Three 360 degree films — the Peal, Help and Real — demonstrated that immersive storytelling can pack a big emotional punch. The three films took the top prizes at the FIVARS 2016 Awards last month at the Virtual Reality Toronto event. The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories featured 30 titlesRead More →

It was a busy week for virtual reality announcements this week. Following on Google’s Pixel and Daydream presentation earlier in the week, Oculus showed off new hardware and software at their annual Oculus Connect conference in San Jose. The company showed off new controllers, Watch the official Oculus Connect presentationsRead More →

NBC is partnering with AltspaceVR to bring viewers virtual reality feel of the U.S. Presidential debates and will be streaming the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tonight at the AltSpace VR’s Democracy Plaza at 8.30 p.m eastern time. Users of AltSpaceVR will be able to join theRead More →

DigiWorldz and the Great Canadian Grid are back up after a nerve-wracking week when Hurricane Matthew threatened to cut off power to the grids’ Florida data center. “DigiWorldz is back online and no damage at all,” DigiWorldz founder Terry Ford, also known as Butch Arnold in-world, told Hypergrid Business. DigiWorldz alsoRead More →

DigiWorldz and the Great Canadian Grid have gone off-line as Hurricane Matthew took down power lines in the area, set transformers on fire, caused power surges, and inflicted other damage. That caused unstable power situations for some of the power circuits feeding the data center where those two grids are hosted,Read More →

Customers will purchase more than 450,000 Google Daydream View headsets by the end of the year, according to SuperData Research. Samsung’s Gear VR, Daydream’s closest competitor, is estimated to sell around 2.3 million units. However, the headset has been on the market for over a year. Daydream View will hitRead More →

Google officially announced its new Pixel phone and its Daydream View VR headset today. The live stream of the presentation was watched by more than a quarter million people. Watch the full presentation below. (The Daydream VR announcement starts at the 1:04 mark.) According to Clay Bavor, Google’s VP forRead More →

The U.S. Army’s Moses project is one of the most high-profile users of OpenSim, with a focus on training and simulations rather than on using OpenSim as a platform for a social grid. Last Friday, project leader Douglas Maxwell sent a note to OpenSim developers disclosing four “high priority securityRead More →

AviWorlds is back, and the company has its original domain back as well. This is the ninth time that the grid has come back up after it had closed. “Since I’m back in New York now I’ve had time to start a smaller project,” grid owner Alexandro Pomposelli — also known asRead More →

Udacity, an online platform for college courses, is now offering a VR development course — with no previous programming experience necessary. The class costs $199 per month, and runs for six months. Those who complete the program will receive a “nanodegree” certificate from Udacity — and get half of theirRead More →

  The Kokua Viewer team has released an OpenSim-friendly version of their viewer this week, and 3rd Rock Grid is set as the default grid in the grid manager. Other grids included are Craft, InWorldz, Kitely, FrancoGrid, OSgrid, SirinHGpole, Spellscape, and Tangle. Users can also add their own grids, asRead More →

Engage, a free multi-user virtual reality social platform that allows educators to create and share virtual environments and take students on virtual field trips is now available in preview edition and will launch early next year. The platform also supports business networking, worker training and collaboration, with private rooms that can accommodate upRead More →

MyWebRoom will launch a free new social virtual reality platform next month, myVR, which will allow users to create and customize private room, and hold events using mobile-based VR headsets. It could be the first virtual reality platform that allows user-created environments. Two of the big players in the space, AltSpace and vTime, onlyRead More →

Time Inc., the publisher of the iconic Life magazine that closed in 1972, is relaunching the title — in virtual reality. The new Life VR features immersive storytelling, the company said in its announcement last week, and is available as a free download in the Life VR app for iOS and AndroidRead More →

The community-focused AvatarFest event kicks off on Friday, accessible to all OpenSim hypergrid users. There are about two dozen exhibitors already participating, and more than a dozen performances are scheduled, including those by OpenSim celebrities Truelie Telling, The Fabulous Wailers, Rosie O’Grady, and many others. There is also a performance of “Two GentlemenRead More →

Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform is now open to the public. The Daydream software development kit came out of beta, the company announced Thursday. The kit, available here for Android, has native Unity integration and native integration with Unreal Engine 4. Daydream is coming this fall, and is part ofRead More →

