When business users get together for a virtual meeting, they’re not interested in showing off the latest dance moves or hairstyles – they want to share PowerPoint presentations, work together on spreadsheets, and collaborate on documents. At least, that’s the experience of virtual world vendor Teleplace, which counts over 100Read More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained over 900 regions over the past month, from 8,626 to 9,533, an increase of more than 10 percent. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggest gainer, with 609 new regions. The biggest growth was at OSGrid, which gained 847 regions. OSGrid allows anyoneRead More →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

Press Release: Open Wonderland Foundation Launch St. Paul, Minnesota, March 10, 2010 – Today Ken Miller, the CEO of Virtual Learning Labs, announced the formation of the Open Wonderland Foundation and the creation of the Open Wonderland virtual world platform. The Open Wonderland platform is a “fork” of the ProjectRead More →

PRESS RELEASE: 3DXplorer Cloud-Based Full 3D Immersive Platform For Virtual Events Powers CloudSlam’s Virtual Expo Hall and The C-Level Networking Lounge Irvine, California & Toronto, Canada – CloudSlam’10, a virtual conference produced by Cloudcor Inc March 23 – March 25 2010 developed to promote collaborative analysis of the latest trendsRead More →

OpenSim moved one step closer to full support for Second Life Viewer 2 media on in-world surfaces this week, with the completion of an extensive project to rearchitect the way the open-source software works. Last week, Linden Lab released a new viewer for Second Life — and compatible worlds likeRead More →

Germany’s Grid4Us and GermanGrid launched in-world money systems yesterday, using the VirWox virtual payment system. The virtual money — Open Metaverse Currency — is fully convertible with US Dollars, Euros and other real world currencies, as well as with Linden Dollars. Unlike previous attempts to set up currencies for in-worldRead More →

In a move which may be followed by other current and future private world operators, the Italian Cyberlandia grid has switched from a centralized to a distributed architecture model. The result? Lower stress on central servers, and better scalability. With traditional grid architecture, a virtual world is composed of manyRead More →

Can’t wait for Oscar night? I know I can’t. So here at Hypergrid Business we’re doling out our own awards. First, a little video introduction. This is a little sailboat trip that OpenSim’s own Bri Hasp took across a few virtual worlds. Yes, it is now possible to sail aRead More →

If you think that the virtual worlds are over hyped, and the metaverse of hyperlinked OpenSim grids will never amount to anything, you don’t have to think up an original blog post — just take a look at this prescient Newsweek article from 1995: The Internet? Bah! Here’s what CliffordRead More →

Two major things happened before the World Wide Web took off in a big way. One was the fact that individuals were able to create Web sites and link them to other Web sites. Once individuals did it — individual researchers, individual teachers, individual hobbists, individual company employees — theyRead More →

Last summer I decided to open a virtual office for my company. I don’t just write for Hypergrid Business — I run a company with staff in China and India, among other locations, providing outsourced editorial services to U.S. business magazines. Basically, we run foreign news bureaus for our clients.Read More →

OpenSim users will have to wait before they are able to use the new Second Life viewer on their grids because the core OpenSim software is currently being rebuilt, developers say. The are compatibility issues between Second Life Viewer 2 (Beta) and the current OpenSim virtual world server software, butRead More →

The very aspects of virtual world that make them appealing to some enterprise users, such as the collaboration tools, also make them risky from a compliance perspective. These risks include the communication risks of the wrong information getting to the wrong people, inappropriate workplace behavior, and lack of archiving tools.Read More →

Virtual world users continued to show their love of OpenSim this month, with a record-breaking increase in total regions counts on the biggest public grids. The top 40 OpenSim grids reached a total of 8,561 regions — up almost 8% from 7,942 in January. However, these numbers are distorted slightlyRead More →

