The largest grid on the hypergrid will upgrade to the new version of OpenSim on Sunday, October 17. The new version supports media-on-a-prim as well as a more secure hypergrid teleport standard. The new version is OpenSim version 0.7. OSGrid is currently running version 0.6.9. The new 0.7 version ofRead More →

• Clients three times as likely to complete virtual treatment program as face-to-face program • Outcomes ‘as good or better’ as at physical treatment centers • Private OpenSim grid operated by ReactionGrid, more stable than Second Life Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc., is a substance abuse treatment organization with headquarters inRead More →

Press Release: Quantum3D ExpeditionDI Ushers in New Era of Virtual Immersive Combat Training With Successful Completion of U.S. Joint Forces Command FITE Program Industry’s First Wearable Infantry Training Platform Simulates Squad-Based Close Combat to Improve War Fighter Readiness, Team Communication and Decision-Making Skills SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ —Read More →

Last week, Laura Crane Trust, a non-profit which provides support to teenage and young adult cancer patients in the U.K., had decided to build its virtual world in OpenSim. Jonathan Tyreman, the charity’s online development coordinator, originally wanted to go with Second Life but decided to recommend OpenSim to theRead More →

I was in a meeting recently with a local business networking groups going on — as I normally do — about virtual worlds. And the other folks at the meeting expressed an interest in using virtual worlds. But they didn’t know how to get started. There were too many options,Read More →

Last month, Linden Lab announced that the Teen Grid was shutting down at the end of the year, sending many educators into a panic at the prospect of losing their virtual projects in the middle of the school year. To partially offset this loss, the Lindens also lowered the minimumRead More →

The lack of mesh imports has long been a problem for enterprise users of OpenSim and Second Life. But Second Life is about to start open beta testing of mesh — and OpenSim won’t be far behind. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim team will adapt theRead More →

Update: The Chat-World project has moved back to Second Life. According to the Laura Crane Trust, cancer is the most common form of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK. The Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to funding research specifically into cancers affecting young peopleRead More →

Last week, InWorldz became the second-largest grid running on the OpenSim platform, after shooting up the charts over the course of just the past three months. Between April and September 15, the grid grew from 130 regions to 531 regions. In addition, the grid now has over 15,000 registered usersRead More →

We don’t normally cover the InWorldz grid — the owners have told us that they don’t consider to be an OpenSim grid — but we have to make an exception this month because of the grid’s stellar performance over the past thirty days. The grid — which runs on aRead More →

The adult-themed Utherverse virtual world platform is in discussions with former developers of the controversial Emerald Viewer for Second Life, the company announced. Prior to recent scandals involving an alleged distributed denial of service attack, privacy violations, and a Second Life ban this Wednesday, the Emerald viewer was primarily knownRead More →

Many virtual designers are wary of coming to OpenSim because of worries about content protections. One virtual worlds company is bending over backwards to alleviate these concerns and to create a safe and supportive social environment. But the security comes at a cost, that of heavy restrictions on enterprise users.Read More →

Mike Treder, the managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, recently asked a loaded question: If you could live in a world that was just the way you wanted it to be, with specifications you’d chosen, customized and personalized to meet your every need and fulfill yourRead More →

Update: I still recommend the OMC currency, which has grown substantially since this article was first written and now used on 30 OpenSim grids. The two other currencies I mentioned — V$ and G$ — have not been getting much traction in OpenSim, and have pretty much faded away. SomeRead More →

Utherverse, a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, has launched a virtual casino targeting US customers. While the winnings cannot be converted into cash today, that might change if a new gambling bill is able to make its way through Congress. Meanwhile, Utherverse hopes that casino operatorsRead More →

Hosting providers with previous experience in Second Life are bringing some Second Life terminology with them into OpenSim. For example, Coral Estates draws a distinction between “owning” a region and paying “tier” — and “renting” land. “All of the land in this section of the web site is non rentalRead More →

Correction: Coral Estate regions start at $20, not $10. OpenSim hosting prices have fallen to a record-low, with providers like New Voice offering regions for just $10 per month — though the performance of such low-cost regions may be in doubt. New Voice on the map If you’ve glanced atRead More →

The hypergrid is like the World Wide Web of 3D worlds. You can create your own world, at your company, school, or government agency, and link it to worlds owned by partners, clients, or information providers. Hypergrid teleports look and feel much like regular, in-world teleports. In fact, usually theRead More →

