It’s been a good-news, bad-news summer for Virwox, the European virtual currency exchange that used to dominate third-party Linden Dollar trading. On August 1, all third party Linden Dollar trading officially came to an end. And, before that, the Avination grid cut off its ties with Virwox, and warned users not to trade theRead More →

Storytelling is a valuable form of human expression that has been around since the very ancient times. Story itself is essential to so many art forms, and theater is one of them. We have written before about how virtual reality could be applied to journalism and immersive storytelling. Theatrical “storytellers” are yetRead More →

Press release: Scienverse creates virtual reality world that combines VR apps and social network; Kickstarter campaign starts in 2 weeks THE HAGUE – Scienverse officially announces its project of creating a virtual reality world built with Unreal Engine 4 that provides a platform for third-party virtual reality applications combined with a nextRead More →

Editor’s Note: AviWorlds, an OpenSim-based virtual world, launched a sister hosting company in late June, Avi-Labs. At Hypergrid Business, we’ve been hesitant to recommend it because it had no track record and no customers, and its parent company has a long and turbulent history of instability. Today, however, we have aRead More →

Kitely, the largest commercial OpenSim grid, has rolled out a new region monitoring tool for its users, and published a new guide for detecting and fixing world performance problems. The grid has also added a Web-based option to manually stop a running world, the grid announced earlier this week. “As aRead More →

  When Zumba burst on to the scene in the early 2000s, it dramatically changed fitness in America. The company cemented its place as a juggernaut within its industry through innovative practices, and its founders haven’t lost that sense of innovation. Today, the company is exploring how to keep theRead More →

Bright Canopy will come out of invitation-only pre-release phase on August 29 and will make its Second Life cloud-based streaming service available globally for $17 a month. The Texas-based company allows users of the globally popular virtual world Second Life the means to enjoy it without the need to invest in high-end gamingRead More →

Despite the August heat — at least, here in the northern hemisphere — total region counts, user numbers, and monthly actives were all up in OpenSim. Or perhaps it was because of the heat, as people opted to stay inside, at their computers, in the air conditioning. There are nowRead More →

The Kitely Market hit another milestone this month, with a new total of 10,162 different item listings grouped into 5,030 different products. This is up from 9,971 different listings a month ago. Of the listings, 6,080 are exportable, or 60 percent. Kitely groups items together, so that, say, a red versionRead More →

As my regular readers know, I’ve been trying to use a smartphone-and-Cardboard combo as an Oculus Rift replacement so that I could walk around my OpenSim builds without having to shell out $350 for the Oculus development kit. It’s not that I’m cheap — okay, yes, I’m cheap — butRead More →

Restaurant owners looking for an edge in a crowded market and hungry diners that would like more, or better detailed information about eateries now have a virtual reality option. Recently, YouVisit launched YouVisit Restaurants as a free app for the Samsung Gear VR headset. The app allows anyone with aRead More →

For many years, former IBMer Justin Clark-Casey has been the eternally-youthful face of OpenSimulator development and the president of the Overte Foundation which oversees OpenSim licensing issues. Then, on Sunday, the Justin Era ended with a post on his blog, Everything that has a beginning has an end, in which he saidRead More →

There are many reasons why a region might be slow to load, but one of the hardest to address has been that of slow scripts. OpenSim doesn’t make it easy to discover which particular scripts are contributing the most to lag — but that is about to change. Kitely hasRead More →

Press release: 3rd Rock Grid to transition to Podex 3rd Rock Grid is going through a number of changes as part of a transition to a new ownership model. One of the changes will be to transition away from directly managing their currency, the Geode, otherwise known as the GO$.Read More →

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

Most people who’ve traveled the hypergrid have had the experience of not being able to bring stuff back home, or of mysteriously not being able to take content to other grids. Recently, a number of different OpenSim developers have taken on the fight, and have been reporting progress. Crista LopesRead More →

I’ve never sat through an entire presentation dedicated to the launch of a new phone before, and I probably never will again. But the OnePlus 2 launch last night, from Chinese firm OnePlus, was an unusually compelling and intimate experience. Presented completely in virtual reality — or, for those withoutRead More →

