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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Any grid owner that makes a living by renting out premium residential regions should start planning ahead — for a future in which the effective of residential regions drops down to zero. Free is already here Of course, there is nothing new about free regions. OSGrid and other open gridsRead More →

The Global Conference on Gifted Education held its eleventh global virtual meeting in Second Life last week, taking advantage of the platform’s global reach. “Information can be accessed from anywhere in the world,”said Leslie Graves, member of the Executive Council for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, whoRead More →

San Francisco-based Hyperfair is the first to offer a fully immersive 3D exposition hall focusing on large-scale business expos. “We want to become the global reference model,” Max Bonfanti, the company’s  CTO and co-founder, told Hypergrid Business. “All our competitors rely on 2D.” The founders spent two years building theRead More →

Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I attended UMass in the early eighties when access to DARPAnet first became available to students. In the beginning, all we had was terminal-based FTP access to download TeX markup documents that we could send to the batch printers. It wasn’t until almost ten years later that Mosaic based graphicalRead More →

Two OpenSim grids have been attacked — OpenNeuland and Wilder Westen — and the attackers may be going after others, said Kai Ludwig, director of Germany’s TalentRaspel virtual worlds Ltd. and owner of the two grids. The attack hit Open Neuland yesterday and Wilder Westen today, he told Hypergrid Business. “It’s probably bot-based,Read More →

Press release: Air Medic Sky One, from University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, Wins Best of Show at Serious Play Award Competition SEATTLE – Twenty serious games were chosen by a panel of experts, as medal winners at the 2011 International Serious Play Awards, a program distinguishing superior examples of corporate,Read More →

Role Play Worlds, a 43-region grid dedicated to fantasy-themed role playing, will close next month, the grid announced today. Residents will have until September 23 to make backups, export builds, and cancel orders and subscriptions. “We dont have the time and energy to keep working on RPW as before, that’sRead More →

Press Release: Finalists Named in International Serious Play Award Competition SEATTLE – A panel of experts have selected 20 games as finalists in the 2011 International Serious Play Awards, a recognition program honoring outstanding examples of corporate, military, health care and school/at home learning titles. The games will be featuredRead More →

SpotON3D has two other patents, for the use of augmented reality in a 3D environment, the company revealed on Friday. The information was presented by SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, who was speaking at a discussion in Second Life hosted by SpotON3D and titled, “SpotON3D’s patent pending plugin: Is it a threat orRead More →

SpotON3D is a small commercial grid, with more money and programmers than customers. It has developed three innovative pieces of technology, two of which nobody cares anything about, and one, a browser-based viewer plugin, that got people all excited. Including me. It’s a great little piece of functionality, and anRead More →

Over the last three years I’ve planned, designed, and orchestrated a dozen learning events in the virtual world of Second Life. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with extremely experienced and talented programmers, producers, content experts, scripters, and machinima artists from whom I have learned volumes about planning and stagingRead More →

SpotON3D will address the patent issue in a discussion on the first day of its Content Creators Expo in Second Life. Philippe Pascal, SpotON3D’s developer program manager, invited Hypergrid Business readers to attend the Expo, including those concerned about reports that SpotON3D has filed for five patents on OpenSim-related technology. ThoseRead More →

I have been using OpenSim since October, 2008. The software is still in an alpha stage of development, but it has come a long way, and its usage has exploded, and will continue to do so. Linden Labs has basically stopped focusing on education — which has also included droppingRead More →

Thanks to a “small bounty” from Birmingham, U.K.-based Daden Limited, OpenSim has new NPC functionality — otherwise known as non-player characters or bots. “Having this functionality broken was becoming a real pain for us, as having NPCs and autonomous avatars in virtual worlds is a lot of what we are about,” DavidRead More →

Press release: Avination hires full-time community manager LONDON, U.K. — Avination Virtual Limited has hired Jolanda Mastenbroek as Community Manager for the grid, the company announced today. Mastenbroek will be known inworld Avination as Joyce A-Team. Her primary focus is to build up social, cultural and educational communities. Mastenbroek will beRead More →

Kitely users will get at least one more free month of hosting, as the company’s billing system has been delayed. “Due to the time we’d spent improving OpenSim in the last couple of months we are a few weeks behind schedule,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. The companyRead More →

The Aurora-Sim distribution of OpenSim now supports mega regions of unlimited size, according to an announcement made this weekend. That doesn’t mean that the regions offer endless land to build on — buildable land is limited to the size of the underlying region, either a standard region or a variable-sizedRead More →

History and ‘heat’ of glass factory comes alive with new 3-D virtual living museum Using photos from University Libraries to guide them, designers for Ball State’s IDIA were able to simulate the conditions of factory life at the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Co. in Muncie. Advanced 3-D technology is allowingRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 18,498 regions — up by 1,539 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew by almost 12,000 to 206,098. Avination, InWorldz lose ground Both of the top commercial grids — Avination and InWorldz — lost regions over the past month.Read More →

The recent furor over patents by SpotON3D is understandable. However, we may be overemphasizing that issue while staying naïve about other formidable developments. Let me begin with a specific illustration. Back in December of 2010, Hypergrid Business ran an article that indicated IBM had filed a patent on sim designRead More →

