OSgrid, the oldest virtual world running on the OpenSimulator software, is turning seven years old and birthday celebrations begin 10 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday morning with DJs and live performances. These include DJ Foxx Bode at 10 a.m., Bolt Dominica at 11, Joaquin Gustav at noon, and Sonya Jevette atRead More →

Facebook will be “investing aggressively” in virtual reality, company executives said on an earnings call yesterday. The company closed on a $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR earlier this week. “We’re not getting into more specifics on the exact headcounts,” said Facebook CFO Dave Wehner. “But weRead More →

The first-ever hypergrid fashion expo begins this Saturday on Tangle Grid and will last through August 3. Time is running out for merchants and creators interested in being part of the event. To participate, contact IsambardKingdom Brunel on Tangle Grid, or Peter2 Veliz in Second Life. Merchants looking for a more permanentRead More →

Oliveira Virtual Lands, which rents regions and parcels on OSgrid and Metropolis, now has a presence on the French-language non-profit open grid FrancoGrid. Like the other two grids, FrancoGrid is hypergrid enabled and residents are allowed to make backups of entire regions and inventories. Oliveira has set up a home regionRead More →

Press Release:  OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Principal Scientist at Oculus VR as Keynote Speaker July 22, 2014 – The OpenSimulator Community Conference is pleased to announce Dr. Steve LaValle, principal scientist at Oculus VR and professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, will be a keynote speaker at theRead More →

According to a new report by UK-based virtual worlds research firm KZero, 83 million head-mounted virtual reality display devices such as the Oculus Rift will have been sold by 2018. In addition, 18 million virtual reality input systems will have been sold by that year. Prices to drop from $350Read More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd, Second Life’s best-selling vendor system, has released its economy metrics. In particular, the company has released the numbers for the average merchant revenues, and sales continue to climb even after the news broke about Second Life’s new terms of service last fall. “The TOS changes haven’t had a noticeableRead More →

Press release: Virtual Facebook Refugees find new home on Avatar Social Network As Facebook continues to crack down on pseudonymous accounts such as those of Second Life avatars, some virtual communities are migrating to other sites. Most recently, Pointe Fusion Elite, a community of DJs, artists, and music fans, has movedRead More →

The first image of Samsung’s new virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, have been leaked online. Gear VR is basically a more comfortable and durable version of Google Cardboard, though with one significant difference. Both headsets work by putting two lenses in front of a customer’s own smartphone. In theRead More →

OculusVR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion this year, will hold a virtual reality conference in September. Oculus Connect will be held on September 19 and 20 in Hollywood, California and is aimed at virtual reality developers, engineers andRead More →

The OpenSimulator Community Conference has begun running scalability tests on its grid every Tuesday at noon Pacific time. The hypergrid address is cc.opensimulator.org:8002:Keynote 1. Load testing doesn’t just help the conference organizers. “All related performance improvements are fed directly back into the OpenSimulator code base so will help everybody using the project,” saidRead More →

Screen shot of the WWII role play sim. (Image courtesy Suzan de Koning.)

InWorldz residents are circulating a petition demanding the removal of a World War II-themed role playing build from the grid. “I cannot support a grid that makes it possible for people to play a role playing game based on World World II,” resident Suzan de Koning told Hypergrid Business. “ThereRead More →

A little more than two weeks ago, AviWorlds came back from its fifth official grid closing — not counting temporary outages due to technical issues — to announce that they will be running the grid by themselves from now on, with no outside help. Portuguese-language messages on the grid’s FacebookRead More →

Press release: DreamNation Establishes Own Virtual Currency, DNCoins NEVADA — DreamNation has established its own virtual currency, DNCoins (DN$). DN$ was successfully and smoothly rolled out over the last two weeks of June, and has been adopted by members of the grid with enthusiasm. DreamNation previously used Virwox’s OMC$ as its internal currency prior to adoptingRead More →

Now that Facebook has bought OculusVR for $2 billion dollars, the pressure is on Google to do something in this space. This week, Google has released its own headset — and it’s made of cardboard.   Cnet calls Google Cardboard “perhaps one of the most important, quirky, and ingenious advances inRead More →

Firefox is adding native support for virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift to its Web browser, developer Vladimir Vukićević said this week in a blog post. “We are adding native support for VR devices to early experimental builds of Firefox, so that Web developers can start experimenting with addingRead More →