Combined revenue for head mounted displays, and virtual reality accessories and content will increase from $108.8 million in 2014 to $21.8 billion worldwide by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 142 percent, according to a new report from Tractica. “Getting users to experience virtual reality technology firsthand, and therefore trulyRead More →

The Immersive Education Initiative today announced the official IMMERSION 2015 speakers, exhibits, presentations, and workshops. Featuring nearly 100 sessions about virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, wearable computing, brain interfaces, and more, IMMERSION 2015 is open to the public from 7 September to 10 September. Day passes  are available forRead More →

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Nokia today announced OZO, the first commercially available virtual reality  camera designed and built for professional content creators and the first in a planned portfolio of digital media solutions from Nokia Technologies, the company’s advanced technology and licensing business. “We’re thrilled to introduce OZO to theRead More →

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – Epic Games, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical research charity based in London, has concluded the Big Data VR Challenge, awarding $20,000 to LumaPie. This international team created a VR visualization of study results of environmental and genetic factors that have shaped the development theRead More →

Let me tell you how my sales demo goes. At first, clients design a house extension using a simple web app, which also offers  a real-time 3D preview. People get excited because they see form and factor evolving interactively, and they can really imagine what their house extension will lookRead More →

The Adult Metaverse community on Google Plus was the fastest-growing OpenSim community over the last two months, gaining 121 new members for a new total of 866 users. OpenSim Virtual was in second place, with 108 new members for a new total of 1,511. This meant that OpenSim Virtual comfortably retained its place asRead More →

So you want to try out some of the new virtual reality apps coming out, or you want to watch movies in 3D, but aren’t quite ready to shell out real money for a real headset. I don’t blame you. The technology is evolving quickly — by the time the headset arrives,Read More →

AviWorlds, a grid best known for closing repeatedly with no warning, is on a mission to rehabilitate its public image as a member of the OpenSim community. The grid has hired OpenSim developer Quill Littlefeather, has begun donating code and patches to the OpenSimulator project, and is offering custom viewersRead More →

  Always known for its vibrant music scene, and charitable efforts, 3rd Rock Grid announced a day of music and literature in an effort to raise funds for the charity Doctors Without Borders. For the past eight years 3rd Rock Grid has held ROBstock in the spring, a three dayRead More →

In this article I want to address the application of the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) to businesses dealing with virtual currencies. This aspect of regulations is often overlooked or ignored, but the fines are very real. This spring, PayPal was fined $7,658,300 because they allowed transactions with Iranian andRead More →

A new virtual reality treadmill, Kat Walk, uses a parachute-style harness instead of a waist-high ring to keep people in place — and is already 84 percent of the way to its $100,000 fundraising goal with 28 days still to go in the fundraising campaign. The treadmill is from KatVR,Read More →

CHICAGO–SIGGRAPH 2015, the annual interdisciplinary education experience and conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, will debut a new program this August. The 2015 VR Village will feature real-time immersion in the latest virtual and augmented realities, including Nomadic Virtual Reality (VR), Tabletop Augmented Reality (AR), Full-Dome Cinema,Read More →

AT&T has partnered with Google Cardboard headset maker Knox Labs to offer a $10 white cardboard virtual reality headset, based on last year’s model. These older-style headsets, normally $15 each, have the magnetic button on the side of the headset, not the touch-sensitive button on top like this year’s modelsRead More →

OSgrid has received legal recognition as a non-profit, the grid’s administrators announced earlier this month, just in time for the grid’s 8th birthday celebrations this weekend. OSgrid is the oldest grid running on the OpenSim software, dating back to the summer of 2007. For much of its existence, it hasRead More →

Adult content has long been a driver for new media. Early cave paintings, sculptures, etchings, poetry, books and photographs typically featured either sex or violence. Adult content played a role in the video tape standards wars, and helped motivate early adopters to purchase video tape players when they were stillRead More →

