Mozilla, which helped pioneer WebVR last year, is making virtual reality development even easier with this month’s release of A-Frame, a tool that allows developers to create experiences for the desktop, the Oculus Rift, and smartphones with Google Cardboard headsets, Mozilla said in its announcement last week. “WebVR has shippedRead More →

My Samsung Gear VR arrived in the mail, and I’m super stoked. Now I get a chance to try all the cool virtual reality apps that aren’t available for Google Cardboard. And they are AWESOME. Okay, not as awesome as the HTC Vive was awesome — that was Star TrekRead 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 →

I got my Powis virtual reality headset in the mail this weekend. Although the main body is made out of cardboard, it’s a couple of steps up from a standard Google Cardboard headset. The cardboard itself is sturdier, there’s a comfortable rubber edge where the headset meets your face, and eachRead 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 →

I just received the Dscvr virtual reality headset in the mail, from manufacturer I Am Cardboard. At $30, this headset is a reasonable-priced upgrade by I Am Cardboard standards, which sells a plain cardboard headset for $20. But compared to the other headsets on the market, the Dscvr is tooRead 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 →

Frame, a company that can run any software in a cloud-based browser window — for a fee — is taking over Texas-based Bright Canopy, which offers browser-based access for Second Life and OpenSim viewers. Bright Canopy founder Bill Glover has told Hypergrid Business that he has accepted a position fromRead 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 →

Select Verizon wireless retail stores will give away a limited number of Google Cardboard viewers to Verizon customers, the company announced today. The giveaway starts tomorrow, December 2, with four different designs featuring BB-8, R2-D2, Kylo Ren, and the new First Order Stormtrooper. There are also companion apps for iOSRead 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 →

Realiteer, a virtual reality company with a unique control mechanism, has released its first educational game, Wizard Academy for iOS and Android devices. I’m mentioning it here because it has a couple of game play mechanics I haven’t seen before, that could be useful for other developers. Walk-in place locomotionRead 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 →

Virtual Life is now home to a couple of new skill-based games that offer visitors a chance to win real money, grid founder and CEO Keith Sparkman told Hypergrid Business. Froggy Leisure, a gaming company known for its presence in Second Life, and also active on the Avination and YrGrid,Read More →

It’s back to the past for AviWorlds this week, as the grid has moved to turn off hypergrid connectivity and start charging for uploads. By our count, this is the fifth time the grid has turned off hypergrid connectivity after turning it on. The previous time was last winter, notRead More →

Update: In August 2016, 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. As some of you know, I’m a big fan of open-sided headsets, likeRead 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 →

On this day in 2008, Crista Lopes, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, sent an email to the OpenSim developers mailing list. “I started working on an extension to OpenSim that makes it work in peer-to-peer mode… I’m really excited to say that this is working!” sheRead 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 →

HTC will be holding demos of its Vive headset tonight and tomorrow in fifteen cities across the United States as a promotion for the new Paranormal Activity movie. I have tried the Vive headset, and it was significantly farther along than any other virtual reality headset I’ve tried. If youRead 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 →

Like a lot of people, I do a fair bit of shopping online. Amazon, eBay, Staples, Best Buy — I know them well, plus dozens of other online retailers as well. Until this fall, however, I’ve never considered shopping at AliExpress. I’d never heard of the site before, and ifRead 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 →

It’s been another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new heights reached in land area, registered users, and active users. OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz were the biggest gainers in land area, with 678, 340 and 255 regions added, respectively. There are now the equivalent of 68,941 standard regions on OpenSim’s 302Read 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 →

Tangle Grid‘s Halloween Expo opened for business today and will run through November 15. But the grid is still accepting exhibitors. “We are looking for creators that would like to show their creation in this theme or just drop a few items down to give people something to look at,”Read 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 →

This Christmas shopping season promises to be a good one for virtual reality, with a $30 View-Master virtual reality headset hitting the market just about now. This is brightly-colored headset from Mattel that is fully compatible with the Google Cardboard standard and can play any of the hundreds of theRead 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 →

