OculusVR will acquire the Carbon Design, the company behind the Xbox 360 controller, OculusVR announced this week. “The team will officially become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus, operating from the Carbon studio in the Seattle area,” the company said.     “The Carbon team bringsRead More →

There are some great companies working in the OpenSim ecosystem. Unfortunately, many of the customers who would benefit from their services never get to know about them because of a lack of outreach and marketing. Everybody suffers. The customer’s needs don’t get met because they settle for a product orRead More →

ANTVR — a Beijing-based, open source alternative to the Oculus Rift, completed a successful Kickstarter campaign this week. ANTVR is a wireless virtual reality headset that comes with a clever transformable controller. Kickstarter prices started at $270, and delivery is scheduled for this September. Some critics are worried that theRead More →

There are only four days left to get your proposal in for this fall’s OpenSimulator Community Conference. Last year, around 350 people attended the conference, and more than 3,000 watched the 40-plus videos posted online. The conference was also a great opportunity to network with potential business partners and technology experts.Read More →

Most virtual reality headsets these days follow one of two paths — they’re either peripherals that plug into a PC or a gaming console, or they’re hollow frames that users drop their smartphones into. GameFace — for now, at least — is unique. The company behind it, San Francisco-based GameFaceRead More →

U.K.-based group Infinite Void is seeking £5,000 — about US $8,500 — for a virtual ride to outer space. The idea is to send a weather balloon with 12 GoPro cameras up to the edge of space — 30 kilometers, or nearly 20 miles, straight up. The recorded video would then beRead More →

In celebration of the fact that Hypergrid Business has had more than 20,000 readers this month — a record high — I’ve been looking at the design of our advertising sales page. I’d been leaving this for last because for me, like for many people, this is the least fun part.Read More →

Kitely, the largest commercial OpenSim grid by land area, plans to deliver its Kitely Market content throughout the metaverse — not just to OpenSim grids. “Our goal is to make Kitely Market the main metaverse marketplace,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “As there are more than one platform vyingRead More →

The popular Diva Distro version of OpenSim is now available with the latest 0.8 update of the software, supporting variable-sized regions and profiles. “Profiles and varregions both work out of the box for new installations of the Diva Distro,” developer Crista Lopes said in the announcement. Lopes, who is also known as DivaRead More →

Linden Lab is working on a new virtual world, Linden Lab has confirmed, but urged users not to panic. “Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they canRead More →

Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that would not be backwards compatible with Second Life, said Radegast viewer developer Latif Khalifa in a post at SLUniverse today. According to Khalifa, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg broke the news today at a meeting with third party viewerRead More →

Over 40,000 orders for the Oculus Rift’s Development Kit 2 have already come in, bringing the total number of headsets sold to over 100,000. The DK2 became available for pre-order in mid-March, and shipping is scheduled to begin next month. “We’ll ship 20 to 30,000 in July,” said Nate Mitchell,Read More →

The BBC is experimenting with immersive virtual reality, according to today’s blog post by Cyrus Saihan, head of business development for BBC Future Media. “When the BBC started making the world’s first regular public television broadcasts in 1936, there were only about 20,000 TV sets capable of receiving the programming,”Read More →

KZero, a UK-based virtual reality consulting company, released a slide deck today covering different approaches to virtual reality hardware. The full report, Hardware Radar for Virtual Reality: Q2 2014, was released last week.

Update 2: The 200-plus-user drop on Zandramas, is due to a similar problem as at Metropolis, a glitch in the database during the recent upgrades. Update: The 700-user drop on Metropolis is a result of a glitch caused by some regions updating from OpenSim 0.7.6 to 0.8.0. The grid is working on fixingRead More →

According to a new study by a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Business, patent trolls cost startups $21.772 billion in lost venture capital funding over the past five years. The study specifically focuses on actual patent trolls — companies that file 20 or more patent lawsuits — not onRead More →

Framestore, the company behind the “Game of Thrones” virtual reality simulations at SXSWi 2014, has opened what it says is the world’s first virtual reality and immersive content studio. “We’re already building a state-of-the-art space in our New York office to accommodate a variety of cutting-edge equipment that will guideRead More →

It was more than a year ago when developers from the Avination grid and the Singularity viewer got together and created a new permission for OpenSim, the export permission. Since then, no major grid has adopted it, not even Avination itself. Until now. But it’s not Avination rolling out the exportRead More →

Expedia will now accept Bitcoin as payment for hotel reservations, the company announced in a press release Wednesday. The company will be using Coinbase to process the Bitcoin payments, converting them immediately into US dollars. This is the same vendor used by Overstock and Dish to process their Bitcoin payments.

Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale offered insights into his new company’s business model and technical architecture yesterday in a talk and question-and-answer session about High Fidelity on the MOSES OpenSim grid yesterday. Of particular interest from a business perspective is that the High Fidelity software will be open source, similar toRead More →

London-based Cmoar Ltd. unveiled a new smartphone-based virtual reality headset at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week. The company is planning a Kickstarter for the project, but no date has yet been set. The headset is designed for watching traditional movies on a virtual movie screen, for watching 3DRead More →

Update: Simvalley, one of the grids mentioned in the below article, is no longer active. Folks who rent regions from Swondo, Dreamland Metaverse, Zetamex and Sasso can now upgrade them to super-sized varregions at no additional costs. Swondo, a Dutch hosting company offering regions on OSgrid and Metropolis, has beenRead More →

Control VR, the glove-based controller system that got half-way to its $250,000 Kickstarter goal after just one day, has now passed that goal with 23 days left to go. The Los Angles-based company is promising delivery by Christmas of this year, with a two-glove development kit priced at the $600 pledge level.Read More →

As of today, the only Kitely users who can create new metered regions are those with premium accounts. As part of this change, the metered regions will also be renamed to “Premium” regions. In addition, all existing metered regions owned by free users will no longer be accessible by their ownersRead More →

Do you think your design for a virtual Mars base is good enough to live in? Then you’ve got three days left to submit it to NASA. That’s right, the 3D content sharing site Thingiverse from MakerBot Industries LLC is teaming up with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the MakerBotRead More →

The Federal Aviation Administration is using virtual reality in helping design and test aviation systems, according to a report yesterday in the Press of Atlantic City. Read the full article here. Read more about the FAA’s Virtual Reality Laboratory.  

I love watching YouTube demos of new Oculus Rift titles, and am a fan of PewDiePie and folks like him. Last night, however, I watched an Oculus Rift review video that wasn’t the typical player-scared-by-creepy-shadow or man-scared-by-rollercoaster or grandmother-astounded-by-Tuscan-villa. It was an opera, Senza Peso, reviewed by emart. I’ve been trying toRead More →

Madison, Wisconsin-based Arch Virtual, a company that builds 3D environments for visualization, simulation and marketing, is looking to hire Oculus Rift and Unity developers, and as well as 3D modelers. Read the full announcement here.

Quality reasons have caused Ohio-based YEI Corporation to delay shipping on its Kickstarter-funded PrioVR virtual reality full body controller system. “You deserve a quality product and we don’t believe the product we can ship next month will meet that level of quality,” said Mike Sutherland, VP of YEI Technology, in an announcement. “The shortRead More →

With 14 days left to go in its Kickstarter, the Beijing-based ANTVR Technology Co., Ltd., is now looking at stretch goals for the next two weeks. The Kickstarter for an open source version of the Oculus Rift ends on Jun 23 and has already passed $231,000 on a goal of $200,000.Read More →

Loading Human, a first-person adventure from Untold Games that ended a successful Kickstarter this past Tuesday, will have a natural, “invisible interface” approach to interactivity. Hand-held controllers allow the player to interact with any object in the game. Of particular interest is the fact that the in-world hands change gesturesRead More →

The Virtuix Omni, an omni-directional treadmill commonly seen in conjunction with the Oculus Rift, has delayed shipping to end of this summer or later. According to an update sent out a week ago to its Kickstarter backers, Virtuix has run into manufacturing issues with one of the components of theRead More →

OpenSim news site Grid-Press has reached its first fundraising goal on Patreon, a crowdfunding site that allows supporters to schedule regular payments to artists and other creators. Pledges start at as little as $1 a month, and higher pledge levels come with bonuses such as T-shirts and exclusive OAR files.Read More →

