Friday, April 11, 2008

Real manufactureing originated from virtual world

Naturum, a Japanese outdoor goods EC site, is preparing to manufacture apparel products designed in Secondlife.
The EC site has been operating two sims where Secondlife users can enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, surfing, camping and so on. The sims have become one of the most popular sites among Japanese Secondlife users. Naturum operates a shoping mall within the sims with 10 retail clothing stores. Each stores are operated by average Secondlife users who enjoy creating virtual clothes in this virtual world.
Some of the virtual clothes turned out to be very popular among users, so Naturum decided to manufacture real clothes for the real world based on the designs of the popular virtual clothes. One of the popular apparel that Naturum is prepareing to manufacture is a see-through camouflaged shirt for women. Yes, see-through camouflage !
"I cannot come up with such an unique idea. I mean who can?" said Naru Nakajima, CEO of Naturum.
According to Nakajima, he found a manufacturer who is willing to manufacture in small lots. "We are now at the final stages of planning. We will probably manufacture 50 to 100 sets of real outfits and start selling them at our real EC site by August," saysNakajima. 10 virtual stores in the Naturum sims will be replaced by new creators every 3 months, so that new types of virtual clothes keep arriving and so are new designs for real clothes. "I am not expecting a mega hit, but if we can keep producing apparels designed by several hundred Secondlife creators, I think it will become a good enough business. I'd like to call this Web 2.0 manufacturing," says Nakajima.

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