If you don’t have your hands on a Google Cardboard headset yet, you might be able to get one from Air New Zealand if you hurry. The company is giving away 1,000 headsets so that people can try out its virtual reality app for Android devices and for iPhones. It’sRead 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 →

The Adult Metaverse community on Google Plus has just crossed the 1,000 member mark. With 135 new members since the start of August, it is the fastest-growing OpenSim-specific community on the platform. DigiWorldz was in second place by growth, with 89 new members bringing it to a total count ofRead 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 →

Yes, virtual reality technology will turn us all into drooling idiots and destroy civilization — but it won’t be the first. Here are ten other technologies that have already destroyed civilization. 10. The Internet The Internet is more addictive than cocaine. Back in 1995, fewer than 15 percent of Americans usedRead More →

I just got my Samsung Gear VR a couple of weeks ago and have been testing it out. It’s a nice headset, light, wide field of view, but I sent it back today for a refund. I will probably get the updated version once it comes out in November, since itRead More →

According to a report released earlier this month by Shanghai-based Interface News, China’s two leading online commerce platform,  Taobao and AliBaba, together sell more than 300,000 virtual reality headsets every month, with lower-cost headsets accounting for the bulk of the sales. The report does not include direct sales from theRead More →

InWorldz and Avination — two of OpenSim’s biggest and oldest commercial grids — have just made extremely large code donations to the OpenSim community. OpenSim server code is distributed under the BSD license. This means that people can make changes to it and keep those changes proprietary. At one point, for example,Read More →

Bright Canopy, the browser-based streaming access service for Second Life and OpenSim, is coming back on Wednesday after a three-week outage. The service launched at the end of August to great reviews but was hit by a sharp spike in the price of cloud computing services. It was offering users all-you-can-eatRead More →

Want to attend the TechCrunch Disrupt conference but can’t make it in person? Being there in virtual reality might be the next best thing. Today, YouVisit is livestreaming the conference via its free virtual reality app, available for iPhone, and Android platforms, as well as online through traditional 360-degree video thatRead More →

Tangle Grid’s 2015 Steam Expo has been drawing both local residents and hypergrid visitors, grid owner grid owner Leslie Kling told Hypergrid Business. And each event seems to draw more and more people, she added, as word gets out. The Steam Expo and the Fashion Expo are the most popular sheRead More →

I have tried on my share of headsets. The Oculus Rift development kits. The various Google Cardboards and the higher-end smartphone-based headsets. The Fove. Let me just say that even if I didn’t know that I was wearing a headset, I’d instantly know that I was looking at virtual reality,Read More →

Sony announced the new name for the Project Morpheus headset: PlayStation VR. “The name ‘PlayStation VR’ not only directly expresses an entirely new experience from PlayStation that allows players to feel as if they are physically inside the virtual world of a game, but it also reflects our hopes that weRead More →

AviWorlds now has a Facebook app that allows people to take pictures in-world and post them to Facebook. Many other grids have Facebook pages, but the only other commercial grids with Facebook apps are Island Oasis, which launched theirs late last year, and Kitely, which has had one since 2011. SecondRead More →

Virtual city recreation project Digital Lisbon, currently a part of the AviWorlds grid, has launched a crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo to set up its own, dedicated world. Founder Carlos Loff is looking to raise $2,000, which will cover half a year of hosting and provide money for events and content. LoffRead More →

OpenSim grids saw continued steady growth this month, with total region counts, user numbers, and monthly actives all reaching new record highs. There are now the equivalent of 65,122 standard regions on OpenSim’s 317 active public grids, a new record high. There are also 478,497 registered users and 31,567 active users, anRead More →

I’ve written before about what an amazing service AOL did in getting people to go online for the first time. They spent more than $300 million on all those disks. They were at checkout counters. They came in the mail. They were in cereal boxes. They were everywhere. As aRead More →

