Google officially announced its new Pixel phone and its Daydream View VR headset today. The live stream of the presentation was watched by more than a quarter million people. Watch the full presentation below. (The Daydream VR announcement starts at the 1:04 mark.) According to Clay Bavor, Google’s VP forRead More →

The U.S. Army’s Moses project is one of the most high-profile users of OpenSim, with a focus on training and simulations rather than on using OpenSim as a platform for a social grid. Last Friday, project leader Douglas Maxwell sent a note to OpenSim developers disclosing four “high priority securityRead More →

AviWorlds is back, and the company has its original domain back as well. This is the ninth time that the grid has come back up after it had closed. “Since I’m back in New York now I’ve had time to start a smaller project,” grid owner Alexandro Pomposelli — also known asRead More →

Udacity, an online platform for college courses, is now offering a VR development course — with no previous programming experience necessary. The class costs $199 per month, and runs for six months. Those who complete the program will receive a “nanodegree” certificate from Udacity — and get half of theirRead More →

  The Kokua Viewer team has released an OpenSim-friendly version of their viewer this week, and 3rd Rock Grid is set as the default grid in the grid manager. Other grids included are Craft, InWorldz, Kitely, FrancoGrid, OSgrid, SirinHGpole, Spellscape, and Tangle. Users can also add their own grids, asRead More →

OpenSim developers are getting ready to release OpenSim 0.9.0, and some grids are already experimenting with the new features by downloading the experimental version of the new release — and they are running into some problems. The problem is specific to grids using the new ubOde physics engine, which is includedRead More →

The Proto Awards gala will be held in Hollywood on October 8, and the list of nominees has been announced. Categories include Most Transportive Experience, Best Game, Best Music Experience, Best Social Experience, Best Mobile Experience, Best Interaction Design, Most Innovative, Best Original Score, Best Live Action Experience, Best Sound Design, Best Educational Experience, Best Student Experience, Best Narrative Experience, Best Independent Experience, Best UserRead More →

Sketchfab is calling on 3D creators to re-create iconic scenes from movies and is giving away two Oculus Rifts, among other prizes, to the best creations. The contest deadline is October 13, and the application details are here.   Star Wars – Deliverance of Binks by JCulley3D on Sketchfab

The community-focused AvatarFest event kicks off on Friday, accessible to all OpenSim hypergrid users. There are about two dozen exhibitors already participating, and more than a dozen performances are scheduled, including those by OpenSim celebrities Truelie Telling, The Fabulous Wailers, Rosie O’Grady, and many others. There is also a performance of “Two GentlemenRead More →

The first lecture of Harvard’s CS50 introductory programming class, can now be viewed as a 360-degree video. It was filmed using the professional-level Nokia OZO VR camera, which costs around $45,000. This is the first time that the class is available in a format that can be viewed immersively on a virtualRead More →

Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform is now open to the public. The Daydream software development kit came out of beta, the company announced Thursday. The kit, available here for Android, has native Unity integration and native integration with Unreal Engine 4. Daydream is coming this fall, and is part ofRead More →

The tenth annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference will be held March 29 through April 1 of next year — and is currently accepting proposals. Conference organizers are looking for presentations about new projects, research, services, or tools that benefit educators, or retrospectives about previously-presented work. Academic papers should beRead More →

People watching 360-degree videos recalled the brands mentioned 28 times more than in traditional ads, according to a new report by Nielsen. Recall of 360-degree content in general was eight times higher, and consumers were three times as likely to buy after seeing an ad in virtual reality. Nielsen’s researched was conductedRead More →

US $6 (R$20) for a 15,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled, Portuguese-language Virtual Life Brasil grid.

US $10 per month for a 15,000-prim region on the open, hypergrid-enabled WestWorld Grid.

US $5 for a full region on the hypergrid-enabled Nara’s Nook grid, an author-friendly cooperative.

US $8 per month for a 16,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled Dynamic Worldz grid. Varregions available.

US $5 per month for a 15,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled Neverworld Grid.

US $22 (or 19.95 Euros) for a 15,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled German-language NextLife World grid.

US $20 per month for a 20,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled Mobius Grid.

US $9 per month for a 25,000-prim region, with hypergrid, and 10,000-prim regions for $4. Varregions also available.

The average price of a region on an OpenSim grid is US $20.39 per month for a region with 15,000 or more prims. Hypergrid-enabled grids are a little bit less expensive, with an average price of $18.86 per region. Closed grids tend to cost more, charging on average $30.28 perRead More →

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 →

US $9 per month for a 45,000-prim region on the hypergrid-enabled Atek Grid. No setup fee.

