolling the art walk, surrounded by swans and horse sculptures. And of course, all visitors to our region in IBM’s vBusiness grid may visit our region to obtain clothing and more for their avatars, which may be used anywhere on the IBM vBusiness grid, as our contribution to the other members  of the vBusiness consortium and their guests.

Please join us on Friday, October 9th, from 2-2:30 pm eastern for the official opening of this region.

Shengri La vBusiness is hosted by Adam Frisby’s and James Stalling’s new venture, SimHost.  We have been delighted with the service we’ve received in getting our new region moved in and set up, and would highly recommend SimHost for anyone seeking a reasonable, fast turnaround hosting option.









Immersive-Friendly Message Bridge From OpenSim to Second Life

Working in OpenSim most of the day used to mean that my team members in SecondLife would be unable to contact me except via email or out of world messaging.  Anything requiring immediate response meant I had to move through various windows or log out of Shengri La OpenSim and into Second Life.  The process of departing one world to enter the other was breaking my immersion and cutting into my productivity. Couple this with my need for social stimulation, and it was clear we needed a solution in order to allow me to remain connected to core team members without impacting my productivity in OpenSim.

Enter the immersive-friendly Message Bridge. 

Anytime you have a solution that is simple for the user (me) to actually use, it’s a winner, regardless of what it looks like from the technologist’s point of view.  The Message Bridge is simple.  One simple chatted command, and  I’m connected to colleagues and friends in Second Life without breaking immersion in OpenSim.  I can stay in touch, handle issues as they arise, and remain safely tucked away in our OpenSim doing real work.  It’s a small advance in technology, but a huge social advance for people doing real work in OpenSim. 

People who are working in OpenSim usually have roots in Second Life, and are likely to have business contacts and actual business in Second Life as well.  It is a matter of business productivity and quality of the work environment that the two populations can communicate through messaging without breaking immersion.  It’s not teleporting, it’s not asset sharing, but it is a critical component to supporting actual workers doing actual work in these virtual worlds.  It lowers the barriers to doing business across worlds.

I would like to thank our lead developer for Black Dress Technology, justincc, for enabling immersive-friendly messaging between OpenSim and Second Life.  Since it so greatly improved the quality of my working environment in OpenSim, I asked Justin to donate it to the OpenSim community for all to use and enjoy. 

The release is hosted at

It is our hope that others experience a similar improvement in their working environment and productivity  in OpenSim.

Best wishes,
Shenlei Winkler
CEO and Founder,
Fashion Research Institute, Inc.
& subsidiary Black Dress Technology, Inc.