Author: Maria Korolov

3

AltspaceVR zeros in on social virtual reality

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 —...

33

Alife stats questioned

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....

42

Drama, outages plague OpenSim grids

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...

0

VR Strategy Conference to focus on monetization

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...

3

OpenSim conference calls for proposals

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...

2

Summer’s top virtual communities

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...

2

Vox+ Z3 a nice upgrade from the BoboVR

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!...

22

DreamWorld OpenSim installer released

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...

0

Sony to launch multi-platform VR media service

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...

47

Kitely battles slow-loading meshes

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...

11

Atek Grid has new owners, hiring staff

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...

122

Genesis Grid launches own hosting company

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....

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Alibaba working on VR payments

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...

96

Avi-Labs hacked, grids down

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...

2

Tek Gear offers free headset

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...

18

Grid outages bring stats down in July

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...

0

Kitely merchants continue exports switch

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...

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Virtuix announces major China distribution deal

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...

0

Insta360 Nano VR camera clips to phone

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...

1

Third hypergrid Treasure Hunt starts

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...

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High Fidelity Marketplace now live

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...

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Google opens Expeditions to all

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...

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Shark Week comes to VR

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....

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Samsung’s Milk VR rebrands, allows user content

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...

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VWBPE seeks science fair exhibitors

  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...

0

Oculus reverses course, drops DRM

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...

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NYT VR wins mobile Grand Prix prize at Cannes

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...

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Lucasfilm, Magic Leap partner on Star Wars project

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...

19

Virtoba X5 vs. BoboVR Z4

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....

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Narrowing FOV could reduce VR sickness

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...

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Review: Loop VR fails to impress

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...

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Summer slowdown on the hypergrid

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...

2

Kitely Market now delivers to 138 grids

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...

0

New Star Trek game is in VR

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...

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Spielberg working on VR project

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...

2

Fruit Ninja is coming to VR

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...

12

Avi-Labs rents OSgrid regions, sells OARs

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...

28

Attacks against Great Canadian Grid continue

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...

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Marketing meets VR and gets creepy

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,...

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Baofeng’s new headset has Leap Motion

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...

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18 open-sided VR headsets

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...

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Nicole Kidman stars in VR airline ad

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...

0

Blockchain meets virtual reality

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...

1

AvayaLive Engage to close by end of year

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...

0

Visit Pluto in virtual reality

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...

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VR could take juries to crime scenes

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...

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Kitely add stats to login screen

Since it first launched in early 2011, Kitely has been the only major grid not to publish its stats, instead providing them by email to Hypergrid Business on request. That changed today, as the...

2

OnePlus gives away 30,000 VR headsets

China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus gave away 30,000 free OnePlus Loop VR headsets today, manufactured in partnership with AntVR. The Cardboard-compatible headset is reminiscent of the Gear VR in its design, and is a significant...

2

Brazil group launches grid, hosting firm

A Brazilian team has launched a new grid and OpenSim hosting company, offering local payment and support options. OpenSim Brasil offers hosting for full grids, starting at 230 Reals, or about US$64, with a...

0

Ticket vendor says VR brings in the dough

StubHub competitor Rukkus, which sells tickets to concerts and sports events, has released a virtual reality app that shows the view from any seat. The app, Seat360, is available for both iOS and Android, and...

0

Google takes strong early lead in VR

With this week’s Daydream announcement, Google is cementing its strong early lead in the virtual reality platform race. Although some virtual reality proponents don’t consider mobile-based headsets to be “real” virtual reality, this platform...

0

Adult industry doubles down on VR

Pornhub’s March launch of a channel dedicated to virtual reality content put a big stamp of approval on the technology, since it’s the most popular site for adult content on the Web. But there only had...

0

Rhapsody launches VR app

Music streaming service Rhapsody released a virtual reality application this week, Rhapsody VR, for Cardboard-compatible headsets. “We’re excited to unveil the latest project we’ve launched — Rhapsody VR, a virtual reality app that immerses...