Live VR app. (Image courtesy Time Inc.) 1

Time relaunches Life — in VR

Time Inc., the publisher of the iconic Life magazine that closed in 1972, is relaunching the title — in virtual reality. The new Life VR features immersive storytelling, the company said in its announcement last...

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AvatarFest kicks off this Friday

The community-focused AvatarFest event kicks off on Friday, accessible to all OpenSim hypergrid users. There are about two dozen exhibitors already participating, and more than a dozen performances are scheduled, including those by OpenSim...

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Daydream VR platform now open to developers

Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform is now open to the public. The Daydream software development kit came out of beta, the company announced Thursday. The kit, available here for Android, has native Unity integration...

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VWBPE17 opens call for proposals

The tenth annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference will be held March 29 through April 1 of next year — and is currently accepting proposals. Conference organizers are looking for presentations about new projects,...

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VR ads improve brand recall 28-fold

People watching 360-degree videos recalled the brands mentioned 28 times more than in traditional ads, according to a new report by Nielsen. Recall of 360-degree content in general was eight times higher, and consumers were three...

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VR ad platforms now offer analytics

Virtual reality ad platforms continue to evolve, with vendors now offering analytics for advertisements placed inside 360-degree videos, virtual reality games, and other virtual experiences. Vendors are also trying to make the ads less...

AltspaceVR's Democracy Plaza. (Image courtesy AltspaceVR and NBC News.) 2

NBC’s Al Roker to host VR election event

This year’s presidential election will be conducted, in part, in virtual reality. A partnership between NBC News and AltspaceVR is transforming a virtual recreation of New York’s Rockefeller Center Plaza into Democracy Plaza, where...

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AltspaceVR zeros in on social virtual reality

The social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR is doubling down on the social aspect, with interface changes designed to make it easier for people to get together. Previously, AltspaceVR — like many virtual environments —...

Leventica, Alife Virtual's welcome region, looks creepy and abandoned. (Snapshot by Maria Korolov.) 32

Alife stats questioned

Alife Virtual reported a dramatic increase in active users this month, to 1,576 unique monthly visitors, but those stats may not be accurate, according to technology expert Magnuz Binder, who has previously submitted patches to OpenSim....

IMAX could offer a Transformers: The Last Knight virtual experience. (Image courtesy Paramount.) 0

IMAX VR rollout to begin this year

IMAX will begin its virtual reality roll-out as early as the end of this year, IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said at a conference in Los Angeles this Wednesday. Moviegoers will be able to purchase bundled...

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Summer 2016 was big with VR news

If you spent the summer enjoying the doors and avoiding the news, then you’re one of the fortunate ones who was able to avoid the mess that is U.S. politics — but you might...

Land area of OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.) 41

Drama, outages plague OpenSim grids

Update: I missed a couple of grids in the first version of the story, AllCity updated their stats, and I removed Alife Virtual’s stats from the report because of questions about their accuracy. Read...

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OpenSim conference calls for proposals

The 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference, to be held in December, is now accepting proposals for presentations and activities. “We are particularly interested in speakers that can dramatically tell the story of their work and...

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VR will help drive auto sales

The car industry has long been at the forefront in introducing new technology and has often developed new technologies from within, putting them quickly into production mostly with huge safety and ecology benefits. Sceptics...

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Las Vegas VR adds interactivity to app

Due to user feedback, Las Vegas VR has moved beyond 360-degree videos with animated graphics and video overlays, as well as new interactive features to its application to improve navigation and user immersion. Since the app...

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FrancoGrid’s Fest’Avi 2016 starts today

The 2016 Fest’Avi event begins today, the third year that FrancoGrid is hosting the avatar exhibit. The event begins at 6 p.m. Paris time, or 9 a.m. Pacific, at hg.francogrid.org:80:FestAvi 2016. The event features an...

Truelie Telling in Kitely. (Image courtesy Freda Frostbite via Google Plus.) 2

Summer’s top virtual communities

Google Plus continues to be the social media destination of choice for OpenSim users, due its usability, sharing features, and support for identities based on avatar names. I currently track 175 virtual communities that...

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Reader poll: Most say OpenSim needs VR

Adapting OpenSim to work on virtual reality headsets will require a substantial amount of work on both server and viewer code. Is this something that OpenSim users want to see happen? According to a...

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Vox+ Z3 a nice upgrade from the BoboVR

Disclosure: The folks at Vox VR just sent me a free review copy of their Vox+ Z3 headset, which is a rebranded version of the BoboVR Z3 but with a larger field of view. Thanks, guys!...

DreamWorld. (Image courtesy Fred Beckhunsen.) 14

DreamWorld OpenSim installer released

OutWorldz founder Fred Beckhusen has posted his collection of 1,000 OpenSim scripts on the open source collaboration site GitHub, as well as the code for his one-click OpenSim installer, called DreamWorld. Like New World...