The tenth annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference will be held March 29 through April 1 of next year — and is currently accepting proposals. Conference organizers are looking for presentations about new projects, research, services, or tools that benefit educators, or retrospectives about previously-presented work. Academic papers should beRead More →

People watching 360-degree videos recalled the brands mentioned 28 times more than in traditional ads, according to a new report by Nielsen. Recall of 360-degree content in general was eight times higher, and consumers were three times as likely to buy after seeing an ad in virtual reality. Nielsen’s researched was conductedRead More →

The average price of a region on an OpenSim grid is US $20.39 per month for a region with 15,000 or more prims. Hypergrid-enabled grids are a little bit less expensive, with an average price of $18.86 per region. Closed grids tend to cost more, charging on average $30.28 perRead More →

This year’s presidential election will be conducted, in part, in virtual reality. A partnership between NBC News and AltspaceVR is transforming a virtual recreation of New York’s Rockefeller Center Plaza into Democracy Plaza, where AltspaceVR users can attend debate watch parties, live discussions with political experts and political comedy events.Read More →

The social virtual reality platform AltspaceVR is doubling down on the social aspect, with interface changes designed to make it easier for people to get together. Previously, AltspaceVR — like many virtual environments — was organized around the idea of virtual locations. That doesn’t work well because when people showRead More →

IMAX will begin its virtual reality roll-out as early as the end of this year, IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said at a conference in Los Angeles this Wednesday. Moviegoers will be able to purchase bundled ticket that cover both the movie and access to a virtual reality experience located at the sameRead More →

Update: I missed a couple of grids in the first version of the story, AllCity updated their stats, and I removed Alife Virtual’s stats from the report because of questions about their accuracy. Read full story here. Only a small handful of grids had problems this month, while the restRead More →

The 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference, to be held in December, is now accepting proposals for presentations and activities. “We are particularly interested in speakers that can dramatically tell the story of their work and employ great props and graphics,” the organizers said in the announcement. This year’s conference is organizedRead More →

Carlos Loff has moved his Virtual Lisbon and Space Life projects to DigiWorldz, with plot rentals available for interested residents. He was previously hosted by AviLabs, the hosting company behind AviWorlds, which imploded messily and publicly last month. Even before AviLabs fell apart, Loff said he was having trouble attracting residents.Read More →

The next OpenSim Treasure Hunt has been scheduled, and it will rum from October 3 to November 7. The hunt, the fourth so far this year, is an opportunity for grids and venues to promote their destinations to hypergrid travelers, and for designers and other content creators to promote theirRead More →

Due to user feedback, Las Vegas VR has moved beyond 360-degree videos with animated graphics and video overlays, as well as new interactive features to its application to improve navigation and user immersion. Since the app was first released this past March, it has been downloaded more than 10,000 times — andRead More →

Editor’s note: This article was updated on 1/27/2023 to remove dead links and  links to malicious sites. An OpenSim viewer that runs in a regular web browser has long been at the top of most-wanted lists for OpenSim users. And the U.S. Army is stepping up. This fall, the U.S. Army’sRead More →

Digitaleisure, one of the new grids created in the wake of AviWorlds’ latest flame-out, has been forced to rebrand as SkyLifeGrid due to legal issues. The original name and domain was too close to that of Digital Leisure, an online gaming company. Digital Leisure paid for the domain transfers, said SkyLifeGrid owner JoshRead More →

The 2016 Fest’Avi event begins today, the third year that FrancoGrid is hosting the avatar exhibit. The event begins at 6 p.m. Paris time, or 9 a.m. Pacific, at hg.francogrid.org:80:FestAvi 2016. The event features an exhibit of 19 new creative avatar designs, theMorlitaM live concert, and the FestAvi party. The theme of thisRead More →

Google Plus continues to be the social media destination of choice for OpenSim users, due its usability, sharing features, and support for identities based on avatar names. I currently track 175 virtual communities that have some relation to OpenSim, and just collected the members counts of each group. See theRead More →

Adapting OpenSim to work on virtual reality headsets will require a substantial amount of work on both server and viewer code. Is this something that OpenSim users want to see happen? According to a survey conducted on this site this week, 79 percent of OpenSim users think that VR isRead More →

Disclosure: The folks at Vox VR just sent me a free review copy of their Vox+ Z3 headset, which is a rebranded version of the BoboVR Z3 but with a larger field of view. Thanks, guys! The purchase links at the bottom of this article are to all the major sites I knowRead More →

