This was another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new highs in regions, users, and active users on the 303 active worlds. For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills toRead More →

OSgrid has been able to restore the rest of the assets from the recovery disk, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced today. However, he did not provide an estimated date for when OSgrid will be coming back up. He did say that the grid was now working on setting up the networkingRead More →

Immersis, a project from the French VR company Catopsys, has hit its $100,000 Kickstarter goal for a virtual reality projection system. The technology adapts the image, in real-time, to the shape and size of the room you’re in. Watch the video below.Read More →

DX Exchange, one of the oldest exchanges trading Linden Dollars, has now entered the OpenSim payments space. The exchange is now providing the currency infrastructure for Sunlight Grid, with four other grids in beta testing. Currently, there are two main exchanges providing currency services to OpenSim grids. Virwox operates theRead More →

Mattel has updated its View-Master toy, this time, for the smartphone-owning virtual reality generation. The headset, which is scheduled to hit the market in the fall, is made in bright primary colors and works the same way as any other Google Cardboard-compatible headset — it breaks up the cellphone screenRead More →

In the past, several grid owners have discussed using Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, for in-world payments but, until now, no grid has done so — Bitcoins are typically too volatile to be used within a grid. To read more about coins and gambling legislation read on https://www.bestuscasinos.org/legal/new-york/ about what mightRead More →

Ireland’s Immersive VR Education Ltd., has launched a Kickstarter to raise funding for its Apollo 11 virtual educational experience for the Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter launched yesterday and is already more than €3,000 towards its €30,000 (US $34,000) goal. Watch the video about the project below. You can also watch an RTERead More →

Its not just cars, movies, and hotels using virtual reality for marketing. Outdoor-apparel brand Merrell showed off an Oculus Rift experience at the Sundance Film Festival last month and said it will do more virtual reality promotions. Watch the video below. Read the full story at AdAge.Read More →

Are you launching a new grid? I bet you’re looking for some combination of “virtual,” “paradise,” “life,” “world,” and “avatar” that haven’t been used yet. Stop! If you use a grid name that reminds people of other OpenSim grids then you will have triple the branding challenge you would have otherwise.Read More →

I Am Cardboard — known for their Google Cardboard virtual reality smartphone cases made out of cardboard or EVA foam — is moving up-scale. Its latest design, XG VR, has already raised $70,000 on Kickstarter, well past its $20,000 goal with 22 days left to go. It’s certainly one ofRead More →

DodoCase, one of the earliest and best known of the many companies that offer Google Cardboard kits, is now offering a design-your-own case for $30. According to the company, volume designs are available for quantities over 50. A plain pop-up viewer is $25, a little on the pricey side forRead More →

The initial batch of companies in what could be the first virtual reality accelerator have been announced. Among the projects selected by Rothenberg Ventures’ River are a system that creates 360-degree VR imagery, a headset that uses eye-tracking to build immersive experiences, and an embedded-in-VR journalism project. Each company got $100,000, office space and regular adviceRead More →

Running your own virtual world? Considering registering a dot-world domain name for it. For example, Sunshine.world is available for $28 from GoDaddy and $25 from NameCheap. The first grid to take advantage of this — ZetaWorlds — has already grabbed the domain Zeta.world, grid owner Timothy Rogers announced today. ICANNRead More →

OSgrid has been able to restore 25 percent of assets from the recovery disk, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced yesterday. He said that Melanie Thielker, an OpenSim core developer and owner of the Avination grid, has been helping with the recovery effort. “With Melanie’s cluster replication design, the assets are importingRead More →

The preview release of OpenSim 0.8.1 is out, with improvements to teleports, physics, varregions, scripting, and more. For large commercial grids, this is an opportunity to check out the new release on their beta grids, so that they are ready for the final release when it comes out — andRead More →

Zandramas — an invitation-only closed grid — will become ZanGrid tomorrow, where anyone is welcome to join. In addition, hypergrid visitors will be able to come in and get a preview of the grid on the hypergrid-enabled Club Zandramas region. According to manager and co-founder Suzan De Koning, the grid decidedRead More →

