Last week, our readers told Hypergrid Business that what they most wanted to see in OpenSim was vehicle physics. Of course, vehicle physics. Everyone — or at least 52 percent of everyone — wants vehicle physics. All I hear about everywhere I go is vehicle physics. Vehicle physics. Vehicle physics.Read More →

A few days ago I saw a Tweet, that said something like, “I looked at OpenSim, but some guy said he would steal all my stuff. So, no thanks!” In fact, that attitude comes up a lot on discussion boards and in other forums. There’s a perception that OpenSim isRead More →

Update: Island Oasis grid co-founder Karl Dreyer tells me that he’s keeping an eye on new developments in OpenSim that allow grid owners to filter content before it’s saved into an OAR file — and customers may soon be able to export their Island Oasis regions.  “I surely will beRead More →

In November, I led a well-attended three-hour workshop, Second Life is Dead – Prepare for an OpenSim Future at the 17th International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Florida. My basic point was that, right now, Second Life as a product for educators is actually dead unless something dramatically changesRead More →

Last night, hanging out on OSGrid waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve, I resolved — among other things — to exercise more. But I’m the kind of person who thinks of herself less as a fitness freak and more as a … bookworm. Couch potato. DeskRead More →

New Voice — the company that brought us $5.95 regions on OSGrid and its own Nova grid — just dropped the starting price for regions even lower. To zero. That’s right. These are full regions. On the Nova grid, which runs the Aurora-Sim version of OpenSim, they can hold 80,000Read More →

I’m tired of naysayers complaining that Second Life — and, by extension, OpenSim — has no mass appeal. That it’s too hard to use. That regions take too long to load. That there’s never anybody there. Or if they’re there, they’re rude and annoying. That it’s all sex and gambling.Read More →

One of my teeny tiny pet peeves is when people harp about Second Life being a game. This is often followed by declarations that games should not be taken seriously. Therefore, Second Life should not be taken seriously. But putting the benefits of play — such as learning, teamwork, relaxation,Read More →

We’re running a survey today about OpenSim hosting providers, and I’m getting the sense that there’s a lot of confusion about OpenSim hosting when it comes to renting land on a grid, versus buying hosting from a third-party vendor. Part of it is understandable — there are a lot ofRead More →

There are a lot of stargates floating around OpenSim. Most are copies of one of the gates that show up in the StarGate movies or television shows. Others are unrecognizable as gates — they’re disguised as teleport boards, spinning globes, and weird shapes. After all, a hypergate is just a script — it canRead More →

Vehicle physics topped the list of missing features in our survey of OpenSim hosting providers this week. Because of the holiday — and the short notice — only 70 people responded to the survey, compared to last year’s 114. Of those, 52 percent said that vehicle physics was among theRead More →

Open Wonderland — an open source, Java-based alternative to OpenSim — is now available on a tablet. According to WonderSchool, a subsidiary of Germany’s THINSIA, clients can now access the platform on an iPad by having their user session streamed to the device. The streaming is not cheap, however. WonderTablet,Read More →

Now that Vivox voice is available for free to small grids and to non-profit grids, there’s going to be less pressure on the OpenSim developers to finish integrating Whisper voice. And that’s a shame, since only two major issues need work. One is that Whisper isn’t currently integrated into existingRead More →

Note: Vivox now has an online form that OpenSim grid owners and hosting providers can use to request access credentials. Merry Christmas, grid owners — Vivox is now available, for free, to any grid owner. You get the same voice as in Second Life — with lip synching and directionality and speech indications.Read More →

First of all, an apology. In May, we wrote that Redwood City, California-based virtual worlds company Teleplace, Inc. open sourced its platform in order to grow its market — and that the company would continue to offer paid hosting and support, and continue working on new features. At least, thatRead More →

Kitely became the second commercial OpenSim grid to roll out Vivox voice today. Boston-based Vivox Inc. is currently the gold standard of in-world voice, used in Second Life, EVE Online, EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online and in many other massively online multiplayer games. The company reported 60 millionRead More →

Second Life had the potential to be the 3D AOL, to usher in a new age of immersive 3D environments. It failed not because it was too complicated or difficult to use or tried to do too much at once. After all, AOL also was a one-stop-shop: shopping, forums, email,Read More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 915 new regions since this time last month, bringing the total number of regions on these grids to 21,595, a new record high. OSGrid was the single biggest gainer. The non-profit grid, which allows users to connect regions running on home computers at noRead More →