CoSpaces, a platform that allows users to create, explore and share virtual reality spaces, is now being used by educators, teachers and students to create virtual learning environments and enhance learning. The platform now includes a creation tool that can be used by teachers to customize learning environments, allows teachers toRead More →

OutWorldz founder Fred Beckhusen has posted his collection of 1,000 OpenSim scripts on the open source collaboration site GitHub, as well as the code for his one-click OpenSim installer, called DreamWorld. Like New World Studio before, DreamWorld makes it easy to install a mini-grid on a personal computer, together with the FirestormRead More →

Have you ever though that wearing your VR headset didn’t make you look dorky enough? I have a solution for you! The Virtual Vizor is a clip-on device that fits on the bill of your baseball cap and lets you enjoy VR experiences hands-free. To be fair, given the techieRead More →

The White House released a virtual reality video of President Barack Obama touring Yosemite National Park yesterday. Read the full announcement here. But the experience is only available on Facebook and on the Samsung Gear VR headset, with Oculus Rift support coming soon. Facebook owns Oculus VR which also provides contentRead More →

Intel has announced a new all-in-one virtual reality headset, Project Alloy,  at the Intel Developer Forum 2016 earlier this month. The headset has its own brain, so not does not need to be connected to a computer or smartphone in order to work. There is no word yet on when the headsetRead More →

A complex mesh object can significantly slow down the loading of a region — as much as ten minutes, in some cases, according to Oren Hurvitz, co-founder and VP of R&D at Kitely. That’s a significant problem for Kitely in particular because the grid’s regions are all loaded on demand. TheyRead More →

Lifeliqe, a platform for 3D, VR and AR educational content, has launched a content creator tool that will allow educators to create intuitive and immersive educational content that integrate interactive 3D models in order to make lessons, presentations and e-books more engaging. The creator tool will also be brought into VRRead More →

Press release: THE IMMERSE SUMMIT RETURNS ON TUES. OCT. 11TH AS THE LARGEST IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE & EXPO IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Now in its 3rd year, IMMERSE (Formerly SEA-VR) will bring together all of the latest Learnings, Companies and Innovations in the Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Industry BELLEVUE,Read More →

For the first time in history, virtual reality technology was used in the Olympic games to allow users to view events in virtual reality. We’re not quite at the point yet where sports fan can put on a headset and enter the Olympics stadiums and virtually attend all events. Instead, what we gotRead More →

Despite the the absence of the Virtual Life grid and Avination in this month’s statistics, region counts, registered users, and active users all increased this month. Virtual Life grid shut down without notice, and Avination is in the process of moving to a new hosting provider and could be downRead More →

Press release: IDC Expects Blossoming Gaming Market in China Including VR Systems and Consoles BEIJING – According to the IDC China Gaming Market Forecast Analysis 2016-2020, the number of gamers in China reached 530 million in 2015, which is 1.7 times that of the entire U.S. population. IDC expects thisRead More →

Avi-Labs is offering free regions on the AviWorlds and AviBrasil grids, but will no longer be accepting new grid hosting companies, Nearly 200 free regions have already been given out, company owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business — 65 on AviWorlds and 117 on AviBrasil — and the infrastructure for theRead More →

Press release: Worldwide Revenues for Augmented and Virtual Reality Forecast to Reach $162 Billion in 2020, According to IDC  FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – According to the new Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide from the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) marketRead More →

Atek Grid, formerly owned by the company behind the CloudServe OpenSim hosting company, has been bought by the Tampa-based Florida Web Council, Inc. CloudServe will continue to run the back-end technology for the grid and manage the hosting. Atek Grid is large in land area — the equivalent of 4,447Read More →

Press release: The Dark Ride Project – Saving classic haunted attractions using Virtual Reality Since the 1970s, hundreds of ghost trains and haunted house rides have closed across the USA and they are now an endangered species. The Dark Ride Project captures the last of the world’s dark rides using virtual reality, sharing theirRead More →

Update: Genesis Grid has since been rebranded as Genesis Metaverse. The Genesis Grid, formerly hosted by Avi-Labs, has left that hosting company in the wake of recent problems and launched its own OpenSim hosting service. It will be hosting its own grid, as well as that of another former Avi-Labs customer,Read More →