Today, online events producer Caleb Booker debuts a new video series devoted to, and filmed entirely inside, virtual worlds. The program, “Virtual Worlds Keynote,” is filmed in Second Life in front of a live studio audience. Well, virtually live. The first guest is Jonena Relth, president of TBD Consulting Inc.,Read More →

Project Wonderland developers say they will continue working on the virtual world platform, despite being laid off after Oracle’s takeover of Sun Microsystems. “I was laid off along with most of the rest of the team,” said Project Wonderland leader Nicole Yankelovich. “Most of us are working on the projectRead More →

Sun’s open source virtual world platform — Project Wonderland — will not be receiving any support from Oracle, which is currently in the process of acquiring Sun, according to the developers. “We found out on Friday that development resources are no longer being applied to Project Wonderland,” said Nicole Yankelovich,Read More →

As OpenSim continues to enjoy a sky-high growth rate and alternatives lose ground, a new gold rush may be in the works — to patent as many key technologies as possible, before other companies do. That doesn’t make OpenSim core developers very happy. “Infrastructures must by owned by everyone andRead More →

PRESS RELEASE: SAIC Purchases Simulation & Collaboration Product Line From Forterra Systems Inc. Company Adds On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE(TM)) to its Simulation Portfolio MCLEAN, Va. and SAN DIEGO — Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) ) today announced it has purchased Forterra Systems Inc.’s On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE(TM)) productRead More →

Second Life is a popular destination for businesses and schools because it’s cheaper and easier to use than most other enterprise-quality virtual platforms. In addition, Second Life’s popularity with consumers means that there are already millions of people who know how to use the platform, who are all potential ambassadorsRead More →

Today, Linden Lab is three companies in one. First of all — and this is where most their revenues come from — it is a community company and content distribution channel. They charge people for access to this community through land rentals, advertising fees, commissions on currency exchange transactions and,Read More →

When most people compare virtual worlds, they do so from a technical perspective — how many concurrent users, what kind of interface is being used, what data standards are supported. Too often, however, general business requirements are overlooked. This is a pity, because from a technical perspective there are fewRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained approximately 500 regions this month, maintaining the growth rate set in the last quarter of 2009. OSGrid gained almost 600 regions, for a growth rate of 17%. But OSGrid — which normally leads the rankings every month as the largest grid on the OpenSimRead More →

Total regions on the public OpenSim grids increased from 5,613 in September to 7,246 in December — a growth rate of 29% for three months, or an annualized growth rate of 177%. By comparison, resident-owned regions in Second Life reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6% over December 2008. AtRead More →

In my last column (“The 3D future“) I briefly touched on the idea of a 3D desktop to replace the current Windows interface. Nobody knows yet what a 3D workspace will look like. It probably won’t just be the current desktop with 3D graphical elements — though we’ll probably seeRead More →

Press Release: AI Learning Center Being Built in Second Life The IEEE Computer Society is developing an Artificial Intelligence Learning Center (AILC) on IEEE’s island on Second Life and is looking for participation from those interested in showcasing the use of AI technologies in virtual worlds, robotics, Web, and smartRead More →

The dawn of the 3D age is upon us. Over a dozen immersive virtual world platforms are competing for our attention — and that’s just in the business sector. Our kids and teenagers are already fully immersed in any of hundreds of different 3D gaming and social worlds. What willRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm Publishes Enterprise Immersive Software Selection Guide Today, industry analyst firm ThinkBalm published “The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide.” This report is a use case-based guide designed to aid business decision makers in the enterprise immersive software selection process. The report covers nineteen vendors and presents “if/then” scenarios,Read 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.] The number of Web-based distribution channels for OpenSim goods is growing steadily. Rexxed: Complete regions available, as well as tools, skins, terrains, and evenRead More →

At a time when hundreds of new hypergrid-enabled worlds are coming online, it may seem surprising that some are turning off hypergrid access. The Intel-backed ScienceSim has  recently backed away from hypergrid teleports, citing security concerns. According to Shenlei Winkler, the CEO of the Fashion Research Institute, hypergrid teleports haveRead More →

