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.Read More →

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:Read More →

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 →

Over the past two months, a number of bug fixes and improvements have made it into the OpenSim code base, according to core developer Justin Clark-Casey. The highlight is that the maximum physical prim size has been increased from 10 meters to 64 meters. The change was made by IntelRead More →

A video released yesterday by the  US Army Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center demonstrates the use of simulations throughout the US military — and the role that that outside contributors play in creating the simulations. The movie was created this spring, Douglas Maxwell, the Center’s science and technology manager forRead More →

High Fidelity founder and CEO Philip Rosedale released a blog post a couple of days ago outlining the company’s network architecture. One unique aspect of the platform is that virtual objects are stored in the form of voxels, which can be nested inside one another or averaged together. This allowsRead More →

I gave a talk about virtual reality yesterday in Boston at a conference of the Society of Professional Journalists. The main goal of the presentation was to explain what virtual reality was, give a few examples of virtual reality currently being used for business, and discuss some ways in whichRead More →

A new report by UK research firm KZero highlights a number of brand-related projects in virtual reality. These include a recreation of the Wall from the Game of Thrones television series. You can read more about the Game of Thrones simulation here, or watch the video below. Then there’s theRead More →

If you accidentally stumbled on this story on Google thinking it was going to be about how to arrange cereal boxes on a supermarket shelf, you’re in the wrong place. This article is about how to create products that are designed to withstand commodification or virtualization. On second thought, someRead More →

We’re in the process of redoing the Hyperica hyperport. Part of the process is updating all the gate scripts. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gone through and got rid of all the non-working scripts, so all the gates on hg.hyperica.com:8022 are usable. It doesn’t necessarily mean that theyRead More →

Virtuix, the company that makes an omni-directional treadmill designed to work with the Oculus Rift, announced a $3 million investment round today. The company raised $1.1 million in a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer. The Omni is currently available for preorder, at prices starting at $500, with delivery slated for September. The investorsRead More →

In a brief announcement yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission approved Facebook’s proposed $2 billion buyout of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR, Inc. The Facebook purchases promises to accelerate Oculus Rift development and move it beyond its original base of gaming supporters, towards a wider social use.Read More →

It’s hard to tell from the Kitely home page, but the $14.95 price plan is not Kitely’s best deal.   It can take a bit of hunting around to find it, but, buried deep on the Kitely services page, there’s another option — a $19.95 “Premium Account” that comes withRead More →

Tangle Grid is a small, new commercial grid with about a hundred regions and 70 active users. It used to have a nice, big welcome area — a four-region megaregion. That didn’t work out, and the grid broke up the welcome mega into individual regions. Today, the grid announced thatRead More →

Kitely has done about half of the work needed to enable full hypergrid access, said Oren Hurvitz, the company’s vice president of research and development, in an announcement today. Kitely is the sixth-most popular OpenSim grid according to this month’s OpenSim statistics report, and the largest commercial grid by land area, secondRead More →

I just realized that I’ve been writing about OpenSim for five years, and never wrote an article addressing the question: What is OpenSim? The closest I got was an article titled “What is OpenSim standard time?” Which, of course, isn’t quite the same thing. So here goes. What is OpenSim?Read More →

Garry’s Mod, a multi-player 3D sandbox game, has nearly 5 million players on Steam, according to a report released today by Ars Technica. New World Notes‘ Hamlet Au suggests that Linden Lab take another try at distributing Second Life through the Steam platform, which is a popular channel for PC-basedRead More →

The Virtuix Omni, an omni-directional treadmill designed to be used with the Oculus Rift and similar virtual reality systems is now available for preorder at $499, with shipping scheduled for July. The company raised more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter last year, with more than 2,500 units already sold toRead More →

Last month, the Kitely grid rolled out hypergrid delivery of content sold in the stores of its fast-growing Kitely Market. But some closed grids are getting in on the action as well. Zandramas, a closed commercial grid, has also enabled Kitely Market deliveries for its residents, said its technology servicesRead More →

