DigiWorldz has donated unfinished code for the Mumble voice system to the OpenSim community, the grid announced this week. Mumble is an alternative to the proprietary Vivox voice system. Boston-based Vivox Inc. provides high-quality spacial voice to Second Life, the Elder Scrolls, Eve Online, Everquest and many other large multiplayerRead More →

Samsung, the maker of the Gear VR virtual-reality headset, is opening a New York studio to produce new immersive experiences, CNET reported. Samsung announced the news at the Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah, where virtual reality is emerging as a prominent theme. “One of the biggest trends and themes forRead More →

Customers will be able to try out Oculus Rift headsets before buying them at retail stores in April, reports Road to VR. There’s no word on which retail partners Oculus will be working with just yet, but in the U.S. one suspect is Best Buy, the country’s largest consumer electronicsRead More →

The world’s leading virtual reality treadmill, the Virtuix Omni, has begun shipping the devices to its Kickstarter backers last month, saw around $15 million worth of interest from individual investors through SeedInvest, and won at Top Pick Award from Tom’s Hardware at the CES show in Las Vegas (see video below). The companyRead More →

The total land area of the public OpenSim grids rose slightly this month, and there were nearly 10,000 new registered users, but active user numbers dropped slightly over the holidays. OpenSim now has a record-high of 71,557 standard region equivalents, a record high of 503,152 registered users, and 32,200 activeRead More →

OpenSim is taking off. Active users grew more than twice as fast in 2015 than in any other previous year. Based on Kitely Market stats, exportable, hypergrid content grew faster last year — five times faster — than non-exportables. And virtual reality is set to explode. With more than 16 millionRead More →

HTC will start taking pre-orders for Vive, its virtual reality headset, from February 29, its chief executive has confirmed. Cher Wang told the Telegraph the company had chosen to refocus on virtual reality and away from smartphones, saying the company was now “more realistic.” The price has not yet beenRead More →

If you can’t wait until February 7 to watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XII, you can get a virtual reality preview of it today. Watch the preview reel on Discovery VR or on Animal Planet’s YouTube page (below). You can also download the Discovery VR app for the iPhone and for Android smartphones.Read More →

So you want to play EVE: Valkyrie but don’t have the $1,500 for a new computer and Oculus Rift headset? Checkout these two cheap alternatives — both of which are available now. End Space VR on Google Cardboard Buy End Space VR for $0.99 for the iPhone or $1.09 for AndroidRead More →

A new Raytheon-built virtual reality app puts users on a New England hilltop, looking out onto the test range for the company’s new 360-degree Global Patriot Solutions radar. The app, available for both Android devices, and iOS devices, works with any Google Cardboard-compatible headset. Raytheon itself is giving away free Google Cardboard viewers, previously used the technologyRead More →

Oculus VR is now taking pre-orders for the Oculus Rift headset, but at $600 it’s about twice as expensive as many expected. The purchase page says the headset will start shipping in May to 20 different countries. By comparison, the developer kit cost about $350. The company says that the headsetRead More →

When it comes to investing in early-stage companies, you’re either “friends and family,” an angel investor accredited with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a venture capitalist. In the past, average people have been shut out of the process because such investments, while potentially extremely lucrative, are also extremely risky.Read More →

The Adult Metaverse community was the fastest-growing this year, reaching 1,255 members by the end of 2015, followed by OpenSim Virtual, which reached 1,649 members and retained its spot as the top OpenSim-focused community on Google Plus. Four grids made the top-fifteen list growth list: Kitely, OSgrid, DigiWorldz, and the GreatRead More →

Hypergrid Business saw a dramatic increase in pageviews in 2015, hitting 1.59 million — up almost three-fold from 565,553 in 2014. This was a record high for the publication. The number of unique readers has also risen to a new record, nearing half a million, up from less than aRead More →

OpenSim gained a record-high 10,013 active users in 2015 — more than double the increase of any previous previous year. By comparison, last year, OpenSim’s public grids gained 2,189 active users last year, 3,652 in 2013, 2,652 in 2012, and 2,671 in 2011. OpenSim also gained 80,702 registered users thisRead More →

Tokyo-based Colopl has announced the formation of a $50 million Colopl VR Fund to provide support for the virtual reality industry. The Colopl VR Fund is open to funding both Japanese and foreign companies in hardware and software, including headsets, games, video content, development tools, and distribution platforms. It also plans toRead More →

