A couple of readers — okay, several readers — have written to me complaining about the outages on the Hypergrid Business website, so this morning I’ve been following up with tech support at my hosting company, Dreamhost. One of the things was trivial — the https:// security was in place,Read More →

Jan. 20 Update: First, thank you, everyone, for helping put the book on the Amazon best-seller list for Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Reads last week. It was amazing — we broke the top 50! You guys rock! Second, it turns out that I’m not allowed to offer the book for freeRead More →

In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing with myself now that I’m not blogging about OpenSim as much, here’s an update. First, I’m super busy at my day job. I’m covering artificial intelligence for IDG’s CIO magazine and cybersecurity for CSO. I’ve also been getting my new blog, Upsider,Read More →

Earlier this year, I wrote about how I’m ready to start winding down Hypergrid Business and move on to the next part of my life. My kids are out of the house, I’ve rented a new office, and I’ve been disentangling myself from old commitments. At my day job, covering technologyRead More →

As you folks know, I’ve been struggling with collecting all the stats from all the grids every month, and, earlier this year, have almost fully automated the process, using an extremely jury-rigged Filemaker script. Today, I accidentally stumbled on the fact that Google Spread can be used to do theRead More →

It can be hard to keep up with all the new virtual reality apps coming out. But, if you’re just starting out, it can be equally hard to find good ones to start with. Here are my favorite resources. Best review website: WeArVR Every tech pub, including Hypergrid Business, willRead More →

Last night, I wanted to try out the  VR Spaceship VR app for Android on my Pixel phone with my Daydream View headset. Unfortunately, VR Spaceship is an older, Cardboard-compatible app, not a Daydream app, and I kept getting a warning message: I got the warning message as soon as I startedRead More →

Eight year ago, when I first launched Hypergrid Business, virtual worlds offered a unique set of compelling features. There was presence, and immersion, and the ability to create your own virtual environments. Plus, they also had other benefits that, combined with the unique features, created a potentially world-changing technology platform.Read More →

On Tuesday, David Kariuki’s article about a freebie store that distributed content that was “found and collected” on other grids — without any checks that the content was legal — drew some comments from people who defended the practice. Let’s put aside the main issue, that infringing content opens theRead More →

I occasionally get emails from people starting new OpenSim grids, and wondering how they’re going to pay for them. Here are the top five ways that OpenSim grids find success. 1. Commercial grids These are the best-known grids, typically because they put the most time and resources into sales andRead More →

Today, I got another submission for a free ad that was basically just the grid’s name. And I regularly talk to grid owners who try to tell me that their grid is special because of its community, and to attract residents they offer low-cost land and free user accounts. HavingRead More →

It seems unfair, but there are some people out there who seem to have the trust of their customers, no matter how many times they let them down. And other, completely decent, honorable grids can’t seem to get any respect. Part of the problem is that many honest, reliable, hard-workingRead More →

If you want to rent land, or sell other products or services, you need a landing page. A landing page is a page that converts someone who is vaguely interested in what you are offering into an actual customer. The effectiveness of your landing page is known as the conversionRead More →

$6 for three years of protection against lawsuits from US creators — for any grid, anywhere in the world helps protect against take-downs by hosting companies and domain registrars helps keep creators from going to social media and blogs to get attention for problems The US Copyright office has madeRead More →

In response to yesterday’s post about the changing editorial direction at Hypergrid Business — and free ads — I’ve been flooded with requests for advertisements. And I want to run the ads. Really, I do. Promoting OpenSim to the 100,000-plus site visitors who might not have heard of OpenSim beforeRead More →

The world seems to have hit a tipping point when it comes to immersive environments, and the pace of change is exploding. These changes have been dramatically reflected in the readership of this site over the past couple of months. My life is about to change dramatically as well. SoRead More →

For the past few years, the Hyperica grid and website has been a directory of hypergrid destinations for OpenSim users. Nearly 40,000 people have visited the site over the past two years, with more than 330,000 page views total. Those are decent numbers for OpenSim, but are tiny compared toRead More →

