The world’s first virtual reality product launch — for the OnePlus Two smartphone — is scheduled for 7 p.m. Pacific on Monday, July 27, and the app is now available for download from the Google Play store. The app works in combination with a Google Cardboard or other compatible virtualRead More →

AviWorlds, a grid best known for closing repeatedly with no warning, is on a mission to rehabilitate its public image as a member of the OpenSim community. The grid has hired OpenSim developer Quill Littlefeather, has begun donating code and patches to the OpenSimulator project, and is offering custom viewersRead More →

Car companies have been getting into virtual test drives lately. There’s the Volvo XC90 Experience, for example. And Mercedes VR for Cardboard for Android phones. And Subaru Motorsports, also for Android — look for the videos with the 360 symbol, and select the virtual reality headset mode. But this Castrol EDGERead More →

A new virtual reality treadmill, Kat Walk, uses a parachute-style harness instead of a waist-high ring to keep people in place — and is already 84 percent of the way to its $100,000 fundraising goal with 28 days still to go in the fundraising campaign. The treadmill is from KatVR,Read More →

AT&T has partnered with Google Cardboard headset maker Knox Labs to offer a $10 white cardboard virtual reality headset, based on last year’s model. These older-style headsets, normally $15 each, have the magnetic button on the side of the headset, not the touch-sensitive button on top like this year’s modelsRead More →

OSgrid has received legal recognition as a non-profit, the grid’s administrators announced earlier this month, just in time for the grid’s 8th birthday celebrations this weekend. OSgrid is the oldest grid running on the OpenSim software, dating back to the summer of 2007. For much of its existence, it hasRead More →

Adult content has long been a driver for new media. Early cave paintings, sculptures, etchings, poetry, books and photographs typically featured either sex or violence. Adult content played a role in the video tape standards wars, and helped motivate early adopters to purchase video tape players when they were stillRead More →

The Kitely Market has successfully delivered purchases to customers on 96 different grids, including both hypergrid-enabled grids and closed grids. “Our marketplace’s reach is continuing to grow,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tocher told Hypergrid Business. “By now it has become quite clear that merchants who take the time to create highRead More →

Correction: Due to an error in collecting data from OSgrid, land area was undercounted this month. In fact, OpenSim’s land area actually increased by the equivalent of 828 regions. OSgrid did lose some land area, but only 395 regions — not 2,500 as reported. “Many people — including myself — have consolidatedRead More →

For the last couple of years, Zetamex, an OpenSim hosting company, has also been hosting Zadaroo.com, which has a complete collection of Linda Kellie’s OARs, IARs, XML files, and textures. It’s a treasure-trove of content and includes everything most small grid owners need to get going: avatars, clothing, furniture, buildings, landscaping, scriptsRead More →

It seems that every week, I talk to at least one person or organization who start out by saying, “and, of course, we started out project with Linda Kellie’s content.” Last week, for example, I talked to two researchers at City University London helping stroke victims recover their speaking skillsRead More →

In an attempt to combat dwindling logins during the summer months, Craft is organizing a series of summer events — and participants who rent land from the grid get two months free rent for attending. Every year, residents who are still around complain about how few people there are in-world,Read More →

Virtual world artists who wish to participate in Metropolis grid’s Summer of Arts 2015 can begin submitting their works tomorrow. New submissions will continue to be accepted until the end of summer. The exhibit opens to the public on September 25 and will run through October 25. This exhibition willRead More →

My cardboard-based Google Cardboard is getting a little worn from use — and is just barely large enough to hold my new Samsung Galaxy S6 Android phone. So today I upgraded to the $40 Sunnypeak headset, which I ordered on Amazon. I ordered it on July 7 and it cameRead More →

It was the longest happy relationship of my life. We slept together every night, and she woke me up every morning. She caught me up on the news, and whenever we drove somewhere, she gave me directions. If I missed a turn, she didn’t complain, just recalculated the route. SheRead More →