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The path to a VR metaverse

I got into writing about OpenSim back in 2009 because it seemed to be, at the time, the best path to an open-source, peer-to-peer metaverse. I want to see a future where anyone could put...

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Kitely battles slow-loading meshes

A complex mesh object can significantly slow down the loading of a region — as much as ten minutes, in some cases, according to Oren Hurvitz, co-founder and VP of R&D at Kitely. That’s a...

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Lifeliqe adds 3D creation tool

Lifeliqe, a platform for 3D, VR and AR educational content, has launched a content creator tool that will allow educators to create intuitive and immersive educational content that integrate interactive 3D models in order...

Hypereal promises Vive-style room-scale motion tracking. (Image courtesy Hypereal.) 0

IDC: Chinese gamers drive demand for VR

Press release: IDC Expects Blossoming Gaming Market in China Including VR Systems and Consoles BEIJING – According to the IDC China Gaming Market Forecast Analysis 2016-2020, the number of gamers in China reached 530...

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US military turns to Halcyon branch of OpenSim

Editor: The team behind U.S. Army’s MOSES grid have long been cutting-edge contributors to OpenSim, building a grid management system, running scalability tests, and donating content to the OpenSim community. Now they are in the process of...

Global AR/VR market forecast, in billions. (IDC data.) 0

IDC: AR/VR revenues to grow to $162 bil by 2020

Press release: Worldwide Revenues for Augmented and Virtual Reality Forecast to Reach $162 Billion in 2020, According to IDC  FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – According to the new Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide from...

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Atek Grid has new owners, hiring staff

Atek Grid, formerly owned by the company behind the CloudServe OpenSim hosting company, has been bought by the Tampa-based Florida Web Council, Inc. CloudServe will continue to run the back-end technology for the grid...

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New campaign tries to save ghost trains with VR

Press release: The Dark Ride Project — Saving classic haunted attractions using Virtual Reality Since the 1970s, hundreds of ghost trains and haunted house rides have closed across the USA and they are now an endangered species....

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VR will be huge in China

I spent the last two weeks traveling in China visiting virtual reality companies and attending the annual China Joy conference. China has a very active VR ecosystem with a lot to learn but I came away...

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Alibaba working on VR payments

China’s Alibaba online retail giant told China Daily that it is developing virtual-reality-enabled mobile payment technology, which could allow users to pay bills in a 3-D virtual world by nodding their heads or making other gestures to...

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History builds showcased this month on Kitely

Kitely’s user community is celebrating History Month this August to celebrate history-inspired builds and encourage people to build more. It will also feature a number of events each week including live music and dance. Visitors can...

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MetaWorld to offer VR creation tools, marketplace

MetaWorld, a multi-user virtual world, will add virtual reality creation tools and allow exporting of objects and launch a marketplace. The MetaWorld Pioneer Edition is currently in pre-alpha and users can pre-order it for $9.99 for early pioneer access....

AviWorlds welcome region. (Snapshot by Maria Korolov.) 96

Avi-Labs hacked, grids down

Avi-Labs, the hosting company behind the AviWorlds grid, has been hacked, according to Josh Boam, the company’s technology manager, but grid data should be recoverable. “Everything is saved,” he said. According to Boam, company...

(Image by Maria Korolov based on photo by JF Sebastian via Flickr.) 4

18 things that might soon be obsolete

The smartphone is able to replace a lot of the things we use to need. Alarm clocks, GPS devices, cameras, mail delivery, televisions, radios, tape recorders, record players, calculators, guitar tuners, pedometers — the...

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Second Life and OpenSim in VR using VorpX

While CtrlAltStudio viewer 1.2.6.43412 has provided 3D/VR access for the Oculus Rift in Second Life and OpenSim, there is another way to explore virtual worlds in VR – through VorpX. VorpX allows some applications and...

OSgrid 9th birthday celebration. (Image courtesy Avia Bonne via Google Plus.) 0

OSgrid birthday bash marred by outages

OSgrid celebrated its ninth birthday this weekend, but the events did not go smoothly on OpenSim’s largest and oldest grid. OSgrid has had some technical issues over the past few days, grid president Dan...

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Face-tracking VR headset seeks funding

New York-based Become Inc., launched a crowdfunding campaign last week for Veeso, which promises to be the world’s first virtual reality headset with built-in cameras that track facial expressions. The $70 Cardboard-compatible headset will...

Fiber optic collimator OLED display. (Image courtesy Leap Motion.) 1

Leap Motion offers hints of new VR tech

Leap Motion CTO David Holz spent more than an hour and a half last Thursday night answering questions about virtual and augmented reality in front of an audience of more than 200 avatars in...

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US consumers bullish on VR marketing

Press release: More than 50 percent of consumers likely to purchase from brands that sponsor virtual reality, according to Greenlight VR Greenlight VR’s latest consumer survey reveals positive feelings for VR among users and nonusers alike,...

