Dell Gets a Second Lifeposted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/29/2006 08:18:00 AM
In Dell Factory, a white, futuristic space, visitors can sit down at a large drafting table lit by a red desk lamp to customize their own computers. Located on Dell Island in Second Life, this somewhat sparse space is where the virtual and real worlds intersect thanks to a unique service: Each machine is delivered to a visitor's real home—reinforcing Dell's brand distinction of customized computers.
Dell hopes the factory can win over Second Life residents wary that corporate enthusiasm will result in a community dominated by advertising.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE HOT) has built a virtual hotel.
Starwood set up its virtual Aloft in Second Life before it appeared in the real world so residents could give design suggestions. At least one avatar-generated idea is being used: the hotel will include local art in the bar area. "We got a pass because we're not pushing products," said Brian McGuinness, vp of Aloft Hotels.