Business users choosing virtual environments usually focus on particular features — does it support mesh imports? Are there in-world editing tools? How good is the voice? Is the a web viewer? However, most of these features are time-dependent — eventually, every virtual world platform is going to have mesh importsRead More →

Tonight’s meeting of the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group was an eye-opener for me and several other attendees — well, ear-opener. We got a chance to try out the new Whisper directional voice system for OpenSim, and it was amazing. Not amazing as the way in Freeswitch was amazing, in that youRead More →

Update: “As Philip has mentioned, Linden Lab has discontinued the Second Life Enterprise development program,” Adam Nelson, Linden Lab’s Executive Director of Monetization, told Hypergrid Business. “We will continue to honor our beta customer commitments and contracts, but will not be accepting new customers for the beta product. Second LifeRead More →

CyberCoinBank’s G$ is taking an early lead over the OMC multi-grid currency from Virwox. Although G$ is only accepted on 8 grids, compared to 14 grids for OMC, there is over 63 million G$ (US $210,000) in circulation, compared to just 302,037 OMC (US $1,045). There are several reasons forRead More →

The latest versions of OpenSim support Second Life Viewer 2 and, over the next couple of months, grids and hosting providers will be upgrading their OpenSim server software to make Viewer 2 usable everywhere on the hypergrid. I’ve spent the last five weeks heavily using SL Viewer 2 in SecondRead More →

The top 40 public OpenSim grids resumed their breakneck growth pace this month, gaining a total of 1,139 regions and crossing back over the 10,000 mark with a total land area of 10,427 regions. This was a growth of over 12%compared to last month, which translates to an annual growthRead More →

The hypergrid economy continued its steady growth this past month, with a total of 1,091,000 OMC (US $3,775) spent on the 14 OMC-enabled grids since the multi-grid currency launched in March. This total doesn’t include local grid currencies, CyberCoinBank’s G$, or Virtual Wallet’s V$, none of which report their transactionRead More →

Would be sim-commerce millionaires gathered at the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group meeting Thursday night on the Trombly Grid to discuss recent innovations in OpenSim hosting, currency systems, and selling real homes and real furniture in virtual environments. Towards the end of the meeting, the conversation somehow turned to virtual sex (okay,Read More →

Wagner Au and Gwyneth Llewelyn have recently posted thought-provoking pieces about how to make virtual worlds more engaging. Au proposed an achievement system to encourage new users to make friends and visit new locations. “Turning social networking more competitive resulted in people getting more engaged with it,” added Llewelyn, explainingRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, two OpenSim content designers came to Hypergrid Business with a complaint: they were offered a chance to produce content for a new grid, in return for space on that grid. They did the work, then got locked out. What could they do? Unfortunately, not much.Read More →

[Disclaimer: This is a sample contract for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace professional legal advice.] This Provider Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made as of _________________________ (date) by and between: Client Name: _________________________ Address: _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ Telephone: _________________________ Email: _________________________ Provider: Name: _________________________ Address: _________________________ _________________________Read More →

Update: See end of story for new pricing information. Two of the world’s largest German grids — Grid4Us and GermanGrid — are merging this week, in order to provide a richer — and more populated — world for residents and visitors. The merger is scheduled for August 13 through 15,Read More →

Second Life released Viewer 2 in February and, though many complained that the new interface was confusing and less efficient it did offer a significant new benefit to enterprise and education users: the ability to show websites and other media on any in-world surface. However, the new viewer — commonlyRead More →

A mini-grid is a small, standalone OpenSim grid that doesn’t require a separate grid administration server. How small? Small enough so that all its regions can be run on a single computer. For a typical home computer, four regions is plenty. For a high-speed computer or server, you can getRead More →

A couple of days ago, Second Life merchant Darrius Gothly proposed a plan to reinvigorate Second Life’s land market by  zoning regions residential or commercial. Today, Second Life does have some zoning. Content aimed at teenagers is confined to the Teen Grid, for example, and adult content to the ZindraRead More →

A recent Wall Street Journal article proclaimed, Fraudsters Like Virtual Goods: Fast-Growing E-Commerce Segment Seems More Vulnerable to Cyber Criminals based on research from CyberSource Corp., which processes credit cards for online merchants. The article makes it sound that virtual goods sales are more prone to fraud than physical products.Read More →

Enterprise virtual world vendor added support for the Microsoft Sharepoint service, the company announced today. Teleplace is one of the leading providers of enterprise-grade, behind-the-firewall, fully immersive virtual collaborative environments. It counts “hundreds” of corporations as customers – some of them big names, including Chevron, BP, Lockheed, Intel, and Fidelity.Read More →

