Today I visited the first gathering of the Philips Design Group. Already since a couple of months Philips has been active in Second Life. They are developing an island that unfortunately is still closed for public. On the islands of ING Banks “Our Virtual Holland“, Philips build a few open air meeting areas where they started with there first steps of ‘crowd sourcing‘.
The discussion touched three subjects:
- the future of packaging
- the future of clothing
- the future of self expression
After an introduction the group (about 20 people i would say) was divided into three smaller groups who started a discussion about one of these subjects, lead by a moderator. After 20 minutes or so, we changed places and discussed the second and third subject. It was interesting to notice the variety of the groups, from educators to computer specialist and marketeers. I also noticed that the discussions straight away went quite serious and ‘deep’, compared to the many real life brainstorms i have attended these went surprisingly fast and smooth.
I asked Philips how they where planning to process all the chats (I have about 15 pages of chatlog for just my sessions) and how they envisioned the followup. Answers stayed a bit vague, I feel they themselves are simply experimenting with a virtual platform as source for crowdsourcing. In any way, by taking the community serious and by involving residents i at least feel that Philips is showing a better understanding of the power of virtual worlds compared to many other brands…
(I will try to find some time to summarize the results of the chats, but dunno if i can find the time. However, I am planning to do a little interview with Philips somewhere this week)