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This too often gets missed in the hype surrounding the various virtual worlds, but OpenSim is actuallyRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] We’ve covered this topic before, but OpenSim is constantly evolving, so we need to bring our instructions up toRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] The following is a list of currently active hypergrid destinations. It’s not an inclusive list — there are hundredsRead More →

Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Sparkle IM — an iPhone app that allows users to send and receive instant messages from inside Second Life — now supports access from OpenSim grids. “It’s been awhile since the last update of Sparkle IM,” the company announced today. “We apologize for the silence.” In addition to support forRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

This list was researched in late December… then we forgot to post it because of the holidays. In November, we counted up over 6,500 regions, so we’re continuing to see around 500 regions gained a month. This list still has unconfirmed numbers for two grids — OpenLife Grid, and LegendCity.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we write a lot about the Second Life-OpenSim-realXtend ecosystem. We love the low cost, the flexibility, and the massive amounts of content available for this platform. But it isn’t the only option for business users. Here are some alternatives: ProtoSphere ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere is an enterprise-focused virtualRead More →

The great advantage of using OpenSim is that a grid owner can leverage all the work done by the open source community. The OpenSim server platform is updated continually, with new bug fixes and new features coming out almost daily. And the viewers — also open source — are steadilyRead More →

As OpenSim-based social grids continue to grow, Second Life content designers are understandably worried about the free content floating around these grids — content which may have been ripped off from Second Life. Part of this is accidental. Users copy their bought-and-paid-for inventories from Second Life to their OpenSim regions,Read More →

Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd.  announced they reached a record number of prims this week, with half a million separate objects in a single OpenSim region. According to the company, the objects were mathematically-generated  “Menger sponges,” or fractal shapes. And the region wasn’t killed by the load, said company directorRead More →

The choice of OpenSim hosting companies has grown a bit but is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — at the start of this year. If you’re looking for a free alternative to a paid hosting services,Read More →

Imagine a place full of literate adults, 100 percent broadband penetration – and people willing to work for pennies an hour. There’s no minimum wage, no unemployment insurance, and no labor laws. Sounds better than China, doesn’t it? The place is Second Life — and other social virtual worlds alsoRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Reality Collides with Real-world Law in Forthcoming Book by Rutgers–Camden Law Professor CAMDEN —  In the new James Cameron movie “Avatar,” characters “inhabit” other bodies to fight oppression.  Sounds like science fiction, but thousands engage in similar activity every day through online communities and gaming.  And theRead More →

I love Google Analytics and use it to track visitors to my Websites — and where they come from and how they leave. It would be great to have this same information for my grid. This could be a gadget that I place on each region I need crawled, possiblyRead More →

The largest social OpenSim-based grids have gained over 1,000 regions since our last count in early September, bringing the total regions on these grids to over 6,500. These are grids that allow anyone to register for free. In addition, social interaction is a significant aspect of the grid’s activity.  InRead More →

This article is now out of date. Lots of new material is now available! Read more here: Where to get content in OpenSim. One of the great advantages of using OpenSim as a virtual world platform is the availability of free or low-cost ready-made worlds. OpenSim allows world owners toRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

The U.S. virtual goods market doubled in size from 2008, to  reach $1 billion this year, according to a new report from Inside Network. “While virtual goods have been driving revenues in Asia and Europe for years, 2009 will be remembered as the year virtual goods-based businesses began to scaleRead More →

Press Release: Duke Center to Participate in White House Science-Education Effort DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University is playing a major role in the new White House campaign to encourage students — especially in middle and high school — to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The third-annual Digital MediaRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] Folks looking to enjoy the interoperability of OpenSim-based virtual worlds by hypergrid teleporting between different grids have been repeatedlyRead More →

Press Release: President Obama Launches “Educate to Innovate” Campaign for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (Stem) Education Nationwide effort includes over $260 million in public-private investments to move American students to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade President Obama todayRead More →