The founders of the fast-growing, low-priced DigiWorldz grid have settled their ownership dispute, putting at rest fears about the grid’s stability and future. “I was able to negotiate an amicable agreement by all previous and current members of Digital Worlds Group, LLC,” grid founder Terry Ford told Hypergrid Business. “DigiWorldz is nowRead More →

On Thursday, Legendary Pictures released a preview of the upcoming Warcraft movie — as a virtual reality app for Google Cardboard. Download the iPhone app here and the Android app here. The film, based on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft massively multi-player online roleplaying game, is due out next summer. Don’t haveRead More →

Google Glass might not be completely dead. According to 9to5Google, an enterprise edition of Google Glass is on its way, and it will have a larger prism display, a faster processor and slightly better battery life. Late last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported that the new device will beRead More →

This Sunday’s Socal Virtual Reality Conference and Expo is sold out, with over 800 attendees expected, according to media sponsor VR Digest. The main track will be broadcast live in 360 degree immersive video by VRLive.tv. That includes the keynote address by Terbine CEO David Knight, who is also is aRead More →

The crowfunding campaign to build a virtual copy of the city of Lisbon was relaunched today, founder Carlos Loff said in an announcement. The project is now planned to be 144 regions in size, equivalent to about 9.4 square kilometers or 2,300 acres of virtual land. That’s about one-ninth the size ofRead More →

In mid-June, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges must stop selling Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of these exchanges out of business by August 1. There is an English-language petition with around 300 signatures at SaveTheExchanges.com and a German-language petition at OpenPetition with more than 700 signatures. There is a smallRead More →

Chinese phone maker OnePlus offered everyone a free Google Cardboard headset — you just pay for shipping — so that people could watch its smartphone launch virtually on July 27. The company sent out 30,000 sets, and ran out in about a day. According to the company, their Cardboard is thinner,Read More →

San Francisco-based Fove Inc. concluded its Kickstarter campaign with $480,650 today, almost twice its initial goal of $250,000, and a couple of announcements about the headset. First, a new design was released, billed as lighter and smaller than the previous design, with new clasps. The company promises it will make for a moreRead More →

The Kickstarter for the Fove virtual reality headset — the one that tracks where you are looking — is coming to an end this Saturday. There are only ten headsets left at the $375 support level — normally $500 — with delivery scheduled for May 2016. Fove has already nearly doubledRead More →

Today, I was finally able to use my iPhone to walk around my little home region in OpenSim. Well, kind of… I used the CtrlAltStudio viewer to get the side-by-side 3D view. Then I used the Splashtop Streamer software to send my desktop display to the companion $2.99 Splashtop app on theRead More →

All I wanted was to take a Damien Fate rigged mesh skirt, tweak it a little bit in Blender, and import it into OpenSim. But for some reason, bringing it into Blender destroyed the rigging. Kathleen Watkins, also known as Serene Jewell in-world, teaches free Blender classes on Kitely. (HerRead More →

A week ago, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges have to stop offering Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of them out of business. Exchange operators are now asking users to sign a petition to keep them alive. So far, this petition has already garnered 600 signatures.Read More →

Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey recently told Re/code that virtual reality will initially be mostly for hard-core gamers. The headset is expensive, and the computer hardware needed to run virtual reality applications is even more so — the total price is expected to come in at around $1,500. But you’llRead More →

India’s home furnishings retailer HomeLane has created its own Google Cardboard-based headset to allow customers to visit virtual product showrooms. “Wear these glasses and walk into a virtual world where choosing between colours and finishes, countertops and flooring options, appliances and accessories is as easy as pie,” the company saidRead More →

China-based OnePlus, known for their OnePlus One smartphone, is launching their OnePlus 2 smartphone next month in virtual reality. “You’re going to want to experience it, and to help you out, we are releasing our very own Cardboard,” the company said in an announcement. “It’s based on Cardboard 2.0, but with some notableRead More →