We seem to be hitting the inflection point on the old hockey-stick curve when it comes to the adoption of virtual reality technology. Consider these headlines, from just the past few days. First, the media-related news, since I’m in the media, and pay more attention to this than pretty muchRead More →

The Silicon Valley VR group has just announced dates and venue for their second annual conference and expo, May 18 and 19 at the San Jose Convention Center. According to Road to VR, organizers Karl Krantz and Nana Usui are expecting 1,200 attendees and 100 of virtual reality’s top innovators on the expoRead More →

Update: More supporters pledged funds to the effort, bringing the total to $2,000. Members of the OpenSim Virtual Google Plus community have pledged $1,550 to improve vehicle scripting by fixing bugs with the way llLookAt and llMoveTo commands are implemented in OpenSim. “Today I’m making a personal pledge of $200Read More →

All OpenSim stats increased this month but the most dramatic increase was on Atek Grid, which more than quadrupled its land area this month with nearly 400 new regions. There are now a total of 56,011 standard region equivalents on the 217 public OpenSim grids that released their stats, 418,293 registeredRead More →

A week ago, I asked: Can AviWorlds find stability under new management? We got the answer today, and the answer is, “No.” “After many weeks of thoughtful consideration, as well as viewing the many comments on Google+, Facebook, and in private emails, we’ve decided to end the battle and closeRead More →

The number of exportable items sold on the Kitely Market has exceeded non-exportables for the first time since the company enabled delivery to other grids early last spring. When Kitely Market merchants add products to their online stores, they can sell those products in a number of variations — differentRead More →

GE has created a virtual experience that uses the Oculus Rift headset to provide an immersive 3D trip to an oil factory on the seabed one mile down off the coast of Brazil, as seen from the pilot’s seat of the virtual Nautilus 1 submersible. Watch the video below, and readRead More →

US $19.95 for a 15,000-prim region on the closed, commercial German-language GerGrid. No hypergrid.Read More →

Virtuix Omni, the leading omni-directional treadmill for the Oculus Rift and similar virtual reality devices, unveiled its sleek final design this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Virtuix Omni raised over $1,000,000 in a Kickstarter campaign last July, and then raised another $2.7 million in fundingRead More →

The name-calling and blame-throwing seems to be settling down, and it looks like AviWorlds is starting to find some stability under new management. Mike Hart is now the owner of the AviWorlds grid, and of the associated domain name AviWorlds.com. “We don’t have any paid staff, but we do haveRead More →

If 2014 was the year of the hypergrid — and it was — then it should also have been the year of the OMC. After all, the OMC, or Open Metaverse Currency, is the only currency which works on the hypergrid and is backed by a trusted exchange, Austria’s Virwox. IfRead More →

A new data replication has successfully passed its first round of testing, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced on Monday. However, there was still no word as to when the grid will be coming back up. In addition, the grid still hasn’t received its recovered data drives from the companyRead More →

The “dark metaverse” of private OpenSim grids gained regions at four times the rate of public grids, according to Hypergrid Business projections based on a survey of hosting providers. Last year, private grids accounted for an estimated 60 percent of all grids, adding up to 50,070 regions in the “darkRead More →

Zetamex, a Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company, has opened its doors to new customers yesterday, and published their new price schedule for region rentals. The regions are available on ZetaWorlds, Atek, WestWorld, Metropolis or any other open grid. Prices start at $15 a month for a single region capable ofRead More →

Samsung has launched a new website, Milk VR, a dedicated portal for 360 degree virtual reality videos that people can view using the new Gear VR virtual reality headsets. For those without Gear VR headsets, they can still watch the videos on the website.Read More →

Someday soon, we will have a virtual reality metaverse. A fantastical place, limited only by our imaginations, where time and space mean nothing and experiences are shared as easily as bit and bytes are today. What technology will form the basis of this metaverse? Will it be created by Facebook?Read More →