The White House has released a 360-degree virtual reality tour of its holiday decorations. On an Android smartphone, you can watch the tour in immersive virtual reality with a Google Cardboard set. On iPhones and standard desktop browsers, you can click-and-drag to look in different directions. It’s interesting because it’sRead More →

When investing in a new technology platform, whether that investment is in time or money, nobody wants to invest in a dead-end system. Businesses in particular that put all the eggs in the wrong basket aren’t just wasting their money. They’re also losing market opportunities to other companies which guessedRead More →

Just in time for the holidays, Exo-Life Virtual World has released a set of IAR inventory export files, to accompany its collection of ten free OAR region export files. The IAR files include three fully-functional in-world calendars featuring Exo–Life‘s staff and residents. There is also an IAR file of women’s dresses, andRead More →

The on-demand Kitely grid passed 10,000 regions this month for the first time, and the Great Canadian Grid hit the 1,000 region mark. They helped boost OpenSim to a new record high of 71,360 standard region equivalents, an increase of 326 regions since last month. Overall, OSgrid, Kitely, the Great Canadian GridRead More →

The Kitely Market saw the first downturn in its listing numbers this month, a result of some housekeeping on the part of management. “We were forced to remove the listings of several merchants who repeatedly failed to follow our product listing guidelines despite our detailed instructions on what needs toRead More →

I’ve been reading a lot of military science fiction lately and space operas. They’re two of my all-time favorite genres, and have been ever since I was a teenager. But in the decades since I’ve been in high school I’ve spent a lot of time writing about finance, economics andRead More →

Flickr has released a new app for the Gear VR that allows users to browse through the platform’s 360-degree photographs. “Over the years, Flickr users have uploaded tens of thousands of 360-degree photos and today we’re offering a new way to explore and view these images,” the company said inRead More →

The consumer release of HTC’s Vive headset is delayed until April 2016, HTC announced last week. “We will be starting the new year by making an additional 7,000 units available to developers, with pre-orders from the end of February followed by commercial availability in April 2016,” the company said. InRead More →

Google has released the Cardboard Camera app, free for Android smartphones. With Cardboard Camera, users are able to record 360-degree panoramas for viewing with Cardboard VR headsets. The way it works is that it prompts the user to slowly turn around in a circle — I spun around in my office chair.Read More →

The number of OpenSim-related communities on Google Plus is growing, in part due to simple subscription options, easy calendar updates, and Google allowing pseudonymous accounts. Altogether, there are 20 new communities on our list. The five biggest, that are specifically focused on OpenSim are OpenSim, OpenSim Everything, OpenSim Standalone, Collaborative Hypergrid, andRead More →

San Francisco-based Gameface Labs, the company behind the all-in-one Gameface virtual reality headset, will be part of the Valve ecosystem, CEO Ed Mason told Hypergrid Business. The headset will also support Google Cardboard applications, he said, and will have a virtual world browser that will be compatible with both SecondRead More →

Kitely, OpenSim’s largest commercial grid by land area, announced today that it will switch all multi-region islands to varregion mode. Currently, customers renting these larger islands on the Kitely grid can choose to have them arranged as a simple group of regions, or in Kitely’s version of the megaregion format, which doesRead More →

A new Paris-based grid, Utherworldz, is holding its grand opening today —  the second commercial gaming grid in a row to be hypergrid-enabled. In October, Neon Evolution held its grand opening with a fund raiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer, and a $7 special on region rentals. UnlikeRead More →

The 2015 OpenSim Community Conference starts this Saturday, leaving just three days to register. Registration is free here, but you can also choose to make a tax-deductible donation to support OpenSim development and get some extra benefits. For example, the “Exclusive Access” ticket, at $35, includes an invitation to a VIP Q&ARead More →

As the virtual- and augmented- reality wars heat up, Apple is making sure it stays competitive with occasional acquisitions such as AR pioneer Metaio and 3D sensor outfit PrimeSense. Now it’s adding another company to its quiver, Swiss-based Faceshift, whose motion capture tech allows animated avatars to double the facial movements ofRead More →

Crista Lopes has released a new update of the Diva Distro version of OpenSim, used by many individuals and small groups for private OpenSim deployments and hypergrid-enabled mini-grids, to accompany the recent general release of OpenSim 0.8.2.0. Lopes, also known as Diva Canto in-world, is one of the core developersRead More →