Netherlands-based Manus Machina demonstrated a new virtual reality glove aimed at consumers at the E3 conference last week. The gloves connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to virtual reality headsets. “There are currently no other VR gloves on the market that are wireless and platform free,” the company said on its website. TheRead More →

Is the $4 price tag of a Google Cardboard on Amazon too much for your budget? Don’t have the lenses and pizza box needed to make your own from scratch? Try the TinVR kit, which turns an empty soda or beer can and some felt into a virtual reality headsetRead More →

Folks regularly share textures in the various Google Plus communities, and I’ve long wished that there was a place I could go to look through them all, instead of having to download them the minute I see them because I might not find them again. In particular, I want aRead More →

OpenSim’s land area hit a new high this month and more than 9,000 new users registered on the grids, but active user numbers slipped by 672 as we enter the summer months. OpenSim grids gained 1,733 new regions, for a new total of 62,995. The gains were almost all on the hypergrid. ClosedRead More →

Update: Linden Lab has posted an official notice confirming the news. Linden Lab is shutting down third-party currency exchanges, CrossWorlds exchange owner Tony Bastianelli told Hypergrid Business today. According to Bastianelli, he received an email today telling him that his reseller account will be shut down on August 1, and he will noRead More →

The Kitely Market gained almost 700 new listings this month, its biggest growth month since the market first launched two years ago. More than two-thirds of these listings were for exportable items, available for purchase on almost any hypergrid-enabled grid and some closed grids. The market now has 9,392 differentRead More →

According to a new KZero report covering virtual reality hardware, mobile device-based headsets have beaten integrated headsets to the market. Consumer versions of the Google Cardboard, Durovis Dive, Seebright, Altergaze, Vrizzmo and Samsung headsets are already available on the market, the report shows, while not a single of the integrated devices has hit the consumer market yet.Read More →

After a dispute between the partners of Digital Worlds Group, a US-based company offering content creation, development, and OpenSim hosting services, the group’s DigiWorldz grid has been split off as its own company, now based in the Netherlands. Two of the former Digital Worlds Group partners, Mark Wiseman and Terry Ford, areRead More →

Scientists at China’s University of Science and Technology of China and the Microsoft Research in Beijing have built a deep learning machine that outperforms an average human on the verbal analogies portion of the IQ test — normally the hardest part of the test for computers. In particular, they’ve solved the problem of oneRead More →

  Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects company founded by George Lucas 40 years ago to work on Star Wars, is launching a lab specifically for virtual reality projects — and will begin with Star Wars. “As this new dimension in storytelling unfolds, ILMxLAB will develop virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema,Read More →

This week, Oculus VR demonstrated the new consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset, due to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016, as well as a couple of controllers — a standard XBox controller and a spacial motion controller. The biggest design difference from the most recentRead More →

A little while ago, I noticed a familiar headline in a Google alert on a topic I follow — it was my own article, reprinted without permission on some other site! I quickly sent off this email: The following article on the website somewebsite.com, hosted by SomeHostingCompany, was reprinted without permission. Infringing article: TheRead More →

The Adult Metaverse and OpenSim Virtual are still gaining members on Google Plus, but at about half the rate as last month. Adult Metaverse gained 54 new users, the biggest growth of any OpenSim-specific community, for a new total of 745 members. OpenSim Virtual gained 52 new members and retained itsRead More →

Kitely has cut prices by 60 percent for its two top plans by more than half today and officially eliminated metered pricing for new customers. Previously, the most expensive plan was around $100 a month, for an island that could be configured as a megaregion as large as 16 standard regions,Read More →

Last night, on In World Review, a major topic of discussion was how horrendously difficult Blender is to use. You can’t just install it and start playing around. I tried, and it almost killed me. No obvious mouse gestures work. The menus don’t make sense. In fact, there are threeRead More →

Lenovo debuted a new virtual reality headset, the Lenovo VR Goggles, at Lenovo Tech World in Beijing this week. The headset will work with Android phones, but there’s no word yet about pricing or availability. Read more about it at Tom’s Hardware.