Pirate’s Atoll announced today that the grid is moving to DigiWorldz. The Atoll has been a small, hypergrid-enabled standalone minigrid hosted with Oliveira Virtual Lands. Grid owner John Simmons, also known as Strannik Zipper in-world, said that he decided to move the grid to be closer to DigiWorldz’ music scene, to take advantageRead More →

Mini USA, the company behind the iconic Mini Cooper, has just jumped on the free Google Cardboard bandwagon. They’re following in the footsteps of several other companies that have been giving away virtual reality headsets lately, including Volvo, cell phone manufacturers LG and OnePlus, the HomeLane furniture store, a pornRead More →

If you live in Los Angeles, keep an eye out for the VAN Beethoven customized truck. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra has created a new virtual reality experience for the Oculus Rift, the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and is making it available to the public. Check the schedule forRead More →

Next year’s Game Developers Conference, to be held in March in San Francisco, will be accompanied by a brand-new event, the Virtual Reality Developers Conference, and is accepting submissions now for its gaming track and its entertainment track. The submission deadline is October 2. Read more about it at Road to VR.Read More →

Press release: Marriott Hotels Introduces The First Ever In-Room Virtual Reality Travel Experience Bethesda, Md – Marriott Hotels today announced the launch of “VRoom Service” – a first-of-its-kind guest service that allows guests to order inspiring virtual reality experiences to their rooms. Created in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America, “VRoom Service” isRead More →

I didn’t get a chance to go the U.S. Open and put on an HTC Vive headset and play tennis against Maria Sharapova. But I’ve been following the news coverage, and can’t wait until something like this comes to a virtual reality arcade in my area — this doesn’t look likeRead More →

DigiWorldz has announced a referral and affiliate program for residents, bloggers, and anyone else who would like to bring new users to the grid and earn a commission on all future land payments. This is not a one-time payment, grid founder Terry Ford told Hypergrid Business. Whenever a new userRead More →

Las Vegas’ Neon Museum released a virtual reality app for the Oculus Rift last year and was ported to the iPhone and Android last spring for viewing with Google Cardboard-compatible headsets. Now the app is also available for Samsung’s Gear VR. Thanks to VRFocus for the heads-up. Watch a previewRead More →

Virtual reality is a fast-changing field, and is about to explode. Stay on top of the news by subscribing to the top blogs on the subject. The page authority numbers are from Open Site Explorer and are estimates of how the site does in search results — the higher the number,Read More →

According to Roy Taylor, corporate vice president of Alliances for AMD,  there will be 30 million virtual reality headsets in use in North America and Europe by 2018. He was citing figures that resulted from the inaugural meeting of the VR Council, an industry group with 70 members. Half ofRead More →

The Scienceverse Kickstarter, originally scheduled to begin today, has been postponed until September 10. The company plans to build an open source virtual reality platform that supports social interactions and third-party app development. It is built on top of Unreal Engine 4 and promises to be compatible with all majorRead More →

Kat Walk, a new type of omnidirectional treadmill, successfully raised nearly $150,000 in its Kickstarter, on an original goal of $100,000. This was enough to meet its $120,000 stretch goal, which was to put little wheels under the treadmill to make it easier to move the entire setup. The wheels tuck inRead More →

On Saturday night, Mal Burns joked that virtual reality headsets are now like the AOL disks — they’re everywhere. All we need now is to see them in cereal boxes. With prices of $5 or less for Google Cardboard sets — $1 or less if you buy them in bulk —Read More →

My Freefly VR headset came in the mail a couple of days ago — I ordered it from Amazon exactly a week earlier. Bottom line: this is a great headset, and I’m looking forward to comparing it with the Samsung Gear VR, which is being shipped to me as I writeRead More →

It’s a law of economics that, over time and with perfect competition, the price of a product tends to approach the marginal cost of the product — that is, how much it costs to make one more item. The marginal cost of a virtual good is just about as closeRead More →