CtrlAltStudio viewer developer David Rowe said he plants to stop work on the viewer, which is the only OpenSim viewer that currently supports the Oculus Rift. Linden Lab has an experimental viewer for the Oculus Rift, but it does not currently work with OpenSim. “I developed CtrlAltStudio viewer as a stop-gapRead More →

OpenSim crossed the 70,000 region milestone this month, with a new land area total of 71,034 standard region equivalents. It also crossed the 34,000 active users mark for the first time. OSgrid, Metropolis and Kitely were the biggest gainers in land area, with 1,272, 305 and 297 regions added, respectively. There are nowRead More →

There are now 6,097 different products listed on the Kitely Market, in 11,847 product variations — 7,189 of which are exportable. Kitely groups items together, so that, say, a red version of a dress and a blue version of the same dress are listed as variations of the same product.Read More →

Greenlight VR and Touchstone Research released the results of their survey of over 2,000 respondents this past week about attitudes towards virtual reality. Here are some highlights. 1. Gen-Z Rules Despite a perception among some of our readers — or maybe just in my house — kids aren’t all that blase andRead More →

Second Life’s economy has a GDP of around $500 million, CEO Ebbe Altberg told The Next Web. According to Altberg, users cashed out a total in excess of $60 million last year. One user has sold around 300,000 virtual dresses at roughly $4 each. By comparison, in 2009, Second Life reported aRead More →

With virtual reality exploding, this is a great time for virtual world experts to repackage themselves as virtual reality consultants and start putting their hard-won expertise to work. Whether your focus is training and education, content creation, interaction design, scripting or development, you probably know more than most of theRead More →

Update: There are now apps you can use that make it easier to create a new Google Cardboard QR Code. One we tried out recently is Sites in VR. Read our review here. I recently ordered Baofeng Small Mojing virtual reality headset from AliExpress. They start at $12, with free shipping, andRead More →

YouTube has updated its Android app, the company announced yesterday, with better support for virtual reality. The app first added an option to watch videos in immersive 3D with the Google Cardboard-compatible headset back in June. The platform already had thousands of 360-degree videos, where people could use a mouse orRead More →

Just in time for the holiday season, four grids are lowering land prices or offering special holiday deals. 3rd Rock Grid A week ago, 3rd Rock Grid program director Zinnia Frenzy contacted Hypergrid Business to let us know that the prices listed in our vendor directory had changed. Instead of $50Read More →

HTC’s Vive virtual reality  headset has received the Best Accessory at Paris Games Week, and Sony’s Playstation VR received the Technical Innovation prize at the world’s second-largest video game trade fair, the organization announced. The Vive was featured at Paris Games Week with several playable virtual reality demonstrations, including a first-personRead More →

UK supermarket Asda has launched a virtual reality Halloween experience on its YouTube channel, and the video quickly became the second-most-watched video on the supermarket’s channel, with more than a million views in just a week. The 360-degree video can be watched on a traditional screen, where viewers can scroll theRead More →

Aside from some patents, Apple has been very quiet on the virtual reality front. While many iPhone users are enjoying virtual reality applications and immersive videos, they are using Google Cardboard-compatible headsets. Today, Apple has finally taken one small public step into virtual reality, with the release of an immersiveRead More →

According to Virtual Reality Brand Power Index released this morning by YouVisit, 75 percent of the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands have created some form of virtual or augmented reality experience for customers or employees, or are themselves innovating and developing these technologies. The tech sector is in the lead inRead More →

Many grids, especially those with unique or specialized content, struggle with content protection issues. Both closed and open grids have problems with copybotters, while hypergrid-enabled grids also have the additional risk to scripts. Grids with large quantities of unique or high-end content are particularly at risk. So, for example, SecondRead More →

Framingham, Mass.-based research firm International Data Corp. announced today that augmented and virtual reality is one of six key “innovation accelerators” the company will be devoting additional research focus to. “Innovation accelerators are the next wave of 3rd Platform technologies that are critical to digital transformation,” said Crawford Del Prete,Read More →

UK-based AuraVisor launched a Kickstarter campaign Wednesday to raise $153,000 for a new all-in-one virtual reality headset that requires neither a PC nor a smartphone, and already raised more than $100,000. The headset is expected to sell for around US$450, and includes an external game controller. Early backers were able to orderRead More →

Sunnyvale, California startup LucidCam promises to make virtual reality filming accessible to anyone with a $600 hand-sized camera that films in 180 degrees. And the company just launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo offering the camera to early supporters at a 50 percent discount. LucidCam hopes to raise $100,000 with itsRead More →