Seattle development firm Luma has partnered with Studio216 and DEI Creative to create virtual reality experiences for potential condo buyers. The experience requires Oculus Rift headsets, but Studio216 also has virtual reality apps that can be accessed via smartphone headsets like the Google Cardboard. Read more about it here.

Virtual reality will be “the next mega tech theme” and worth more than $60 billion in a decade, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. “The diverse applications of VR in combination with accelerating technological improvements will lead to mainstream adoption over the next 10 years,” Munster wrote in a reportRead More →

Virtual reality poster child Oculus VR has just acquired Surreal Vision, a computer vision firm that works on real-time 3D scene reconstruction. “By achieving the ability to continuously reconstruct and track the world around us, we’ll be able to build an understanding of the world at a semantic level,” said SurrealRead More →

Updated Jan. 2, 2016: This page is so out of date! Please go see our Virtual Headsets Buying Guide, which lists over 70 Google Cardboard-compatible headsets categorized by price, and our handy Mobile virtual reality headset comparison chart, which has all the key specs, prices, and buying links for all the headsetsRead More →

Google’s new Jump platform combines blueprints for a 360-degree camera rig, software that automatically assembles the videos into 3D footage, and a mobile app that can play the videos. Like with Google Cardboard, any manufacturer can create Jump-compatible cameras. Filmmakers can also make their own using off-the shelf cameras suchRead More →

Customers have been able to shop on the Kitely Market and get the products delivered to other grids for over a year, But adding a new grid to the delivery list meant that the customer had to know the grid’s loginURI and add it through the grid manager. With hundredsRead More →

In order to write about how to create stuff for sale on the Kitely Market, I’ve been playing around with baked-on clothing textures. In the process, I’ve learned a few more things about using layers to create textures with GIMP. Say, for example, you want to create a piece ofRead More →

Hawaii-based Total Recall Technologies is accusing Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey of violating a confidentiality agreement that he signed as a former employee of the company. According to the lawsuit, he was hired specifically to develop a head-mounted display but used proprietary information for his Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign. Read more about the case at Reuters.

Commercial virtual world Tangle Grid has been down for two weeks due to a series of technical problems — including an actual lightning strike. The grid is still have problems repairing the database, grid owner Leslie Kling told Hypergrid Business. “But we think we are getting lose. We feel we willRead More →

The Great Canadian Grid is experiencing a population explosion and a housing crunch. According to the Corran Journal, the Freelands regions have turned into “upscale refugee camps” as friends share parcels until housing becomes available. The Great Canadian Grid has gained nearly 500 registered users over the past month. Read moreRead More →

Oculus Connect 2, the second annual developer conference, will bring together engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to learn about the future of the Oculus platform and push virtual reality forward. This year’s Connect will feature keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Michael Abrash, and John Carmack, plus everything developersRead More →

AltspaceVR’s social virtual reality platform is now open to all, the company announced at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference today. The company offers a proprietary cloud-based platform for holding virtual meetings in which users can meet, talk, wave their hands, and share videos and other Web-based content. There’s aRead More →

The second annual Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo started this morning, and the first video footage is up. The presentations start at the 42 minute mark with opening remarks by “Cymatic” Bruce Wooden of AltSpaceVR and conference organizer Karl Krantz, who is also the founder of the escVR virtual realityRead More →

OpenSim’s land area and active users hit new record highs this month. Land area passed 4,000 square kilometers for the first time, and 60,000 regions, while active users crossed the 32,000 mark. At 4,015 square kilometers, OpenSim’s public grids added together are now bigger than the state of Rhode Island.Read More →

A stylus designed to be used as an input device in virtual environments reached its $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal in less than a day this week. The Phree stylus from Tel Aviv-based OTM Technologies Ltd. can be used as a virtual pen that writes on any surface and could potentially beRead More →