Updated: August 10, 2017 Do want to give a VR headset as a gift to someone with an iPhone — or buy one for yourself? You can. You won’t get the best possible mobile experience, however, since the two best headsets — the Samsung Gear VR and the Daydream ViewRead More →

Unlike Android VR games, which work reasonably well with standard, off-the-shelf Bluetooth controllers, iPhones are a bit more temperamental. Regular Bluetooth controllers don’t work. What you do get are some work-arounds, but they only work with a a tiny handful of the thousands of VR apps and games in the iPhoneRead More →

There are a lot of 360-degree videos out there and more arriving all the time. They seem to be a killer application for virtual reality. Even the lowest-cost mobile-based headsets — the kind you get for free in a cereal box — do a good job with 360-videos because they’reRead More →

Back in early October, I ran out and bought the new Google Pixel phone the day it came out, and immediately put through an order for my free Daydream View VR headset. Last week, as all the other tech journalists were writing their reviews, I had to sit and grindRead More →

Disclosure: This camera was provided free by GeekBuying. After discovering that Chinese manufacturers were making some of the best Google Cardboard-compatible virtual reality headsets in the world, and at super low prices, I was curious if the same was true for 360-degree cameras, as well. So far, the answer seems toRead More →

Update: My daughter used the camera a couple of times, and then it stopped working. When she turns it on, the display window just says “Error” and it does not connect to WiFi or to its smartphone apps, and no combination of restarting or button pressing seems to make the messageRead More →

I really liked the first FiiT VR headset that I tried, and when the FiiT VR 2S came out, I had to order it. It has the same field of view, but weighs a little less, and is better for augmented reality since the outside cover is almost completely open. Disclosure:Read More →

I got into writing about OpenSim back in 2009 because it seemed to be, at the time, the best path to an open-source, peer-to-peer metaverse. I want to see a future where anyone could put up a virtual environment, and have people teleport in and out from other people’s environments. ARead More →

A lot of folks are interested in getting a career in virtual reality these days, and I don’t blame them. The industry is exploding. So I’m getting emails from folks asking me for advice in how to get started. My standard advice is to go to college for a degreeRead More →

Disclosure: This headset was provided free by GeekBuying. I like the idea of using all-in-one headsets for things like real estate and auto show rooms, trade shows or roller coaster rides. There’s no point of using an expensive headset or a high-end mobile phone if all you’re doing is showingRead More →

There are grids whose welcome areas are always full of people hanging out, with mentors on hand to help newcomers and answer questions from residents and visitors, even grid owners stopping by to press the virtual flesh. Kitely has not been one of those grids. In the past, its welcomeRead More →

The smartphone is able to replace a lot of the things we use to need. Alarm clocks, GPS devices, cameras, mail delivery, televisions, radios, tape recorders, record players, calculators, guitar tuners, pedometers — the list goes on and on. The next-generation augmented and virtual reality headset, which looks like aRead More →

Per reader request, I’ve added two new links to the menu in the black bar above — VR & AR, and Metaverse. The first will list all the VR articles, and the second will just have the OpenSim-related ones. If you subscribe to the Hypergrid Business RSS feeds, you can now subscribeRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, I received a review copy of the UCVR headset in the mail. I haven’t been in a rush to review it, Because I didn’t have anything nice to say. I enjoy writing positive reviews a lot more. But I also don’t want people to waste their money.Read More →

The other mini headset that I ordered recently has arrived, the Shinecon Mini from AliExpress, which cost me $13.50. Since it came at about the same time as the Leji VR Mini that I reviewed yesterday, I was able to compare the two mini headsets. They have a lot in commonRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. Another headset I’m recommending is the BoboVR Z4 headset, which has a 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and a built-in control button. The Leji VR Mini that I ordered from AliExpress for $11 has just arrived,Read More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. But I’m also still recommending the BoboVR Z4 headset, because of its 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and built-in control button. Last month, I received a free review copy of the Virtoba X5 headset from GeekBuying, and a coupleRead More →

