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 →

Now that the Hyperica hyperport is starting to get into shape, I’ve set out some free hypergates for people. Just teleport over to hg.hyperica.com:8022 and pick them up. I’ve got some all-in-one gates, like the one from The Hypergates, and a Blamgate from Pathfinder, and Diva Canto’s teleporter. The gate fromRead More →

The Hyperica hyperport gets a decent amount of traffic, and has a few scripts running on it. Plus, I recently rearranged the grid, and my hosting company updated our software. Let’s just say that region restarts are common place. And my gate scripts kept breaking. It’s turns out, this wasn’tRead More →

Island Oasis, a closed commercial social grid, released a new viewer for its residents yesterday. The custom viewer — available for download here — is a version of Firestorm configured specifically to work with Island Oasis, including links to the grid’s online marketplace, currency purchases, and full search functionality, said theRead More →

The Adult Grid became the second major closed grid to connect to the Kitely Market, the grid announced today in a press release. Zandramas, another closed grid, did the same this past April. The Adult Grid — like the name suggests — features adult content. It came in second inRead More →

There is a new version of the OpenSimulator software, 0.8.0.2, which fixes an inventory permissions bug that appeared in 0.8 and 0.8.0.1. This change fixes a problem with the llGiveInventory and llGiveInventoryList scripting commands, said core developer Justin Clark-Casey in a post. When these script commands are used to give items to anRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex is bringing founder Timothy Rogers back as its CEO, a new support partnership with Zandramas, and a limited time region offer to existing customers. This was the news that came out at last night’s public meeting at the Zetamex virtual office on their ZetaWorlds grid, andRead More →

The total land area on OpenSim’s public grids rose by the equivalent of 1,616 standard regions to 52,180, the grids gained more than 6,000 new registered users, but the number of active users fell by 280 this month on the back of a continued outage at OSgrid. Metropolis was the biggestRead More →

Trying to come up with a new name for a grid? Try to avoid any of the words in the cloud above so that you wouldn’t be confused with other grids.Read More →

A new hosting provider, CloudServe, is offering cloud-based OpenSim regions starting at $7.95, mini-grids starting at $34.95 and full grids starting at $94.95. CloudServe is a service operated by Austin-based 3D Virtual Web, Inc., the company behind Virtual World City. Prices are mid-range — not as low as Zetamex, but aboutRead More →

Attendees of the New York Comic Con 2014 got a chance to fly virtual dragons, thanks to the folks from DreamWorks Animation. The movie studio created a virtual experiences using Oculus Rift headsets, fans, and vibrating seats to put users on the back of flying dragons, part of the studio’sRead More →

3rd Rock Grid, a mid-sized closed, commercial grid won’t be closed for too much longer. The next grid upgrade will bring hypergrid functionality in the next two or three weeks, grid founder Terry Ford, also known as Butch Arnold in-world, told Hypergrid Business. “We will have some safeguards in place to notRead More →

Zetamex will not be accepting any new customers for the rest of the month, incoming president Richard Lehman said in an announcement posted today on the company’s website. Lehman became the owner of the company in mid-September, but previous CEO Timothy Rogers was slated to continue to serve as actingRead More →

OSgrid residents who rent their regions from Dreamland Metaverse and who can no longer wait for OSgrid to come back up can have them moved to a private mini-grid, the company announced yesterday. The offer includes a free month of hosting, plus custom asset retrieval. OSgrid has been down forRead More →

  Robert Bosch, the world’s largest supplier of automotive parts and equipment, is training between 8,000 and 10,000 mechanics on direct-injection and breaking technology — using virtual reality. The company has launched a 750-stop tour with Oculus Rift headsets that allow the technicians to get virtual tours of the insidesRead More →

SkyLifeGrid founder Josh Boam agreed to provide hosting for the much-troubled AviWorlds grid last month. Now, the two grids are merging — and a third grid, QuickLifeGrid, is joining up as well. As of last month, SkyLife had a little over 100 regions and 36 active users. I have no data onRead More →