Over 300 grids run on the OpenSim open source virtual world platform today, a dramatic increase over the last few weeks, mostly due to the release of Crista Lopes’ Diva Distribution of OpenSim, and to the efforts of a growing number of OpenSim vendors. However, this number does not includeRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead More →

Getting free OpenSim land is a great way to test out the OpenSim platform, or to have a home base for exploring the social aspects of OpenSim-based virtual worlds. Free land can also be used as a location on which to design objects for distribution or sale elsewhere. Freeland typicallyRead More →

Intel CTO Justin Rattner introduced OpenSim superstars Shenlei Winkler and Crista Lopes to the world yesterday at the at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore. According to Rattner, super computers can make three dimensional worlds richer and more immersive, creating a potential new driver for supercomputing sales in theRead More →

As the number of virtual worlds proliferates, Second Life is beset on all sides — niche worlds, big social worlds, high-end worlds, inexpensive worlds, browser-based worlds, kid worlds, business worlds and many more. Today, Second Life has the clear first-mover advantage when it comes to mixed-use social worlds, but consumerRead More →

Amsterdam-based architecture firm Dedato has moved into its new headquarters — a building originally prototyped in Second Life. Rakeem Buaku, who coordinated the virtual construction, called the project a success, and told The Arch Network that he would definitely consider using virtual worlds again for future projects. The architecture firmRead More →

As my staff and I begin building out our third — third! — company grid it’s becoming apparent how much manual labor is required in creating office space and landscapes. The first time we set up offices, it was fun. Playing with landscaping, designing buildings, arranging furniture in offices —Read More →

Normally, creating an OpenSim grid requires not just downloading and running the grid software but also setting up a MySQL database, configuring firewall ports, editing an initialization file, and editing region files. And upgrading the OpenSim software is a hassle almost as major as installing it in the first place.Read More →

Press Release: Study of 2,000 women regarding social media gaming and “app’ing”: loyal, thirsty for virtual currency and engaged with brands Social Media Behavior Points to Brands As Welcomed, Appreciated Partner A new study from Q Interactive and Social Media World Forum of more than 2,000 women finds them activelyRead More →

Press Release: NEOVIA Financial Selected by VirWoX for Second Life Currency Exchange NEOVIA Financial, the independent global online payments business, has been selected to securely process online payments for VirWoX, the Austrian based Virtual World Exchange. VirWoX is using NEOVIA’s NETELLER e-wallet to enable users of the Second Life virtualRead More →

Australia’s DeepThink Pty Ltd. has launched an OpenSim hosting company, founder Adam Frisby announced today. Adam Frisby is DeepThink’s co-director and the company’s head of research and technology, and he is also a core developer of the open source OpenSim virtual world server software The new hosting company — SimHostRead More →

Japan’s 3Di, Inc. announced a cloud-based offering for enterprises looking to deploy OpenSim virtual worlds. 3Di currently offers a server-based software solution, as well as a Web-based browser for its enterprise customers. “Cloud computing services would allow enterprises to deploy 3D virtual worlds without needing to invest In their ownRead More →

Immersive collaborative environments may be the perfect solution to a company’s training or collaboration needs — but may be a hard sell if the senior management still thinks of 3D environments as video games. According to a new report from analyst firm ThinkBalm, proponents of virtual worlds technology need toRead More →

SecondLife currently has around 23,000 user-owned regions, with another 5,000 regions owned by Linden Lab. However, OpenSim-based grids seem to be catching up in total land area, with over 5,600 regions on the public social grids alone, up from around 5,000 from our last count earlier this summer. This numberRead More →

Manchester-based virtual world development firm Second Places helped two U.K. universities with an immersive art installation which ran through this past weekend. The installation, produced by the University and Salford and Liverpool’s John Moore University, was part of the ISEA2009, and international electronic art symposium in the U.K. and Ireland.Read More →