I think, looking back, we’ll see 2014 as a pivotal year in the growth of the metaverse. This was the year that early adopters realized that virtual reality was on its way, the hypergrid came into its own, Google Plus became the social platform of choice for metaverse residents, theRead More →

This past year has been a growth year for OpenSim. Over the previous twelve months, 22,409 regions, 71,442 registered users, and 2,189 active users. But some grids did better than others. User growth Metropolis gained the most active users this year in absolute terms. The open grid, based in Germany,Read More →

First of all, if you despise Kim Kardashian and all that she stands for and have no appreciation for her business model, I’m telling you right up front you’re not going to appreciate this article. Also, if you don’t like it when people look at you, point their fingers andRead More →

A third gridalso offersthe ability to upload and download avatar inventories — the Atek Grid, backed by 3D Virtual Web, Inc. and CloudServe, an OpenSim hosting company. The other two grids are the UK-based magic-themed grid Spellscape and Metropolis, an open grid based in Germany. An inventory backup, also knownRead More →

We all know that qualified tech staffers cost money. But how much money, exactly? It’s not like you can look up the going rate for an OpenSim grid administrator … or can you? A grid admin is a lot like the webmasters we used to have back in the earlyRead More →

Tangle Grid, a mid-sized commercial grid best known for its expos, has launched yet another open grid, WestWorld. Tangle previously launched another open grid, Tangle OS, at the start of October, which was then relaunched as the Atek Grid in partnership with CloudServe. Tangle withdrew from that partnership earlier thisRead More →

Hammond, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet will introduce two graduate engineering degree programs in January. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education recently granted Purdue Calumet approval to offer Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Electrical and Computer Engineering effective with the upcoming spring semester. Classes begin Jan.Read More →

If you’re looking for a world where women are the masters and men are the slaves — and who isn’t? — then you’re in luck this holiday season. Avalonia Estate, the only “femdom” lifestyle community grid in OpenSim is back. Now, running a grid is extremely labor intensive, so, thisRead More →

Still undecided about which of the 200-plus active grids to use as your primary home base? This announcement should raise Metropolis a few notches on your list. The grid has just announced a Web-based inventory download tool that any grid resident can use. Metropolis inventory backup tool. The Metropolis toolRead More →

I’ve been following the drama surrounding AviWorlds much, much closer than I would have liked — because I keep getting emails from the folks involved, and also because it’s my job. And I can honestly say that I don’t know who owns AviWorlds anymore, who runs it, and why peopleRead More →

It’s shaping out to be a busy holiday season in OpenSim, with many grids holding holiday-themed events this year. A moment for quiet reflection If you’re looking to get away from all the crowds, and experience a quiet moment of reflection, visit the Norderhov church on the Xmir grid, atRead More →

For the past couple of months, people have been submitting their favorite freebie destinations. After removing duplicates and offline destinations, here’s the final list. To travel the hypergrid, open your favorite viewer, log into any hypergrid-enabled grid — such as Kitely, Metropolis, Craft, or 3rd Rock Grid — and pull upRead More →

OSgrid has posted an update about the data recovery process this week, but there was no information about when the grid will actually be coming back up — or whether all the data will be usable. “OSgrid cannot verify restored data can be used for asset service due to conversionsRead More →

After turning on hypergrid connectivity in mid November, 3rd Rock Grid saw a dramatic spike in both active users and in region purchases. “Growth has been exploding the last few weeks,” grid owner and founder Terry Ford — also known as Butch Arnold in-world — told Hypergrid Business. The gridRead More →

Growth in the Kitely Market‘s exportable products continued to exceed that of non-exportables this month, as Kitely rolled out several new features for merchants in recent weeks. The Kitely Market currently contains 7,213 different items or “variations,” grouped into 3,449 product listings. On the Kitely Market, like on Amazon andRead More →

Rothenberg Ventures, a venture capital group that invests in early-stage startups, has announced its River program, a three-month virtual reality camp for startups. The entrepreneurs get mentoring, San Francisco office space, other support — and $100,000. The cost? Just a small chunk of your company’s equity. The deadline for applicationsRead More →