I just received my free Loop VR headset from OnePlus. The company gave away thousands of headsets to promote the release of their new OnePlus 3 smartphone, and while it’s definitely an upgrade from the cardboard headset they sent out last year, it lacks many of the features that have recently becomeRead More →

Did you just get a Cardboard-compatible virtual reality headset? You can tell if you have a mobile headset by the fact that it weighs very little, costs very little, and does not plug in to your computer. Instead, it has a place where you put in your smartphone. Then, if theRead More →

The latest version of the YouTube app can play any video in virtual reality mode, on both Android smartphones and iPhones. Just open up the app on your smartphone, and pull up any video. Take, for example, this  Cirque du Soleil virtual reality video. Notice the little Cardboard outline at bottomRead More →

In general, I believe that marketing is advertising is great for promoting virtual reality.  Marketing experiences tend to short, well-produced, and, of course, well marketed. Plus, no company wants to make potential customers sick, so they pay attention to making their virtual experiences induce as little nausea as possible. And,Read More →

I just received a review copy of the Pico 1 headset in the mail. Disclosure: It was provided free by GeekBuying. But even though it was free, it still wasn’t worth the money. Was I disappointed? Absolutely! From the pictures and early descriptions I had this fantasy that the PicoRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. But I’m also still recommending the BoboVR Z4 headset, because of its 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and built-in control button. I would not recommend that anyone go rush out and buy a virtual reality headset rightRead More →

I love virtual reality rollercoaster apps because they’re an easy way to show off the technology to people who’ve never tried it before. You don’t have to teach people how to interact with the app, or how to navigate. All you do is pull it up and hand over theRead More →

When I first heard about all-in-one virtual reality headsets, the idea seemed totally impractical. Who would want to spend several hundred dollars on technology that would become quickly obsolete? With mobile-based headsets, you’re still spending hundreds of dollars on technology — but you’re spending it on the phone, which youRead More →

Disclosure: I bought this headset with my own money, and the purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I know that carry it, with affiliate links where available. Bottom line: This headset does not make my best-buy list. It is heavy in comparison to otherRead More →

Disclosure: The folks at EverBuying just sent me a free review copy of the VRToto headset. Thanks, guys! The purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I know that carry it, with affiliate links where available. Bottom line: This headset does not make my best-buy list. ItRead More →

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend in much of the news media and analyst research reports covering virtual reality hardware — a complete and utter dismissal of the virtual reality headsets made in China. Instead, all the attention goes to the super-pricey and super-niche tethered headsets like the Oculus Rift,Read More →

Disclosure: The folks at GeekBuying just sent me a free review copy of the DeePoon V3 headset. Thanks, guys! The purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I know that carry it, with affiliate links where available. Bottom line: Right now, this headset is giving my currentRead More →

I recently saw Hardcore Henry at the local mall, a movie funded via a crowdfunding campaign and filmed completely in a video game-style first-person point of view. This was not a great movie. It did not have a great plot, or great character development. It felt more watching someone playRead More →

The folks at GearBest just sent me a free review copy of the PlayGlass headset. While this headset is one of the pricier ones I’ve reviewed recently, I was not particularly impressed with its field of view, usability, and opaque cover. However, it does have decent lens adjustment options andRead More →

Update: I was doing a demo yesterday and the Cardboard Enabler app I reviewed below mysteriously stopped working. I could no longer switch to the Gear VR view. Deleting the app forced me to reinstall the Gear VR applications and reboot my phone several times. Then my phone died forRead More →

If you go to the official Google Cardboard site, you might think that there are only a dozen or so compatible headsets — and that half of them are made of cardboard. In fact, that page only shows a very tiny subset of the Cardboard-compatible headsets on the market. WorstRead More →