Press release: WonderBuilders and STCC Awarded NSF Grant to Develop Virtual ESL Learning Environment Boston, MA— WonderBuilders, Inc., an Open Wonderland 3D virtual world platform and services provider, is partnering with Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) to create an English as a Second Language (ESL) learning environment. Funded by aRead More →

Press Release: ‘Virtual Learning for Dummies’ Available From Virtual Communications Leader SAN FRANCISCO, CA — ON24, the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, today announced the availability of “Virtual Learning for Dummies,” a free booklet that explains virtual training in a no-nonsense style. Available via ON24’s website, “VirtualRead More →

Two new social worlds announced launches today — SmallWorlds, which is live, and Interactive City, which still seems to be the process of getting off the ground. SmallWorlds is a cartoonish, Flash-based, 2.5D, Lively-style virtual world more closely akin to Farmville than of Second Life. Built by New Zealand’s Outsmart,Read More →

[Editor: Joe Essid teaches a class about Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” for the department of English & Rhetoric & Communication Studies at the University of Richmond, using virtual space on the JokaydiaGrid.] With some glitches along the way, six groups of students completed their finalRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Press release: ITE and EON Reality to Set-Up Centre for Virtual 3D Learning in Singapore IRVINE, CA — EON Reality, Inc., the world’s leading interactive 3D software provider, today announced that ITE — Institute of Technical Education, Singapore, has signed a MOU — Memorandum of Understanding — to collaborate inRead More →

I belong to a business group in my area that recently expressed interest in setting up a virtual space for its members. The idea is that they could have meetings there, and individual members could get office space to use for their own projects and collaboration. I was pleasantly surprisedRead More →

Press Release: Training Expert Randy Hinrichs to Present a Free Online Seminar: “Thinking and Learning in 3D—How to Create Successful Virtual Learning Experiences” Author of the new book “Transforming Virtual World Learning” will join 40 attendees in VenueGen for an interactive, small-group discussion of how immersive virtual classrooms can improveRead More →

The results of the 2011 Hypergrid Business grid survey are in, with mid-sized grids serving language communities dominating the rankings. A record 459 people submitted responses this year, with a total of 63 different grids visited — up from 194 respondents and 35 grids last year. The most surprising resultRead More →

Press release: UBM Partners with the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training to Produce iCampus, the First Digital University in Middle East CHICAGO and LONDON — UBM Built Environment’s Client Solutions and UBM Studios today announced that they are partnering with the Abu Dhabi Centre forRead More →

Cloud-based OpenSim vendor Kitely Ltd. rolled out two features today aimed at improving the social aspects of the grid — a list of publicly-accessible regions, and a maturity ranking system. “While many people use their virtual worlds for private activities, almost a third of all the Kitely worlds people haveRead More →

Press Release: BAE Systems Invest in Daden to Develop Data Visualisation System Birmingham, UK — BAE Systems has signed an agreement with Birmingham based Daden Limited (Daden) to accelerate the development of a versatile 3D immersive visual analytics application which can be used for the collaborative analysis and understanding ofRead More →

ReactionGrid was the early favorite in the race to provide a stable and safe OpenSim environment for educators and corporations. Over the last couple of years, however, the company has been falling behind the rest of the OpenSim universe, sticking with an old version of OpenSim as newer versions cameRead More →

Press Release: ANCC Expands Virtual Poster Hall in 2011 Using the Digitell, 3D, Immersive Platform, ANCC Doubles the Number of Poster Sessions From Last Year Jamestown, NY– The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has contracted with Digitell for a second year to expand their 3D, Virtual Poster Session Hall. TheRead More →

Press Release: 3rdRockGid.com launches Occupy World Peace Virtual Initiative The owners of 3rdRockGrid.com have thrown their support and solidarity behind the efforts of the Occupy protest movement sweeping the world. “From our collective position, this is not only a noble step, but a necessary one in order to bring theRead More →

Press Release: Discover the Innovation Behind Some of the Industry’s First Virtual Clinical Trials ProtonMedia and Microsoft to host workshop at Microsoft’s Technology Center featuring industry leaders discussing the impact of virtual clinical trials LANSDALE, Pa.–ProtonMedia and Microsoft will be hosting an interactive workshop focused on innovation in clinical trials.Read More →