Students show more interest in class and have better learning outcomes when 3D technology is used, according to the Boulder Valley School District. Focused and attentive Students focus on the content more and paid more attention in all the classrooms using 3D technology, reported Len Scrogan, director of instructional technologyRead More →

SpotON3D has actually filed five patents, not just one, SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, an intellectual property attorney with Greenberg & Lieberman, said at an outreach event Sunday morning. He did not provide any additional information about the patents at the event, though the company website offers a few hints. Thank you to Vanish Seriath, whoRead More →

Despite the patent controversy, and public relations problems that ensued from it, SpotON3D has a good product. It’s viewer plugin wrapper might not be a technological breakthrough, but it feels like a big technological breakthrough. No other browser-based solution — neither Tipodean’s www.BuiltBuy.me, nor 3Di’s Rei, nor Rezzable’s Unity-based viewer —Read More →

Press release: Second Places announces the Launch of the first Private Virtual World hosted on the Unifier Platform Cheshire , U.K. — Second Places, a leader in development of virtual worlds, today announced the first private virtual world hosted on the Unifier platform. The secure private world is for kids aged 3-18 and notRead More →

SpotON3D attempted to address the controversy over its plans to patent technology for putting an OpenSim viewer on a webpage in an outreach event this morning, but some of the company’s toughest critics failed to show up, the company failed to answer key questions about its technology, and the meetingRead More →

AvWorlds has announced that the company will be releasing a Facebook plugin this week, allowing users to quickly create avatars based on their existing Facebook identities. Those without Facebook accounts — or who don’t want to expose their identities — will also be able to use Yahoo and Google logins,Read More →

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D‘s viewer plugin patent isn’t original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn’t playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D’s innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption — and the patent, if it is granted, mayRead More →

Press Release: WorldViz 3D Interaction Walls bring Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality to Mainstream Santa Barbara, CA –WorldViz, the industry leader in interactive virtual reality solutions, has released two turnkey 3D simulation systems based proprietary motion-tracking technology and a single front-projected 3D screen. The systems enable low-cost immersive Virtual Reality applications forRead More →

Press release: Plenary Sessions at Serious Play Conference To Tackle Major Challenges of Serious Games SEATTLE – Some of the best minds in serious games are coming together to discuss the major challenges facing the use of games for training and learning at Serious Play Conference, Tuesday through Thursday, August 23Read More →

Avination may deploy the Havok physics engine for its grid. This is the same physics engine used by Second Life. “It is being considered and talks with Havok have started,” Avination grid manager Melanie Thielker told Hypergrid Business. “The content of these talks are under NDA [non-disclosure agreements.” OpenSim grids normallyRead More →

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the software. There’s nothing wrong with installing software, but as more applications migrate to the Web, folksRead More →

Press Release: InWorldz, LLC and CariNet Inc. To Power Virtual World Technology and Hosting Through Joint Venture Venture to focus on quality of service, scalability, and core software to promote growth and technical innovation NY and SAN DIEGO, CA – InWorldz, LLC a leading provider of virtual world services, and CariNetRead More →

There have been several attempts over the past year to create a viewer for Second Life and OpenSim based virtual environments that would run in a browser. I’ve tried to write about them all, from Linden Lab partnering with GaiKai to provide a server-side rendered and streamed experience of SecondLife to TipodeanRead More →

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008. Second Life, with 27 million registered users, continued to hold the top position inRead More →

First of all, I’d like to thank all the creative folks who are creating original products and distributing them in freebie stores on OSGrid, JokaydiaGrid, GermanGrid, FrancoGrid, and many other locations. OpenSim has come a long way since I started writing about it two years ago and it’s now possibleRead More →

OSGrid, the largest grid running on the OpenSim software, is celebrating its fourth birthday this weekend with parties, games, tours, and training classes. OSGrid currently has 6,896 regions and more than 63,000 registered users. By comparison, the next-largest grid, ScienceSim, has around 1,800 regions — but many of those are scalabilityRead More →

I’ve been traveling around the hypergrid a lot lately enjoying the new hypergrid landmarks, friends, and messages — and updating the Hyperica directory. And I’ve been amazed at how far the grids have come. Areas which were bare or under construction when I last visited are now looking finished andRead More →

Aurora-Sim is a hot, fresh, new distribution of OpenSim that promises some nice features for grid managers (see story here) but, until this weekend, its users were cut off from the rest of the metaverse. That compatibility problem has been solved, and residents of OSGrid, FrancoGrid, and most other gridsRead More →

Two major players in the OpenSim community have recently joined ReactionGrid in promoting the Unity 3D platform. In addition to ReactionGrid’s Jibe environment, we now also have Second Learning’s Unifier environment, and a product from Tipodean to convert OpenSim regions to Unity scenes. Jibe starts at $50 a month, Unifier atRead More →

Press release: Daden creates Chatbot Business Case Calculator to help companies understand potential savings Birmingham, U.K. – An innovative business case calculator has been created by technology company Daden Limited to help organisations understand the potential savings that using an interactive virtual agent – or chatbot – can deliver. Chatbots are computerRead More →