I regularly get emails from new grid owners looking for publicity but very few grids can answer the first question I ask: “What makes your grid different?” Instead, I get generic answers, which could apply to any of the 300-plus active grids I’m currently following. Such as community, support, lowRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. Another headset I’m recommending is the BoboVR Z4 headset, which has a 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and a built-in control button. If you haven’t bought a virtual reality headset yet and are looking for aRead More →

Back in January, I ordered a free Cardboard viewer from Raytheon. The offer is no longer available, but the headset finally came in my mail a week or so ago. If your company is considering giving away VR viewers made out of cardboard, this is what your customers will get:Read More →

If you’re in a gang, or want to be, you don’t want to be wearing a geeky virtual reality headset that covers your entire field of view. After all, you don’t want someone to be sneaking up on you and stabbing you in the side. And you certainly don’t wantRead More →

Ever since I learned that people watched 350,000 hours of virtual reality videos on YouTube in the last two months of 2015, I’ve been noticing that there isn’t that much content yet in the form of immersive videos. Other than porn, of course. But there aren’t any break-out YouTube VRRead More →

I first reviewed the LingVR headset back in October, and back then it was my favorite Google Cardboard-compatible headset. My only quibble with it was how hard it was to open and close the latch in order to get to the smartphone. Since Google Cardboard doesn’t come with a decentRead More →

The people have voted, and the results of the avatar outfitter survey are in. More than 50 destinations were submitted, and the top ten are the following. Clutterfly Linda Kellie’s new grid easily earned its first place. Located at clutterfly.world:8002, this is a huge collection of CC0-licensed content — clothing, avatars,Read More →

So you’re thinking of investing time or money in virtual reality technology, but are worried that it’s just a fad — or that you are investing in the wrong platform. To know for sure which way the virtual winds are blowing, you need to find out what the porn industryRead More →

Florida-based virtual reality company Magic Leap has just raised another $800 million, the largest “C” investment round in Internet history, bringing its total valuation to $4.5 billion. This is not the same company as Leap Motion, which tracks hand gestures, and does have products already on the market. On InworldRead More →

A fully-enclosed headset from China, available in both black and white, lightweight, but with a narrow field of view. It weighs 13.5 ounces, or 380 grams and the field of view is 80 degrees — narrower even than headsets made of cardboard. This is a decent low-priced headset, and could be a worthwhile trade-upRead More →

Today in the mail a manufacturer sent me a free review copy of the ViarBox Google Cardboard headset. If you’re in Europe, you can buy these at around $17 each with a headstrap and $15, which is roughly about what any of the brand-name Google Cardboards cost, or a littleRead More →

OpenSim is taking off. Active users grew more than twice as fast in 2015 than in any other previous year. Based on Kitely Market stats, exportable, hypergrid content grew faster last year — five times faster — than non-exportables. And virtual reality is set to explode. With more than 16 millionRead More →

The Fibrum virtual reality headset, from Moscow-based Fibrum Ltd., is a lightweight in every sense of the word — except for price. It is certainly the smallest and lightest of the all-enclosed headsets that I’ve tried. The company says it weighs 4.2 ounces. I weighed it, with straps, and it cameRead More →

I just received the Baofeng Mojing 3 in the mail, and it’s the best alternative I’ve seen yet to the Samsung Gear VR. Plus, it works with all smartphones — not just the latest Samsung models. It has an excellent field of view of 98 degrees, weighs a reasonable 15 ounces,Read More →

The world’s smallest virtual reality headset has arrived. The Homido Mini weighs half an ounce, and fits into the palm of your hand. When you fold it out it looks like a tiny pair of glasses attached to a plastic clip. The clip goes over your smartphone, like this. ItRead More →

Having tried more than a dozen virtual reality headsets over the past few months, there are a few features that I now consider to be must-haves — but which seem to be rare to find. If any manufacturers are paying attention, please considering including more of the following in yourRead More →