Press release: Fashion Research Institute Announces ScienceSim Land Grant Program Awardees New York, NY  – Fashion Research Institute has been collaborating with Intel Labs since 2009, helping to push the limits of content development, and overseeing the Science Sim Land Grant Program. The program consists of awards of campuses of fourRead More →

Press release: Virtual Tradeshows Provide Affordable, New Marketing Opportunity for the Building Industry Exhibitors can save up to $100,000 or more with online events compared to physical tradeshows, according to new white paper Seattle, Wash. — In an era of tight marketing budgets, virtual tradeshows provide a cost-effective way forRead More →

Press Release: Unity Powers Army OneSource Virtual World Service Helps Soldiers and Loved Ones Connect From Anywhere Around the World SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity development platform for games and interactive 3D on the web, iOS, Android, consoles and beyond, is pleased to announce thatRead More →

Press Release: Ten-Day “Be Fearless!” Online Festival Combines Art and Music with Education and Awareness-Raising for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Wiscasset, Maine — Fearless Nation PTSD Support, the world’s only nonprofit using virtual reality to help people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will hold its third annual PTSD educationRead More →

Even as OpenSim implementation continues to grow, a constant remains: there is no viewer tailored specifically for OpenSim as it comes direct from OpenSimulator.org. It’s discouraging, and it’s easy to cite the nearly million lines of code that are simply too complex to unravel as the culprit, yet the reasonsRead More →

AMSTERDAM — Chatbots.org, the Industry Catalyst of Intelligent Virtual Characters, reveals a business directory of almost 300 companies in conversational AI, (3D) avatar animation, speech synthesis and speech recognition and visual biometrics, and an additional Vendor Selector tool to select providers, designed for corporations in the middle of their buyingRead More →

Three years ago today, on Oct. 26, 2008, Crista Lopes fired off the email that marked the birth of the hypergrid. Lopes, an OpenSim core developer, is also a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and came up with a peer-to-peer system that allowed people to teleport fromRead More →

The Island Oasis social grid has rolled out a custom fishing game, a vampire role playing game, an urban combat system and a speedway, and turned on hypergrid connectivity last week as part of a grid-wide revamp. That’s a lot of activity for a small grid — Island Oasis isRead More →

Press release: RSNA Selects Digitell for First Virtual Event RSNA to Engage Members at Their Annual Meeting with a 3D/2D Virtual Platform Jamestown, NY — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and Digitell, Inc. have signed an agreement to create the first 3D RSNA Virtual Event. As a focalRead More →

Today’s OpenSim grids all have a static idea of a world map. So does Second Life. There’s nothing wrong with that — I love having a virtual environment that I can navigate, that makes geometric sense. Room-based environments, where any room can connect to any other room, and all theRead More →

OpenSim developers are discussing ways to combat damaging patent litigation, including changing the OpenSim license to deter potential patent trolls. The Overte Foundation, which holds the OpenSim licenses, recently released a contributors’ license agreement for its developers. One possible anti-troll protection measure would be to change the agreement so thatRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Back when I incorporated my first company a few years ago, I tried to learn as much as I could about the entrepreneurial process and mind set. I joined entrepreneurial organizations and attended events and seminars. One tool that stuck with me after all this time — and which IRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Freebies are plentiful throughout OpenSim grids, where uploads are free and land is cheap — anyone can put up a freebie store. But most freebie stores can’t guarantee the provenance of their content. Grid owners and content creators fight to remove infringing content, but that’s no comfort to a businessRead More →

On-demand hosting provider Kitely Ltd. has eliminated a major OpenSim scalability obstacle by moving its asset database to the Amazon storage cloud. “This is the most significant change we’ve made to our system since our beta started,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. Because of the upgrade, Kitely wasRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Several major OpenSim features, including mesh, which were previously available only in experimental releases of OpenSim are now part of the standard OpenSim release, numbered 0.7.2. “Despite having a minor point release number, it actually contains a very large number of features and fixes,” said OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey inRead More →

According to statistics released Friday by InWorldz co-founder Beth Reischl, in-world residents have been cashing out, on average, more than $15,000 a month over the past year. “Overall, I’m really pleased with the numbers, and while this is supposed to be fun, and hence our lower prices, it’s nice to seeRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Press Release: Practice Greenhealth selects Digitell for Live Streaming, Conference Capture, 3D Operating Room, Virtual Event and Webinars Jamestown, NY — Practice Greenhealth (PGH), a membership association aimed at helping companies focus on “Green” initiatives has selected Digitell to meet their multimedia needs for 2011 and 2012. Digitell will handleRead More →