The Kitely Market has successfully delivered purchases to customers on 96 different grids, including both hypergrid-enabled grids and closed grids. “Our marketplace’s reach is continuing to grow,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tocher told Hypergrid Business. “By now it has become quite clear that merchants who take the time to create highRead More →

  New York State Department of Financial Services has recently released a 31 page application for anyone who wants to engage in doing business with virtual currencies. The application is a convoluted and cumbersome to say the least. But most of all it is costly. If the objective was to createRead More →

Correction: Due to an error in collecting data from OSgrid, land area was undercounted this month. In fact, OpenSim’s land area actually increased by the equivalent of 828 regions. OSgrid did lose some land area, but only 395 regions — not 2,500 as reported. “Many people — including myself — have consolidatedRead More →

For the last couple of years, Zetamex, an OpenSim hosting company, has also been hosting Zadaroo.com, which has a complete collection of Linda Kellie’s OARs, IARs, XML files, and textures. It’s a treasure-trove of content and includes everything most small grid owners need to get going: avatars, clothing, furniture, buildings, landscaping, scriptsRead More →

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

According to researchers at Stanford University, one of reasons people get motion sickness while wearing virtual reality headsets is that in real life, our eyes get more light bouncing back from near-by objects than from distant ones. In a typical virtual reality headset, however, all the light rays are comingRead More →

In an attempt to combat dwindling logins during the summer months, Craft is organizing a series of summer events — and participants who rent land from the grid get two months free rent for attending. Every year, residents who are still around complain about how few people there are in-world,Read More →

Virtual world artists who wish to participate in Metropolis grid’s Summer of Arts 2015 can begin submitting their works tomorrow. New submissions will continue to be accepted until the end of summer. The exhibit opens to the public on September 25 and will run through October 25. This exhibition willRead More →

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

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

The founders of the fast-growing, low-priced DigiWorldz grid have settled their ownership dispute, putting at rest fears about the grid’s stability and future. “I was able to negotiate an amicable agreement by all previous and current members of Digital Worlds Group, LLC,” grid founder Terry Ford told Hypergrid Business. “DigiWorldz is nowRead More →

Press release: Syfy Launches Virtual Reality App with Google Cardboard for Highly-Anticipated Series “The Expanse” San Diego, CA — Syfy has announced the launch of a virtual reality app for The Expanse, the network’s highly-anticipated drama series from Alcon TV premiering in December 2015. Utilizing Google Cardboard, the app immersesRead More →

Mozilla has given outside developers early access to their virtual reality test browser, according to a report last week in USA Today. Firefox Nightly is the preview version of Firefox, and is for testing purposes only. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac on the desktop, and also forRead More →

The crowfunding campaign to build a virtual copy of the city of Lisbon was relaunched today, founder Carlos Loff said in an announcement. The project is now planned to be 144 regions in size, equivalent to about 9.4 square kilometers or 2,300 acres of virtual land. That’s about one-ninth the size ofRead More →

In mid-June, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges must stop selling Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of these exchanges out of business by August 1. There is an English-language petition with around 300 signatures at SaveTheExchanges.com and a German-language petition at OpenPetition with more than 700 signatures. There is a smallRead More →

San Francisco-based Fove Inc. concluded its Kickstarter campaign with $480,650 today, almost twice its initial goal of $250,000, and a couple of announcements about the headset. First, a new design was released, billed as lighter and smaller than the previous design, with new clasps. The company promises it will make for a moreRead More →

Today’s realtors struggle to promote homes to prospective clients when those clients are too far away, don’t have a lot of time for house hunting — of if the house hasn’t even been built yet. Some real estate agents are turning to virtual reality to address these issues. With virtualRead More →

When Stanford kicker Derek Belch started work on his master’s thesis in virtual reality football, he had limited aspirations. “Goal number one was to do a good enough job to get an ‘A’ on the project,” Belch told USA Today. “Number two, help Stanford football. Floating in the back of our mindsRead More →

