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.

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 →

2013 was a busy year for virtual worlds in general and Hypergrid Business in particular. According to Google Analytics, over 125,000 different people visited the site this year. About 44 percent were new visitors, stopping by just for one story that caught their attention. The rest, 56 percent, visited moreRead More →

Last month, I suggested that one problem with Bitcoin is that anyone can set up an alternative currency similar to it, and there is no practical obstacle to people switching over. By comparison, there are lots of practical obstacles to switching from other currencies. If, say, you decided one dayRead More →

I understand that virtual worlds are a new thing, and that companies need to experiment with business models and pricing structures to see what fits the market best. And I’m totally in favor of lowering prices, simplifying pricing structures, or providing more options for customers. But I don’t understand whereRead More →

Today, OpenSim development moves along at an uneven pace, with an estimated 1,200 bugs that need to be fixed before OpenSim can get to a stable, reliable version 1.0 release and get out of “alpha.” Development is mainly driven by three groups — large organizations like Intel who have paidRead More →

US$13 (12 Euro) a month for a 15,500-prim region that can hold up to 80 avatars, with no setup fee on on OSgrid, Metropolis or other OpenSim grid.

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids passed the 30,000 region mark this month, with a new total of 30,214 regions, a record high. The number of registered users on those grids reached 324,021 — with more than 4,000 new registrations over the past four weeks. Active users numbered 18,615. The non-profit OSgrid was theRead More →

Update 4: We’re back on Google! Yeay! The problem turned out to be in the htaccess file, which had mysteriously mutated so that it was blocking search engines. So, overall, I’m happy with my experience with Dreamhost. The first few solutions they offered didn’t work, but each time I came backRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

AviWorlds, a Brazilian OpenSim grid with a history of trouble, seems to be on the outs again. The grid went down on Tuesday night and is officially closed, according to hosting provider Zetamex. “The owner just told us to shut down,” Zetamex founder Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “Real lifeRead More →

If you’re planning to create a new grid website, or redesign an old one, a great place to start is WordPress themes. WordPress is a popular blogging platform, so it’s easy to update. You can create accounts for all your grid administrators and volunteers so that they can upload newRead More →

OpenSim grid owners are busy people and, sometimes, the website is an afterthought. Many grids simply go with the default website created by the Diva Distro or New World Studio, which is usually the grid stats, an image, and links for creating accounts. In fact, you don’t need to have aRead More →

Virtual reality design firm specializing in custom design and development for medical training games and simulations.

US$15 per month, no setup fee, for a 15,000-prim region. $1 a month per every 1,000 additional prims. Hypergrid enabled.

US$20 a month with no setup fee for a 30,000 prim region on Littlefield Grid. Hypergrid, Vivox voice, no currency.

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the winter holidays this month, with calendars full of Christmas and winter-themed events. Holiday freebies, contests and music on Virtual Highway Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid known for its music scene, is going all-out for the holidays this year. “Two stunning winterRead More →

I just got back to my computer from a big, turkey-filled family dinner, taking a quick break before settling in for a marathon session of Arrow episodes and writing a book chapter about the Chinese economy. And, reflecting on the current status of the hypergrid, there’s quite a bit toRead More →

Press release: Cyramix the new hosting service for your virtual world Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with the help of WonderBuilders, Inc. has been using Open Wonderland, a Java-based open source virtual world platform initially developed by Sun. For the past two years, the college has run an English asRead More →

I heard that Walmart is making its employees work on Thanksgiving this year, because the poverty-level wages they’re paying out, at a time of record corporate profits, aren’t making employees suffer enough. Do companies have to be this way? Callously disregard people’s needs in favor of the all-mighty bottom line?Read More →

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, was recognized by the US Department of Justice as a “legal means of exchange” last week, and the number of companies accepting it in payment continues to grow. The most recent additions to the Bitcoin club include Virgin Galactic and Europe’s University of Nicosia. A number ofRead More →

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s 87 percent, 8 percent said “maybe” and less than 2 percent said they would not recommendRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 29,617 regions, an increase of 912 regions since this time last month. They also reported 319,872 total registered users and 19,527 active users this month, a total of 3,675 new registered users and 1,052 new active users. All three numbers were record highs for OpenSim. Kitely, a cloud-based,Read More →

Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey was in Cambridge Saturday, at the Microsoft NERD Center, for a recruitment event and mini virtual reality conference. If you couldn’t make it, you missed three different tracks of presentations, running from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., plus demos of several Oculus Rift games. MostRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this month, staring with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who on November 23. There will be aRead More →

Today at the SAP TechEd conference I got a change to try out Google Glasses in conjunction with an SAP-powered warehouse application. Up to now, I haven’t been a big fan of Google Glass. If you need to know something, how hard is it to pull out your phone andRead More →

Hypergrid Business articles and other content — except where noted — is copyright protected and cannot be cut-and-pasted to other sites. Though I don’t mind people using excerpts or quotes. There are both good and selfish reasons for this. The good one is that we might have made a mistakeRead More →

As the editor of Hypergrid Business, I regularly hear from people with stories of projects that failed. Most of these don’t make it into print — nobody wants to go on the record in a story about things going wrong, no matter how useful or enlightening it may be forRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this month, a total of 6,405 new registered users and 33 new active users. Virtual Worlds Grid andRead More →