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

CNET founder Halsey Minor will launch a virtual reality network that will stream live 360-degree video to Samsung Gear VR and Oculus headsets within the next few months. Minor told Hypergrid Business that the new company, Reality Lab, was an opportunity for him to get back into the content industry and toRead More →

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

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

Dreamland Metaverse outscored the two other major providers in every category in this year’s OpenSim hosting providers survey, while CloudServe, the new kid on the block, scored a close second. Zetamex scored last in four out of five categories. Zetamex also had an ownership change this past year, and hadRead 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 →

Virtual reality is set to transform future workplaces by becoming the preferred method of communication, training, socialization and collaboration due to its ability to deliver immersive experiences in these areas, London Business School professor Lynda Gratton said in a report released last month. Virtual reality enables “many-to-many communications,” in aRead More →

More than a third of consumers say they would shop for more products online if they were able to try them virtually using headsets, and 63 percent say they expect virtual reality to impact their shopping experiences in the future, says the Reinventing Retail 2015 Report. Virtual reality or augmentedRead More →

This Friday, November 13, until Monday, November 16, AvatarFest celebrates the strength and diversity of the hypergrid community. With more than 10 live performances and over 15 exhibits this festival showcases the wide variety of talents from across the hypergrid. For example, “Immersive Edge” is a hypergrid story and adventure game in OpenSim. It is “mergingRead More →

LandMark Entertainment Group is bringing theme park experiences to living rooms — via virtual reality. The company, best known for traditional rides and other theme park experiences based on movies such as Jurassic Park and Terminator, is planning to release the Pavilion of Me virtual entertainment portal,  in the fall of 2016Read 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 →

With Halloween slowly encroaching on us like a spooky ghoul, there are parties, hunts and games all over the metaverse for this special and scary season. Here’s a list of more than a dozen events, all just a short hypergrid hop away. 1. OSgrid Halloween Dance The most popular grid on theRead 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 →

Argentina-based Voxelus has announced that it is working on a virtual reality game creation tool, viewer, virtual world currency, and virtual content marketplace. Voxelus co-founder and CEO Martin Repetto told Hypergrid Business that the new platform will be released in the first quarter of 2016 will work on as many virtual reality devices inRead More →

The Kitely Merchant Fair starts tomorrow with freebies, events, and more at the Kitely Hypergrid Merchant Fair region on Kitely. Teleport via hypergrid to grid.kitely.com:8002:Kitely Hypergrid Merchant Fair.

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 →

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 →

Immersive experiences are transforming the way in which media companies present their content — movies, TV broadcasts, and films. These experiences can help the content producers reach new audiences and increase engagement with existing viewers. The following are six new examples of the media using virtual reality. 1. Netflix releases Gear VR app; Hulu and TwitchRead More →

When it comes to funding virtual reality startups, venture capitalists are looking for passion — and working prototypes. Others were more narrowly focused, looking for enterprise applications, they told virtual reality entrepreneurs at the 2015 VRLA Summer Expo. The panel of investors, which included representatives from Cooley LLP, CrossCut Ventures Management LLC,Read More →

The third annual Summer of Arts 2015 virtual arts event begins on September 25. Metropolis Grid hosts this event to give cyber artists an opportunity to display their works to a wide audience. The art displayed ranges from audio-visual installations and theater projects to paintings and cyberart objects. A specialRead 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 →

Beloola, a browser-based social virtual world, plans to leverage new developments in Chrome and Firefox to support virtual reality headsets. It is a room-based world, where every user gets a free room to start with. Travel between rooms is via menu-based or portal-based teleports. This is different from Second LifeRead 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 →

Technology altering the way companies conduct business is nothing new. From devices like iPads, to the use of social media as a marketing tool, advances in technology have made running businesses more efficient. Now there is another emerging technology that is delivering promising results in every industry that’s tested it—virtualRead More →

It’s been a good-news, bad-news summer for Virwox, the European virtual currency exchange that used to dominate third-party Linden Dollar trading. On August 1, all third party Linden Dollar trading officially came to an end. And, before that, the Avination grid cut off its ties with Virwox, and warned users not to trade theRead More →

Storytelling is a valuable form of human expression that has been around since the very ancient times. Story itself is essential to so many art forms, and theater is one of them. We have written before about how virtual reality could be applied to journalism and immersive storytelling. Theatrical “storytellers” are yetRead More →

  When Zumba burst on to the scene in the early 2000s, it dramatically changed fitness in America. The company cemented its place as a juggernaut within its industry through innovative practices, and its founders haven’t lost that sense of innovation. Today, the company is exploring how to keep theRead More →