Press release: Second Places becomes Bronze Reseller of Unity Technologies Cheshire, UK — Second Places, a leader in development of virtual worlds, today announced that during Unite 11 in San Francisco, the company was named a Bronze Level Reseller. “This allows us to sell our virtual world platform Unifier packaged withRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Press release: EON Reality Releases EON Mycube, a Surround Immersive Desktop 3D System IRVINE, CA — EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D solutions provider, today announced the release of EON Mycube, a 3 screen immersive desktop system. The EON Mycube will complement the successful EON Icube as a smallerRead More →

Second Life has recently rolled out support for mesh objects. One key benefit is realistic clothing and accessories. However, Second Life’s implementation of mesh does not automatically adjust to the size of avatar bodies — and OpenSim, which is still heavily dependent on Second Life-compatible viewers — is limited inRead More →

There’s a new immersive platform in town. HostaVirtualEvent.com is focused on business users — like Venuegen and Web.alive. But it’s based on Unity, like ReactionGrid’s Jibe and Second Places’ Unifier. The advantage of Unity is that millions of people already have the Unity plugin, there’s no need to open portsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products andRead More →

We are going to have a metaverse of interconnected virtual worlds. Whether it evolves out from the current OpenSim and the hypergrid, or from the new crop of Web-based virtual platforms, or some combination, but we’re going to get there. Folks who got their hopes up with the VRML standards,Read More →

Back before I became a business journalist, I was a war correspondent. And I accumulated a few psychological scars as a result. In the past, I deal with some of my ghosts by lighting candles in church — I’m baptized Russian Orthodox — but multiple relocations and other changes inRead More →

Viewer developers are no longer restricted from working on OpenSim server code, OpenSim core developer and Overte Foundation president Justin Clark-Casey announced Friday. Previously, viewer developers had to wait six months after working on viewer code before they could work on OpenSim. The Overte Foundation — which oversees OpenSim developmentRead More →

How real does a virtual environment need to be for users to feel presence? This is a question educators have been researching in the attempt to implement virtual spaces to expand the classroom. For those of us old enough to have been playing eight bit video games and text-driven adventures,Read More →

Press release: Dassault Systemes: “Staying Alive”: 3D Experience Helps Save Lives Teaching People How to Administer First Aid Using 3D Online Experience Platform from Dassault Systemes PARIS — Dassault Systemes, a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced the launch of a 3D lifelike experienceRead More →

Press Release: Unite 11: Unity 3.5 Demonstrated Live for the First Time Major Additions Mark an Impressive Update to the Award-Winning Development Platform for Games and Interactive 3D SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity development platform for awesome games and interactive 3D on the web, iOS, Android, consolesRead More →

As the number of Unity-based virtual platforms proliferates, and a decent viewer for OpenSim and Second Life still remains a pipe dream, we’re getting close to the point where the center of gravity will shift over. And the future of the metaverse — or, at least, the first few yearsRead More →

The OpenSim hosting industry is still young, and, though it is developing quickly, still lacking in experience and maturity. But it doesn’t mean that customers have to settle for substandard service. I’ve tried out several vendors in the past, and will continue to do so for both public and privateRead More →

I am a big fan of the hypergrid. I love logging into my personal grid. Then teleporting to my company grid, or visit friends on OSGrid, or go shopping on GermanGrid. But I don’t have any illusion that the hypergrid will replace the Internet. Instead, I believe that the hypergridRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Edge Launches Definitive Online Directory for Digital Meeting, Events, Learning, and Community Solutions Virtual Edge Directory simplifies process for researching, identifying and selecting vendors and service providers for going virtual Pleasanton, CA – Today the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI), an organization dedicated to advancing the development andRead More →

All existing OpenSim viewers are based on the GPL-licensed open source version of the Second Life viewer. All derivative viewers also have to be open source — which makes it hard to build a business here. So it makes sense that we don’t have companies coming in and investing aRead More →

Press release: 3DLES and virtyou join forces Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands—Germany’s Virtyou GmbH and 3DLES, an OpenSim design and consulting firm focusing on education, have   join forces to provide a stable 3D environment for education and architecture in Europe. “In the past, we were working on several grids,” said 3DLESRead More →

Press Release: New ProtoSphere v.1.5.4 Now Supports Video and Flash Content Five new features extend ProtoSphere’s lead as the virtual collaboration environment for learning and training LANSDALE, Pa.—ProtonMedia today released ProtoSphere Standard Edition v.1.5.4 with new video and Flash content support. Now large enterprises can train in ProtoSphere using videos,Read More →