ANTVR — a Beijing-based, open source alternative to the Oculus Rift, completed a successful Kickstarter campaign this week. ANTVR is a wireless virtual reality headset that comes with a clever transformable controller. Kickstarter prices started at $270, and delivery is scheduled for this September. Some critics are worried that theRead More →

Kitely, the largest commercial OpenSim grid by land area, plans to deliver its Kitely Market content throughout the metaverse — not just to OpenSim grids. “Our goal is to make Kitely Market the main metaverse marketplace,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “As there are more than one platform vyingRead More →

The popular Diva Distro version of OpenSim is now available with the latest 0.8 update of the software, supporting variable-sized regions and profiles. “Profiles and varregions both work out of the box for new installations of the Diva Distro,” developer Crista Lopes said in the announcement. Lopes, who is also known as DivaRead More →

Linden Lab is working on a new virtual world, Linden Lab has confirmed, but urged users not to panic. “Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they canRead More →

It was more than a year ago when developers from the Avination grid and the Singularity viewer got together and created a new permission for OpenSim, the export permission. Since then, no major grid has adopted it, not even Avination itself. Until now. But it’s not Avination rolling out the exportRead More →

Press release: Science Fiction Inspires Lowe’s Holoroom and Home Improvement Innovation Augmented reality project planning experience is first concept from newly-formed Lowe’s Innovation Labs MOORESVILLE, N.C. – On Wednesday, Lowe’s underscored its commitment to advancing retail innovation as it introduced Lowe’s Innovation Labs and the first concept to come outRead More →

Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale offered insights into his new company’s business model and technical architecture yesterday in a talk and question-and-answer session about High Fidelity on the MOSES OpenSim grid yesterday. Of particular interest from a business perspective is that the High Fidelity software will be open source, similar toRead More →

As of today, the only Kitely users who can create new metered regions are those with premium accounts. As part of this change, the metered regions will also be renamed to “Premium” regions. In addition, all existing metered regions owned by free users will no longer be accessible by their ownersRead More →

Do you think your design for a virtual Mars base is good enough to live in? Then you’ve got three days left to submit it to NASA. That’s right, the 3D content sharing site Thingiverse from MakerBot Industries LLC is teaming up with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the MakerBotRead More →

Press release: MellaniuM creates 3D museum art 100 times more detailed than Second Life HAMILTON, Ontario — Virtual design firm MellaniuM has developed a process to to import extremely detailed objects into spaces running on the AvayaLive Engage browser-based virtual world platform. As a demonstration of this process, the company hasRead More →

Press release: Announcing the 2nd Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 June 3, 2014 – AvaCon and the Overte Foundation are pleased to announce the second annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014, to take place virtually on the OpenSimulator Conference Center grid on November 8-9, 2014. The OpenSimulator Community Conference is anRead More →

The on-demand Kitely grid has fixed a minor but annoying hypergrid bug and will be donating it to the OpenSim community. The bug fix was part of a bigger collection of bug fixes and site design changes announced today. Usually, to teleport from one grid to another, users type aRead More →

According to the latest Google Analytics report, the number of unique monthly readers on Hypergrid Business passed 19,000 this month. Readership normally goes up and down a bit every month, depending on the season, breaking stories, and how much time I have to spend on the site, but typically hoversRead More →

BOSTON — The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that all official Immersive Education events will now accept Bitcoin starting with Immersion 2014 in Los Angeles next week, followed by the European Immersive Education Summit in Vienna this fall and the Immersive Researcher’s Summit in New York City next spring. To encourageRead More →

The much-troubled AviWorlds grid is down again. The grid has been a target for controversy since its first launched in early 2011 as AvWorlds with a plan of being the most expensive social grid. Since then the grid has changed business models numerous times, changed hosting providers, and repeatedly changedRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex will stop hosting minigrids on June 1, company CEO Timothy Rogers announced yesterday. Zetamex will continue to provide hosting for individual regions and full grids. A minigrid — technically known as a standalone — is a grid that runs entirely within a single server.Read More →

Sarah Kline, moderator of the OpenSim Google Plus community, posted a note today that the grid is now accepting reservations for the festivities. The event will be held on July 26 and 27, and two 512-meter-square variable regions have been created for it — a land area equivalent to eightRead More →

