One of the most confusing parts of moving to OpenSim is figuring out how the commerce system works. Not as confusing, maybe, than than figuring out how to run the server software, learning how to hypergrid, picking a home grid, or finding a hosting provider, but up there. There areRead More →

Founders of teleXLR8, a discussion program conducted in the Teleplace virtual environment, are hoping that the project becomes the next TED for virtual worlds. Teleplace, Inc. is one of the leading providers of enterprise-grade, behind-the-firewall, fully immersive virtual collaborative environments. According to teleXLR8 organizer Giulio Prisco, Teleplace’s built-in multi-user videoconferencing,Read More →

There are a lot of different kinds of OpenSim grids out there — it can get a little confusing. Well, a lot confusing. Here’s a quick primer. Social grids Social grids attempt to replicate the experience of Second Life. They don’t make up the majority of grids running on theRead More →

UPDATE: TalentRaspel has lowered its price for exporting Second Life regions. It now starts at US $273 (200 Euros)  per region, and is based on the complexity of the build. Vendors are offering full-region migrations from Second Life to OpenSim at prices starting at as little as $80 a region.Read More →

Updated May 4, 2013 Yes, you can run OpenSim for free on your own computer –  you can even run it on a USB stick. But do you want to? Here’s a question — would you run your own Apache Web server for your website, or would you use aRead More →

Last week, InWorldz became the second-largest grid running on the OpenSim platform, after shooting up the charts over the course of just the past three months. Between April and September 15, the grid grew from 130 regions to 531 regions. In addition, the grid now has over 15,000 registered usersRead More →

Many virtual designers are wary of coming to OpenSim because of worries about content protections. One virtual worlds company is bending over backwards to alleviate these concerns and to create a safe and supportive social environment. But the security comes at a cost, that of heavy restrictions on enterprise users.Read More →

A couple of weeks ago, the ever-insightful Seth Godin pointed out that every new activity has a learning curve — and also a joy curve. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bit of time before we learn enough about how to do an activity to derive any joy from it. ThisRead More →

Update: I still recommend the OMC currency, which has grown substantially since this article was first written and now used on 30 OpenSim grids. The two other currencies I mentioned — V$ and G$ — have not been getting much traction in OpenSim, and have pretty much faded away. SomeRead More →

Utherverse, a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, has launched a virtual casino targeting US customers. While the winnings cannot be converted into cash today, that might change if a new gambling bill is able to make its way through Congress. Meanwhile, Utherverse hopes that casino operatorsRead More →

Business users choosing virtual environments usually focus on particular features — does it support mesh imports? Are there in-world editing tools? How good is the voice? Is the a web viewer? However, most of these features are time-dependent — eventually, every virtual world platform is going to have mesh importsRead More →

The latest versions of OpenSim support Second Life Viewer 2 and, over the next couple of months, grids and hosting providers will be upgrading their OpenSim server software to make Viewer 2 usable everywhere on the hypergrid. I’ve spent the last five weeks heavily using SL Viewer 2 in SecondRead More →

Today, vComm Solutions of Switzerland released Whisper, a high quality voice solution for OpenSim based on the popular Mumble open source VoIP client. The key feature of this solution is that it enables avatar lip sync and speaker indication to work correctly, in addition to providing very stable, high qualityRead More →

The hypergrid economy continued its steady growth this past month, with a total of 1,091,000 OMC (US $3,775) spent on the 14 OMC-enabled grids since the multi-grid currency launched in March. This total doesn’t include local grid currencies, CyberCoinBank’s G$, or Virtual Wallet’s V$, none of which report their transactionRead More →

Despite rumors of its demise, the Australian virtual worlds company VastPark is not dead — in fact, it’s recently seen quite an uptick of interest. In April, the company won a prestigious contract from the USDA under which it and partner Assyst will build a virtual world and social networkRead More →

Wagner Au and Gwyneth Llewelyn have recently posted thought-provoking pieces about how to make virtual worlds more engaging. Au proposed an achievement system to encourage new users to make friends and visit new locations. “Turning social networking more competitive resulted in people getting more engaged with it,” added Llewelyn, explainingRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, two OpenSim content designers came to Hypergrid Business with a complaint: they were offered a chance to produce content for a new grid, in return for space on that grid. They did the work, then got locked out. What could they do? Unfortunately, not much.Read More →

A mini-grid is a small, standalone OpenSim grid that doesn’t require a separate grid administration server. How small? Small enough so that all its regions can be run on a single computer. For a typical home computer, four regions is plenty. For a high-speed computer or server, you can getRead More →