Designing Digitally, Inc. Develops HTML5 Version of Drive Vermont – DMV Drivers Training Online Learning System for the State of Vermont. Drive Vermont has helped over 10,000 permit drivers learn the rules and regulations of driving in the State of Vermont. Franklin, OH  – Designing Digitally, Inc., a full-service interactiveRead More →

The total number of regions on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids fell for the second month in a row, only the second time this has happened since we started keeping track in mid 2009. The major reason for the loss is the closure of ScienceSim, an Intel-backed research grid that hadRead More →

This year’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conferences brought in a total of 4,500 people, who attended in-person in Second Life and OSgrid, and online through streaming channels. There might be some overlap between these numbers, which were reported by organizers today, but overall the results are significantly higherRead More →

Another World, a small commercial grid, announced that it is shutting its doors May 12 because of personal reasons, but it will reopen again at some point in the future. “Due to some real life illnesses I will need to temporarily close Another World,” founder Jonny Vayro told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’ve been working away on a new, modern responsive design for the website. Some of you may have already seen the proposed design, and had some thoughts about it. We’ll be switching over this weekend, and are asking your patience ahead of time if the switchRead More →

Despite the dystopian predictions in Enerst Cline’s Ready Player One, the future virtual reality metaverse will not be owned and governed by one single corporate entity, said former Linden Lab CEO and founder Philip Rosedale in a keynote address today to the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. Rosedale,Read More →

A couple of days ago, in Utopias, dystopias, and other traps, I wrote about the pitfalls of imaging a future whether either everything is completely awful, or unimaginably perfect — which often turns out to be secretly awful, anyway. Other than digging a deep, deep hole and cowering in it, there’s reallyRead More →

As a dork, I’m a huge fan of science fiction. But, over time, I’ve switched from reading books to watching movies. That’s because, for me, it’s a little easier to suspend disbelief in a movie theater. With books, there’s too much opportunity for me to have — imaginary — argumentsRead More →

Which ever way things go, with virtual reality, we’ve got to get in gear. For me, this means getting organized and productive. To help the process along, this week I’m reading The Secret to Peak Productivity by Tamara Myles. It’s all about the value of clear, concrete goals, and priorizing. For example, I’veRead More →

This month has the usual music events and parties across the grids, the Robstock Festival, and Easter-themed activities. Robstock Festival crosses grids Robstock 2014 is on three different grids this year — 3rd Rock Grid, Second Life, and, now, Metropolis. It’s three days of music, art, and other activities. KitelyRead More →

Last week, I posted the Easy Sticky-Note Script. This week, I wanted to expand on this idea, of having text automatically created on signs, by creating a hypergrid-enabled teleporter system. The idea is that you’d rez the navigation object, change its description, and it would automatically add itself to yourRead More →

After Sony made their Project Morpheus announcement, and the Oculus Rift won best of show at CES, and rumors began flying around about Microsoft planning a virtual reality product, I knew I had to get my act in gear. Mass adoption of virtual reality is coming, and while it’s takenRead More →

If you have been worrying about how to report your Bitcoin transactions or trading profits to the IRS, worry no more. The tax agency issued new guidance this week, explaining that Bitcoin should be treated as if they were any other kind of property. According to Jacob S. Farber, senior counselRead More →

In a stunning development for the virtual reality industry, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company will buy Oculus VR Inc., the company behind the leading virtual reality headset. “The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with otherRead More →

So there I am, making plans to redo the website, and put out some special reports and I realized that what I was really missing was an in-world project planning board. Now, last time I just used a Google document and media-on-a-prim, but this time I wanted something a littleRead More →

Journalists know that the best ways to get the public’s attention are sex, money, violence — and rankings. This is why when there’s an important story to be covered that the public needs to know about, but it doesn’t involve any of the first three topics, rankings come into play.Read More →

Kitely Market is out of private beta and is now delivering goods to any hypergrid-enabled grid. By default, the Market offers a choice of deliveries to avatars on Kitely itself, as well as to  Craft, DigiWorldz, FrancoGrid, Great Canadian Grid, Metropolis, OSgrid, and ZanGrid. Just make sure the items you’reRead More →