According to a new report by analyst firm ThinkBalm, immersiveness is not an all-or-nothing proposition but a continuum. On the low-immersion extreme are virtual worlds with cartoony graphics, static camera angles, no spacial voice, and limited gestures. High-immersive worlds, by comparison, have realistic graphics, customizable avatars, spacial audio and aRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, US virtual good sales will total $621 million in 2009 — upRead More →

Press Release: UC Irvine establishes Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds Will join forces with Institute for Software Research and Game Culture & Technology Laboratory UC Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences has established the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds, led by ICS AssociateRead More →

A Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life is a Holy Grail for business users: it would make it easier for employees, customers and business partners to access virtual platforms. That would make for easier meetings, easier conferences, easier product demonstrations, easier training seminars, virtual tours, showrooms — all theRead More →

Ever more frequently, companies looking to save money are moving meetings and training into virtual environments such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra, and Qwac. In some cases, the company fully controls the environment, creating avatars and user names for their employees. In other environments, it’s all up to the employees. Read More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Though virtual events enable organizers to avoid travel and facilities expenses, in many respects they are no different from real world events in their marketing, according to the Event Marketing Institute. While many people think that virtual events are easy and don’t cost any money — and that only tech-savvyRead More →

Whenever I interview a Wall Street executive, or a technology expert, I have to ask for a photograph.  I often joke that we already have a lot of headshots of guys in suits — what I really want to see is some variety. Maybe a photograph of them on aRead More →

Boston students may be able to attend a virtual high school in September 2010, if Roxbury Institute of Technology‘s plans for a charter high school are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The school will combine a virtual environment, based on the Sun Wonderland virtual platform, and a real-worldRead More →

ReactionGrid has joined a very short list of OpenSim grids offering online shopping, with an e-commerce site open to all OpenSim users, not just ReactionGrid members. Two other grids have online commerce platforms, but their products are only available to grid members (though grid membership is free). The largest isRead 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. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] New OpenSim grids pop up all the time — and old ones change their hypergrid coordinates. It doesn’t helpRead More →

Analyst firm ThinkBalm has created a virtual reception room for Web site visitors, using the 3DXplorer virtual worlds platform. ThinkBalm is  an independent industry analyst firm focused on work-related use of the immersive Internet — so the new three-dimensional, immersive environment was a good fit for the company’s mission. TheRead More →

Companies looking to have a virtual world running behind a firewall now have another option – today, Altadyn Corp. released its  3DXplorer enterprise platform. A web-based version of the product, hosted on Altadyn’s servers, has been available for about a year. The company claims SAP, Orange, Bayer, and Glaxo-Smith-Kline asRead More →

InWorld Solutions has premiered the world’s first virtual behavioral therapy product, based on Forterra’s Olive virtual worlds platform, Forterra announced today. Olive — or On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment — is a proprietary platform that competes with Linden Lab’s yet-to-be-released Nebraska server and the OpenSim open source virtual world platform. TheRead More →

A California chapter of the American Society for Training & Development won the society’s national “Sharing Our Success” award for its use of Second Life for a virtual training simulcast, the society announced Aug. 5. The Mount Diablo chapter of the ASTD — located in northern California –was able toRead More →

Now that you have your own virtual world (go back and read Virtuation 101 if you don’t), you might be finding yourself standing in a barren landscape — or on a little pimple of an island in the middle of an empty ocean. What’s next? DO IT YOURSELF The basicRead More →

Here is what you will need to know if you decide to have a virtual world. First, you need to decide where your virtual world will be. Do you want a private world accessible only by you? Or a public one, accessible by millions? For a one-person world, go withRead More →

In conjunction with its two year anniversary, the folks behind OSGrid — the largest grid running the OpenSim open source virtual world platform — have added new functionality to the grid, including a social network, a general store, and an automatic region creator. SOCIAL SIGNALS The OSGrid administrators have integratedRead More →