Vancouver-based Utherverse Digital Inc., a proprietary virtual world platform known for its adult content, is developing a new generation of its software that will not only be Oculus Rift compatible right from the start, but can also replace your current Web browser. According to Utherverse CEO Brian Shuster, the new Curio browserRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting provider Zetamex has announced a new inventory system that promises to be faster and more scalable than the default OpenSim infrastructure, with the ability to heal itself automatically if data is corrupted. The system is currently in preliminary testing and available exclusively to Zetamex customers. There isRead More →

Littlefield Grid is raising money for charity victims with donation boards on its high-traffic public areas. “We hope that it helps,” said grid owner Walter Balazic. The project was spearheaded by one of the grid’s residents, who lives in Serbia. “I’m sure Contessa Newton would appreciate our friendship and supportRead More →

In March, Second Life released an Oculus Rift-compatible viewer to a limited number of beta testers, including our own Ann Cudworth. Yesterday, an updated version of this viewer has been released, and this time it’s available to the public. It includes automatic hardware detection for faster setup and calibration, aRead More →

Quick round up of three stories that I had missed, in case you get all your virtual reality news from Hypergrid Business. Virtual reality comes to Chuck E. Cheese’s A $350 virtual reality headset might seem a little pricey, so until prices come down you can get your virtual reality fixRead More →

Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference & Expo 2014 — billed as the world’s first professional conference for consumer virtual reality — kicked off today with Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey and other hardware innovators and a keynote by Second Life founder Philip Rosedale. Some of the videos of the firstRead More →

A Beijing-based company, ANTVR Technology Co., Ltd., has created an open source version of the Oculus Rift and has reached $145,000 of its $200,000 Kickstarter goal after just four days.   This particular device falls into the same category as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, offering fully immersive virtual reality,Read More →

Due to the loss of a major landowner after incivility on the forums, the commercial InWorldz grid will be stepping up moderation, InWorldz co-founder and CTO David Daeschler announced yesterday. “The equivalent of $1,950 per month of land revenue is about to disappear forever from the InWorldz grid, and beautiful builds neverRead More →

For OpenSim’s Oculus Rift users, the standard keyboard-based interface leaves a lot to be desired, due to the fact that, with the headset on, you can’t see the keyboard. A video game controller, however, is designed to be used without looking at it. Yesterday, David Rowe, the developer behind theRead More →

I’ve written before about a few low-cost Oculus Rift alternatives, which basically put a cellphone inside some kind of frame. They include the Altergaze, which just concluded a successful Kickstarter with headset prices at around $140. And the vRase, which had its successful Kickstarter last fall with Kickstarter prices for the preorders starting at around $80.Read More →

IrisVR, a Vermont-based startup focusing on 3D visualization of architectural designs, won a $70,000 grand prize at the LaunchVT competition on Thursday. The company’s software allows architects to fully immerse users inside the proposed build. “Current methods for displaying and interacting with three dimensional space fail to immerse the userRead More →

Recent moves by the Federal Communications Commission suggest that Internet service providers will be allowed to charge extra for higher connection speeds. Not to customers — they are already paying extra for faster broadband. But to content companies, like Netflix. Read more about the topic in this essay by FreeRead More →

Animation Technology Company Nito Launches Face Tracking App to Make 3D Avatars Come to Life LOS ANGELES, CA – Animation technology company Nito today launched a first-of-its kind iOS application that uses facial recognition and tracking technology that allows users to control 3D avatars of their favorite and original characters using theirRead More →

SimValley, an international grid based in the Netherlands, just added more than 300 new regions as part of its plans for a massive free land give-away. Over the past couple of weeks, the grid has grown from 202 to 541 regions, a gain of 339 regions. “A few of thoseRead More →

Boycotting the Oculus Rift because of the Facebook buyout? Or maybe the $350 price tag is too steep. You have 19 hours left to chip in for the Altergaze Kickstarter, which has already passed its funding goal of UK £25,000. A pledge of  £30 or more gets you all the 3D files youRead More →

A Swedish Internet service provider has created an ad to demonstrate how terrible slow Internet speeds are, with a viral video that uses the Oculus Rift. The company, Umea Energi put the Oculus Rift, paired with a webcam and a Raspberry Pi,  to create a lag in the way peopleRead More →