The economic downturn has put a damper on tradeshow activities worldwide. Travel budgets have been tightened across the board. Attendees are less willing to hop on a plane halfway around the globe for a few meetings with uncertain ROI. On the vendor side, exhibitors are faced with stagnant budgets andRead More →

The Subsnapshot Importer Exporter module is now available in the Wonderland Module Warehouse. This was our first completed Wonderland Wednesday project. Community member Bob Potter described the project when we started it almost exactly a year ago in his blog post “Wonderland Wednesdays Subsnapshot Project.” We officially concluded the project at theRead More →

A traditional lecture hall in the vAcademia environment.

Russia’s Virtual Spaces LLC has released a new education-focused virtual world platform, vAcademia, that allows for both traditional 2D and 3D recordings. The platform, which is now in beta, is being used by Mari State Technical University in Yoshkar-Ola, a city in western Russia.  Although primarily used by Russian institutionsRead More →

An interesting quesion arose from my ALT-C talk last week. It was basically “How can you use Second Life for teaching when it takes two hours to learn how to use it?” Which isn’t really a question, of course. It’s a statement. Along the lines of “It takes my studentsRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 19,381 regions, a new high — up by 883 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew to a new record high of 212,452. These numbers do not include smaller public grids, or the unknown numbers of privateRead More →

Will free land destroy grids? There will probably a winnowing out of grids that continue to charge for residential land without offering enough additional perceived value. But the end result will, I believe, a net benefit for OpenSim. More money for content creators Retail consumers have only so much moneyRead More →

A few days ago, I heard a brief talk by marketing expert Steve Harrison in which he talked about how to get attention for your message. It turns out he was speaking about how to get the attention of journalists and news producers, so, being a journalist, I was curiousRead More →

One of the great features of Open Wonderland is its application-sharing facility. And one of the benefits this provides is the ability to use OpenOffice in-world to create and edit documents that are compatible with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite. But what if you just want to show a document in-worldRead More →

As John Rogate pointed out today, the 4096 bug — which limits hypergrid teleports to no more than 4,096 regions in any direction — is a significant impediment to hypergrid travel and to the growth of the metaverse as a whole. But, as several people commented, there is another impedimentRead More →

Hypergrid is probably one of the greatest and unifying features for OpenSim, and virtual worlds in general. Basically, virtual worlds cannot be what they should be without the hypergrid. It is the same unifying feature and innovation as the hyperlink was – and still is – for the unification ofRead More →

New Voice’s Nova OpenSim hosting company has dropped region prices to a new low today — just $5.95 for a region with up to 80,000 prims. The catch? The region is designed for low-traffic residential builds, and can support only five to ten avatars at once. And the 80,000 primsRead More →

OpenSim development — like that of any open source project — is very much focused on what developers want to do. They are, after all, volunteers, they don’t take orders. That leaves business users in a quandary — especially those without the technical skills or budgets to do their ownRead More →

Unity 3D is currently the hot platform for virtual world development and it’s going to get hotter, experts say, now that Unity has announced that their environments will soon be exportable to Flash. The announcement will “100 percent accelerate” the move to Unity, Tipodean CEO Chris Collins told Hypergrid Business. Collins wasRead More →

Healthcare and the pharmaceutical industries can benefit from using training simulations and serious games in everything from sales and customer relations to helping medical professionals work with upset patients. Since replicating these types of experiences in traditional training programs is difficult and costly, finding a much more effective, learner centeredRead More →

AVWorlds is a brand new grid — at just 26 regions, it doesn’t even make our monthly Top 40 list — but it has big ambitions. The grid launched with the highest priced land in OpenSim, but then abandoned that strategy and is now actually offering more free residential plotsRead More →

The flight simulator celebrated its 100s anniversary a couple of years ago. A training rig was developed in 1909 to help pilots operate the control wheels of the early monoplanes in a safe environment and its predecessors have been a mainstay of pilot training ever since. Translating this concept toRead More →

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my day job — I’m not actually running Hypergrid Business for the money — in my dayRead More →

Linda Kellie, whose free content has made her website a go-to destination for folks making their move to OpenSim and needing content, has released her first OAR file (free download here). This complete region includes a small freebie store with starting avatars, animations, and a large collection of textures. ThereRead More →