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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Virtual Jeans=Real Jeans

In the future this...


May morph into this...

Here is a piece from a software review I did for the March/April issue of APICS Magazine...
There is a Second Life factory called the Double Happiness Jeans factory. The factory specializes in customized jeans. The production process at the manufacturing plant enables a customer to customize an order to their exact specifications. The company offers several stylish cuts to fulfill different fashion needs – flare, skinny leg, boot cut and relaxed. Customized details include a choice of rinse, pocket style, rivet design, hemline and fly.

While the Double Happiness Jeans factory is similar in many ways to typical textile factory, it is anything but typical. The Double Happiness Jeans factory isn’t a physical factory at all. In fact, the entire plant exists only in Second Life and has no physical assets or inventory. The only place the factory exists is in a virtual, three-dimensional world known as Second Life.

The virtual factory creates real-world products using Second Life to design and customize the jeans.

When a customer orders Happiness Jeans, they are “manufactured” virtually. The jeans travel through ten or so work stations until they meet the customer’s design request. At the end of the 20 minute production process, the jeans enter the real world through a printing process. The data gathered in the Second Life software production process is printed onto a large-format printer loaded with a canvas material that breathes and stretches when it is worn (similar to denim.). The customer picks up the “print out” of the jeans, cuts out the four separate parts and stitches them together. He or she can then wear them around town.

In the Double Happiness application, the data collected in Second Life at each work station is fed into to a computer running the graphics application, Adobe Photoshop, via an Application Program Interface (API) developed specifically for this application. The data is then sent to a printer for the creation of the final product. While the data could be entered directly into PhotoShop, Jeff Crouse, one of the co-founders of Double Happiness Jeans, stated that “this project is about a performance of a manufacturing process, and allowing people to see labor that goes into the goods that they consume - even if it is not real labor.”

To Learn More:


Check out the Double Happiness Manufacturing web site.

Or this article about it in the New York Times.

Also, here is a great blog posting from the Business Communicators of Second Life Blog: Virtual/RealWorld Custom Manufacturing Project: Double Happiness Jeans

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2 comments:

Brent Schlenker said...

Hi Karl! this is SO cool! I've known about virtual machine shops but never virtual clothing manufacturers.
So, do you have a fresh new pair of jeans?

Lisa Neal said...

I spoke today at the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council Healthcare earlier this week on "Patient, Heal Thyself: How to Succeed with Online Consumer Health Sites" and one of my co-presenters was John Lester (also known as Pathfinder Linden in Second Life). Do you think there is a parallel here between the manufacturing of jeans and health issues (I love the name Double Happiness; wouldn't it be a great name for a clinic?)