The hypergrid turns six years old on October 26. On that 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’mRead More →

I just spent an hour Googling around for this because half the tutorials out there are for older versions of GIMP, so they no longer work! But I needed some quick gold and silver textures — and this technique works for silks, as well. Here’s how to do it. CreateRead More →

Exo-Life, a small social world, has completed its move from Zetamex to Dreamland Metaverse hosting this week. Zetamex and Dreamland Metaverse are the two leading hosting companies for companies, organizations and individuals running private OpenSim grids. How they switched The migration process was very straightforward, Dreamland CEO Dierk Brunner told HypergridRead More →

Carl Zeiss, a company known for high-end lenses, is now in the virtual reality business. Their headset, the VR One, is currently available for pre-order, with shipping scheduled to begin before Christmas. The first version of the device will support iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones, trays for otherRead More →

One of the most popular articles on this site is Log your visitors to Google spreadsheet, which I wrote in 2012, and which Zuza Ritt updated the following year. Here’s an easier way to do it, and the script to go with it. Step One: Create the form Sign in toRead More →

If you live in Houston, Los Angeles, or Washington DC, check out the Oculus Rift experience for the upcoming movie “Interstellar” by director Christopher Nolan. The virtual tour, which began in New York City this week, takes you on a three-minute trip through the spaceship “Endurance” featured in the movie.Read More →

Update: Craft was back up earlier than expected, on Monday, October 6. See this post for details. OSgrid went down with RAID problems in late August and still hasn’t recovered. The Next Reality Grid was hit a week later. Now Craft, an open, non-profit European grid popular with artists, hasRead More →

I’ve been feeling left out because so many cool virtual reality accessories coming out are for Android phones. And I have an iPhone. So I was really excited about the $49 AirVR, which just pulled in $25,000 Canadian — of a goal of $20,000 — with 11 days still left to go inRead More →

Okay, so the field for motion control is wide open. Nobody knows what technology and user interface paradigm will actually take us into mainstream virtual reality. But this probably isn’t it. Watch the video below, where users wear thimbles on their fingers while pointing at computer screens. If you don’tRead More →

A prototype virtual reality system from Sightline VR‘s Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík combines an Oculus Rift, a Leap Motion controller, and an innovative user interface to allow people to use their actual hands as controllers, no gloves required. I really like the in-world touch-screen interface but wonder whether your arms would get reallyRead More →

The folks at Oculus VR have posted videos for all the keynotes and talks from their Oculus Connect conference two weeks ago, so if you weren’t able to get to San Francisco, here’s your change to catch up on what you missed. Watch the Oculus Connect introduction below. Then theRead More →

One of the downsides of PC peripheral headsets like the Oculus Rift is that they require high resolution screens and motion sensors, which are expensive. Case-based virtual reality displays that are simply holders for smartphones solve trade that problem for a different one — cell phones don’t have enough powerRead More →

We all love OpenSim. That’s why we’re here. But some of us aren’t as good at communicating it as others. One reason could be that a large part of the human population, especially the technically savvy and the creative folks, hate the idea of marketing. They’ve been the victims ofRead More →

Island Oasis pulled in the highest overall scores in the fifth annual OpenSim grid survey, narrowly edging out The Adult Grid for first place. Island Oasis is a top-ten grid by active users, making its high score even more surprising, since scores tend to diminish over time as grids get largerRead More →

For my hypergate portals, I’ve been using a texture I made a few years back, before I really knew my way around GIMP. So it’s a little jerky. Tonight, I made a new texture and it’s much simpler and easier than the first time I did it. First, you makeRead More →

The Fifth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey is closing tonight and many of the smaller but still worthwhile grids still haven’t received enough votes. So later on this year, I’m doing another survey — one of favorite hypergrid destinations. What is the best place to go shopping? To hang out withRead More →