OSVR, the open source alternative to the Oculus Rift, is now available for pre-order from Razer for $300. “The current stock we have is being shipped to areas in the US and the EU,” the company announced on its forums yesterday. “Countries in Asia Pacific will follow soon.” According to MaximumRead More →

Indiana’s basketball season officially opens this Saturday, October 24, with the first game live-streamed in virtual reality. The Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology introduces virtual reality to their fans with their new Samsung Gear VR headsets. Fans will be able to experience Hoosier Hysteria as if they wereRead More →

The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has begun work on a browser-based viewer for OpenSim that uses WebGL, HTML 5 and Javascript technology. “The initial work was done using our MOSES Grid Manager that laid down the interfaces to the Open Simulator needed for this task,” said Douglas Maxwell, the scienceRead More →

The 2015 OpenSimulator Community Conference, scheduled for Saturday, December 5, has been extended into Sunday. “On the second day the OSCC grid will be open,” said Crista Lopes, hypergrid inventor and OpenSim core developer. “There are five breakout areas and the expos, so there’s plenty of room for everyone over aRead More →

AvaCon announced the third annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2015, to take place virtually on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on December 5, 2015. The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community surrounding the OpenSimulator software. Organized as a joint production by Core DevelopersRead More →

The casino-themed YrGrid, also known for its Bitcoin-based currency, announced today that it has opened its doors to the wider metaverse by granting hypergrid access to around forty other virtual worlds. Those grids include 3rd Rock Grid, AviWorlds, DigiWorldz, Dorena’s World, Dreamscape, Great Canadian Grid, Japan Open Grid, Kitely, Littlefield, Lost Paradise,Read More →

Moscow-based Fibrum Ltd., known for its excellent virtual reality apps, has put Russia in the lead in the virtual reality hardware race — temporarily, at least — by getting its headset into retail chains this summer According to company spokesman Alexey Svirskiy, the company was founded just a year and aRead More →

San Antonio, Texas-based Merge VR has announced that it’s purple virtual reality goggles, made out of soft foam, will be available at 320 UK retail outlets in time for the holidays. The Google Cardboard-compatible goggles will be available in the U.K. for £49.99 exclusively from GAME, the country’s leading games retailer.Read More →

The Google Cardboard virtual reality application has been installed 15 million times, Google said in an announcement yesterday. The app, typically one of the first installed when a customer buys a smartphone-based virtual reality headset, is available for download from the Google Play store for Android phones and from Apple’s AppRead More →

SlotsMillion, an online casino company, has released a virtual reality app for the Oculus Rift and announced that it is giving away ten Oculus Rift headsets to players. For every 100 Euro bet, players get one additional chance to win a new headset. There are currently 40 casino games available inRead More →

The Las Vegas-themed Neon Grid is having a grand-opening party tonight at 8 p.m. Pacific at the Landing Strip Club on its Welcome Center region. The grid is among the few — possibly, the only– commercial grid that uses PayPal for games and shopping via the PayPal money module. During theRead More →

The OpenSim community has come together for a user-focused event next month, AvatarFest 2015. The event will run from November 13 through 16, with the exhibit and performance submission deadline on November 7. See the AvatarFest calendar for more details. Community members were inspired to hold the event by the factRead More →

There’s been a recent trend with real estate companies to create virtual walk-throughs of properties for prospective customers. But one company, eXp Realty, has taken this a step further and actually has its offices in a virtual environment. “We don’t have any physical bricks-and-mortar office of any significance, other than toRead More →

Trying to find new virtual reality apps? Check out WearVR, which catalogs nearly 1,000 virtual reality applications for all major platforms. Apps can be sorted by newest, highest rated and most popular, and can also be filtered by device, platform, and genre. The site also has a section of virtualRead More →

Virtual reality cameras cost hundreds — or thousands — of dollars. But Shot, a startup based in Spain, hopes to bring the price down to under $100 with a new Kickstarter campaign by combining fisheye lenses and some clever software. The way it works is that you clip the lenses toRead More →

With around 2 million Google Cardboard devices already in user hands, and Taobao and AliBaba alone selling 300,000 additional units a month, mobile-based virtual reality is going gangbusters. The iOS app store and Google Play have hundreds of virtual reality apps. Microsoft’s app store has less than two dozen. So,Read More →