News

Immersive Education Initiative endorses Bitcoin

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...

AviWorlds shuts down again after attack

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....

Zetamex no longer hosting minigrids

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 —...

OSgrid begins work on 7th birthday celebration

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...

Littlefield helps Serbian flood victims

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...

Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference videos posted

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...

Beijing team creates open source Rift

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...

InWorldz steps up forum moderation on $1,950 land loss

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...

Craziest Oculus ripoff yet

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....

Virtual architecture tool wins $70,000 prize

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...

Nine days left to help save net neutrality

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....

New iPhone app animates avatar faces

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...

SimValley expands with massive free land offer

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...

19 hours to go on Altergaze Kickstarter

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...

Oculus Rift-based ad goes viral

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,...

Video shows how simulations help the military

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...

Virtuix announces $3 mil investment

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...

VirWoX draining OMC accounts

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...

Why Tangle grid broke their mega welcome area

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,...

Kitely and the hypergrid: halfway there

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...

Garry’s Mod has nearly 5 million players

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...

Zandramas connects to Kitely Market

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...

Region counts drop for second month

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...

VWBPE draws record numbers with Rosedale, Ebbe keynotes

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...

Please excuse the mess

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...

Grids offer music, egg hunts in April

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...

Linden CEO to keynote education conference

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...

IRS: Bitcoins are property, not currency

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...

Facebook buys Oculus Rift for $2 billion

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...

Sony unveils VR headset

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...

Unity to support WebGL

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...

Immersive tech group to launch

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...

VR and AR markets worth $1.06 billion by 2018

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...

Serious Play Conference moves to LA

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...

Rosedale, Second Life CEO to keynote education conference

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...

Heart Botanicals comes to Kitely

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...

Kitely starts testing hypergrid delivery

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...

Variable regions come to OpenSim

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...

Army releases grid management tool

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...

Bitcoin approaching diminishing returns

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,...

CasperTech takes over text-only METAbolt viewer

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....

February growth slower for OpenSim

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...

Community guidelines now in place

If you have read my previous article, New comment moderation policy, you know that moderation has been proposed for Hypergrid Business. Maria and I have worked on the guidelines, which are listed below, and...

Military releases Atropia simulation

The U.S. Army’s Atropia simulation build — all nine regions of it — is now available for anyone to download and install on their own grid. The work is released under a Creative Commons...

Podex, Zetamex team up on new currency

UK-based virtual currency exchange Podex has teamed up with Last Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex to offer a new currency option for OpenSim grids. Today, grids have three choices for in-world payments: a local currency...

Cloud Party closing in February

Cloud Party, a mesh-based virtual world that runs in a browser, announced that it will close on February 21 and provided instructions for exporting meshes and images. “The time has come for the Cloud...

Grid activity down slightly in January

This year begins with an anniversary celebration on Dorena’s World,  rapid growth on the newly-opened Great Canadian Grid, and a positive reaction to pricing changes on Kitely. The top 40 OpenSim grids by land...

Overstock now accepts Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s network effect got a big boost today, since the nation’s second largest pure-play e-tailer, Overstock.com, began accepting it as payment for all purchases. “We just went live minutes ago,” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne...

Top 40 grids pass 30,000 regions

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids passed the 30,000 region mark this month, with a new total of 30,214 regions, a record high. The number of registered users on those grids reached 324,021 — with more than 4,000...

AviWorlds grid down yet again

AviWorlds, a Brazilian OpenSim grid with a history of trouble, seems to be on the outs again. The grid went down on Tuesday night and is officially closed, according to hosting provider Zetamex. “The...

Cyramix offers Wonderland hosting

Press release: Cyramix the new hosting service for your virtual world Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with the help of WonderBuilders, Inc. has been using Open Wonderland, a Java-based open source virtual world platform...

Fourth annual OpenSim grid survey

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s...

InWorldz prospers, 3DMee closes in November

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 29,617 regions, an increase of 912 regions since this time last month. They also reported 319,872 total registered users and 19,527 active users this month, a total of 3,675 new registered...

Grids gear up for November holidays

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this...