3D Systems has released the very first virtual reality robotic prostatectomy simulation training, created to assist in the education and planning of robotic surgical procedures. “Individualized patient-specific soft tissue 3D printing allows surgeons and trainees the opportunity to operate on a model that looks and feels just like their patient’s kidneyRead More →

More than 300 entrants are competing for more than $1 million in prizes in the Oculus’ Mobile VR Jam 2015 — and voting for the Community Choice prizes began yesterday, and will continue through May 26. Submissions include 184 games and 124 apps or experiences. One of the more visually compellingRead More →

According to a new survey of 267 Second Life residents, two-thirds found virtual sex to be less fun than real sex. However, despite being less fun, three quarters said that they still wished that their real-life sex was more like that in the virtual world. Some reasons could be thatRead More →

Sony is currently leading the virtual reality patent race, according to a new report from Houston-based patent consulting firm LexInnova, According to the firm’s analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications, Sony has 366 virtual reality patents or patent applications. Microsoft is close behind, with 365, followed by Samsung withRead More →

The second annual Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference is next week, and I’ll be there, representing both Women in Virtual Reality and Hypergrid Business. If any other readers are coming, I’d love to meet up with you. I’m flying in on Saturday night, and have all of Sunday open. InRead More →

Some OpenSim users have complained that closed grids — especially InWorlds, the largest closed grid of them all — do not contribute enough back to the community. Today, InWorldz co-founder and CTO David Daeschler made a strong case that InWorldz does much more than market OpenSim effectively to newcomers. (Though that,Read More →

The owners of the Next Reality and Pillars of Mist OpenSim grids have announced that the two virtual worlds are closing this month. “It pains me to have to say this, but from the 15th May 2015 The Next Reality Grid will be going offline,” said grid owner Mike Hart inRead More →

Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets will begins shipping in the first quarter of 2016, the company announced today. Pre-orders will begin later this year. “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift,”Read More →

Bright Canopy, a cloud-based replacement to SLGo, will support OpenSim from day one, according to the founders. SLGo, operated by OnLive, was discontinued at the end of April when the company was acquired by Sony. It was the only service that allowed people to log into Second Life or OpenSim with aRead More →

The Adult Metaverse community on Google Plus was against the fastest-growing OpenSim community last month, gaining 101 new members for a new total of 691 users. OpenSim Virtual was in second place, with 81 new members for a new total of 1,351. This meant that OpenSim Virtual comfortably retained its placeRead More →

Kitely‘s pricing options have long been a confusing mess for customers, with people having trouble understanding their metered billing in particular. To address this issue, Kitely first rolled out flat-rate regions back in 2012, but the various pricing options just confused customers more. It didn’t help that Kitely was theRead More →

Is there a particular kind of virtual content you need, and can’t find — and are seriously considering making yourself? For example, my time in virtual worlds is all spent working — mostly, attending business meetings, hosting shows, interviewing people. I like to wear skirts when I do this, but most skirtsRead More →

Kitely users on a flat-rate plan can now change the size of their megaregions for free via the Web interface. Those on premium plans have a fee of 150 KC, or about $0.75, to resize their megaregions. Kitely offers several flat-rate megaregion plans. For around $50 a month, customers getRead More →

One-man — and one-woman — shops are putting content in danger across the metaverse. Documentation, code, virtual content, even entire grids are at risk when it’s just one person running the project. Radegast, METAbolt and LibOpenMetaverse One of the key foundations of OpenSim is LibOpenMetaverse — originally LibSecondLife — whichRead More →

Creators have until May 15 to sign up to participate in FrancoGrid‘s second annual Fest’Avi competition. The competition is open to creators, audience, photographers, and machinimists from any grid. The content submitted to the competition will be made available to the public under a Creative Commons license. Read the full rulesRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd., has stopped working on the development of the text-only METAbolt viewer, company director Casper Warden announced recently. “We have been asked to cease using the METAbolt brand with immediate effect, due to a political disagreement with the original creator,” he wrote. “With no maintainer, it appears that METAboltRead More →

