The top OpenSim grids saw a record increase in active users this month, and a near-record increase in region counts, despite the summer season and a lack of stats from a major grid. The top 40 public OpenSim grids gained 2,109 regions this month, for a new record high of 46,907 regions.Read More →

In a recent comment thread, some readers have asked questions about OpenSim’s long-term goals and road map. I’m going to offer some suggestions now, and ask you, my readers, to contribute others in the comments. Then I will do a survey of our readership to find out which long-term featuresRead More →

Press release: ImmersiON announces strategic fusion with VRelia IRVINE, Calif. — Irvine-based ImmersiON has announced a partnership with Spain’s VRelia to combine ImmersiON’s head-mounted display technology with the Professional Head Mounted Display business unit of VRelia to provide the user with an unparalleled experience. “This is ground breaking news,” said Kevin Williams, chairman of International ImmersionRead More →

The first image of Samsung’s new virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, have been leaked online. Gear VR is basically a more comfortable and durable version of Google Cardboard, though with one significant difference. Both headsets work by putting two lenses in front of a customer’s own smartphone. In theRead More →

OSgrid became the second OpenSim grid to hit 100,000 registered users today. OSgrid is the leading testing and development grids for OpenSim, one of the oldest grids, and the second-largest grid by land area. The grid is celebrating its seventh birthday later on this month. InWorldz, the most popular commercialRead More →

OculusVR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this year, will hold a virtual reality conference in September. Oculus Connect will be held on September 19 and 20 in Hollywood, California and is aimed at virtual reality developers, engineers andRead More →

The OpenSimulator Community Conference has begun running scalability tests on its grid every Tuesday at noon Pacific time. The hypergrid address is cc.opensimulator.org:8002:Keynote 1. Load testing doesn’t just help the conference organizers. “All related performance improvements are fed directly back into the OpenSimulator code base so will help everybody using the project,” saidRead More →

There’s a number of things to be said about the publicity Linden Lab recently attracted for moving developers towards a next-generation version of Second Life. It’s bad for OpenSim. OpenSim still draws the majority of its users from Second Life due to the fact that it uses the same interface.Read More →

The Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for Control VR, a globe-based virtual reality motion control system ended successfully Saturday with $442,227 raised. The company had asked for $250,000. Delivery of the devices is scheduled to begin in December. A rig that includes both hands, arms, fingers and body cost $600 through theRead More →

I recently contracted with a builder to do some work on the Hyperica hyperport, and created a new provider agreement for the project. At the start of the project, before we had negotiated any terms, there were a bunch of options to pick from. The ones that were relevant to our project areRead More →

Screen shot of the WWII role play sim. (Image courtesy Suzan de Koning.)

InWorldz residents are circulating a petition demanding the removal of a World War II-themed role playing build from the grid. “I cannot support a grid that makes it possible for people to play a role playing game based on World World II,” resident Suzan de Koning told Hypergrid Business. “ThereRead More →

I’ve recently switched my advertising management platform from AdSpeed to Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers Small Business. It was a big change — I’d been using AdSpeed almost since Hypergrid Business was first launched five years ago. Since grids — especially commercial grids — can offer advertising to their customers onRead More →

OculusVR announced this week that the first batch of the new, higher-resolution development kits, known as DK2, have left their manufacturing facility and are on their way to customers. “We expect to ship roughly 10,000 DK2s from the factory in July, with just over half of the units through distributionRead More →

Oliveira Virtual Lands, an OpenSim hosting company known for its OSgrid regions, now allows its customers to save backups of their regions directly to Dropbox. “Oliveira Lands customers may make their backups at our server, they may choose to download to their own computers or save it to their DropboxRead More →

A little more than two weeks ago, AviWorlds came back from its fifth official grid closing — not counting temporary outages due to technical issues — to announce that they will be running the grid by themselves from now on, with no outside help. Portuguese-language messages on the grid’s FacebookRead More →

OpenSim grids are gearing up for the 4th of July and other summer events this coming month. OSgrid holds giant birthday bash OSgrid, the world’s most popular non-profit OpenSim grid, is having its seventh birthday celebration this month. The event will be held on July 26 and 27, and twoRead More →

I’m a big believer in OpenSim. One reason is that I get to hear about large projects and deployments that use OpenSim that I’m not allowed to talk about. There are organizations out there paying sizeable sums for OpenSim builds and custom development work. Meanwhile, I also talk to vendorsRead More →

If there’s anyone out there who can’t get crowd funding for their virtual world project, you no longer have any excuses. A rock simulator just got funded. Okay, it wasn’t much — its goal was $500 on IndieGoGo. But there’s still 28 days left to go in its fundraising campaign,Read More →

Now that Facebook has bought OculusVR for $2 billion dollars, the pressure is on Google to do something in this space. This week, Google has released its own headset — and it’s made of cardboard.   Cnet calls Google Cardboard “perhaps one of the most important, quirky, and ingenious advances inRead More →

Firefox is adding native support for virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift to its Web browser, developer Vladimir Vukićević said this week in a blog post. “We are adding native support for VR devices to early experimental builds of Firefox, so that Web developers can start experimenting with addingRead More →

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 →

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.Read More →

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 →

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 →

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?Read More →

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 →