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 →

Update: The folks at GeekBuying sent me a $5-off coupon to share with readers: XIAOMIVR5 So I just received a Xiaomi VR in the mail. The headset has been getting some attention in the media recently because Xiaomi is a giant brand, but the headset itself left me underwhelmed. It hasRead 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 →

In getting ready for my monthly stats report, I’m checking to see whether the grids I’m listing in my directory are up and running, and collecting their terms of service pages and other links. And I just came across the land sales page of Genesis Global Journey, a small commercial gridRead More →

US $15 per month for a 15,000-prim region on the Encore Escape grid.

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 →

The next OpenSim Treasure Hunt has been scheduled, and it will rum from October 3 to November 7. The hunt, the fourth so far this year, is an opportunity for grids and venues to promote their destinations to hypergrid travelers, and for designers and other content creators to promote theirRead More →

An OpenSim viewer that runs in a regular web browser has long been at the top of most-wanted lists for OpenSim users. And the U.S. Army is stepping up. This fall, the U.S. Army’s Simulation & Training Technology Center will release an HTML5 viewer for its MOSES project. “The first version ofRead More →

Digitaleisure, one of the new grids created in the wake of AviWorlds’ latest flame-out, has been forced to rebrand as SkyLifeGrid due to legal issues. The original name and domain was too close to that of Digital Leisure, an online gaming company. Digital Leisure paid for the domain transfers, said SkyLifeGrid owner JoshRead 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 →

Adapting OpenSim to work on virtual reality headsets will require a substantial amount of work on both server and viewer code. Is this something that OpenSim users want to see happen? According to a survey conducted on this site this week, 79 percent of OpenSim users think that VR isRead More →

Disclosure: The folks at Vox VR just sent me a free review copy of their Vox+ Z3 headset, which is a rebranded version of the BoboVR Z3 but with a larger field of view. Thanks, guys! The purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I knowRead 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 →

Have you ever though that wearing your VR headset didn’t make you look dorky enough? I have a solution for you! The Virtual Vizor is a clip-on device that fits on the bill of your baseball cap and lets you enjoy VR experiences hands-free. To be fair, given the techieRead More →

I really liked the first FiiT VR headset that I tried, and when the FiiT VR 2S came out, I had to order it. It has the same field of view, but weighs a little less, and is better for augmented reality since the outside cover is almost completely open. Disclosure:Read More →

I got into writing about OpenSim back in 2009 because it seemed to be, at the time, the best path to an open-source, peer-to-peer metaverse. I want to see a future where anyone could put up a virtual environment, and have people teleport in and out from other people’s environments. ARead More →

The White House released a virtual reality video of President Barack Obama touring Yosemite National Park yesterday. Read the full announcement here. But the experience is only available on Facebook and on the Samsung Gear VR headset, with Oculus Rift support coming soon. Facebook owns Oculus VR which also provides contentRead 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 →

So your grid has been hit by a denial-of-service attack, or a server has crashed, or a hacker got in, or things just mysteriously stopped working. Or maybe you’ve had a customer service disaster, or your owner said something horrible on social media, or you’ve got management or partner problemsRead More →

Despite the the absence of the Virtual Life grid and Avination in this month’s statistics, region counts, registered users, and active users all increased this month. Virtual Life grid shut down without notice, and Avination is in the process of moving to a new hosting provider and could be downRead More →

A lot of folks are interested in getting a career in virtual reality these days, and I don’t blame them. The industry is exploding. So I’m getting emails from folks asking me for advice in how to get started. My standard advice is to go to college for a degreeRead More →

Avi-Labs is offering free regions on the AviWorlds and AviBrasil grids, but will no longer be accepting new grid hosting companies, Nearly 200 free regions have already been given out, company owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business — 65 on AviWorlds and 117 on AviBrasil — and the infrastructure for theRead More →

Disclosure: This headset was provided free by GeekBuying. I like the idea of using all-in-one headsets for things like real estate and auto show rooms, trade shows or roller coaster rides. There’s no point of using an expensive headset or a high-end mobile phone if all you’re doing is showingRead 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 →

There are grids whose welcome areas are always full of people hanging out, with mentors on hand to help newcomers and answer questions from residents and visitors, even grid owners stopping by to press the virtual flesh. Kitely has not been one of those grids. In the past, its welcomeRead More →

Update: Genesis Grid has since been rebranded as Genesis Metaverse. The Genesis Grid, formerly hosted by Avi-Labs, has left that hosting company in the wake of recent problems and launched its own OpenSim hosting service. It will be hosting its own grid, as well as that of another former Avi-Labs customer,Read 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 →