Virtual reality is finally starting to hit the prime time, with the Oculus Rift taking Best of Show at the Consumer Electronics Show and Sony unveiling its own headset, Project Morpheus, at the Game Developers Conference this week. This isn’t the same virtual reality that flopped big in the 90s.Read More →

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article titled 8 best grid websites, and followed it up with Nice WordPress themes for a grid a few days later. While I still love the FrancoGrid website and think it looks great, it turns out I was very, very wrong aboutRead More →

Virtual reality isn’t just for Kickstarter start-ups anymore. Tonight, Sony unveiled their new “Project Morpheus” virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, the worlds largest game industry event for professionals. The headset will be available for conference attendees to try out tomorrow, theRead More →

Back when I met regularly with my mastermind business support group in Shanghai, we asked each other this question on a regular basis: “Are you working IN your business, or ON your business?” Working in the business means that you’re doing a job. If you run a restaurant, you’re cookingRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grid lost nearly 5,000 regions this month, as a result of a long-overdue spring clearing on OSgrid. The last time there was a net drop in regions in OpenSim was last April, when ScienceSim cut around 2,000 regions from its grid, an Intel-backed OpenSim testing platform.Read More →

Lilith Heart’s Heart Botanicals is now on the Kitely Market, with a Kitely Market store selling exportable sets of palm trees for $4.95 to $9.95 each. “Exportable” means that the plants can be taken to other grids via OAR region exports or, once testing is complete, via hypergrid delivery. “ThisRead More →

The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today. The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — getRead More →

I first wrote about wanting a content management system for a virtual environment in 2009, when I was just getting started in OpenSim. I’m revisiting the topic now because I’ve continued to think about it ever since, because nobody has built one yet, and because the imminent arrival of the OculusRead More →

Folks disappointed with the standard 16-acre region size can now have variable-sized regions in OpenSim, as long as they are comfortable running experimental code, and are using the latest viewers. Those using the official release of OpenSim, will have to settle for megaregions for a while longer, however, as wellRead More →

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Virtual Highway As usual, the Virtual Highway calendar is packed with DJ parties and live music every single day this month, with at least two events every day. This includes a Mardi Gras celebration on Monday, March 3 at 1 p.m. and a grand ball on Tuesday, MarchRead More →

Not too many people saw the 2009 movie Surrogates in which Bruce Willis plays both his old, gnarly self as well as a plastic, youthful-looking robot version of himself. In the still above, Bruce Willis is sitting in a recliner, wearing a comfy bathrobe, about to lie back and put onRead More →

The U.S. Army, with its MOSES grid, is one of the more high-profile users of OpenSim. But the military gives back, as well. The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has been expanding Intel’s SimianGridFrontend for OpenSim, and, this month, has made their version — the MOSES Grid Manager, orRead More →

New grid owners who skimp on sales and marketing often rely on word-of-mouth to bring in users. But what many don’t realize is that word-of-mouth usually doesn’t just happen by itself. Here are some ways to help create and growth word-of-mouth buzz for your grid. 1. Have stuff worth talkingRead More →

There’s been a lot of bad news about Bitcoin in the media recently — the problems at the Mt. Gox exchange, regulatory action in China and Russia, the Silk Road arrests and, more recently, a $2.7 million Silk Road hack. This is on top of the more endemic problems ofRead More →

Last updated Feb. 19, 2015: Please click here for latest list of Metaverse Communities. Staying on top of metaverse news and developments is hard. And getting help when you need it can be even harder. Fortunately, there are several online communities where OpenSim users share information and advice. Join in,Read More →

Over the weekend and the previous week I must have looked at hundreds of grid websites for the February stats and grid news report. And I’m seeing a lot of grids — a whole lot of grids — that haven’t put any effort at all into their websites. This isn’tRead More →

The past four weeks have been slow for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids gaining only 153 regions. This is the first time the growth has been under 500 regions since last April. OSgrid was the major culprit this month, losing 133 regions — as well as 318 active usersRead More →

As part of my New Year resolutions — and in response to the growing interest in OpenSim — I’ve been planning a couple of ebooks, to sell through this website, on Amazon, and through other channels. The goal is to make OpenSim more accessible to a wider audience. Please helpRead More →