ReactionGrid no longer offers $25 regions, offering only entire servers starting at $150 a month, with a $500 setup fee. Each server can handle four regions, and there is a discount for educators — to $75 a region with a $220 setup fee. “The price for a $75 four-sim dedicatedRead More →

Earlier this year, Linden Lab released Second Life Viewer 2 which, though it had a large number of usability problems, also offered one huge advantage for business and education users: the ability to put a live webpage or any other media onto any in-world surface. This means that a groupRead More →

The OpenSim community is currently in the process of upgrading to Hypergrid 1.5, a more secure version of the hypergrid protocol that allows teleportation between different grids. However, Hypergrid 1.5 isn’t compatible with the previous Hypergrid 1.0 standard, according to hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the UniversityRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di Inc., will release the new version of its OpenSim server software on June 25, and the new release will allow the use of separate account registration systems. For example, if a retail company, say, allow customers to register on its website, those same registrations can be used toRead More →

Virtual events platform provider InXpo rolled out a suite of social networking features last week – including built-in support for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – as well as a social gaming platform. InXpo is a “pseudo 3D” virtual meeting platform. InXpo’s Web-based virtual meeting platform combines multimedia – video, presentationsRead More →

Educators in primary schools, colleges, and other institutions looking for lower costs, better controls, and no age restrictions are considering switching from Second Life to its open source alternative, the OpenSim virtual world server platform. The OpenSim server software can be used to power an entire public grid, or aRead More →

One of the common complaints enterprises have about OpenSim is that if they set up a private grid, they’ll have to create all the content from scratch. Employees will have to create their own hair, fashionistas will have to make their own shoes, teachers will have to create their ownRead More →

In the last couple of weeks we’ve been traveling all over the hypergrid, here at Hypergrid Business, as preparation for the launch of our Hypergrid Worlds directory of hypergrid destinations. And we’ve been shocked — shocked! — to find that many region owners aren’t following basic design principles. We’ve beenRead More →

When business users get together for a virtual meeting, they’re not interested in showing off the latest dance moves or hairstyles – they want to share PowerPoint presentations, work together on spreadsheets, and collaborate on documents. At least, that’s the experience of virtual world vendor Teleplace, which counts over 100Read More →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

Germany’s Grid4Us and GermanGrid launched in-world money systems yesterday, using the VirWox virtual payment system. The virtual money — Open Metaverse Currency — is fully convertible with US Dollars, Euros and other real world currencies, as well as with Linden Dollars. Unlike previous attempts to set up currencies for in-worldRead More →

In a move which may be followed by other current and future private world operators, the Italian Cyberlandia grid has switched from a centralized to a distributed architecture model. The result? Lower stress on central servers, and better scalability. With traditional grid architecture, a virtual world is composed of manyRead More →

The very aspects of virtual world that make them appealing to some enterprise users, such as the collaboration tools, also make them risky from a compliance perspective. These risks include the communication risks of the wrong information getting to the wrong people, inappropriate workplace behavior, and lack of archiving tools.Read More →

ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere is a high-end virtual world platform for grownups — and has a price tag to match. Typical costs range from $250 to $1,000 per user, depending on the degree of customization and content creation that is required. The company currently counts less than 20 clients, all of themRead More →

Today, online events producer Caleb Booker debuts a new video series devoted to, and filmed entirely inside, virtual worlds. The program, “Virtual Worlds Keynote,” is filmed in Second Life in front of a live studio audience. Well, virtually live. The first guest is Jonena Relth, president of TBD Consulting Inc.,Read More →

When most people compare virtual worlds, they do so from a technical perspective — how many concurrent users, what kind of interface is being used, what data standards are supported. Too often, however, general business requirements are overlooked. This is a pity, because from a technical perspective there are fewRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations.] The number of Web-based distribution channels for OpenSim goods is growing steadily. Rexxed: Complete regions available, as well as tools, skins, terrains, and evenRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] We’ve covered this topic before, but OpenSim is constantly evolving, so we need to bring our instructions up toRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we write a lot about the Second Life-OpenSim-realXtend ecosystem. We love the low cost, the flexibility, and the massive amounts of content available for this platform. But it isn’t the only option for business users. Here are some alternatives: ProtoSphere ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere is an enterprise-focused virtualRead More →

The choice of OpenSim hosting companies has grown a bit but is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — at the start of this year. If you’re looking for a free alternative to a paid hosting services,Read More →

Imagine a place full of literate adults, 100 percent broadband penetration – and people willing to work for pennies an hour. There’s no minimum wage, no unemployment insurance, and no labor laws. Sounds better than China, doesn’t it? The place is Second Life — and other social virtual worlds alsoRead More →

This article is now out of date. Lots of new material is now available! Read more here: Where to get content in OpenSim. One of the great advantages of using OpenSim as a virtual world platform is the availability of free or low-cost ready-made worlds. OpenSim allows world owners toRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

Over 300 grids run on the OpenSim open source virtual world platform today, a dramatic increase over the last few weeks, mostly due to the release of Crista Lopes’ Diva Distribution of OpenSim, and to the efforts of a growing number of OpenSim vendors. However, this number does not includeRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead More →

Getting free OpenSim land is a great way to test out the OpenSim platform, or to have a home base for exploring the social aspects of OpenSim-based virtual worlds. Free land can also be used as a location on which to design objects for distribution or sale elsewhere. Freeland typicallyRead More →

Intel CTO Justin Rattner introduced OpenSim superstars Shenlei Winkler and Crista Lopes to the world yesterday at the at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore. According to Rattner, super computers can make three dimensional worlds richer and more immersive, creating a potential new driver for supercomputing sales in theRead More →

Normally, creating an OpenSim grid requires not just downloading and running the grid software but also setting up a MySQL database, configuring firewall ports, editing an initialization file, and editing region files. And upgrading the OpenSim software is a hassle almost as major as installing it in the first place.Read More →

SecondLife currently has around 23,000 user-owned regions, with another 5,000 regions owned by Linden Lab. However, OpenSim-based grids seem to be catching up in total land area, with over 5,600 regions on the public social grids alone, up from around 5,000 from our last count earlier this summer. This numberRead More →

Manchester-based virtual world development firm Second Places helped two U.K. universities with an immersive art installation which ran through this past weekend. The installation, produced by the University and Salford and Liverpool’s John Moore University, was part of the ISEA2009, and international electronic art symposium in the U.K. and Ireland.Read More →

Have you seen the episode of The Office where Dwight Shrute gets a Second Life? It’s exactly the same as his first life – except that he can fly! And did you catch that episode of CSI: New York where Mac Taylor has to go inside Second Life to catchRead More →

Ever more frequently, companies looking to save money are moving meetings and training into virtual environments such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra, and Qwac. In some cases, the company fully controls the environment, creating avatars and user names for their employees. In other environments, it’s all up to the employees. Read More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Corporate Planners Unlimited, Inc. is not only a meeting and events company – it is also a travel agency. So it might be strange that president Dan Parks is promoting a way to hold meetings and conferences that requires no travel at all. It wasn’t always this way. When ParksRead More →

Boston students may be able to attend a virtual high school in September 2010, if Roxbury Institute of Technology‘s plans for a charter high school are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The school will combine a virtual environment, based on the Sun Wonderland virtual platform, and a real-worldRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] New OpenSim grids pop up all the time — and old ones change their hypergrid coordinates. It doesn’t helpRead More →

Professors at Purdue University, Indiana, say their year-long presence in Second Life has made their teaching more engaging by giving students face-to-face interaction, preparing them to use virtual reality as a professional tool, and allowing business classes to simulate concepts. The program was originally for distance learning students, but laterRead More →

Now that you have your own virtual world (go back and read Virtuation 101 if you don’t), you might be finding yourself standing in a barren landscape — or on a little pimple of an island in the middle of an empty ocean. What’s next? DO IT YOURSELF The basicRead More →

Here is what you will need to know if you decide to have a virtual world. First, you need to decide where your virtual world will be. Do you want a private world accessible only by you? Or a public one, accessible by millions? For a one-person world, go withRead More →

In conjunction with its two year anniversary, the folks behind OSGrid — the largest grid running the OpenSim open source virtual world platform — have added new functionality to the grid, including a social network, a general store, and an automatic region creator. SOCIAL SIGNALS The OSGrid administrators have integratedRead More →

As the virtual worlds grow and develop — and evolve into the next 3D Web — the issue of copyright is being debated again. In some ways, virtual worlds copyrights may require changes in the way we think of and use copyrights. But, in most respects, virtual worlds copyrights areRead More →

Just as colleges and universities were among the first to embrace the World Wide Web, educational institutions are now in the forefront of those embracing innovative uses of OpenSim and other virtual worlds platforms. For example, the CSI project from the Kansas-based Greenbush Education Service Center is an interactive crime-solvingRead More →

The battle for the future of the 3D Web is about to get hot… and steamy. Utherverse CEO tells us that he’s planning to launch an all-out attack against the other virtual world platforms out there, with free hosting and a set of free building tools designed to attract businessRead More →