As my regular readers know, I’ve been trying to use a smartphone-and-Cardboard combo as an Oculus Rift replacement so that I could walk around my OpenSim builds without having to shell out $350 for the Oculus development kit. It’s not that I’m cheap — okay, yes, I’m cheap — butRead More →

For many years, former IBMer Justin Clark-Casey has been the eternally-youthful face of OpenSimulator development and the president of the Overte Foundation which oversees OpenSim licensing issues. Then, on Sunday, the Justin Era ended with a post on his blog, Everything that has a beginning has an end, in which he saidRead More →

So you want to try out some of the new virtual reality apps coming out, or you want to watch movies in 3D, but aren’t quite ready to shell out real money for a real headset. I don’t blame you. The technology is evolving quickly — by the time the headset arrives,Read More →

Mozilla has given outside developers early access to their virtual reality test browser, according to a report last week in USA Today. Firefox Nightly is the preview version of Firefox, and is for testing purposes only. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac on the desktop, and also forRead More →

Today’s realtors struggle to promote homes to prospective clients when those clients are too far away, don’t have a lot of time for house hunting — of if the house hasn’t even been built yet. Some real estate agents are turning to virtual reality to address these issues. With virtualRead More →

When Stanford kicker Derek Belch started work on his master’s thesis in virtual reality football, he had limited aspirations. “Goal number one was to do a good enough job to get an ‘A’ on the project,” Belch told USA Today. “Number two, help Stanford football. Floating in the back of our mindsRead More →

Travel agencies and tour operators are now using virtual reality technology to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Agents are showing potential guests immersive virtual experiences that help the viewers better understand where they could travel and stay, and what they can do at different destinations. For hotels to take advantageRead 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 →

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 →

Press release: NASA, Microsoft Collaborate to Bring Science Fiction to Science Fact NASA and Microsoft are teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Sidekick uses Microsoft HoloLens to provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth,Read 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 →

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 →

It all started with broken toys. Fangwei Lee, a father of two, became frustrated with buying countless bubble guns for his son to play with. The quality of the guns led to them either breaking easily or not working at all. The frustration grew into making a virtual bubble gunRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Press release: Improve Patient Care with Virtual Reality Mindfulness GLEN ELLYN, Ill. — Cubicle Ninjas‘ relaxing virtual reality application for the Oculus Rift, Guided Meditation VR allows patients to experience an exotic vacation, wherever and whenever they choose. The Beta demo app has surpassed 25,000 downloads and is already helping improve the overallRead More →

The Firestorm Viewer is the most popular on the hypergrid by a wide margin, according to today’s analysis of Hyperica server logs. More than half of the last 3,600 visitors to Hyperica used the Firestorm Viewer. Less than a third used Singularity, and CtrlAltStudio, Cool LV, and Replex were all aroundRead More →

I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Linda Kellie while traveling the hypergrid. Okay, not about her per se — she’s probably done more for OpenSim than any other creator out there. But the fact that Linda Kellie’s content collection is licensed CC0, which is as close to public domainRead More →

Merrie Schonbach’s new grid’s business model is a mystery. Literally a mystery — Pillars of Mist will offer both self-paced and group murder mystery events. It is the newest example of a trend we’re seeing on the hypergrid, of focused, niche grids that don’t try to be all things to all people,Read More →

This was another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new highs in regions, users, and active users on the 323 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 →

OpenSim core developer Melanie Thielker is donating a new cluster storage solution to the community. Called FSAssets, it is designed to replace the MySQL databases or the RAID storage arrays used by other grids. FSAssets is also the new asset storage for OSgrid, which had previously relied on RAID storage. Any gridRead 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 →

Virtual reality technology is going to radically change what it means to attend church in the next fifty years — and maybe much sooner. While the technology is still in its infancy, however, virtual churches are limited experiments rather than significant outreach efforts – but this will change. “Numerous persons andRead 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 →

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 →

Platform offers synchronized videos, hand gestures AltspaceVR has opened up applications for a closed beta of what it claims to be the world’s first immersive social virtual reality platform. The Redwood City, CA-based company’s social and content sharing platform connects friends and enthusiasts in shared virtual spaces and lets them interact online. ItRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

Virtual reality is about to makea huge impact on everything from gaming to business. But virtual reality may bechanging our homes as well. Here are five ways that virtual reality is impacting architecture and interior design. 1. Offering a new tool for visualizingdesign Virtual reality interfaces allow for testing newRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

