In response to yesterday’s post about the changing editorial direction at Hypergrid Business — and free ads — I’ve been flooded with requests for advertisements. And I want to run the ads. Really, I do. Promoting OpenSim to the 100,000-plus site visitors who might not have heard of OpenSim beforeRead More →

The world seems to have hit a tipping point when it comes to immersive environments, and the pace of change is exploding. These changes have been dramatically reflected in the readership of this site over the past couple of months. My life is about to change dramatically as well. SoRead More →

OutWorldz founder Fred Beckhusen has purchased the Hyperica OpenSim directory from Hypergrid Business. He will continue to maintain the current website, add more content, and add more functionality, as well as the in-world hyperport, and the in-viewer destination guide. The Hyperica website had nearly 20,000 unique visitors over the courseRead More →

AviWorldz has officially joined the big grid migration of 2017, becoming the latest in a string of grids to switch to DigiWorldz hosting. DigiWorldz is mostly known as a popular commercial OpenSim grid, but the company also provides hosting for other grids. This means that would-be grid owners can focusRead More →

Firestorm is the preferred viewer for OpenSim users, based on a survey of Hypergrid Business readers. Nearly 53 percent of respondents chose Firestorm as their favorite, followed by 26 percent for Singularity and 7 percent for Alchemy. Firestorm was also the viewer that most people had tried. According to the survey,Read More →

It didn’t take long at all. It was less than three weeks ago that Alexsandro Pomposelli announced that AviWorlds was back up and running — from his garage. The much-troubled grid is now down again as a result of a power surge, he told Hypergrid Business. “My anti-power surge didRead More →

Last year was a mixed year for OpenSim grids. Active users were up, but the increase was much lower than in the previous year. The increase in registered users was also smaller, but this was mostly due to a multi-month outage on Avination, which is still down. Land area actually shrank thisRead More →

Genesis Metaverse, a company which previously ran its own grid and also provided hosting to other grids, has left the hosting business and is now using DigiWorldz to handle its hosting and OpenSim management. The company was formed after last summer’s disastrous flameout of the AviWorlds grid and its associatedRead More →

The OpenSim Embassy has a grand opening tomorrow, January 11, on the Second Life grid. Performers at tomorrow’s event, which starts at 11 a.m. Pacific, include the ChangHigh Sisters Fireshow of Light, Life and Love, SingerGirl XOXOXO, Amazon Ballet, DJ Pilou, and TatianaCoin. It will be held in the OpenSim EmbassyRead More →

The Canadian Sun, an in-world magazine on the Great Canadian Grid, is sponsoring a St. Patrick’s Day parade on Friday, March 17. Participants are starting to build floats now, but there is still room for interested groups to sign up. Organizers are also looking for performers, and there will beRead More →

OpenSim users can buy legal mesh bodies for their avatars — and the news has helped keep noted designer Linda Kellie from leaving. “Jessica Random and I sat down the other day and made a pro and con list,” she wrote in a post yesterday. “And in the end one ofRead More →

Updated: January 19, 2018 Virtual reality is still in its very very very early stages. The headsets are bulky or uncomfortable, the interfaces aren’t really there yet, there isn’t that much content, and the experiences can sometimes give you motion sickness. But you need to try it anyway, and haveRead More →

The AviWorlds grid is back up and running, grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business today. This is now officially the grid’s tenth incarnation, not counting the times it was down due to server problems or other temporary issues. The grid’s loginURI and hypergrid address is login.aviworlds.com:8002 and OpenSim users who wishRead More →

The Baller Nation and Kea Nation grids have both moved to DigiWorldz. The two were previously the marquee customers of Genesis MetaVerse, which, like DigiWorldz, both runs its own grid and also offers hosting services for other grids. Genesis MetaVerse was one of the two hosting companies that emerged lastRead More →

Genesis Metaverse has been attacked and some systems have been damaged, but the grid has been able to recover much of its data. To help protect against future attacks, the grid has also switched server companies, upgraded its hardware, added more backups and is taking other precautionary measure as well.Read More →

For the past few years, the Hyperica grid and website has been a directory of hypergrid destinations for OpenSim users. Nearly 40,000 people have visited the site over the past two years, with more than 330,000 page views total. Those are decent numbers for OpenSim, but are tiny compared toRead More →

It seems that everyone has been getting virtual reality for Christmas — and posting the reaction videos on YouTube: And on Twitter… Holiday 2016 VR Reactions   Here at Hypergrid Business, we normally get between 3,000 and 4,000 people a day looking for Google Cardboard QR Codes — on Sunday, thatRead More →