Two leading OpenSim hosting vendors — Kitely and Zetamex — both announced major site redesigns this week. But only one can be the winner of our first site vs. site, head-to-head redesign competition. And, before you start yelling, I understand that these two sites have different purposes, and service differentRead More →

The Tropical Paradise Virtual World grid shut down with no warning to either its residents or its staff, one of the employees told Hypergrid Business today. “Today, everything — including the grid, the website, Facebook and Twitter — were taken down without any prior notice or warning to anyone,” saidRead More →

Press release: Announcing the 2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 June 3, 2014 – AvaCon and the Overte Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014, to take place virtually on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on November 8-9, 2014. The OpenSimulator Community Conference is anRead More →

The on-demand Kitely grid has fixed a minor but annoying hypergrid bug and will be donating it to the OpenSim community. The bug fix was part of a bigger collection of bug fixes and site design changes announced today. Usually, to teleport from one grid to another, users type aRead More →

According to the latest Google Analytics report, the number of unique monthly readers on Hypergrid Business passed 19,000 this month. Readership normally goes up and down a bit every month, depending on the season, breaking stories, and how much time I have to spend on the site, but typically hoversRead More →

This month we’re featuring poetry and other literary-related events on the hypergrid. Poetry on Kitely The on-demand Kitely grid is rapidly becoming a poetry hub for the hypergrid. Every Sunday except June 1, at 3 p.m. Pacific, there’s the “Freda in Progress” reading at the Babel Tower Auditorium on theRead More →

Oculus VR is teaming up with Samsung on a new virtual reality headset, Engadget reported today. Oculus will provide the software, Samsung will handle the hardware. Samsung will also give Oculus early access to its next-generation OLED display screens. The site also reported that Samsung’s new headset will not beRead More →

The much-troubled AviWorlds grid is down again. The grid has been a target for controversy since its first launched in early 2011 as AvWorlds with a plan of being the most expensive social grid. Since then the grid has changed business models numerous times, changed hosting providers, and repeatedly changedRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex will stop hosting minigrids on June 1, company CEO Timothy Rogers announced yesterday. Zetamex will continue to provide hosting for individual regions and full grids. A minigrid — technically known as a standalone — is a grid that runs entirely within a single server.Read More →

Today, I decided that what my gates were missing were sound and light effects. Other gates had whooshing noises and particle explosions — I wanted them, too. I couldn’t find any that I liked. Maybe I didn’t search hard enough but anyway, I looked up the instructions for llPlaySound andRead More →

Today, I helped an OpenSim entrepreneur, known to the metaverse as Minethere Always, come up with a visual style for her ads and website, using a super slimmed down version of the branding process that an agency would use. She might decide to go into a totally different direction, whichRead More →

If you’re like me, you’ve been downloading OAR files like crazy. For example, I’ve got a full set of Linda Kellie OARs — just in case. And the Hyperica hyperport redesign keeps generating new OARs, since we want to save a copy at every major step in the process. Up untilRead More →

Mona Eberhardt has a great post today on Living Virtually about the heights of Second Life avatars. Unfortunately, since we use the same viewers, all the same issues apply to OpenSim users as well. Maybe somebody out there has some ideas for a solution?

Since I last checked out grid-worthy WordPress themes, many more gorgeous, free, responsive themes have hit the market. Here’s a roundup of a few I’ve collected, thinking, “Wow, this would make a great grid website!” because they have a strong focus on images. These themes illustrate some of the other things IRead More →

Sarah Kline, moderator of the OpenSim Google Plus community, posted a note today that the grid is now accepting reservations for the festivities. The event will be held on July 26 and 27, and two 512-meter-square variable regions have been created for it — a land area equivalent to eightRead More →

I’m always playing around with hypergate scripts, trying to make them easier to use. This particular script works by getting the name of your destination from the object’s name, and its hypergrid or local address from its description. The gate itself is just a flat panel in two pieces, theRead More →

I’ve been asked for some marketing advice recently, and realized that other people might benefit from it as well. I’ve written on this topic before, but it hasn’t made much of an impact! So I’m revisiting it again. I truly believe that OpenSim is a great platform, and what itRead More →

