For those who aren’t familiar with it, Second Life (

is a 3D, virtual environment. It is shaped entirely by its residents, represented as 3D images called ‘avatars’. 


It is a rapidly growing phenomenon, with over 1.3 million residents. And it has a booming economy, turning over millions of US dollars a month.

A different approach…

Numerous companies are already active in Second Life, including Philips. But whereas others are using Second Life as little more than another market in which to sell goods and services, Philips is taking a more sophisticated approach.


This involves two key elements.


1: We want to truly understand what Second Life is.

Therefore we are doing research into what Second Life really means, why people are driven to occupy a virtual world and what the link is between the virtual world and the real world.


2: Leveraging Second Life as an environment for co-design.

This could involve both the ‘near horizon’ shaping of product prototypes as well as gaining feedback from Second Life residents on more abstract and futuristic ‘far horizon’ Philips concepts.

…for a different future

Thus Second Life is perfectly aligned with Philips’ vision for the future. No longer will we simply design products and present them to the consumer. Instead, through a process of gaining insights and co-designing with consumers, we aim to produce products that are truly relevant to the end user.


To ensure that we work effectively in Second Life, Philips Design is collaborating with the virtual design agency Rivers Run Red, Second Life’s European development lab.

Happy New Life!

Philips has already established its presence in Second Life, most notably by sponsoring the first Brazilian Second Life New Year’s Eve party on 1st January 2007.


The party was a considerable success and offered interactive fireworks with which avatars could write messages in the sky.


There’s a good chance that you’ll be seeing a lot more of Philips in Second Life. So watch out for us when you’re there.