At a time when grid outages and scandals are in the news (okay, just the one grid, but they do create a lot of news) it’s nice to see a grid do something positive. On Tuesday, I saw this post from DigiWorldz show up in my social media, which leadsRead More →

I’ve been doing the stats report every month — without a break — since mid-2009. With nearly 300 active grids, many of which don’t have standard stats pages, the amount of work going into this has become unmanageable. It eats up parts of several days of my time, contacting everyone,Read More →

This past year has been a troubling one for OpenSim, with slowing growth rates and increasing concerns that OpenSim will be sidelined by advances in virtual reality platforms. Active users numbers went up, but at a slower rate than in any of the previous years, and a steep decline fromRead More →

The public OpenSim grids reached a new high of active users, 35,692, an increase of more than 2,000 since this time last month. The 2016 OpenSim Community Conference was responsible for about a quarter of the increase, but many other grids also saw gains. The total number of registered usersRead More →

If you missed the panels from last weekend’s OpenSim Community Conference, you can now catch up with some of them on YouTube. OpenSimulator Core Developer Panel A discussion of key issues facing OpenSim developers, with Avacon founder Joyce Bettencourt, OpenSimulator core developer Robert Adams, core developer Michael Cerquoni, OpenSim core developer andRead More →

Kitely Market sales have increased significantly over the past year, Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. The market now delivers licensed OpenSim content to 162 grids, with 16,364 product variations grouped under 8,551 listings. Of the variations, 11,394 are sold with the export permission, meaning that they can beRead More →

It’s not too late to order virtual reality presents for the holidays — and they don’t have to cost a lot of money, either! Once you get your headset, click here for instructions on what to do next. Here are some of my favorites — and I’ve personally tried these,Read More →

Press release: myVR Launches Social Virtual Reality Platform for iOS myVR – Virtually Everything Brings Together Content Discovery, Social Interactions, Video, Chat and More in a Totally Immersive Experience San Francisco, CA – After a successful launch on Android on October, myVR, a new virtual reality social platform, today launchedRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Dreamland Metaverse received the highest scores for performance, support, stability and its user interface in this year’s hosting providers survey, followed by DigiWorldz and Zetamex Network. There were 40 responses total to this year’s hosting survey, which asks grid owners about their hosting providers. However, many ofRead More →

According to a new survey by Parks Associates, nearly 50 percent of U.S. broadband households who try a virtual reality headset plan to buy one. In addition, 3.5 percent of broadband households, or about 3.4 million households, already own a virtual reality headset. Despite the recent media attention to virtual reality,Read More →

AviWorlds has received backups of region files of its residents from a former employee, grid owner Alexandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business. “Josh has sent me the files for AviWorlds and AviBrasil grids,” he said, referring to former head of technology Josh Boam. AviWorlds, and its sister hosting company, Avi-Labs, sufferedRead More →

Updated: August 10, 2017 Do want to give a VR headset as a gift to someone with an iPhone — or buy one for yourself? You can. You won’t get the best possible mobile experience, however, since the two best headsets — the Samsung Gear VR and the Daydream ViewRead More →

Unlike Android VR games, which work reasonably well with standard, off-the-shelf Bluetooth controllers, iPhones are a bit more temperamental. Regular Bluetooth controllers don’t work. What you do get are some work-arounds, but they only work with a a tiny handful of the thousands of VR apps and games in the iPhoneRead More →

AviWorlds is coming back, grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business today. The Avi-Labs OpenSim hosting will also return, he said. “People can already order their free regions,” he said, even before the grid is back up. “When they sign in, their regions will be up.” The free region will haveRead More →

There are a lot of 360-degree videos out there and more arriving all the time. They seem to be a killer application for virtual reality. Even the lowest-cost mobile-based headsets — the kind you get for free in a cereal box — do a good job with 360-videos because they’reRead More →

Back in early October, I ran out and bought the new Google Pixel phone the day it came out, and immediately put through an order for my free Daydream View VR headset. Last week, as all the other tech journalists were writing their reviews, I had to sit and grindRead More →

Update: The data and chart have been updated to include the full 2016 calendar year. Almost every month, at least one person complains about why InWorldz is listed in our stats, or included in our surveys. Some people complain that InWorldz is not on the hypergrid, meaning that people can’tRead More →

The public OpenSim grids added 1,655 new regions this month, registered more than 10,000 new users, and grew active monthly users by 512. Meanwhile, Avination and AviWorlds are still down for the count, Logicamp suffered a devastating loss due to a ransomware attack, and SkyLifeGrid was folded up into Sinful Grid. AtekRead More →