The OpenSim community is currently in the process of upgrading to Hypergrid 1.5, a more secure version of the hypergrid protocol that allows teleportation between different grids. However, Hypergrid 1.5 isn’t compatible with the previous Hypergrid 1.0 standard, according to hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the UniversityRead More →

For the past year that I’ve been attending meetings in Second Life and OpenSim, I’ve been thinking of the virtual platforms as another kind of collaboration tool. I compare it to Web-based conferences and seminars. A few days ago, however, I read a blog post by Avril Korman, where, inRead More →

The New York-based Fashion Research Institute, Inc. is giving away five copies of its ground-breaking butterfly exhibit to researchers or educators. The exhibit, available in the form of an OpenSim archive file (an OAR) includes a copy of the entire Shengri La Chamomile region from Intel’s ScienceSim grid, with overRead More →

Avination, a new OpenSim-based role playing virtual world focusing on combat play, has chosen the XR JEVN e-commerce platform from Extreme Reality, Inc., the companies announced today. Philadelphia-based Extreme Reality acquired the JEVN networked vendor system earlier this month. The platform is already widely used in Second Life, where itRead More →

Press Release: Merck and ProtonMedia Win Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award 2010 Microsoft Recognizes Merck’s Industry-First Scientific Poster Session Held in ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere 3-D Virtual Environment LANSDALE, Pa.–Microsoft Corp. has named Merck and Company, Inc. and ProtonMedia winners of the company’s Life Sciences Innovation Awards 2010. The awards, announced atRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di Inc., will release the new version of its OpenSim server software on June 25, and the new release will allow the use of separate account registration systems. For example, if a retail company, say, allow customers to register on its website, those same registrations can be used toRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids totaled 11,717 regions this month, a respectable 4 percent increase over last month’s 11,240. However, adjusted growth is up a record-high 1,377 regions — an increase of 13.3 percent. Why adjusted? ScienceSim has been running scalability tests, loading up 1,024 regions on a single serverRead More →

Press Release: Citizant and Cranial Tap Partner to Develop 3-D Environments for Collaboration, Training and Data Visualization In Federal Agencies Second Life environments will add new dimension to transparency and performance CHANTILLY, Va. — Citizant, a leader in federal information sharing and business modernization solutions, has partnered with Cranial Tap,Read More →

Tokyo-based 3Di, a leader in developing commercial viewers for Opensim, today announced a viewer that will run on Android smartphones. The company is currently recruiting industry partners to develop practical applications of this technology, and will share its platform with them. The platform can be used to develop online games,Read More →

Linden Lab announced 30 percent staff cuts today, and also promised a Web-based viewer for Second Life. While a Web-based viewer would be a significant benefit for companies interested in using virtual worlds for quick meetings and public conferences, a more sobering note is that the announcement of  “strategic restructuringRead More →

Hypergrid travelers are more likely to be looking for shopping than any other kind of individual destination, according to May visitor statistics of the Hyperica hypergrid destination directory. The top five pages viewed overall were the full list of hypergrid-enabled grids, the hypergrid-enabled regions on OSgrid, the list of hypergrid-enabledRead More →

Virtual events platform provider On24 has rolled out a suite of social networking tools this week, including integration with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. “We have a standard Twitter widget that can be embedded in a virtual event,” said Denise Persson, On24’s chief marketing officer. “You can see the conversation goingRead More →

The Second Life and OpenSim platform are the best bet for educators, according to a white paper released today by virtual worlds research firm Daden Limited. “It is the only one offering reasonable graphics with in-world building tools, and as a result high levels of flexibility,” wrote author David Burden.Read More →

Japan’s PR News, a press release distribution service, will hold free virtual seminars this summer on how to use Twitter and other social media for marketing and promotion, the company announced today (English translation here.) The seminars will be conducted in a virtual world — OpenSim — and accessed viaRead More →

Developers released a new version of OpenSim this week, with support for group management of land, the ability to offer teleports to other avatars, and other minor improvements and bug fixes. Many OpenSim users would already have seen these features on OSGrid, the Diva Distro, and other grids running theRead More →

Altadyn, the developer of 3DXplore, a Web-based virtual world platform, announced this week that its immersive worlds can now run in the cloud, allowing users to scale up conferences quickly to handle thousands of simultaneous attendees. Today, the company also integrated a voice platform into its system. Previously, customers hadRead More →