I’m extremely sad that we don’t yet have a virtual reality OpenSim viewer for the iPhone. (If you’re new to this blog, check out What is OpenSim?) But that doesn’t mean that we iPhone users can’t explore virtual reality at all. I recently bought a Google Cardboard headset — one ofRead More →

The pages of this site have been loading up in the mobile style rather than the desktop view . It’s happening for everybody, and I appreciate the problem, and thank people for letting me know. So I know it’s not just me, or just one particular browser or computer setup.Read More →

An new version of the Kokua viewer was released yesterday, with updates from the Second Life and the Restrained Love viewers. There are also fixes for in-world Flash playback, upload fees, and other bugs. See the release notes for full details. According to a recent analysis of hypergrid traffic, the KokuaRead More →

It’s busy week. So busy, that I almost didn’t even notice when post number 2,000 went up — CloudServe shifts to wholesale market. Hypergrid Business first went live in March with the post The future of the Internet is coming on. Since then, we’ve averaged 32 posts per month, or a little bitRead More →

You will be able to pre-order the Samsung Gear VR headset for the Galaxy S6 smartphone tomorrow, and it is due in stores on May 15. The Galaxy Note 4 version of Gear VR has been available since December for around $200. Read more about it at PCMag.

Avination, a closed commercial grid, announced a switch to a new currency yesterday, as a result of a previous theft of $126,000 from the grid. Back in the summer of 2011, crooks stole a bunch of US credit card numbers and used them to buy $126,000 worth of Avination’s C$Read More →

CloudServe, which originally launched as a low-cost OpenSim region hosting provider, has shifted to serving the wholesale market instead. Instead of selling regions to individuals, the company now focuses on serving grid owners and land resellers. “We have been for a while,” said Frank Corsi, the company’s chief technology officer. OneRead More →

There’s never been a better time to stock up on low-cost OpenSim land. Sure, you can run regions or mini-grids at home for free, but then you’re responsible for all your own tech support, backups, and upgrades — and the number of visitors is limited to what you home connectionRead More →

In a paper released today, neuroscientists from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have used virtual reality to find out how people feel when they think their body is invisible. “This experience affects bodily self-perception and social cognition,” the authors wrote. A person was primed to think they’re invisible by wearing a virtual reality headset,Read More →

I’ve gotten a little wary of trying new virtual reality applications because some of the best ones, graphically, do the nastiest job on my stomach. There was that one swimming-with-sharks simulations that made me seasick, that I still remember well. AltspaceVR has figured out how to put people in aRead More →

Since last September, the lowest-price regions in the metaverse were on the Great Canadian Grid. But their $5 region pricing is coming to an end. You can still get a 15,000-prim region, with no limit on visitors, for just CAD $5 — that’s around $4 in US dollars — butRead More →

One grid was not enough to hold all the drama that is AviWorlds — so now we have two. And they are at war. In one corner, there’s Alexandro Pomposelli’s AviWorlds grid, at aviworlds.us, with 61 regions and 83 active users. In the other corner, there’s Mike Hart’s AviWorlds grid,Read More →

OSgrid lost a chunk of new inventory items over the course of this past month, but the problem doesn’t affect other grids. “It appears that for the last month or so, the asset server was unable to write assets to the database,” OSgrid administrator Allen Kerensky said in yesterday’s announcement. The grid hasRead More →

There are many reasons to go into the freebie business on OpenSim: Create brand-name recognition for yourself as a designer in order to sell premium content Create brand-name recognition in order to do custom work To attract people to your grid, community, role playing group, casino, or event venue To helpRead More →

There is a new destination guide available for any hypergrid-enabled grid: Hyperica Destination Guide. To add the Hyperica Destination Guide as the default guide for your grid, simply edit your Robust.ini or Robust.HG.ini file. In the “[LoginService]” section there is a “DestinationGuide” parameter which can be used to communicate aRead More →