The smartphone is able to replace a lot of the things we use to need. Alarm clocks, GPS devices, cameras, mail delivery, televisions, radios, tape recorders, record players, calculators, guitar tuners, pedometers — the list goes on and on. The next-generation augmented and virtual reality headset, which looks like aRead 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 →

Virtual environments can let people step back in time, by visiting the recreation of a place or event. Tell people about your favorite historical destinations in the survey below. Each submission gives you another chance to win a virtual reality headset for your smartphone. Did you miss a chance to winRead More →

Last week, Linden Lab said that it was no longer working on its Oculus Rift viewer for Second Life, dashing OpenSim user hopes that eventually their viewer would be open sourced and be a usable virtual reality access option for their grids. However, CtrlAltStudio’s David Rowe says that he is updatingRead 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 →

OSgrid was down on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week when the grid was no longer able to access its asset services, but other grids probably don’t need to worry about the same thing happening to them. “It was an issue with the cluster and was not related to OpenSim,”Read 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 →

HTC plans to set up more than 10,000 “experience sites” in mainland China by the end of the year, the China Daily newspaper reported today. The company is partnering with Suning Commerce Group and Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd, two of the biggest electronic offline retailers in China, Alvin Graylin, head of HTC’sRead More →

Per reader request, I’ve added two new links to the menu in the black bar above — VR & AR, and Metaverse. The first will list all the VR articles, and the second will just have the OpenSim-related ones. If you subscribe to the Hypergrid Business RSS feeds, you can now subscribeRead 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 →

Samsung has branded its Milk VR 360-degree video platform as Samsung VR and has added the ability to upload user-generated content. “Creators can load their own 360-degree videos to the Samsung VR platform for sharing and for the first time view them in Samsung Gear VR,” the company said in anRead More →

The Gloebit multi-grid virtual currency is now out of beta and can be used for shopping. Users who previously had a beta account will need to sign up again for the live version. You can sign up here, with either an email address and password or by connecting an existingRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, I received a review copy of the UCVR headset in the mail. I haven’t been in a rush to review it, Because I didn’t have anything nice to say. I enjoy writing positive reviews a lot more. But I also don’t want people to waste their money.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 →

In case you missed it, OSgrid has been holding weekly meetings every Saturday at Wright Plaza, after a long period in which communications between grid managers and residents were problematic. “We restarted it about three months ago,” said grid treasurer Lawrence Roberts on the Inworld Review last week. “It’s been well-attended, andRead 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 →

The New York Times Virtual Reality app won the Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes Wednesday night. The newspaper has given away 1.3 million free Google VR headsets to subscribers to the Times’ Sunday edition since last November. Around 500,000 then downloaded the NYT app for Android or iOS, which generated a total of 1.5Read More →

The other mini headset that I ordered recently has arrived, the Shinecon Mini from AliExpress, which cost me $13.50. Since it came at about the same time as the Leji VR Mini that I reviewed yesterday, I was able to compare the two mini headsets. They have a lot in commonRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. Another headset I’m recommending is the BoboVR Z4 headset, which has a 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and a built-in control button. The Leji VR Mini that I ordered from AliExpress for $11 has just arrived,Read More →

The Dlodlo Glass V1 headset looks like a pair of sunglasses and weighs just 78 grams, or less than three ounces. It has a field of view of 100 degrees — a little higher than the Gear VR’s 96 degrees, and almost as good as the 100 degrees of theRead More →

Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB has teamed up with secretive augmented reality startup Magic Leap to develop mixed reality content. To give a little taste of what it may look like, the companies released a video in which holograms of R2D2 and C3PO interact with one another and with real objects in a real living room. ReadRead 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 →

Last Sunday’s Adult VR Festa had so many attendees that hundreds were forced to wait outside until police were called in to break up the crowd. The event, which was held at a venue in Tokyo’s high-tech Akihabara neighborhood, featured adult VR applications and devices. Read full story at RocketNews24.

I just received my free Loop VR headset from OnePlus. The company gave away thousands of headsets to promote the release of their new OnePlus 3 smartphone, and while it’s definitely an upgrade from the cardboard headset they sent out last year, it lacks many of the features that have recently becomeRead 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 →

Medical software development company Vedavi has its virtual reality anatomy app all set and ready to go for the Oculus Rift, but the lack of a controller with six degrees of freedom is holding it up. The company also plans to port its VR Human Anatomy software to the GearRead More →