Vancouver-based Utherverse Digital Inc., a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, is developing a new generation of its software that will not only be Oculus Rift compatible right from the start, but can also replace your current Web browser. According to Utherverse CEO Brian Shuster, the new Curio browserRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting provider Zetamex has announced a new inventory system that promises to be faster and more scalable than the default OpenSim infrastructure, with the ability to heal itself automatically if data is corrupted. The system is currently in preliminary testing and available exclusively to Zetamex customers. There isRead More →

The virtual reality hardware landscape is changing so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. But one trend is already clear, with devices falling into one of three categories — PC and console peripherals, self-contained systems, and smartphone-powered headsets. Here’s an overview of what’s going on with the all the majorRead More →

Littlefield Grid is raising money for charity victims with donation boards on its high-traffic public areas. “We hope that it helps,” said grid owner Walter Balazic. The project was spearheaded by one of the grid’s residents, who lives in Serbia. “I’m sure Contessa Newton would appreciate our friendship and supportRead More →

In March, Second Life released an Oculus Rift-compatible viewer to a limited number of beta testers, including our own Ann Cudworth. Yesterday, an updated version of this viewer has been released, and this time it’s available to the public. It includes automatic hardware detection for faster setup and calibration, aRead More →

Quick round up of three stories that I had missed, in case you get all your virtual reality news from Hypergrid Business. Virtual reality comes to Chuck E. Cheese’s A $350 virtual reality headset might seem a little pricey, so until prices come down you can get your virtual reality fixRead More →

In February, I ran an overview piece about the Best metaverse communities, which has since become one of the most-read articles on this site. Yesterday, I updated that article with some new communities, and just got word of a few more communities that I’m missing, which might be of particular interest toRead More →

CORRECTION: AviWorlds did, in fact, respond to my request for comment. I was wrong. The 1,000-plus regions that were listed as active on the grid were self-hosted by a grid resident and thus not always up. It is my policy to count regions as active in these cases. In addition, several peopleRead More →

Survios is a virtual reality startup that combines an Oculus Rift headset, Sixense controllers, a Sony Move motion detector and a battery pack plus its own game software for a self-contained virtual reality system. It has raised $4 million in venture capital funding, led by Shasta Ventures, VentureBeat reported today.Read More →

Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference & Expo 2014 — billed as the world’s first professional conference for consumer virtual reality — kicked off today with Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey and other hardware innovators and a keynote by Second Life founder Philip Rosedale. Some of the videos of the firstRead More →

The on-demand, cloud-based Kitely grid has had hypergrid connectivity on its to-do list ever since it first launched in the spring of 2011. Actually enabling hypergrid, however, took quite a bit longer than expected — but the wait is finally over. Last night, the first group of users tested Kitely’sRead More →

A Beijing-based company, ANTVR Technology Co., Ltd., has created an open source version of the Oculus Rift and has reached $145,000 of its $200,000 Kickstarter goal after just four days.   This particular device falls into the same category as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, offering fully immersive virtual reality,Read More →

Due to the loss of a major landowner after incivility on the forums, the commercial InWorldz grid will be stepping up moderation, InWorldz co-founder and CTO David Daeschler announced yesterday. “The equivalent of $1,950 per month of land revenue is about to disappear forever from the InWorldz grid, and beautiful builds neverRead More →

The OpenSim metaverse nearly doubled in land area this month, as Virtual Worlds Grid added the equivalent of more than 18,000 regions to its grid, taking advantage of new variable size region functionality. Virtual Worlds Grid is a hypergrid-enabled community grid which provides free land to educators. The top 40Read More →

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to begin a four-month public comment period about new rules billed as meant to protect and promote an open Internet. For example, under the new rules, “priority service offered exclusively by a broadband provider to an affiliate should be considered illegal until proven otherwise.” However, accordingRead More →

Press release: CyberLightning brings 3D visualization to industrial internet of things CyberVille Combines Big Data Processing and 3D Internet Technology in Powerful Platform for Monitoring and Control of Energy Networks and Smart City Infrastructure Oulu, Finland – CyberLightning Ltd., today introduced CyberVille, a software platform for visual monitoring and controlRead More →

For OpenSim’s Oculus Rift users, the standard keyboard-based interface leaves a lot to be desired, due to the fact that, with the headset on, you can’t see the keyboard. A video game controller, however, is designed to be used without looking at it. Yesterday, David Rowe, the developer behind theRead More →