Travel agencies and tour operators are now using virtual reality technology to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Agents are showing potential guests immersive virtual experiences that help the viewers better understand where they could travel and stay, and what they can do at different destinations. For hotels to take advantageRead More →

Plans to use Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset in space have been set back indefinitely, as the unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying the device exploded shortly after takeoff on Sunday. “Cause still unknown after several thousand engineering-hours of review,” said SpaceX CEO Elun Musk in a Tweet on Monday. “Now parsing data withRead More →

Press release: Sphericam campaign reaches $50,000 in just one day PRAGUE — Sphericam, the first 360 degree video camera made specifically for virtual reality film production, launched on Kickstarter today, June 30, with a funding goal of $150K. As huge companies like Oculus Rift and Samsung work furiously to create the bestRead More →

The Kickstarter for the Fove virtual reality headset — the one that tracks where you are looking — is coming to an end this Saturday. There are only ten headsets left at the $375 support level — normally $500 — with delivery scheduled for May 2016. Fove has already nearly doubledRead More →

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

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

A week ago, Linden Lab announced that third-party exchanges have to stop offering Linden dollars, which will effectively put all or most of them out of business. Exchange operators are now asking users to sign a petition to keep them alive. So far, this petition has already garnered 600 signatures.Read More →

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

Press release: NASA, Microsoft Collaborate to Bring Science Fiction to Science Fact NASA and Microsoft are teaming up to develop Sidekick, a new project using commercial technology to empower astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Sidekick uses Microsoft HoloLens to provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth,Read More →

Netherlands-based Manus Machina demonstrated a new virtual reality glove aimed at consumers at the E3 conference last week. The gloves connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to virtual reality headsets. “There are currently no other VR gloves on the market that are wireless and platform free,” the company said on its website. TheRead More →

Thousands of real estate agents already using the technology to create virtual property tours seen by over a million people a month MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Matterport, a leader in computer vision technology and immersive media, announced that it has raised a $30M Series C financing led by Qualcomm Incorporated,Read More →

Is the $4 price tag of a Google Cardboard on Amazon too much for your budget? Don’t have the lenses and pizza box needed to make your own from scratch? Try the TinVR kit, which turns an empty soda or beer can and some felt into a virtual reality headsetRead More →

One thing that has always provided a great source of delight for me is opening the map of my viewer and seeing little green dots fill a region. Does it sound like I need a doctor? Well, it’s possible, but a good marketing plan made it happen. Each green dot represents a singleRead More →

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

OpenSim’s land area hit a new high this month and more than 9,000 new users registered on the grids, but active user numbers slipped by 672 as we enter the summer months. OpenSim grids gained 1,733 new regions, for a new total of 62,995. The gains were almost all on the hypergrid. ClosedRead More →

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 →

This week, Oculus VR demonstrated the new consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset, due to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016, as well as a couple of controllers — a standard XBox controller and a spacial motion controller. The biggest design difference from the most recentRead More →

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

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 →

For iPhone owners who have the Google Cardboard or an equivalent headset, we had the 29 fun VR apps for the iPhone article. Now it’s Android’s turn. You can find out where to get the older version of the Google Cardboard headset here, and the new version, released last last month, here.Read More →

Seven years ago when I began Paris METRO Couture, in Second Life, there were very few insider tips on how to start a fashion business. I am a business person who has designed apparel in the real life as well, and so I wondered, do the same principles apply toRead 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 →

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

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 →

It all started with broken toys. Fangwei Lee, a father of two, became frustrated with buying countless bubble guns for his son to play with. The quality of the guns led to them either breaking easily or not working at all. The frustration grew into making a virtual bubble gunRead 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 →

In order to write about how to create stuff for sale on the Kitely Market, I’ve been playing around with baked-on clothing textures. In the process, I’ve learned a few more things about using layers to create textures with GIMP. Say, for example, you want to create a piece ofRead 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 →

So you want to operate a business in a virtual world, with a shop that people can visit and look around. Last week, I offered some tips for creating demand for your products. This week, here’s some advice on how to do a competitive analysis. 1. Gauging quality How doRead 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 →