The  OnLand business park opened today in the Blue Mars virtual world as a place for traditional companies to market their goods in high-fidelity three dimensional form to their clients. The OnLand park is targeting business-to-business sales in which 3D models are important, such as manufacturing. This is a departureRead More →

Blue Mars is currently testing a cloud-based streaming service, which will soon allow users to log into the high-end, graphics-rich immersive world via a simple browser interface. “We’re running it now, with cloud servers in LA,” said Jim Sink, CEO of Avatar Reality, the parent company of Blue Mars. TheRead More →

Both the G$ and OMC multi-grid currencies reported strong growth over the last two months. Since we last took a look at their numbers in mid-August, the OMC currency — backed by Austrian Linden exchange operator Virwox — has grown from 14 to 20 grids, and now reports 382,537 OMCRead More →

Teesside University is piloting a quarter million pound (US $400,000) citizenship education project in OpenSim this year. The project, which will eventually involve as many as 900 high students in the UK, will be officially launched in January. The entire project is scheduled to run for 18 months and isRead More →

The Immersive Education Initiative, a Boston-based non-profit coalition, announced today that it will offer free land, and free migration services, for educators working in Second Life’s Teen Grid. The Initiative currently provides thousands of OpenSim regions to members around the world through its Education Grid project,  Aaron Walsh, founding directorRead More →

According to our first reader survey, the majority of the readers of Hypergrid Business are interested in open source virtual platforms like OpenSim and social virtual worlds like Second Life. Less than a quarter were interested in Web-based virtual worls like Venuegen, enterprise virtual worlds like ProtoSphere, and 2D virtualRead More →

Just a day after Second Life launched its mesh beta, OpenSim already has experimental mesh in the latest test release, and people have begun trying the technology out on OSGrid’s experimental Danger Grid. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim implementation of mesh leverages the work done byRead More →

This month, the Youth for Christ charity celebrates its second year in Second Life. But the big party will be held in OpenSim, the charity’s new home. The reason? The Second Life Teen Grid, where the YFC has been offering support and mentoring programs for at-risk youth, is closing atRead More →

Press Release: Real-time Machinima animation pioneers announce launch of Pixel Valley Studio Frank Dellario and Tom Donnelly, previously from The ILL Clan, found new full services animation company Acclaimed Real-time animation producers Frank Dellario and Tom Donnelly formally announced the launch of Pixel Valley Studio, a new company offering anRead More →

There are a lot of different kinds of OpenSim grids out there — it can get a little confusing. Well, a lot confusing. Here’s a quick primer. Social grids Social grids attempt to replicate the experience of Second Life. They don’t make up the majority of grids running on theRead More →

In response to rising land prices at Second Life — and a need for increased control and scalability — the MuniGov association of local governments has launched the GovGrid project, and OpenSim-based virtual world environment for local government agencies. Prices start at just $25 a region, with a $50 setupRead More →

Since Linden Lab announced that educators and non-profits would see a doubling of their land prices in January, there has been a surge of interest in OpenSim — and a flood of special offers from service providers. Some vendors have offered migration services to help non-profits get their content fromRead More →

NASA’s OpenSim-based Moon World — a quarter-million-dollar project —  will go live on December 1, allowing students to experience what it’s like to live and work on a NASA moon base. “It helps students understand the geography of the moon,” said Charles Wood, executive director for the Center for EducationalRead More →

Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a short piece today about the five stages of users, which applies to OpenSim as well as to any other product or technology: Novice: wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible Advanced Beginner: needs a bit of freedom,Read More →

I was a guest on Tonight Live with Paisley Beebe on Sunday, October 10 and had a great time talking about hypergrid and OpenSim. Other guests that night included singer-songwriter Senjata Witt, who performed live,  and Dusan Writer, CEO of Remedy Communications and prolific blogger about Second Life.

UPDATE: TalentRaspel has lowered its price for exporting Second Life regions. It now starts at US $273 (200 Euros)  per region, and is based on the complexity of the build. Vendors are offering full-region migrations from Second Life to OpenSim at prices starting at as little as $80 a region.Read More →

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 →

In the wake of the closing of Second Life’s Teen Grid, and the price hike to educators and non-profits, many organizations are considering moving to OpenSim. The first question they usually ask themselves is, “Which grid should we join?” But the more important question should be: “Should we join aRead 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 →

Updated May 4, 2013 Yes, you can run OpenSim for free on your own computer –  you can even run it on a USB stick. But do you want to? Here’s a question — would you run your own Apache Web server for your website, or would you use aRead More →

Today, Linden Lab announced that the price of land for educators and non-profits will double in January. As a result, the price differential between Second Life land and OpenSim becomes even more significant. You can pay as little as $10 for a single region, but for the highest performance andRead More →

In a recent post, I wrote about how the Club One Fitness program in Second Life helped me lose 20 pounds, lower my blood pressure, and make permanent changes to my lifestyle. A skeptic might read that and say: “Well, sure, you spent four hours a week in support sessionsRead More →