Over the past two months, a number of bug fixes and improvements have made it into the OpenSim code base, according to core developer Justin Clark-Casey. The highlight is that the maximum physical prim size has been increased from 10 meters to 64 meters. The change was made by IntelRead More →

A video released yesterday by the  US Army Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center demonstrates the use of simulations throughout the US military — and the role that that outside contributors play in creating the simulations. The movie was created this spring, Douglas Maxwell, the Center’s science and technology manager forRead More →

High Fidelity founder and CEO Philip Rosedale released a blog post a couple of days ago outlining the company’s network architecture. One unique aspect of the platform is that virtual objects are stored in the form of voxels, which can be nested inside one another or averaged together. This allowsRead More →

A new report by UK research firm KZero highlights a number of brand-related projects in virtual reality. These include a recreation of the Wall from the Game of Thrones television series. You can read more about the Game of Thrones simulation here, or watch the video below. Then there’s theRead More →

Virtuix, the company that makes an omni-directional treadmill designed to work with the Oculus Rift, announced a $3 million investment round today. The company raised $1.1 million in a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer. The Omni is currently available for preorder, at prices starting at $500, with delivery slated for September. The investorsRead More →

A few months ago, I wrote about the VirWoX exchange having tons of money just sitting around in the OMC accounts, OMC being a hypergrid-enabled, multi-grid currency used by several OpenSim grids. Well it turns out that money is now starting to drain from those accounts. This was brought to our attention by DreamNation, the largestRead More →

It’s hard to tell from the Kitely home page, but the $14.95 price plan is not Kitely’s best deal.   It can take a bit of hunting around to find it, but, buried deep on the Kitely services page, there’s another option — a $19.95 “Premium Account” that comes withRead More →

Tangle Grid is a small, new commercial grid with about a hundred regions and 70 active users. It used to have a nice, big welcome area — a four-region megaregion. That didn’t work out, and the grid broke up the welcome mega into individual regions. Today, the grid announced thatRead More →

Kitely has done about half of the work needed to enable full hypergrid access, said Oren Hurvitz, the company’s vice president of research and development, in an announcement today. Kitely is the sixth-most popular OpenSim grid according to this month’s OpenSim statistics report, and the largest commercial grid by land area, secondRead More →

Garry’s Mod, a multi-player 3D sandbox game, has nearly 5 million players on Steam, according to a report released today by Ars Technica. New World Notes‘ Hamlet Au suggests that Linden Lab take another try at distributing Second Life through the Steam platform, which is a popular channel for PC-basedRead More →

Last month, the Kitely grid rolled out hypergrid delivery of content sold in the stores of its fast-growing Kitely Market. But some closed grids are getting in on the action as well. Zandramas, a closed commercial grid, has also enabled Kitely Market deliveries for its residents, said its technology servicesRead More →

The total number of regions on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids fell for the second month in a row, only the second time this has happened since we started keeping track in mid 2009. The major reason for the loss is the closure of ScienceSim, an Intel-backed research grid that hadRead More →

This year’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conferences brought in a total of 4,500 people, who attended in-person in Second Life and OSgrid, and online through streaming channels. There might be some overlap between these numbers, which were reported by organizers today, but overall the results are significantly higherRead More →

Another World, a small commercial grid, announced that it is shutting its doors May 12 because of personal reasons, but it will reopen again at some point in the future. “Due to some real life illnesses I will need to temporarily close Another World,” founder Jonny Vayro told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’ve been working away on a new, modern responsive design for the website. Some of you may have already seen the proposed design, and had some thoughts about it. We’ll be switching over this weekend, and are asking your patience ahead of time if the switchRead More →

It was good to hear Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s new CEO, speak at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014 conference in Second Life yesterday. Ebbe addressed a number of pain points with the educator community in Second Life and brought some healthy visibility into how he sees things moving forwardRead More →

This month has the usual music events and parties across the grids, the Robstock Festival, and Easter-themed activities. Robstock Festival crosses grids Robstock 2014 is on three different grids this year — 3rd Rock Grid, Second Life, and, now, Metropolis. It’s three days of music, art, and other activities. KitelyRead More →

Press release: VWBPE Announces Invited Keynote Ebbe Altberg The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference announced that Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, will be a featured keynote in Second Life. While he has not been long at the helm, he has made definiteRead More →