It’s the time of the year again, the time when lonely people all over the world feel even worse about themselves than normal. If you’re one of those people, then you’ll have a lot of places to avoid in February, since OpenSim grids are gearing up for Valentine’s Day. VirtualRead More →

The U.S. Army’s Atropia simulation build — all nine regions of it — is now available for anyone to download and install on their own grid. The work is released under a Creative Commons license that allows people to use the build for any purpose, including commercial, to adapt itRead More →

These scripts are for people who are thinking to themselves — now that Maria is hiring a researcher and putting them to work on updating the Hyperica directory, wouldn’t it be nice if I could just grab content from there for my own gates. Well it would be nice, andRead More →

Nothing gets the juices going like a little friendly competition. In updating our advertising demographics and getting our Google analytics for 2013 — we had over 125,000 unique readers! yay! — I got curious about how Hypergrid Business stacked up against other publications that cover OpenSim and the hypergrid on aRead More →

Chances are, there are few regular readers of Hypergrid Business who aren’t aware that we’re at the dawning of the age of virtual reality. The metaverse is coming. We’ll all soon be regular visitors to the Matrix. Snow Crash will be crashing. Our virtual streets will be paved with goldRead More →

Dear Linden Lab board of directors: I just heard that CEO Rod Humble is stepping down. I guess you guys will be looking for a new chief? I’d like to suggest some questions to ask yourselves as you decide the future direction of the company. Now, you might think thatRead More →

UK-based virtual currency exchange Podex has teamed up with Last Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex to offer a new currency option for OpenSim grids. Today, grids have three choices for in-world payments: a local currency that they create and manage themselves, the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — fromRead More →

The multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled OMC — Open Metaverse Currency — from Austrian currency exchange Virwox had its best year ever in 2013. The total value of transactions conducted in the virtual currency reached OMC 6.5 million in 2013, up three and a half times from OMC 1.8 million in 2012. That is equivalent to anRead More →

I am my own boss, and probably many of you are, as well. And even if you aren’t doing this virtual world stuff full-time yet, you might be planning to, or running a grid, consulting company, or virtual products store as a side business. And you know how hard itRead More →

Cloud Party, a mesh-based virtual world that runs in a browser, announced that it will close on February 21 and provided instructions for exporting meshes and images. “The time has come for the Cloud Party team to start our next adventure,” the company said in an announcement today. “We areRead More →

Every month, when I do the grid survey report, I mentioned that all I can report on is the stats from those grids that are reporting those numbers. Some public grids don’t report their stats, and many grids aren’t open to the public at all, but are run by companies,Read More →

I love promoting the hypergrid, so if you have an event, store opening, land sale, or anything else of potential interest to hypergrid travelers, I can run a free ad for it on the Hyperica website. Here’s what you have to do. Create a lively image The ad should beRead More →

This year begins with an anniversary celebration on Dorena’s World,  rapid growth on the newly-opened Great Canadian Grid, and a positive reaction to pricing changes on Kitely. The top 40 OpenSim grids by land area reported 31,136 total regions this month, a new record high. The total number of registeredRead More →

It’s the start of a fresh year, and some Hypergrid Business readers are finally taking the plunge and starting their virtual world businesses. The first question many of them ask is, “I much should I charge?” The following are some rules of thumb. How much to charge for region rentalsRead More →

Bitcoin’s network effect got a big boost today, since the nation’s second largest pure-play e-tailer, Overstock.com, began accepting it as payment for all purchases. “We just went live minutes ago,” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne told Hypergrid Business. According to Byrne, Overstock will accept only Bitcoin, and not other cryptocurrencies. AsRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex has announced an award for anyone who finishes up work on the Mumble-Whisper open source voice system for OpenSim. Currently, the two main options for OpenSim voice are Freeswitch, an open source platform, and Vivox, a commercial service that also provides voice to Second Life. VivoxRead More →

The new year begins with both good news, and bad news. The bad news, first. Haven, a small commercial grid, closed as of December 27.  According to a letter by the founder, health issues have cut into both the time and the financial resources she is able to dedicate toRead More →