This year’s presidential election will be conducted, in part, in virtual reality. A partnership between NBC News and AltspaceVR is transforming a virtual recreation of New York’s Rockefeller Center Plaza into Democracy Plaza, where AltspaceVR users can attend debate watch parties, live discussions with political experts and political comedy events.Read More →

The social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR is doubling down on the social aspect, with interface changes designed to make it easier for people to get together. Previously, AltspaceVR — like many virtual environments — was organized around the idea of virtual locations. That doesn’t work well because when people showRead More →

Alife Virtual reported a dramatic increase in active users this month, to 1,576 unique monthly visitors, but those stats may not be accurate, according to technology expert Magnuz Binder, who has previously submitted patches to OpenSim. In his non-OpenSim life, Binder is a former academic focusing on technology and now works asRead More →

Update: I missed a couple of grids in the first version of the story, AllCity updated their stats, and I removed Alife Virtual’s stats from the report because of questions about their accuracy. Read full story here. Only a small handful of grids had problems this month, while the restRead More →

Press release: Greenlight Insights’ Virtual Reality Strategy Conference 2016 to Address Growth and Monetization Challenges VRS 2016 takes place Nov. 1-2, in San Francisco, and will feature new research findings from Greenlight’s fall 2016 VR Industry Report SAN FRANCISCO — Greenlight Insights’ Virtual Reality Strategy Conference 2016, will take place Nov. 1-2,Read More →

The 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference, to be held in December, is now accepting proposals for presentations and activities. “We are particularly interested in speakers that can dramatically tell the story of their work and employ great props and graphics,” the organizers said in the announcement. This year’s conference is organizedRead More →

Carlos Loff has moved his Virtual Lisbon and Space Life projects to DigiWorldz, with plot rentals available for interested residents. He was previously hosted by AviLabs, the hosting company behind AviWorlds, which imploded messily and publicly last month. Even before AviLabs fell apart, Loff said he was having trouble attracting residents.Read More →

Google Plus continues to be the social media destination of choice for OpenSim users, due its usability, sharing features, and support for identities based on avatar names. I currently track 175 virtual communities that have some relation to OpenSim, and just collected the members counts of each group. See theRead More →

OutWorldz founder Fred Beckhusen has posted his collection of 1,000 OpenSim scripts on the open source collaboration site GitHub, as well as the code for his one-click OpenSim installer, called DreamWorld. Like New World Studio before, DreamWorld makes it easy to install a mini-grid on a personal computer, together with the FirestormRead More →

Update: The Digitaleisure has rebranded as SkyLifeGrid. The new Digitaleisure grid will officially launch with a grand opening party on Thursday, September 1, a “song and dance,” a free yacht to all visitors — and an unprecedented offer to “recover” regions for former residents of the AviWorlds grid who are lookingRead More →

Sony Music Entertainment will launch its Littlstar Japan VR video services next month, the company announced Wednesday. New York-based Little Star Media Inc. will provide the VR delivery platform, Sony said in the announcement. Content will be delivered via the browser, and to a variety of virtual reality headsets including theRead More →

A complex mesh object can significantly slow down the loading of a region — as much as ten minutes, in some cases, according to Oren Hurvitz, co-founder and VP of R&D at Kitely. That’s a significant problem for Kitely in particular because the grid’s regions are all loaded on demand. TheyRead More →

Atek Grid, formerly owned by the company behind the CloudServe OpenSim hosting company, has been bought by the Tampa-based Florida Web Council, Inc. CloudServe will continue to run the back-end technology for the grid and manage the hosting. Atek Grid is large in land area — the equivalent of 4,447Read More →

China’s Alibaba online retail giant told China Daily that it is developing virtual-reality-enabled mobile payment technology, which could allow users to pay bills in a 3-D virtual world by nodding their heads or making other gestures to log in payment accounts. Read the full story here. The company. which is known as China’s Amazon,Read More →

Avi-Labs, the hosting company behind the AviWorlds grid, has been hacked, according to Josh Boam, the company’s technology manager, but grid data should be recoverable. “Everything is saved,” he said. According to Boam, company founder and owner Alex Pomposelli has been out of touch for the past few days. “IRead More →