My Samsung Gear VR arrived in the mail, and I’m super stoked. Now I get a chance to try all the cool virtual reality apps that aren’t available for Google Cardboard. And they are AWESOME. Okay, not as awesome as the HTC Vive was awesome — that was Star TrekRead More →

I got my Powis virtual reality headset in the mail this weekend. Although the main body is made out of cardboard, it’s a couple of steps up from a standard Google Cardboard headset. The cardboard itself is sturdier, there’s a comfortable rubber edge where the headset meets your face, and eachRead More →

I just received the Dscvr virtual reality headset in the mail, from manufacturer I Am Cardboard. At $30, this headset is a reasonable-priced upgrade by I Am Cardboard standards, which sells a plain cardboard headset for $20. But compared to the other headsets on the market, the Dscvr is tooRead More →

I’ve been reading a lot of military science fiction lately and space operas. They’re two of my all-time favorite genres, and have been ever since I was a teenager. But in the decades since I’ve been in high school I’ve spent a lot of time writing about finance, economics andRead More →

Realiteer, a virtual reality company with a unique control mechanism, has released its first educational game, Wizard Academy for iOS and Android devices. I’m mentioning it here because it has a couple of game play mechanics I haven’t seen before, that could be useful for other developers. Walk-in place locomotionRead More →

With virtual reality exploding, this is a great time for virtual world experts to repackage themselves as virtual reality consultants and start putting their hard-won expertise to work. Whether your focus is training and education, content creation, interaction design, scripting or development, you probably know more than most of theRead More →

Update: In August 2016, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. Another headset I’m recommending is the BoboVR Z4 headset, which has a 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and a built-in control button. As some of you know, I’m a big fan of open-sided headsets, likeRead More →

Update: There are now apps you can use that make it easier to create a new Google Cardboard QR Code. One we tried out recently is Sites in VR. Read our review here. I recently ordered Baofeng Small Mojing virtual reality headset from AliExpress. They start at $12, with free shipping, andRead More →

Like a lot of people, I do a fair bit of shopping online. Amazon, eBay, Staples, Best Buy — I know them well, plus dozens of other online retailers as well. Until this fall, however, I’ve never considered shopping at AliExpress. I’d never heard of the site before, and ifRead More →

Yes, virtual reality technology will turn us all into drooling idiots and destroy civilization — but it won’t be the first. Here are ten other technologies that have already destroyed civilization. 10. The Internet The Internet is more addictive than cocaine. Back in 1995, fewer than 15 percent of Americans usedRead More →

I just got my Samsung Gear VR a couple of weeks ago and have been testing it out. It’s a nice headset, light, wide field of view, but I sent it back today for a refund. I will probably get the updated version once it comes out in November, since itRead More →

I have tried on my share of headsets. The Oculus Rift development kits. The various Google Cardboards and the higher-end smartphone-based headsets. The Fove. Let me just say that even if I didn’t know that I was wearing a headset, I’d instantly know that I was looking at virtual reality,Read More →

I’ve written before about what an amazing service AOL did in getting people to go online for the first time. They spent more than $300 million on all those disks. They were at checkout counters. They came in the mail. They were in cereal boxes. They were everywhere. As aRead More →

My Freefly VR headset came in the mail a couple of days ago — I ordered it from Amazon exactly a week earlier. Bottom line: this is a great headset, and I’m looking forward to comparing it with the Samsung Gear VR, which is being shipped to me as I writeRead More →

It’s a law of economics that, over time and with perfect competition, the price of a product tends to approach the marginal cost of the product — that is, how much it costs to make one more item. The marginal cost of a virtual good is just about as closeRead More →

Update: In August, I bought a FiiT VR 2S, and that is now my new favorite. Another headset I’m recommending is the BoboVR Z4 headset, which has a 120-degree field of view, built-in headphones, and a built-in control button. A new virtual reality headset came in the mail for me today, the C1-Glass fromRead More →

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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