The release candidate of the next version of OpenSim — version 0.8 — is now out, and it’s got a bunch of cool new features, including a new default physics engine and the ability to rotate entire regions. A “release candidate” is not the final official release, but it isRead More →

We all know about the downsides of bubbles — the investment of time and money in hopeless projects, the over-inflated expectations, the fact that hype is all you see everywhere you go. But whether you call a bubble, a boom, or, per the Gartner hype cycle, the “peak of inflatedRead More →

A new update for the Lumiya Android app is now out, with support for fitted mesh and other improvements. Lumiya is a 3D viewer for Second Life and OpenSim that allows users to send and receive instant messages, participate in local chat, interact with objects, manage inventories, and see and navigate theRead More →

I’ve written before about a few low-cost Oculus Rift alternatives, which basically put a cellphone inside some kind of frame. They include the Altergaze, which just concluded a successful Kickstarter with headset prices at around $140. And the vRase, which had its successful Kickstarter last fall with Kickstarter prices for the preorders starting at around $80.Read More →

IrisVR, a Vermont-based startup focusing on 3D visualization of architectural designs, won a $70,000 grand prize at the LaunchVT competition on Thursday. The company’s software allows architects to fully immerse users inside the proposed build. “Current methods for displaying and interacting with three dimensional space fail to immerse the userRead More →

Getting a student or employee into a virtual world is difficult enough without having to take them through the process of adding a private school or company grid to the viewer’s grid selection menu. There is currently no easy, automated process to create a custom viewer that has your gridRead More →

Vrban, a tool that allows users to see how proposed buildings will look like from different points of view or time of day, won the $5,000 grand prize at the Techcrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon this past weekend. Backstage interview with the developer: Read the full story here.

I get invited to a lot of virtual meetings. Every week, I’m on conference calls, video calls, and in in-world meetups. Lately, because of the particular projects I’ve been involved in, the proportion of virtual meetings has gone up. In many cases, the proponents were lobbying for a particular platformRead More →

If you’re driving a tank through hostile territory, you don’t want to stick your head up out of the hatch to see where you’re going. A head-mounted display that allowed drivers to look in any direction would normally cost around $35,000 — but the Norwegian Army is using $350 OculusRead More →

Recent moves by the Federal Communications Commission suggest that Internet service providers will be allowed to charge extra for higher connection speeds. Not to customers — they are already paying extra for faster broadband. But to content companies, like Netflix. Read more about the topic in this essay by FreeRead More →

Update: Kitely made some changes on June 11. The story below has been updated to reflect those changes. Many grids offer free land to residents (get your free land report here), but nobody goes as far as to give away a full-sized, 100,000-prim region to everyone who comes along to useRead More →

In a recent discussion, a reader suggested that High Fidelity might become a worthwhile replacement for OpenSim. The same had been said before, about Blue Mars, and about Cloud Party — both of which are now gone. But it made me think. What features would a platform have to haveRead More →

SimValley, an international grid based in the Netherlands, just added more than 300 new regions as part of its plans for a massive free land give-away. Over the past couple of weeks, the grid has grown from 202 to 541 regions, a gain of 339 regions. “A few of thoseRead More →

UK-based Reign Development and students from Southampton Solent University have produced a ten-minute preview of their documentary, “Dawn of Virtual reality.” The documentary features the Oculus Rift, as well as Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment specialist Kevin Williams.  Watch the full video here:

Plenty of events happening around the OpenSim metaverse this month. The big social grids have packed events calendars. Check out the InWorldz Events Calendar and the InWorldz Event Announcements Forum Page. 3rd Rock Grid and Virtual Highway also have the month of May packed full of music and other community events,Read More →

Boycotting the Oculus Rift because of the Facebook buyout? Or maybe the $350 price tag is too steep. You have 19 hours left to chip in for the Altergaze Kickstarter, which has already passed its funding goal of UK £25,000. A pledge of  £30 or more gets you all the 3D files youRead More →

A Swedish Internet service provider has created an ad to demonstrate how terrible slow Internet speeds are, with a viral video that uses the Oculus Rift. The company, Umea Energi put the Oculus Rift, paired with a webcam and a Raspberry Pi,  to create a lag in the way peopleRead More →