OSgrid celebrated its ninth birthday this weekend, but the events did not go smoothly on OpenSim’s largest and oldest grid. OSgrid has had some technical issues over the past few days, grid president Dan Banner told Hypergrid Business, starting with login in problems on Friday. Users were still able toRead More →

Leap Motion CTO David Holz spent more than an hour and a half last Thursday night answering questions about virtual and augmented reality in front of an audience of more than 200 avatars in AltspaceVR‘s virtual environment. He said that we’re about to see transparent, sunglasses-style virtual and augmented headsetsRead More →

Canada’s Tek Gear Inc. is offering a free virtual reality headset to anyone who wants one — as long as they pick up the shipping charges. “We’ve been in the VR business for over 24 years, delivering high end immersive solutions to military, medical, industrial and research institutions worldwide,” said TonyRead More →

Several grids did not report numbers this month, resulting in a drop in active users of 3,209. Avination was down this month, as were Virtual Dream, My Virtual Community, and Cyberface. Some grids, such as Activity Ds stopped providing active user numbers. In addition, eight of the top ten most popular grids lost activeRead More →

The number of non-exportable items on the Kitely Market dropped this week, while exportable products continue to rise, according to statistics released today by Kitely. The difference between the two was the second highest in history. The first, in November of 2014, came after Kitely significantly improved market functionality andRead More →

On Friday, Virtuix, the maker of the Omni virtual reality treadmill, announced a joint venture with Hero Entertainment, a billion-dollar Chinese game publisher and developer of Crisis Action, the most popular mobile first-person shooter game in China with more than 400 million players. Hero will convert Crisis Action to VR gameplayRead More →

The$200 Insta360 Nano VR camera, which will be available for purchase on July 30, clips to your iPhone and uses two fish-eye lenses to take 360-degree photos or videos. You can see some videos that have been taken with the camera here. It works with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plusRead More →

UK-based education company Macunx VR has passed its Kickstarter goal of $4,308 — or £3,000 — with two weeks of its campaign still to go. The company plans to build a virtual reality Unity-based platform that will allow users to create and share virtual memory palaces. A memory palace is essentially a mental library forRead More →

The third hypergrid Treasure Hunt officially began on Friday, with 14 grids participating. It will run through August 6, so there’s plenty of time for both hunters and grids to jump in. Prizes include $25 cash, Linden dollars, and Bluetooth MP3 speakers, Holland Woodenshoes key chain, and a HipHop Band T-shirt. For moreRead More →

The final round of PlayStation VR headset pre-orders went live on Thursday, but sold out in minutes, a Gamestop representative told IGN. According to Sony, there won’t be any more pre-orders. The headset will be officially released on October 13. The headset itself is priced at $400, significantly less than the $600 Oculus RiftRead More →

Philip Rosedale’s virtual world startup High Fidelity has announced the launch of its Marketplace this week. Registered users can now upload new content again. The Marketplace has also been redesigned, with a new submission flow, hosting for all associated assets, and ability to like items, the company said. However, thereRead More →

Google Expeditions, previously only available to select schools, is now available to the public, at no cost. “The app is available today for Android and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon,” the company announced earlier today. The app is designed to be used by both teachers and students. Teachers wouldRead More →

This year, Shark Week will be coming to virtual reality. It starts today, Sunday, June 26, and Discovery Channel will make parts of its Shark Week broadcast in virtual reality and 360-degree video format.   Discovery VR is available for mobile headsets with apps for iOS, Android, and Gear VR.Read More →

  On its tenth anniversary, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education is adding a new element in to its conference program, a science fair. “Educators from all disciplines and levels are invited to participate,” outreach committee head Lorraine Mockford, also known as LoriVonne Lustre in-world, said in an announcement. “If you are interested in includingRead More →

Oculus has released an update to its software yesterday, allowing its games to run on other headsets. “We continually revise our entitlement and anti-piracy systems, and in the June update we’ve removed the check for Rift hardware from the entitlement check,” the company said in a statement. “We won’t useRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. But I’m also still recommending the BoboVR Z4 headset, because of its 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and built-in control button. Last month, I received a free review copy of the Virtoba X5 headset from GeekBuying, and a coupleRead More →