Finally, in these dark and tumultuous times, some good news — Linda Kellie is back, and creating new content. Outside of the core developers themselves, Linda Kellie is the most valuable member of the OpenSim community. Her collections of free content have long been staples for many users — schools,Read More →

The Belgium-based Logicamp grid has suffered a catastrophic ransomware attack, and has lost some content due to a lack of current off-line backups. “I know that it is unforgivable but I am alone to manage everything and I can not do more,” grid owner Didier Preudhomme told Hypergrid Business. Logicamp is aRead More →

SkyLifeGrid, launched after the most recent collapse of AviWorlds, has now merged with the Sinful Grid. However, SkyLife will continue offering hosting services, owner Josh Boam told Hypergrid Business, on the SkyLifeHosting.com website. SkyLifeGrid originally launched as Digitaleisure in late August with a controversial offer to migrate content from the AviWorldsRead More →

Purdue University has received a patent for putting a picture of a nose at the bottom of a virtual reality display — and is selling the licenses to use this idea through partner Virtualis LLC. We normally all have the tip of our noses in our field of view, thoughRead More →

Disclosure: This camera was provided free by GeekBuying. After discovering that Chinese manufacturers were making some of the best Google Cardboard-compatible virtual reality headsets in the world, and at super low prices, I was curious if the same was true for 360-degree cameras, as well. So far, the answer seems toRead More →

AltspaceVR, a pioneering social virtual reality platform, announced today that it will be now offering virtual reality replays of live events. The full virtual reality environment is recorded, as well as the performances, so that future visitors will be able to experience the event as if they were there. “YouRead More →

Update: My daughter used the camera a couple of times, and then it stopped working. When she turns it on, the display window just says “Error” and it does not connect to WiFi or to its smartphone apps, and no combination of restarting or button pressing seems to make the messageRead More →

There’s a battle raging now for who will be the dominant platform of the coming virtual reality metaverse. Facebook, which has been getting a big chunk of the media attention with the Oculus Rift Kickstarter and its $2 billion acquisition, has suffered a few blows lately, even as rival GoogleRead More →

Nearly 800 responses came in for this year’s Seventh Annual OpenSim Grid Survey, and after 31 were deleted as invalid, DigiWorldz came out with the most responses, while AllCity received the highest scores, followed by FrancoGrid, Virtual Highway, DigiWorldz and Lost Paradise. People rated 51 different grids, of which 19 made it pastRead More →

The public OpenSim grids added more than 4,000 new regions this month, registered more than 4,400 new users, and grew by 735 new active users after maintenance and other outages depressed the numbers last month. ZetaWorlds, an open grid that allows resident to connect regions that they host on their own computers, forRead More →

Three things that you might not think go together — riding a Harley through the main drag at this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, virtual reality, and the American Association of Retired Persons. But here’s the latest sign that virtual reality is rapidly becoming a new medium for all demographics and interest groups. WatchRead More →

It was a busy week for virtual reality announcements this week. Following on Google’s Pixel and Daydream presentation earlier in the week, Oculus showed off new hardware and software at their annual Oculus Connect conference in San Jose. The company showed off new controllers, Watch the official Oculus Connect presentationsRead More →

Fox gave away 25,000 virtual reality viewers to fans of The Simpsons to celebrate the show’s 600th episode this week. They went quick. They were Google Cardboard viewers, made of cardboard, and made by Knox Labs, one of the best-known of the companies making Google Cardboards. Fox Broadcasting Company andRead More →

DigiWorldz and the Great Canadian Grid are back up after a nerve-wracking week when Hurricane Matthew threatened to cut off power to the grids’ Florida data center. “DigiWorldz is back online and no damage at all,” DigiWorldz founder Terry Ford, also known as Butch Arnold in-world, told Hypergrid Business. DigiWorldz alsoRead More →

DigiWorldz and the Great Canadian Grid have gone off-line as Hurricane Matthew took down power lines in the area, set transformers on fire, caused power surges, and inflicted other damage. That caused unstable power situations for some of the power circuits feeding the data center where those two grids are hosted,Read More →

Customers will purchase more than 450,000 Google Daydream View headsets by the end of the year, according to SuperData Research. Samsung’s Gear VR, Daydream’s closest competitor, is estimated to sell around 2.3 million units. However, the headset has been on the market for over a year. Daydream View will hitRead More →

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 SketchfabRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →