Update: Linden Lab has posted an official notice confirming the news. Linden Lab is shutting down third-party currency exchanges, CrossWorlds exchange owner Tony Bastianelli told Hypergrid Business today. According to Bastianelli, he received an email today telling him that his reseller account will be shut down on August 1, and he will noRead More →

The Kitely Market gained almost 700 new listings this month, its biggest growth month since the market first launched two years ago. More than two-thirds of these listings were for exportable items, available for purchase on almost any hypergrid-enabled grid and some closed grids. The market now has 9,392 differentRead More →

After a dispute between the partners of Digital Worlds Group, a US-based company offering content creation, development, and OpenSim hosting services, the group’s DigiWorldz grid has been split off as its own company, now based in the Netherlands. Two of the former Digital Worlds Group partners, Mark Wiseman and Terry Ford, areRead More →

Craft World‘s Museo del Metaverso will be hosting a fashion exhibit this fall, Virtual Christine announced recently, and is looking for fashion designers from throughout the metaverse who are interested in participating. There will be no catwalk, instead it will be an exhibit for everyone to see. The whole purpose ofRead More →

Craft-World is hosting a photography competition, with the judging scheduled for June 25, and the deadline for submissions on June 16. The theme is “Postcards from Craft” which requires participants to take photos of themselves around the regions on Craft-World in postcard style. The best photographer will win a 10,000Read More →

On Saturday, June 6, Avination will be hosting a charity benefit in support of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, an organization set up in memory of Sophie Lancaster and to promote a more tolerant, less violent society. Who is Sophie Lancaster? Sophie Lancaster was a 21 year old goth girl who was murdered whileRead More →

The Adult Metaverse and OpenSim Virtual are still gaining members on Google Plus, but at about half the rate as last month. Adult Metaverse gained 54 new users, the biggest growth of any OpenSim-specific community, for a new total of 745 members. OpenSim Virtual gained 52 new members and retained itsRead More →

Press release: Edie Falco Voices Mother Orca in Virtual Reality View of SeaWorld’s Cruelty San Diego – PETA has officially kicked off the cross-country tour of its new state-of-the-art (and beyond!) “I, Orca” empathy project, which uses wireless Google virtual reality goggles to immerse potential SeaWorld visitors in a world whereRead More →

Kitely has cut prices by 60 percent for its two top plans by more than half today and officially eliminated metered pricing for new customers. Previously, the most expensive plan was around $100 a month, for an island that could be configured as a megaregion as large as 16 standard regions,Read More →

Updated Jan. 2, 2016: This page is so out of date! Please go see our Virtual Headsets Buying Guide, which lists over 70 Google Cardboard-compatible headsets categorized by price, and our handy Mobile virtual reality headset comparison chart, which has all the key specs, prices, and buying links for all the headsetsRead More →

MUNCIE, Indiana — For the season finale of its popular program “The Universe,” the History Channel highlighted the work of virtual artists from Ball State University. The episode aired May 23 and explored how Roman emperors built structures to align with movements of the sun. To confirm experts’ theories aboutRead More →

BOSTON —  The Immersive Education Initiative today announced the first in a series of international “builder” tournaments during which students and schools compete against one another to build immersive experiences, content, apps and applications. The inaugural Minecraft “Builder Bowl” tournament begins in June, with the championship rounds and awards ceremony toRead More →

Customers have been able to shop on the Kitely Market and get the products delivered to other grids for over a year, But adding a new grid to the delivery list meant that the customer had to know the grid’s loginURI and add it through the grid manager. With hundredsRead More →

Wheeling, WV– The Exo-Life Virtual World released the first two in a new series of OAR files for some grids operating the OpenSim platform today. An OAR is a region backup file. It includes the landscape and all buildings, scripts, and other items available on a region. All independent hosting companies andRead More →

Commercial virtual world Tangle Grid has been down for two weeks due to a series of technical problems — including an actual lightning strike. The grid is still have problems repairing the database, grid owner Leslie Kling told Hypergrid Business. “But we think we are getting lose. We feel we willRead More →

Press release: Second Annual Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference & Expo Draws Record Attendance SAN JOSE, Calif. — Earlier this week, the second annual Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference & Expo, known as SVVR 2015, gathered over 1,400 professionals on May 18th and 19th at the San Jose Convention Center.Read More →

Oculus Connect 2, the second annual developer conference, will bring together engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to learn about the future of the Oculus platform and push virtual reality forward. This year’s Connect will feature keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Michael Abrash, and John Carmack, plus everything developersRead More →

Press release: Next Galaxy To Provide Berkshire Hathaway Subsidiary Richline With ECommerce Virtual Reality Content Miami Beach, FL –  Next Galaxy Corp., a leading developer of innovative content solutions and fully immersive consumer virtual reality technology, announced that it will be providing Richline Group Inc. with a virtual reality experience toRead More →

Second Life’s content creators redeemed over $60 million last year, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg said Monday at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose. Of that $60 million, “a lot of that is from the fashion industry,” he added. “Just like in the real world, people wantRead More →

AltspaceVR’s social virtual reality platform is now open to all, the company announced at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference today. The company offers a proprietary cloud-based platform for holding virtual meetings in which users can meet, talk, wave their hands, and share videos and other Web-based content. There’s aRead More →

The second annual Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo started this morning, and the first video footage is up. The presentations start at the 42 minute mark with opening remarks by “Cymatic” Bruce Wooden of AltSpaceVR and conference organizer Karl Krantz, who is also the founder of the escVR virtual realityRead More →

OpenSim’s land area and active users hit new record highs this month. Land area passed 4,000 square kilometers for the first time, and 60,000 regions, while active users crossed the 32,000 mark. At 4,015 square kilometers, OpenSim’s public grids added together are now bigger than the state of Rhode Island.Read More →

Sony is currently leading the virtual reality patent race, according to a new report from Houston-based patent consulting firm LexInnova, According to the firm’s analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications, Sony has 366 virtual reality patents or patent applications. Microsoft is close behind, with 365, followed by Samsung withRead More →

Some OpenSim users have complained that closed grids — especially InWorlds, the largest closed grid of them all — do not contribute enough back to the community. Today, InWorldz co-founder and CTO David Daeschler made a strong case that InWorldz does much more than market OpenSim effectively to newcomers. (Though that,Read More →

The owners of the Next Reality and Pillars of Mist OpenSim grids have announced that the two virtual worlds are closing this month. “It pains me to have to say this, but from the 15th May 2015 The Next Reality Grid will be going offline,” said grid owner Mike Hart inRead More →

Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets will begins shipping in the first quarter of 2016, the company announced today. Pre-orders will begin later this year. “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift,”Read More →

The Adult Metaverse community on Google Plus was against the fastest-growing OpenSim community last month, gaining 101 new members for a new total of 691 users. OpenSim Virtual was in second place, with 81 new members for a new total of 1,351. This meant that OpenSim Virtual comfortably retained its placeRead More →

Kitely‘s pricing options have long been a confusing mess for customers, with people having trouble understanding their metered billing in particular. To address this issue, Kitely first rolled out flat-rate regions back in 2012, but the various pricing options just confused customers more. It didn’t help that Kitely was theRead More →

Is there a particular kind of virtual content you need, and can’t find — and are seriously considering making yourself? For example, my time in virtual worlds is all spent working — mostly, attending business meetings, hosting shows, interviewing people. I like to wear skirts when I do this, but most skirtsRead More →

Kitely users on a flat-rate plan can now change the size of their megaregions for free via the Web interface. Those on premium plans have a fee of 150 KC, or about $0.75, to resize their megaregions. Kitely offers several flat-rate megaregion plans. For around $50 a month, customers getRead More →

Creators have until May 15 to sign up to participate in FrancoGrid‘s second annual Fest’Avi competition. The competition is open to creators, audience, photographers, and machinimists from any grid. The content submitted to the competition will be made available to the public under a Creative Commons license. Read the full rulesRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd., has stopped working on the development of the text-only METAbolt viewer, company director Casper Warden announced recently. “We have been asked to cease using the METAbolt brand with immediate effect, due to a political disagreement with the original creator,” he wrote. “With no maintainer, it appears that METAboltRead More →

Press release: WorldViz Introduces VizMove: The Industry’s First Out-of-the-Box Virtual Reality Solution for the Enterprise New end-to-end VR solution featuring Vizard 5.1 provides seamless set of tools for portable virtual reality SANTA BARBARA, Calif.  – WorldViz, the company that powers virtual reality, today announced VizMove, the industry’s first out-of-the-box wide-area-walkingRead More →

An new version of the Kokua viewer was released yesterday, with updates from the Second Life and the Restrained Love viewers. There are also fixes for in-world Flash playback, upload fees, and other bugs. See the release notes for full details. According to a recent analysis of hypergrid traffic, the KokuaRead More →

Avination, a closed commercial grid, announced a switch to a new currency yesterday, as a result of a previous theft of $126,000 from the grid. Back in the summer of 2011, crooks stole a bunch of US credit card numbers and used them to buy $126,000 worth of Avination’s C$Read More →

CloudServe, which originally launched as a low-cost OpenSim region hosting provider, has shifted to serving the wholesale market instead. Instead of selling regions to individuals, the company now focuses on serving grid owners and land resellers. “We have been for a while,” said Frank Corsi, the company’s chief technology officer. OneRead More →

There’s never been a better time to stock up on low-cost OpenSim land. Sure, you can run regions or mini-grids at home for free, but then you’re responsible for all your own tech support, backups, and upgrades — and the number of visitors is limited to what you home connectionRead More →

In a paper released today, neuroscientists from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have used virtual reality to find out how people feel when they think their body is invisible. “This experience affects bodily self-perception and social cognition,” the authors wrote. A person was primed to think they’re invisible by wearing a virtual reality headset,Read More →

Press Release: CyberLightning Charts Path to Intelligent Internet of Everything With New Release of CyberVille Platform CyberVille 2.0 Enhances Smart-Node to Cloud Scalability, Establishes Basis for Self-Learning Industrial IoT Networks Espoo, Finland – CyberLightning Ltd. today announced release 2.0 of the CyberVille software platform, which provides a “see it atRead More →

One grid was not enough to hold all the drama that is AviWorlds — so now we have two. And they are at war. In one corner, there’s Alexandro Pomposelli’s AviWorlds grid, at aviworlds.us, with 61 regions and 83 active users. In the other corner, there’s Mike Hart’s AviWorlds grid,Read More →

OSgrid lost a chunk of new inventory items over the course of this past month, but the problem doesn’t affect other grids. “It appears that for the last month or so, the asset server was unable to write assets to the database,” OSgrid administrator Allen Kerensky said in yesterday’s announcement. The grid hasRead More →

There is a new destination guide available for any hypergrid-enabled grid: Hyperica Destination Guide. To add the Hyperica Destination Guide as the default guide for your grid, simply edit your Robust.ini or Robust.HG.ini file. In the “[LoginService]” section there is a “DestinationGuide” parameter which can be used to communicate aRead More →

The total number of regions and public grids in OpenSim hit new record highs this month but while more than 8,600 new users registered, the total number of active users fell by 909 to just below the 30,000 mark. For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, openRead More →

The Kitely Market has passed the 8,000 item milestone, with a new total of 8,300 different items, grouped into 4,116 product listings. Unlike the Second Life Marketplace, where, say, different colors of a dress would each be listed separately, Kitely Market counts these as variations of a common product listing.Read More →

The Adult Metaverse Google Plus community continued to attract members over the past six weeks, growing by 146 members from 444 members last month to 590 members today. At the start of the year, it only had 282 members. Second Life and other Virtual Worlds saw the next-highest growth, with 130Read More →

Press release: Leading universities worldwide join OSVR Open Source Virtual Reality hardware dev kits to be given to more than 20 higher education labs and research facilities SAN FRANCISCO – Organizers of the Open Source Virtual Reality, a software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality inputRead More →

DigiWorldz launched this week, a new filtered grid from one of the founders of 3rd Rock Grid and digital worlds hosting and consulting company Digital Worlds Group. There were more than 30 new grids in the latest Hypergrid Business monthly stats report, but DigiWorldz stands out not only in the caliberRead More →

The new official release of OpenSimulator — OpenSimulator 0.8.1 — came out this week, with only minor changes compared with the preview release. “The most significant being a fix for a regression where script state was being lost for hypergrid transfers,” core developer Justin Clark-Casey said in an announcement. Compared toRead More →

The exportable content on the Kitely Market grew ten times faster than non-exportables over the past month, continuing a trend that began late last summer. The market added 245 new exportable items, compared to 23 non-exportable ones, for a new total of 7,950 different variations of 3,898 products. A singleRead More →

Press Release: Explore thousands of years old sites with Oculus Rift AMSTERDAM — ArcheoScan has launched a 10,000 Euro (US $10,500) Kickstarter campaign to convert a scanned archeological site for virtual reality. “Imagine yourself exploring mysterious tombs and secret places built even before the Roman Empire started. Picture yourself walking around, jumpingRead More →

Press release: Next Galaxy to Develop Virtual Reality Applications for Miami Children’s Hospital MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Next Galaxy Corp, a leading technology and content solutions company developing dynamic, innovative consumer Virtual Reality experiences and technology, is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH)Read More →

Press release: Avination required to stop transfer of Linden Dollars London — Due to recent interaction with Linden Labs, the Avination grid is announcing that the transfer of Linden Dollars to Avination is no longer available, including payment for Avination regions via the Avination ATMs. “Following discussions with Linden Labs they have advised that anyRead More →

This week, OpenSimulator released a security fix to protect content on public grids. All public grids should either install the fix, or configure an HTTP proxy to protect important ports, said OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey in the announcement. But the danger goes beyond protecting the data on grid servers, ifRead More →

The RobStock team have set the date for the 8th annual RobStock Charity Event for the last weekend in March, from Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29. “We are asking artists to give an hour of their time free, all tips going to the charity,” the organizers said in a pressRead More →

Game development studio Epic has just announced that their engine, the infamous Unreal Engine, will be completely free for everyone to use starting immediately. This is a full version of Unreal Engine, and not just a demo or trial version. Those who choose to use Unreal Engine will still beRead More →

Press release: HTC unveils strategic partnership with Valve; announces VR developer edition available in Spring and consumer edition available by end of 2015 BARCELONA, Spain — HTC, a pioneer in innovative, smart technologies, today announced plans to bring mass-market virtual reality (VR) one step closer. Through a strategic partnership with Valve, HTCRead More →

MindMaze Announces $8.5 Million in Angel Funding; MindLeap Game System Driven by Players’ Brainwaves SAN FRANCISCO — GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE – Today MindMaze, a neurotechnology company, unveiled the industry’s first thought-powered virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and motion capture game system, MindLeap. The system is based on MindMaze’s proprietary, medically-provenRead More →

Press release: CommonFloor Introduces Virtual Reality for consumers in Real Estate – CommonFloor Retina Bangalore — CommonFloor.com, India’s leading online real estate platform introduces CommonFloor Retina, world’s first virtual reality innovation in real estate that is available to the masses. This technological breakthrough offers ‘real’ property experience for the seekers allowing them toRead More →

Press release: 360Heros announces new technology for producing 4K virtual reality 360° videos Supports Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard headsets Offers super high-definition video Olean, NY — 360Heros Inc., a company specializing in virtual reality 360 video technology, creates camera systems that can capture 4K (4,000 x 2,000 pixels)Read More →

Augmented and Virtual Reality Devices to Explode from 3 Million Units in 2015 to 55 Million in 2020 Scottsdale, Arizona — ​The augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) markets are seeing much action, from new devices and new content, to existing content adapting to make use of the new medium. HeadRead More →

OpenSim developer Dahlia Trimble has won a bounty for her work on fixing llLookAt, a function useful in making objects move better. “Fred Beckhusen has tested the code and is happy with the result,” said Talla Adams in an announcement today. Adams, who is the moderator of the OpenSim VirtualRead More →

OSgrid, the oldest grid running on the OpenSim software, is backup. The news was announced in a tweet a few minutes ago. “OSgrid is opening its gates to direct logins and regions at this very minute,”Melanie Thielker, founder and owner of the Avination grid and an OpenSim core developer, told Hypergrid Business. “It’sRead More →

Valve just announced that it will show off its own virtual reality hardware, SteamVR, at next month’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Valve is the company behind Portal, Team Fortress 2 and the widely-used PC game distribution hub Steam. “At GDC 2015, we’ll be giving demos of the refined Steam Controller,Read More →

Press release: Immersive Technology Alliance Annual Meeting and Affiliated VR Mixer Offers Easy Access From GDC Event Features VR Design Education, Industry Predictions, and Open Standards Discussion TORONTO, ON — Non-profit and non-proprietary, the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA) is the voice and standards body for technologies such as virtual reality, augmentedRead More →

Ever since the hardware failure took down OSgrid‘s asset database last August, OSgrid residents have been worrying about whether the grid would ever recover — and, if it did, whether their inventories would be restored as well. The wondering is now over. The asset database has been rebuilt, in aRead More →

With the renewed interest in consumer-grade virtual reality systems, it is inevitable that there will be a new sort of “format war” going on for the hearts and minds — and wallets — of the general public. How this will play out is anybody’s guess, but the current positioning of contendersRead More →

River Island, a UK-based fashion chain, has released the first-ever fashion app for Google Cardboard-compatible virtual reality headsets. The app was released to promote the launch of the company’s Design Forum x Jean-Pierre Braganza collection, which hits the stores on February 24, and was created in partnership with the British Fashion CouncilRead More →

The drama-plagued AviWorlds grid is back up under its previous ownership with a new domain name, and a new business model. “This will not be a commercial grid and you can only enter by invitation or referral,” grid owner and founder Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business. He is also known asRead More →

Today, the US Patent Office awarded Apple a patent for a virtual reality headset that is, in effect, a case for an iPhone or iPod. The patent application does not mention the iPad — possibly because it was first filed seven years ago, in 2008, two years before the iPadRead More →

Given the choice between selling to Kitely‘s 1,003 local active users or to the 14,075 on the hypergrid, it makes sense that more and more Kitely Market merchants have gone the hypergrid route. In fact, exportables have long been growing at a faster rate than non-exportables for the past eightRead More →

Press release: Open Source Virtual Reality platform gains traction with 13 new partners VR ecosystem is now supported by 38 members; Academia Support Program announced to support developers worldwide CARLSBAD, Calif. – Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, and Sensics, a leader in high-performance virtualRead More →

The Adult Metaverse Google Plus group was the fastest-growing OpenSim-related virtual community over the past six weeks. The community, as it sounds, is dedicated to adult content and events on the hypergrid, and has grown from 282 members on January 1 to 444 members today, a growth of 162 members.Read More →

This was another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new highs in regions, users, and active users on the 303 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 →

OSgrid has been able to restore the rest of the assets from the recovery disk, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced today. However, he did not provide an estimated date for when OSgrid will be coming back up. He did say that the grid was now working on setting up the networkingRead More →

DX Exchange, one of the oldest exchanges trading Linden Dollars, has now entered the OpenSim payments space. The exchange is now providing the currency infrastructure for Sunlight Grid, with four other grids in beta testing. Currently, there are two main exchanges providing currency services to OpenSim grids. Virwox operates theRead More →

Mattel has updated its View-Master toy, this time, for the smartphone-owning virtual reality generation. The headset, which is scheduled to hit the market in the fall, is made in bright primary colors and works the same way as any other Google Cardboard-compatible headset — it breaks up the cellphone screenRead More →

Press release: LG G3 AND GOOGLE CARDBOARD BRING MOBILE VIRTUAL REALITY TO EVERYDAY LIFE More Consumers Get Access to Affordable and Powerful VR Experience with LG’s VR for G3 Giveaway SEOUL & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — LG Electronics (LG) and Google are making virtual reality (VR) more accessible to mainstream consumers. LG todayRead More →

Ireland’s Immersive VR Education Ltd., has launched a Kickstarter to raise funding for its Apollo 11 virtual educational experience for the Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter launched yesterday and is already more than €3,000 towards its €30,000 (US $34,000) goal. Watch the video about the project below. You can also watch an RTERead More →

Press release: VirtualTourCafe Offers 3-D Virtual Reality Alternative to Traditional Real Estate Virtual Tours and Open House Online service embraces new 3-D technology developed by Matterport to offer international and out-of-town buyers an alternative to the traditional real estate virtual tours and being there in person. Pleasanton, CA  – VirtualTourCafeRead More →

I Am Cardboard — known for their Google Cardboard virtual reality smartphone cases made out of cardboard or EVA foam — is moving up-scale. Its latest design, XG VR, has already raised $70,000 on Kickstarter, well past its $20,000 goal with 22 days left to go. It’s certainly one ofRead More →

DodoCase, one of the earliest and best known of the many companies that offer Google Cardboard kits, is now offering a design-your-own case for $30. According to the company, volume designs are available for quantities over 50. A plain pop-up viewer is $25, a little on the pricey side forRead More →

Press release: NextVR Completes First Live Broadcast Quality Virtual Reality Patented Technology Ushers in a New Era for TV, Film, Events, and Communications  Laguna Beach, CA – NextVR, a technology company that captures and delivers live and on-demand virtual reality experiences, last Friday announced they have successfully conducted the first ever live, broadcastRead More →

Running your own virtual world? Considering registering a dot-world domain name for it. For example, Sunshine.world is available for $28 from GoDaddy and $25 from NameCheap. The first grid to take advantage of this — ZetaWorlds — has already grabbed the domain Zeta.world, grid owner Timothy Rogers announced today. ICANNRead More →

OSgrid has been able to restore 25 percent of assets from the recovery disk, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced yesterday. He said that Melanie Thielker, an OpenSim core developer and owner of the Avination grid, has been helping with the recovery effort. “With Melanie’s cluster replication design, the assets are importingRead More →

The preview release of OpenSim 0.8.1 is out, with improvements to teleports, physics, varregions, scripting, and more. For large commercial grids, this is an opportunity to check out the new release on their beta grids, so that they are ready for the final release when it comes out — andRead More →

Zandramas — an invitation-only closed grid — will become ZanGrid tomorrow, where anyone is welcome to join. In addition, hypergrid visitors will be able to come in and get a preview of the grid on the hypergrid-enabled Club Zandramas region. According to manager and co-founder Suzan De Koning, the grid decidedRead More →

Microsoft has unveiled a prototype of HoloLens, its most intriguing product in years, as part of a pre-launch of Windows 10. HoloLens gives a new dimension to the ‘holographic method’ invented by Hungarian-British physicist Dennis Gabor, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1971. It is a head-mounted holographic displayRead More →

A week ago, I asked: Can AviWorlds find stability under new management? We got the answer today, and the answer is, “No.” “After many weeks of thoughtful consideration, as well as viewing the many comments on Google+, Facebook, and in private emails, we’ve decided to end the battle and closeRead More →

The number of exportable items sold on the Kitely Market has exceeded non-exportables for the first time since the company enabled delivery to other grids early last spring. When Kitely Market merchants add products to their online stores, they can sell those products in a number of variations — differentRead More →

A new data replication has successfully passed its first round of testing, OSgrid grid administrator Allen Kerensky announced on Monday. However, there was still no word as to when the grid will be coming back up. In addition, the grid still hasn’t received its recovered data drives from the companyRead More →

The “dark metaverse” of private OpenSim grids gained regions at four times the rate of public grids, according to Hypergrid Business projections based on a survey of hosting providers. Last year, private grids accounted for an estimated 60 percent of all grids, adding up to 50,070 regions in the “darkRead More →