Motion sickness is one of the big usability problems plaguing virtual reality today, and if you don’t want to attach electrodes to your head, there might be a simpler, easier solution — narrowing the field of view. Researchers at Columbia University discovered subtly making the image smaller during in-world motion wouldRead More →

The total land area of OpenSim’s public grids increased by almost 3,000 regions, but active users dropped by 405. The total number of standard region equivalents on the public grids is now 59,339, up by 2,821 compared to last month, the largest single-month increase in almost two years. The total includesRead More →

The Kitely Market is now delivering content to 138 different OpenSim grids and mini-grids and merchants are continuing to increase the amount of exportable content available on the platform. There are currently 7,486 product listings in Kitely Market containing 14,134 variations, of which 9,237 are sold with the Export permission.Read More →

Game studio Ubisoft and developer Red Storm Entertainment is working on a Star Trek game that allows four players to cooperatively fly a spaceship in virtual reality. The game, called “Bridge Crew,” is scheduled to launch this fall on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. Read full story at the AssociatedRead More →

Director Steven Spielberg is working on a family-oriented virtual reality project for The Virtual Reality Company, where he is also one of the advisors, the company announced yesterday. That’s only a couple of weeks after Spielberg called virtual reality “a dangerous medium” at the Cannes film festival. The Virtual RealityRead More →

Fruit Ninja VR will launch for the HTC Vive later this month, with versions for the Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and Google Daydream planned for later this year, the company announced this week. Based on the video the company released, the game involves using gesture-based controllers to slice fruit. Only theRead More →

Avi-Labs, the OpenSim hosting company that grew out of the AviWorlds grid, has added OSgrid region rentals and OAR sales to its previous set of grid hosting services and managed server rentals. OSgrid regions go for $5 per month for 15,000 prims, with no setup fee, one of the lowest prices available. Two-by-twoRead More →

The Great Canadian Grid is continuing to suffer from on-going distributed denial of service attacks. DigiWorldz grid founder Terry Ford, whose company also provides hosting services, has been working on securing the Great Canadian Grid’s infrastructure since the attacks first began about a month ago. His company does not host theRead More →

In general, I believe that marketing is advertising is great for promoting virtual reality.  Marketing experiences tend to short, well-produced, and, of course, well marketed. Plus, no company wants to make potential customers sick, so they pay attention to making their virtual experiences induce as little nausea as possible. And,Read More →

Baofeng Mojing, the world’s leading virtual headset manufacturer, has released a new viewer that incorporates Leap Motion gesture control. The Baofeng Mojing 5 Plus was announced at a press conference in Beijing yesterday, along with the Baofeng Mojing 5, which does not have the Leap Motion controller. Both headsets haveRead More →

Open-sided virtual reality headsets are small, fold flat, and can be easily carried in a pocket or purse. Since most don’t have head straps, they are typically suited for quick, on-the-go VR experiences or demonstrations. The open sides allow easy access to the phone screen for interactivity, or switching apps. However,Read More →

Nicole Kidman stars in a just-released ad campaign by Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates. The commercial is a five-minute 360-degree virtual reality film that showcases the new Airbus A380. The commercial is available as a Google Cardboard-compatible app for the iPhone and Android. A Gear VR versionRead More →

Blockchain is a hot enterprise technology topic right now. It’s the tech that makes Bitcoin possible, and allows companies or industry groups to set up distributed transaction records that can’t be repudiated, taking out the middlemen that normally keep these transaction databases. Now July’s D10e conference in San Francisco willRead More →

AvayaLive Engage, one of the three major enterprise-focused virtual environment platforms, is shutting down the company announced. Avaya is no longer accepting new customers, and service for existing customers will end when their current contracts expire. The platform is shutting down because the browser are no longer supporting the requiredRead More →

The New York Times has released an 8-minute virtual reality documentary based on footage from NASA’s New Horizons fly-by of Pluto. The video includes views from space as well as views from the surface of the planet and was produced in collaboration with the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Universities Space Research Association.Read More →

According to researchers at UK’s Staffordshire University, virtual reality could be used to transport jurors to crime scenes to help them better understand what occurred. Simon Tweats, head of justice services at Staffordshire Police, told the BBC that the technology could make a significant difference with regard to how evidence was presentedRead More →