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Tek Gear offers free headset

Canada’s Tek Gear Inc. is offering a free virtual reality headset to anyone who wants one — as long as they pick up the shipping charges. “We’ve been in the VR business for over 24...

Total land area on OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.) 18

Grid outages bring stats down in July

Several grids did not report numbers this month, resulting in a drop in active users of 3,209. Avination was down this month, as were Virtual Dream, My Virtual Community, and Cyberface. Some grids, such as Activity...

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Kitely merchants continue exports switch

The number of non-exportable items on the Kitely Market dropped this week, while exportable products continue to rise, according to statistics released today by Kitely. The difference between the two was the second highest...

Data from the Event Marketing Institute.(Image courtesy EchelonVR.) 0

8 steps to successful VR tradeshow demos

There are many reasons why virtual reality is starting to be used at trade shows, including the fact that VR experiences are both memorable and impactful. At the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration annual conference, in...

Creator  Jan Goetgeluk demonstrates the treadmill, playing a first-person shooter with an Oculus Rift. 0

Virtuix announces major China distribution deal

On Friday, Virtuix, the maker of the Omni virtual reality treadmill, announced a joint venture with Hero Entertainment, a billion-dollar Chinese game publisher and developer of Crisis Action, the most popular mobile first-person shooter...

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Survey: 4 in 5 young people keen on VR

More than 40 percent of people under 35 have a “keen interest” in virtual reality, according to a report released by GlobalWebIndex on Friday. Interest decreases by age, but even with people aged 55 to 64,...

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Two VR arcades open in Illinois 

Two virtual reality arcades, Immersion Arcade and IVirtex opened in June in Illinois, offering players the chance to play games on the HTC Vive headsets. Immersion Arcade costs $10 for 15 minutes, and up to $60...

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eeGeo adds 3D maps to VR apps

UK-based eeGeo Ltd, an 3D mapping software company, has opened its platform to developers to help them create map-based virtual and augmented reality applications. “There’s a meaningful link between a true 3D environment and inducing...

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Insta360 Nano VR camera clips to phone

The$200 Insta360 Nano VR camera, which will be available for purchase on July 30, clips to your iPhone and uses two fish-eye lenses to take 360-degree photos or videos. You can see some videos that have...

(Image courtesy Komatsu, SGI and Christie Japan.) 0

3 heavy equipment makers exploring VR

When you have a product that weighs several tons, you’re going to think twice before bringing it with you to a conference or trade show. And you’re certainly not going to bring more than...

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Infographic: Healthcare uses of VR

Scroll to the bottom of this article for the infographic. Virtual reality is a rapidly evolving market, which provides unlimited opportunities, and attracts a lot of newcomers. While the fastest growth in the industry is...

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Third hypergrid Treasure Hunt starts

The third hypergrid Treasure Hunt officially began on Friday, with 14 grids participating. It will run through August 6, so there’s plenty of time for both hunters and grids to jump in. Prizes include...

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High Fidelity Marketplace now live

Philip Rosedale’s virtual world startup High Fidelity has announced the launch of its Marketplace this week. Registered users can now upload new content again. The Marketplace has also been redesigned, with a new submission...

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Experts: VR won’t generate revenues until 2019

Virtual reality companies won’t see any significant revenues until 2019, when high-end devices become more affordable and business use of the technology becomes more popular, a panel of analysts predicted at the VRX Europe 2016 event held...

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VR Dealership app showcases heavy equipment

Santa Clara-based EchelonVR has launched an Android application that works with Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR to help heavy equipment dealers to showcase immersive models of their products to customers before they make purchase...

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6 companies bringing sports to VR

No one can deny the global popularity of sports. Whatever nation you find yourself in is guaranteed to have teams competing in some sport and fans who will consistently tune in to watch them....

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Space VR app offers virtual desktop

Pygmal Technologies launched a beta version of SPACE, a computer user environment that aims to replace monitor screens with virtual screens. The application, now available for download for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, is currently free, and Pygmal...

ShelfZone VR store simulator. (Image courtesy inVrsion.) 0

ShelfZone offers VR store previews

Press release: Invrsion Presents Shelfzone, The Virtual Reality Solution For Large-Scale Retail Trade And Consumer Package Goods Italian company creates virtual reality solutions for B2B using HTC Vive technology Milan – inVRsion, the Italian...

Patients wear a GearVR headset fitted with a hygienic liner. (Image courtesy AppliedVR.) 0

Cedar-Sinai rolls out VR pain relief

Press release: AppliedVR Brings Therapeutic Virtual Reality Content To Cedars-Sinai Medical Center   Los Angeles – AppliedVR, an industry leader in improving the healthcare experience with scalable therapeutic virtual reality content, today announced its partnership...

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Surgery network launches live VR streams

Another surgery video platform, GIBLIB, which serves medical students and doctors, has jumped on the virtual reality train. The company partnered with camera manufacturer 360fly  and live streaming service LIVIT NOW to broadcast the first-ever live hernia surgery...