OpenSim land area hits new high

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this...

New VR treadmill allows shuffling in place

Press release: New Device to Revolutionize Gaming in Virtual Realities How is it possible to walk through 3D virtual realities while staying in one place? Engineers from the Vienna University of Technology have solved...

ProtoSphere wins training award

Press release: PPD and ProtonMedia Recognized for Advancing Clinical Research Associate Training Brandon Hall Gold Award honors innovation in employee learning and development WILMINGTON, N.C. & LANSDALE, Pa.–Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) and ProtonMedia...

New OpenSim release supports groups, export perms

A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many scripting improvements, better teleports, better voice, materials, and the new hypergrid export...

Kitely eliminates Market listing fees, plans exports

Update: Read Kitely’s announcement about listing fees and merchant exports here Kitely continues to roll out improvements to its marketplace, with listing fees eliminated as of tomorrow, and a plan to allow merchants to...

Should New World Studio connect to grids?

Currently, the New World Studio distribution of OpenSim — the single easiest way to get an OpenSim mini-grid up and running — only runs in standalone mode. This means that your region, or group...

On the grids in October

October promises to be a busy grid on the OpenSim grids, with German residents celebrating Oktoberfest, some grids celebrating their anniversaries, and everyone celebrating Halloween. If you’re looking for a group to get you...

Much-hated ‘4096 bug’ fixed

It’s been more than four years since the hypergrid was invented, and the “4096 bug” has plagued hypergrid travelers for all that time, preventing users from jumping more than 4,096 regions in any direction....

3d framework turns Web sites into virtual worlds

Press release: XR SDK: 3D Player Framework that can turn any website into a Virtual World PHILADELPHIA — After over two years of development, Extreme Reality Inc. is announcing the release of XR SDK, a framework...

Convention, new market spurs OpenSim traffic

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,186  regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 309,792 total registered users and 18,442 active users this...

Avination makes “notable” contribution to OpenSim conference

Press release: Avination is sponsoring and attending the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference on September 7-8, 2013 The first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference will open on September 7, 2013 and Avination, one of the main contributors will not...

OpenSim conference starts Saturday

The first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference will open this Saturday morning Pacific time with a keynote panel of core developers discussing the future of the OpenSimulator platform. Core developer panelists include Justin Clark-Casey, who is the...

Arch Virtual releases Rift-ready architectural app

Press release: Arch Virtual releases architectural visualization application built with Unity3D game engine, including Oculus Rift compatibility This week, Arch Virtual released a new interactive, real-time architectural experience for the Panoptic Group, based out of...

Oculus Rift announces app store

The folks behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset announced an app store yesterday, called Oculus Share. The site is intended for developers at first, but the company plans to grow it into a...

OpenSim sets another land record

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 27,608  regions, a new record high. They also reported 306,942 total registered users and 17,922 active users this month. This is 709 more regions than on the Second Life...

Educators wary of latest Linden offer

Linden Lab has restored the 50 percent discount for educators and non-profits last month, but some educators are wary of taking the company up on its offer. “Our IT [information technology] folks, like many...

Designing Digitally recognized for training simulations

Press release: Designing Digitally, Inc. Chosen to Be on the 2013 TrainingIndustry.com Top Content Development Companies Watch List FRANKLIN, OH–Designing Digitally, Inc., a full-service interactive E-Learning development company, has been named as one of...

Second Life restores education discount

Linden Lab has cut its land and setup prices in half for educators and non-profits, the company announced this morning. “We’re pleased to announce an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit...

AviWorlds down, vendor offers migration

AviWorlds, a commercial grid which allowed people to connect self-hosted regions, went down yesterday. At the time, it had 138 regions and 319 active monthly users. Many of the grid’s regions, as well as...

Regions grow, usage drops with the heat

The land area of the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to grow, with the number of regions now at 25,783 — an increase of 535 regions compared to the same time last month. This...

Keynote panel to discuss OpenSim future

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Keynote Panel: The Future of OpenSimulator The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013 will open on Saturday morning, September 7, 2013, with a keynote panel of core developers, who will...