Today, my scale shows that I’ve lost 20 pounds over the past three months. In addition, today at my doctor’s office, I learned that, my blood pressure was down, and so was my body mass index. But this wasn’t on a diet or exercise plan. I didn’t stop eating carbsRead More →

I’m ending it. Beset by criticism on all sides — okay, just one side — I am officially going cold turkey on “real life.” The phrase, that is, not the living itself. I’ve never been a big fan of the wording “in real life,” but haven’t noticed to what extentRead 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 →

I regularly hire people I’ve never met in real life. We cover international business, and we like having correspondents and editors around the world — and with today’s economy, we just don’t have the budget to fly out and meet everyone in person. So we make do. We review resumesRead 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 →

A couple of weeks ago, the ever-insightful Seth Godin pointed out that every new activity has a learning curve — and also a joy curve. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bit of time before we learn enough about how to do an activity to derive any joy from it. ThisRead 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 →

My company is a small, enterprise user of virtual worlds. Over the past year, we’ve used them for meetings with partners, new hires, internal collaboration, and external business networking. There were plenty of virtual worlds to choose from. But since we wanted to be able to customize our environment ourselvesRead 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 →

Running a successful virtual event takes face-to-face contact on the part of the team running the event, said InXpo product marketing director Dennis Shiao, in a recently-released report about virtual event best practices. Shiao, who is also a regular contributor to Hypergrid Business, admits that this sounds ironic. But, “there’sRead 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 TeenGrid has low traffic compared to Second Life’s mainland, and its primary renters — educators — pay half of what Second Life’s other customers do for land. It makes sense for them to close it down, from the standpoint of basic economics, but bad in another sense. The educationalRead 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 →

Philip Rosedale at Second Life Community Convention 2010.

Philip Rosedale who recently returned to the helm of Linden Lab, gave his first major speech of his second term as CEO on Saturday with a couple of bold announcements — Second Life was definitely rolling out meshes, and the Teen Grid will soon close. Rosedale gave no firm deadlineRead More →

Last updated March 10, 2013. Looking to add some jazz to your virtual world? Say, by having doors that swing open when you touch them, fish that swim in your lakes, or cannons that actually fire? Sure, you can buy all this stuff, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer kind ofRead More →

Despite rumors of its demise, the Australian virtual worlds company VastPark is not dead — in fact, it’s recently seen quite an uptick of interest. In April, the company won a prestigious contract from the USDA under which it and partner Assyst will build a virtual world and social networkRead More →

In a post today titled 5 Reasons Why Users Flee from Difficult 3D Virtual Platforms, “Daisy” at VenueGen suggested that new users might like virtual worlds more if they don’t have to do anything else in a virtual world than sit and stare at a screen. If a user logRead 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 →

Linden Lab developer Qarl Linden reported that he was laid off yesterday. The developer — known as Karl Stiefvater outside of Second Life — was responsible for such innovations as scupties and flexi prims, making the in-world environment richer and more realistic. “He is widely recognized as a competent andRead 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 →

ReactionGrid no longer offers $25 regions, offering only entire servers starting at $150 a month, with a $500 setup fee. Each server can handle four regions, and there is a discount for educators — to $75 a region with a $220 setup fee. “The price for a $75 four-sim dedicatedRead More →

Back in February, the Virtual Edge Institute — a virtual events consulting firm — conducted a conference for virtual event organizers. Some 400 attendees went to Santa Clara to attend in person. Another 1,500 attended virtually through a variety of channels — the VirtualU immersive environment, the Unisfair and theRead 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 →

Earlier this year, Linden Lab released Second Life Viewer 2 which, though it had a large number of usability problems, also offered one huge advantage for business and education users: the ability to put a live webpage or any other media onto any in-world surface. This means that a groupRead 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 →

The top 40 public grids lost 20% of their reported area this past month — from 11,717 to 9,343 regions —  due to summer cleaning at OSGrid. The largest OpenSim-based grid lost more than a third of its land area, falling from 7,530 to 4,962 regions as grid administrators clearedRead 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 →

According to information presented at a recent U.S. International Trade Commission hearing, piracy may be hurting companies less than previously though. Fritz Foley, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, told the commission that content producers often assume that a pirated copy of a product blocks the sale of anRead 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 →

Yesterday, Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon promised that Linden Lab is going to develop a Web-based viewer for Second Life. This is, potentially, a major turning point for the company. It could become a portal to the broader 3D Web — or just another closed virtual world, one of thousandsRead 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 →

(Image courtesy)

Hollywood celebrities can now get their own virtual islands — at no cost — through Virtual Celebrity Islands, launching at this Sunday’s 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Between 70 and 80 celebrities will be able to get their islands at the Virtual Celebrity Gifting Lounge, sponsored by Los Angeles-based GBK Productions,Read 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 →