Last month at CES, Lenovo debuted the eLounge, an interactive VR shopping site built through a partnership with Nortel. Others have provided write ups and analysis previously, and included some pretty smooth walk through demonstrations of the site. I'm personally not sold on the whole VR thing yet, but what do I know? It does look pretty slick and opens up a lot of future possibilities, so I'll defer to Liza, a colleague of mine who has test driven the site in more depth... - Mark
This was my first experience exploring virtual 3D on-line shop and I began with a simple Google search on Lenovo eLoungewhich returned a number of results including the youtube video below. The site impressed me as very similar to my experiences playing 3D games on my T61. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvQb54fbeE] The Lenovo eLounge runs on an additional plug-in from web.alive. If you don't already have the plug in installed, you will need to first download and install it before moving on to an interactive Lenovo eLounge. You don't have to worry much because the instructions are provided and are easy to follow.
At first, I was excited and spent my time just moving here and there in eLounge and exploring each of the featured machines. Then, I found the highlighted instructions on the wall of eLounge which explain how to customize my 3D avatar. I felt thrilled as a child who just got a new book and tried everything there. I was able to choose how I look, my clothing and as an option, I can even upload my picture too. More, I can interactively speak with Lenovo representative or chat with them.
It is very simple to personalize the 3D avatar. The F2 key can describe how do you want be looked like. Two menus that allow you to customize the 3D avatar are 'Identify' and 'Clothing'. Under Identify, there are basics, vital stats and appearance. Basically, sales representatives will know how to address you while you are in eLounge by the display name and attach photo here function. Then, in vital stats, you can set your 3D avatars' gender, weight and height. Finally, in appearance, you can rotate one by one and choose face of your 3D avatar.
Within Clothing, there are clothing type, eyeglasses, shawl, robe and shoes. Actually, these settings are almost same as appearance. It depends on your level of interest in the details - you will be amazed with your personalized 3D avatar! Additional menus also can help you interact with sales representatives. When you want to ask some questions of the sales representative, you can wave to them where the action is included in communication menu. You can talk with them or mute and chat with them. If you select to be muted, you type the letter M and the letter T to chat. More hints and tips can be explored to utilize eLounge effectively from Help information.
Moving on to what's inside the eLounge, two types of Lenovo products - ThinkPad and IdeaPad are displayed. But unfortunately, workstation type as ThinkCentre and IdeaCentre are not presented at the time of my visit. Here, I can find the detailed information of each series of ThinkPad or IdeaPad once I clicked the machine to know and learn further. If I'd like to purchase any machine, by clicking customize or buy button, it will move to ordering process site. Obviously, eLounge makes your shopping more interesting. There are some areas for improvement. I found it is too quiet without background music that can relax you while exploring eLounge, and I felt dizzy walking around eLounge because of weakness in controlling my avatar. But with a bit of practice exploring eLounge, you will become adept in controlling your 3D avatar. If you get stuck, there is help page which can be a guide. I am curious what is the function of ePortal, eStage and eMeeting because no information is provided. Who can imagine what future ways Lenovo could make use of these functions? As English isn't my first language, and eLounge is supported for English speaking customers, and I am wondering in the future if eLounge can be expanded to support other guest in their native languages like Japanese, Korean and etc. eLounge is one interactive online shopping site which can save time and petrol. Besides, your online shopping becomes more interesting and you can ask representatives for an assistance. Finally, don't forget to participate in the survey to improve eLounge and allow us to serve our customers better.