Virtual Engineering is well-known in product design and widely in use i. e. in the automotive industry. The “frontloading” approach uses simulation and visualization to improve planning and communication in the early phases of product development processes. Benefits are: more efficient development processes, better development quality in early stages, and avoidance of error costs. This contribution presents an extension to this approach: Virtual Service System Engineering. It is intended to precede the more traditional product development. The product is considered in a generalized way as hardware and/or software and/or service. The lab environment ServLab at Fraunhofer IAO for the development of such generalized products is described. ServLab combines a team room for service process engineering (1), an immersive 3D-interactive virtual environment for rapid prototyping of generalized products (2), and a stage for performing Service Theatre as part of the development and evaluation process (3). As pilot application project on redesigning the hotel check-in is presented and first experiences are reported.

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