Update: VR Focus and TechRadar have both confirmed that Microsoft has actually released its prototype virtual reality headset to a group of early developers. Microsoft is rumored to be planning to mass produce a head-worn virtual gaming device in 2015 and is expected to showcase the product at the E3Read More →

The total land area of OpenSim’s public grids reached a new high this month, with the equivalent of 54,867 standard-sized regions, an increase of 744 regions compared to the same time last month. OpenSim also gained 6,492 new registered users. However, the total number of active users fell by 1,699, mostly due to theRead More →

So you’re walking along on your virtual treadmill, wearing your virtual reality goggles, and you come to a door. You stretch out your hand to push it open and feel … nothing. Because there’s no physical door actually there. One way to fake a sense of touch is to attachRead More →

AviWorlds, a commercial social grid with a history of experimenting with business models, is putting a stop to its latest experiment with the hypergrid. This is the fourth time, by our count, that AviWorlds has turned hypergrid connectivity on and off. The last time was this spring. Hypergrid is theRead More →

What do OpenSim users want for most of all? Content. According to this year’s OpenSim  Hosting Survey, 35 percent of respondents most wanted an online marketplace, and 30 percent wanted a bigger selection of content — and 53 percent picked one or the other, or both. In third place was a web-basedRead More →

Zetamex, the second highest-rated OpenSim hosting company, has been repeatedly criticized for changing things up too much — price plans, offerings, management panels, even CEOs — all have changed repeatedly in the past few months, leaving users struggling to keep up. Some of the changes have been for the better,Read More →

More than half a million Google Cardboard kits are in user hands, Google Cardboard product manager Andrew Nartker announced in a blog post yesterday. Google Cardboard is a smartphone headset, typically made out of yes, cardboard, that often ships as an assemble-it-yourself kit. It comes with lenses, an NFC chip to tell virtualRead More →

It was a three-way competition between Dreamland Metaverse, Zetamex and CloudServe in this year’s hosting providers survey, since the OSgrid outage took a lot of the smaller hosting providers out of the running. Despite the outage, the total number of responses was up by 62 percent compared to last year.Read More →

I may have been premature when I announced that immersive movies were the killer app for virtual reality. What was I thinking? Who wants to spend two hours in a bulky headset? Obviously, the killer app for virtual reality is going to be music videos. The length of a songRead More →

Toronto-based Cordon Media, Inc. has raised more than $21,000 Canadian dollars on a $50,000 Indiegogo campaign for a new virtual reality smartphone headset that works with both iPhones and Android devices, folds up into a slim 15mm phone case, and comes with an innovative multi-touch gesture interface. The Pinć– pronounced “pinch” —Read More →

Update: The survey is now closed, and part one of the results is up. Part two of the results is here. It’s almost the end of the year, time for the annual Hypergrid Business OpenSim Hosting Providers Survey. Please note that this is a not a survey about individual grids —Read More →

VRChat — an application that adds multi-user support, directional audio and gestures to 3D environments — is now available through the Oculus Rift app store. Unlike OpenSim, it doesn’t support in-world content creation. Instead, it requires that the environments and avatars be created inside the Unity 3D engine. And whileRead More →

3rd Rock Grid, one of the oldest social OpenSim grids, has joined the hypergrid. As a result, the number of active users on hypergrid-enabled grids has just crossed the 12,000 mark, to 12,416. 3rd Rock reported 470 active users last month. And, with the addition of 3rd Rock’s 443 regions,Read More →

Winter Silvermith and Karima Hoisan joined Mal Burns, Maria Korolov, Tara Yeats and Petlove Petshop this week for a discussion of all things metaverse. Karima Hoisan is a well-known poet in Second Life and OpenSim, and part of the machinima duo Randt & Hoisan. Silversmith is the editor of the Corran Journal,Read More →

Virtual reality artists can now paint in 3D, with a new painting app, Tilt Brush, released for the Oculus Rift. You can paint thick, three-dimensional brush strokes, smoke, stars, and even light, according to development studio Skillman & Hackett. Watch a preview video below. Read more about it on Wired.Read More →