If you have been worrying about how to report your Bitcoin transactions or trading profits to the IRS, worry no more. The tax agency issued new guidance this week, explaining that Bitcoin should be treated as if they were any other kind of property. According to Jacob S. Farber, senior counselRead More →

In a stunning development for the virtual reality industry, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company will buy Oculus VR Inc., the company behind the leading virtual reality headset. “The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with otherRead More →

Virtual reality isn’t just for Kickstarter start-ups anymore. Tonight, Sony unveiled their new “Project Morpheus” virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, the worlds largest game industry event for professionals. The headset will be available for conference attendees to try out tomorrow, theRead More →

Press release: Unity 5 Announced at GDC 2014, Pre-Order Begins SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Unity Technologies unveils Unity 5, the next generation of the award-winning Unity multiplatform engine and development tools, during its Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Unity 5 brings a wealth of newRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grid lost nearly 5,000 regions this month, as a result of a long-overdue spring clearing on OSgrid. The last time there was a net drop in regions in OpenSim was last April, when ScienceSim cut around 2,000 regions from its grid, an Intel-backed OpenSim testing platform.Read More →

Press release: The Immersive Technology Alliance to Launch at Game Developers Conference Non-profit organization represents and grows Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D and Gesture markets. San Francisco – Originally founded in 2009, The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance has been formally renamed the The Immersive Technology Alliance (The ITA) and hasRead More →

Press release: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market worth $1.06 Billion by 2018 DALLAS — According to a new report, Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Market  – Global Forecast and Analysis to 2013 – 2018 published by MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to grow at a CAGR ofRead More →

Press release: Serious Play Conference Moves to USC in Los Angeles July 22-24 Event Examines Value of Games for Engagement, Learning, Retention LOS ANGELES –  The Serious Play Conference,  a gathering of game industry luminaries and game-based learning enthusiasts, is moving to University of Southern California (USC)’s School of Cinematic ArtsRead More →

Press release: VWBPE 2014 Kick-Off “Connections” March 12 — The four-day Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference starts on April 9, and will feature keynotes by Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity, founder of Linden Lab and creator of Second Life, and Ebbe Altberg, the new CEO of Second Life. TheRead More →

Lilith Heart’s Heart Botanicals is now on the Kitely Market, with a Kitely Market store selling exportable sets of palm trees for $4.95 to $9.95 each. “Exportable” means that the plants can be taken to other grids via OAR region exports or, once testing is complete, via hypergrid delivery. “ThisRead More →

The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today. The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — getRead More →

Press release: Multi-User Virtual Reality System for Sale from ICAP Patent Brokerage New York — ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale a patent portfolio disclosing an improved, interactive multi-user virtual reality system from Louis de Groot, as trustee of The Louis and Barbara de Groot Trust. This IP package is available viaRead More →

Folks disappointed with the standard 16-acre region size can now have variable-sized regions in OpenSim, as long as they are comfortable running experimental code, and are using the latest viewers. Those using the official release of OpenSim, will have to settle for megaregions for a while longer, however, as wellRead More →

The U.S. Army, with its MOSES grid, is one of the more high-profile users of OpenSim. But the military gives back, as well. The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has been expanding Intel’s SimianGridFrontend for OpenSim, and, this month, has made their version — the MOSES Grid Manager, orRead More →

There’s been a lot of bad news about Bitcoin in the media recently — the problems at the Mt. Gox exchange, regulatory action in China and Russia, the Silk Road arrests and, more recently, a $2.7 million Silk Road hack. This is on top of the more endemic problems ofRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd., is taking over development of the text-only METAbolt viewer, company director Casper Warden announced recently. “It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued,” said Warden in the announcement. “We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have steppedRead More →

Press release: Virtual Reality Set to Revolutionize Architecture, Engineering and Real Estate PocketCake’s virtual reality services, combined with Oculus Rift hardware, allow clients to experience a project in an immersive 3D environment for a price comparable to traditional architectural illustrations KANSAS CITY, Mo. — PocketCake is working with some ofRead More →

The past four weeks have been slow for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids gaining only 153 regions. This is the first time the growth has been under 500 regions since last April. OSgrid was the major culprit this month, losing 133 regions — as well as 318 active usersRead More →