There are three ways in which a particular platform or service can be considered to be “open.” One is whether it runs on multiple systems, or is locked into a system from one particular vendor. For example, Apple’s Leonard operating system only runs on Apple computers. The Windows operating systems,Read More →

The world’s top public OpenSim-based grids slowed their growth rate this month, possibly due to the growing popularity of standalone grids. As of today, the top 40 grids totaled 11,240 regions, up 7.2 percent from 10,588 regions in mid-April. However, half of that growth was due to ongoing scalability testingRead More →

Today, Web space is free. Almost. You can get free accounts for blogs on Blogger.com and WordPress.com — among many others. And storage space is so cheap that some Web hosts offer virtually unlimited storage. At Dreamhost, for example, you can add new sites to your hosting package for noRead More →

Virtual events platform provider InXpo rolled out a suite of social networking features last week – including built-in support for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – as well as a social gaming platform. InXpo is a “pseudo 3D” virtual meeting platform. InXpo’s Web-based virtual meeting platform combines multimedia – video, presentationsRead More →

Second Life has rolled out some great features recently, such as media-on-a-prim, which are great for business. And chief product officer  Tom Hale’s promise of mesh imports in the second quarter of this year is also great news. As a business user, both of these features promise to be veryRead More →

Virtual worlds have been offered up in recent weeks as alternatives to physical events because they are disaster-proof. No volcano or tsunami can take down the whole Internet. And virtual events are particularly budget-friendly during that other kind of recent disaster — a financial crisis. But virtual worlds are proneRead More →

Virtual worlds run by non-profit organizations focus on providing a low-cost platform for other non-profits and individuals. To many in the non-profit sector, in-world economies belong on for-profit grids like Second Life and Blue Mars. However, some non-profits running grids on the OpenSim platform are beginning to embrace in-grid paymentsRead More →

Two more grids have switched to the recently-released hypergrid-enabled OMC (Open Metaverse Currency) from Virwox, FrancoGrid and Avatar Hangout, bringing the total number of grids using the currency to six. The other four grids supporting the currency are Grid4Us, GermanGrid, OpenNeuland, and WilderWesten. Between them, the six grids total overRead More →

If you’re a business manager considering rolling out virtual workspaces, you may think that an avatar identity is nothing more than yet another user account, the login credentials for a particular piece of virtual world software. At second look, you might think that avatar identities are closer to email addresses.Read More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained 1,055 regions over the past month, from 9,533 to 10,588, an increase of more than 11 percent. By comparison, Second Life grew just 1.4 percent during the same time period, according to data from Grid Survey. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggestRead More →

Former Linden staffer Meadhbh Hamrick has vowed to continue her fight for virtual worlds interoperability. However, the commitment on the part of Linden Research is unclear, and the project is currently being overshadowed by the success of the hypergrid, an alternative method of bridging worlds. Hamrick — also known asRead More →

Last week, I surveyed the state of OpenSim commerce, in the column Business in OpenSim. This included the beginnings of in-world retail shops, OpenSim hosting providers, and design and development services. These are new industries, only really born last year, when OpenSim became stable enough for deployment and hypergrid-enabled. ButRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations.] Is it too early to start doing business in OpenSim? We are certainly not in an age of v-commerce, though we can see itRead More →

The Internet is a wide, and anonymous place. For me, it’s always a slight shock when I comment on someone’s blog post — and they comment back, or send me a personal “thank you” email.  Except for these blogs, most Websites are run by anonymous Web administrators, and when I’mRead More →

Press Release: Immersive Education 2010 Summit Attendees to Receive $2,500 in Permanent Virtual World Land BOSTON, Mass. – The Immersive Education Initiative today revealed that it will provide permanent virtual world land for one year to every school and non-profit organization that has at least one teacher, administrator, or studentRead More →

Back in the early days of Internet technology it was feasible to have “security by obscurity” — putting up a document on the Internet, say, but making the address so complicated that nobody would be likely to stumble upon it by accident. That was in the days before decent searchRead More →

One of the common complaints enterprises have about OpenSim is that if they set up a private grid, they’ll have to create all the content from scratch. Employees will have to create their own hair, fashionistas will have to make their own shoes, teachers will have to create their ownRead More →

In the last couple of weeks we’ve been traveling all over the hypergrid, here at Hypergrid Business, as preparation for the launch of our Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid destinations. And we’ve been shocked — shocked! — to find that many region owners aren’t following basic design principles. We’ve beenRead More →