Android smartphone users can now watch Paul McCartney’s recent Candlestick Part concert in virtual reality by downloading this app and using it in conjunction with Google Cardboard or similar smartphone-phone based headset. ” It was a spectacular show, one we think everyone should be able to experience,” said Vaunt VR, theRead More →

Gear VR manufacturer Samsung has posted two new virtual reality-related videos from its recent Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco. The video below demonstrates the Gear VR headset. In addition, Samsung lead designer Alex Cho talks about review research pertaining to virtual reality experience design. In the second video, below, Oculus Rift scientistRead More →

Fidelity Labs, the R&D think-tank inside Fidelity Investments, created StockCity for Oculus Rift and the Web. Stock City is a 3D visualization tool that uses virtual reality to transform an investor’s stock portfolio into a city that conveys information about stocks without a single number or percentage. It is an immersiveRead More →

The rock band The Who has released a free virtual reality app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets and plan to add support for the Oculus Rift as well, when that device comes out. Watch the trailer for the app below. The app was created by UK-based design studioRead More →

OSgrid has begun the rebuilding process, grid administrators announced today, even as the latest attempt to recover data starts to approach the finish line. Around 3 terabytes of data has been recovered as of this morning, out of a total of 3.5 terabytes — or about 21 million files. On NovemberRead More →

The total number of regions, registered users and active users all hit new record highs this month. The total land area on OpenSim’s public grids rose by the equivalent of 1,943  standard regions to 54,123, the grids gained more than 8,000 new registered users, and the number of active users rose by an evenRead More →

You may have seen the recent flood of announcements from companies jumping on the virtual reality bandwagon. Movie studios, hotel chains, car companies are releasing virtual experiences at a furious pace. Most people are either excited or confused by all the attention, but a few have been upset at theRead More →

Tangle Grid, a mid-sized commercial grid known for its hypergrid-enabled Expos, has decided to reduce the number of its 2015 Expos, but to make each Expo longer. ” The committee got together and looked at traffic and participation numbers for the Expos on TanGLe and we decided to make changes,” saidRead More →

The InWorldz InShape app has been accepted by Apple for distribution in its App Store and will go live on Monday, InWorldz announced yesterday. This means that InShape will now run on the iPhone as well as most Android devices, the grid said. Read more about InShape here.Read More →

Crista Lopes — you might know her as “Diva Canto,” an OpenSim core developer, inventor of the hypergrid and professor of informatics at UC Irvine — is now also in the viewer development business. And her new viewer, OnLook, is a dramatic departure from other viewers we’ve seen so far forRead More →

OpenSim-based virtual networking company SimB2B was recognized as a top-five startup at the CoInvent NY Startup Showcase on Thursday, one of over twenty companies presenting. “SimB2B is the first grid to offer business to business networking and events such as trade shows,” SimB2B vice president Jack Mamiye told Hypergrid Business.  IndividualRead More →

Samsung has just gone public with its Project Beyond 3D camera for virtual reality film-making. It’s not yet available for sale, and there’s no news yet about when it will hit the market. The device is about the size and shape of a frisbee, with 16 high-definition stereoscopic cameras positionedRead More →

Are you still holding off on getting a Google Cardboard kit and turning your smartphone into a super low-cost virtual reality device? Maybe Volvo will change your mind. On Tuesday, the company is giving away a limited number of Volvo-branded Google Cardboard kits. All you have to do is downloadRead More →

On Monday, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Firefox, the Mozilla foundation launched the MozVR project to help fosaster the emerging virtual reality Web. In June, an Oculus-compatible version of Firefox was released. This is not a full virtual world platform like OpenSim, but more of an open source alternative toRead More →

With OSgrid down for three months and no news from its managers about when it is expected to come back up, other grids have been stepping up to serve its users. Most recently, Tangle Grid launched the open Tangle OS grid at the beginning of October. That grid is nowRead More →