Virtual reality will be more successful in China than in the West because of cultural differences in the way Chinese people use the Internet and emotionally connect with it, said Tom Doctoroff, the CEO of JWT, a marketing and communications company that specializes in brand identity. Doctoroff spoke today atRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.  Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.] There are plenty of virtual worlds out there, floating, isolatedRead More →

An unknown hacker took down more than a hundred OpenSim regions this weekend, as well as over a hundred thousand websites. This is bad news for some OpenSim hosting companies who relied on low-cost virtual shared servers to host their regions. Chris Greenwell, for example, lost 41 regions total, includingRead More →

If you’re looking to rent some OpenSim land from someone, you’re probably thinking about the monthly cost and the setup fee, but here are a few more questions to ask:

These last couple of weeks have been problematic for many of us using OpenSim. The OSGrid, in particular, has had more than its share of downtime as a result of ongoing software upgrades, and links between regions break frequently because of incompatible software versions. So in planning the location ofRead More →

ReactionGrid, headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida has been working in virtual worlds for years. The founders – Robin and Kyle Gomboy – produced three-dimensional models of aircraft and chip parts for Florida manufacturers as part of their work on automating production facilities. “We thought that if we put it intoRead More →

More than a dozen entrepreneurs got together Thursday night — or Friday morning, depending on their time zone — in OSGrid’s Business Center to discuss entrepreneurship on the emerging 3D Internet, or the hypergrid. Those attending included “Richardus Raymaker,” Jim Siler (“Omar Abdelrahim”), “Vette Chrome”, “RetroDan Dezno”, “Zauber Paracelsus”, “SimRead More →

So you have decided that your company needs a virtual world platform. (Maybe you read our earlier article, “Do you need a virtual world?“) Here is how to select the rigtht platform. Do you expect to have more than 50 visitors at any one time? Most immersive virtual words haveRead More →

Grid A horizontal map composed of one or more regions, similar to the way that a chessboard is made up of individual squares. A grid is normally identified by a URL and a port number, for example, the OSGrid is located at osgrid.org:8002. Hypergrid All grids that are linked toRead More →

Unlike Second Life, the open source virtual world platform OpenSim does not have a built-in currency system. To users, this is a significant lack of functionality – but developers see it as a feature. The reason? OpenSim is not a clone of the Second Life game – that multi-user virtualRead More →

Virtual worlds can be difficult to access, with most of the popular ones — such as Second Life and games like World of Warcraft — requiring the installation of special software. The new OpenSim-based virtual worlds are no exception, requiring that users install software and then struggle to  figure outRead More →

According to OpenSim core developer Charles Krinke, there are 330 key functions in Second Life – and 300 of them have been fully implemented in OpenSim. Of the remaining 30, half have to do with vehicle physics, he said. These are the functions that allow virtual passengers to ride inRead More →

Many virtual worlds, including  Second Life, OpenLife Grid, ReactionGrid and many others, keep the entire grid behind a corporate firewall, and restrict access. OSGrid, however, is wide open. Anybody can install OpenSim on a server – or, like I did, on a home PC – and fire up a regionRead More →

Charles Krinke joined the OpenSim core development team a year and eight months ago. In that time, he saw the project go from being a collection of 600 messages – packets – used by Second Life browsers to communicate with their servers – to a fully-fledged platform for building hyperlinkedRead More →

The OpenSim project – while backed by big companies like IBM and Intel – is not beholden to them. In fact, it works more like a pick-up game of basketball. People show up at the same court, break into teams, play a few games, then go home when they’re tiredRead More →

Many people think that the OpenSim platform was reversed engineered from Second Life’s browser — but this is not actually true. It was actually built based on eavesdropping. No, not on company phone calls — on the communications between the Second Life browser and the Second Life servers. Servers areRead More →

Gwyneth Llewelyn actually posted this article “OpenSimulator: The Choice for 2010 back in January, but it still remains one of the best overviews of what’s happening in the OpenSim worlds that I have read so far. She talks about how OpenSim was developed, and how its modular approach makes itRead More →

The three top businesses in Second Life are land sales, item sales, and (presumably — no hard data available) sex. For businesses looking to explore Second Life, however, these are the worst businesses to get into right now. First, land. It might seem a no-brainer on the surface: rent landRead More →

I’ve been playing around with a beta account on Metaplace — a new 3D virtual world, something like Second Life. If you’re looking for a place to start, Metaplace is by far simpler. No download required — it works in a regular browser. It’s in beta, so it’s not fullyRead More →

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