There’s been quite a bit of debate about whether violent video games can make people more violent in real life — though no conclusive research. With the advent of virtual reality — immersive, interactive experiences in which users feel as though they are actually characters inside a different world — thisRead 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 →

Virtual reality’s success or failure will depend on interface design, Oculus Rift chief scientist Steve LaValle told a packed virtual conference hall last weekend at the OpenSimulator Community Conference. “If we do fail, it’ll be because human comfort hasn’t been given the respect it needs,” he told the attendees onRead More →

Full immersion virtual reality might be here sooner than you think — for movies, at least. Palo Alto-based Jaunt VR is developing a suite of hardware and software tools for creating 360-degree virtual reality videos. The use of 16-camera contraptions and 3-D sound-field microphones, which capture the sounds coming from variousRead 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 →

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 →

Are you already preparing your smartphone to be your doorway to virtual reality? If no, it’s high time you did so. While virtual reality hardware keeps going three different paths, mobile platform is taking shape as the one with a huge potential to dominate eventually. So don’t wait for the consumerRead 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 →

It looks like a little gray box. But when you move it through the air, it sounds more as though you’re moving a whole orchestra around the room in the palm of your hand. Technology developed at the university makes it seem as though the music is coming from thisRead 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 →

Anyone who has worked on the production side of virtual environments can attest that content creation and scene development is a costly and time consuming endeavor. Depending on the complexity and fidelity of the scene, production can easily become the highest expense of the project. In more traditional virtual environmentsRead More →

Bassima Alansary came to virtual worlds in secret. Her family and culture forbid her from having an avatar, or from speaking to men even in virtual settings. She lived in Saudia Arabia, in fear of being punished for the simple desire of wanting to learn to speak English. “When IRead 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 →

It’s going to be a busy month, with Oktoberfest and Halloween parties across the grids. One of the biggest Halloween celebration this year is probably the InWorldz Frightfest, on the InWorldz Event sims which will run from October 17 through Oct 31. Island Oasis will hold its Halloween Party on October 31.Read More →

Update: The poll is now closed. See the results here. It’s time again for the OpenSim grid survey, where OpenSim residents can rank their grids and see how they compare to others. If your grid isn’t on the list, write it in and help the world discover new hidden gems.Read More →

The London-based Spellscape grid, a magic-themed role play world, has donated code for filtered inventory exports. This would enable grid owners to allow their users to save their inventories in the form of IAR files, while still protecting exclusive content that is not allowed to leave the grid. Previously, this was only possibleRead More →

The European Union is giving away more than 80 million Euro — US $103 million — as part of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme for tech startups using cutting-edge technologies such as realXtend, an early off-shoot of OpenSim. The funding is in the form of a direct grant — no equity or loan repayments required.Read More →

As we wrote before, virtual reality is transforming education in many different ways. But one of the most powerful is that it helps students develop a motivation for learning through virtual rewards that provide real value to the learners, a sense of personal or group success, and personal autonomy. Virtual rewards can replace traditionalRead More →

Virtual worlds are providing a new and exciting, interactive landscape for writers. One such place is Nara’s Nook, an OpenSim grid on which which authors gather weekly to discuss their projects and to share or promote published work. But grid owner Nara Malone takes this a step further. She actuallyRead More →

3rd Rock Grid, a closed, commercial social grid known for its music scene, has stepped up with a fundraising call for another grid. OSgrid has been down for almost a month after a failure of its asset storage hardware and there’s been little information from the grid administrators so farRead More →

The grid numbers were down this month, partly due to an outage on OSgrid, the oldest virtual world running on the OpenSim software and one of the largest grids. However, the number of downloads of the OpenSimulator software reached an all-time high this month. The number of standard region equivalents droppedRead More →

Education and technology are interconnected. This synergy is able to transform the world we live in. The contradictory phenomenon is that while being an early adopter of technology, education is also one of the last sectors to be fully transformed by it, due to institutional inertia and a number ofRead More →

August was a relatively slow month in OpenSim, but September is shaping up to be full of major events, including an anniversary celebration on Avination, an Air & Space Expo, a 9/11 commemoration, and much more. Make sure not to skip over the RezMela contest, where you decide this weekRead More →

Press Release:  OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale as Keynote Speaker The OpenSimulator Community Conference is pleased to announce Philip Rosedale, Founder and CEO of High Fidelity, Inc. will be a keynote speaker at the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference, scheduled to take place virtually on NovemberRead More →