OSgrid has successfully recovered 1.9 terabytes, out of 3.5 terabytes total, grid president James Stallings II said during a conversation on OSgrid’s Internet Relay Chat channel yesterday. The conversation was reposted on OSgrid’s forums by grid administrator and OpenSim developer Allen Kerensky. Stallings — who was posting under the userRead More →

Nimble VR is less than $1,300 away from its $62,500 Kickstarter goal, with 39 days left to go. It’s a sign that this is a useful bit of technology — a camera-based motion sensor that attaches right to the front of an Oculus Rift headset. A sensor attached to the frontRead More →

There’s yet another smartphone-based virtual reality headset on the market, this time from Australia-based company Phenomec. The headset, called the VRSmartView Developer Kit, costs AU $49.99 or about US $43.48 and is available for order now from the company’s website. Delivery is currently scheduled for December 12 of this year.Read More →

Seems that there’s a mania for mergers going on. Next Reality and SkyLife Grid merged with AviWorlds. 3D Grid merged with Metropolis. And now Lost World grid is merging with AviWorlds, too. Is there a merger in your grid’s future? Take this quiz to find out!Read More →

The motorsports-focused Next Reality grid has merged with AviWorlds. Next Reality had 125 regions as of mid-October, and was known for its racetrack and for its adults-only Red Light Hotel. Grid owner Mike Hart had been running the grid on his own until a failure with its RAID storage broughtRead More →

There are plenty of headsets on the market today that are basically shells made out of plastic — or cardboard — that you slide your smartphone into. Higher-end devices such as the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus, GameFace, AntVR, Vrvana Totem, CastAR, and Immersion VRelia, haven’t yet hit the consumer market.Read More →

3DGrid, a small non-profit German grid offering free or nearly free regions to educational institutions, announced today that it is merging with Metropolis, Germany’s largest grid. 3DGrid is a three-year old grid that, at last count, had 14 regions. It did not release its user numbers. “My personal involvement inRead More →

The Tokyo University of Information Sciences released a new tool this week for converting OpenSim regions to mesh. The new OAR Converter tool takes a region saved as an OAR backup file and converts it to a Collada file, which can then be used inside Unity 3D and other all-mesh environments.Read More →

Love them or hate them — and many people do love them — but there are now breedables on the hypergrid. Previously, breedables in OpenSim were limited to closed grids like InWorldz, with Oyo Breedables, Fussels Breedables, and, of course, Amaretto Breedables. As of this week, however, breedable turtles have arrivedRead More →

Merchants selling products on the Kitely Market can now advertise them. According to today’s announcement, merchants can now put up ads promoting individual products, or their entire stores. The ads will appear on top of search results in a “Featured Products” or “Featured Store” section. Prices start at US $0.10Read More →

I just noticed that KZero has an excellent new design. Perfect timing, too — as interest in virtual reality is exploding, so is the need for virtual worlds consultants of all kind. Arch Virtual also has an excellent new site, as does Designing Digitally. Of course, lots of vendors in ourRead More →

OpenSim Creations, the top site for OpenSim creators sharing original content under Creative Commons licenses, is gone. “In the wee hours of October 20, the entire /home folder of this server got wiped,” said owner Vanish Seriath in a post today. “Why, I don’t know. To make matters worse, I don’tRead More →

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s article about the rules of grid competition. So you’ve decided to avoid self-sabotaging, unproductive, negative types of marketing and competition. What’s left? Lots of stuff! 1. Market your cool new features Don’t expect people to notice it when you add a major improvement toRead More →

Terry Ford, founder of the commercial 3rd Rock Grid, is spearheading the formation of new association of OpenSim grid owners. “We at 3rd Rock Grid do not see other grids as our enemy,” he told Hypergrid Business. “Instead, we hope all grid are successful as their success is our success,Read More →

As OpenSim grows bigger and bigger, some grids might think that an easy way to gain customers would be to bash other grids. For example, AviWorlds grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli said in a recent comment, “For me a competitor is my mortal enemy.” Now, I’m all in favor of competitionRead More →