It’s been a record-breaking months for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids passing 16,000 regions and 200,000 users for the first time in history. The total number of regions on these 40 largest public grids was 16,959, an increase of 1,669 regions since mid June — the biggest single-month increaseRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

Press Release: ProtoSphere Lync Edition to support Office 365 and associated online functionality LANSDALE, Pa.–ProtonMedia, a Silver Unified Communications Microsoft partner, today announced its ProtoSphere Lync Edition application will support Microsoft Office 365. This will provide users the benefits of Microsoft’s Lync high-quality VoIP and Office 365 platform through ProtoSphere’s engaging virtual collaborationRead More →

Second Places announces the name of their long anticipated virtual world platform — Unifier. A new web based platform presents opportunities to developers, a more immersive experience to users and a simple easy to manage interface for those who wish to control their own virtual world. Unifier takes virtual worldRead More →

If you’re treating your virtual workers like regular staff, but paying them as contractors, you might be setting yourself up for a lawsuit — even if you’re paying your employees in a virtual currency. At least, that’s the opinion of Donald C. Dowling, Jr., partner in the international labor andRead More →

Paris-based Cariama, a multi-grid marketplace, wants merchants to know that they can sell their goods to six different OpenSim grids, plus Second Life — without paying any commission. Those six grids are 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Open Neuland,  Sim World and UFS Grid. It’s been making that pitch sinceRead More →

Educators and companies looking for free, Creative Commons-licensed starting regions for their corporate or school campuses should take a look at Universal Campus. These four regions were originally created by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics atRead More →

Intel’s Distributed Scene Graph — the technology that allows OpenSim to handle thousands of avatars on a single region – is now available for download. In the future, the technology will become part of the standard distribution of OpenSim, core developer Justin Clark-Casey told Hypergrid Business. “No timeframe on this, though,”Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc., the first vendor to release a business-friendly Web-based viewer for OpenSim, has cut back its development work on the platform in favor of Flash-based virtual environments. “Apart from our existing deployments, we’ve scaled back new development on OpenSim,” 3Di technical group manager Norman Lin told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

The number of OpenSim grids accepting the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled Open Metaverse Currency (OMC) has continued to grow in the first half of this year, now at an all-time high of 29 grids. Meanwhile, the number of registered users has tripled since the start of the year. In addition, the totalRead More →

Press Release: Cubic Delivers COMBATREDI Virtual Training System to the Florida National Guard ORLANDO, FL — Cubic Simulations Systems, the virtual training systems business of Cubic Corporation CUB +0.62% , has delivered a cutting-edge virtual training solution to the Florida National Guard (FLNG) that will provide the most advanced virtualRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Library of Birmingham opens its doors for public exploration Birmingham, U.K. — The Virtual Library of Birmingham, built by Daden Limited, has opened its doors to the public allowing access two years before the real life building is ready for occupancy. The Virtual Library of Birmingham allowsRead More →

Press Release: Virtway creates immersive 3D iPad application for Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation Oviedo. SPAIN — Virtway, in collaboration with IECISA, has created a 3D interactive tour of the most representative centers of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, including the National Museum of Science and Technology in A Coruña.Read More →

The Commerce & Marketing Track of the Second Life Community Convention, scheduled for August 12 through 14 in Oakland, California, is looking for presentation proposals from Second Life content and service providers. According to track leader James Neville, one keynote speaker is already scheduled — Rik Panganiban, who will talk about non-profitRead More →

HGExchange, a new online marketplace for OpenSim goods launched today, with live delivery to OSGrid, MyOpenGrid, and Haven. It is not the first online marketplace to deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids.  Cariama delivers products to 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Sim World and UFS Grid as well as to SecondRead More →

The recently-released OpenAvatar kit for open source avatars could help enterprise users of virtual worlds reduce vendor lock-in and, eventually, lead to significant improvements in the appearance of avatars, VastPark CEO Bruce Joy told Hypergrid Business. VastPark is an Australian immersive environment vendor that has both commercial and open sourceRead More →

Press release: ON24 Survey Shows Growing Corporate Preference; Sodexo Use Case Illustrates Benefits SAN FRANCISCO, CA —  ON24, the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, today announced survey results illustrating the growing acceptance by human resources and training professionals of virtual solutions for corporate training and HR applications. MoreRead More →

OpenSim’s volunteer developers have launched a foundation, the non-profit Overte Foundation, which expected to solve the licensing problems that keep OpenSim server developers from talking to viewer developers. “One of the main reasons for creating such a foundation is so that we can drop the six month contribution barrier between OpenSimulatorRead More →

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I check in on daily. i live in science land Ener Hax posts daily (with a littleRead More →

Jibe is a new, Unity 3D-based virtual environment created by ReactionGrid, one of the leading OpenSim hosting vendors. Many people confuse the two platforms, but they are very different environments. In fact, Jibe has very little in common with OpenSim, and quite a bit in common with other browser-based virtualRead More →

Press Release: PPD and ProtonMedia Win 2011 Microsoft Life Sciences Innovation Award Microsoft recognizes ProtonMedia for the second consecutive year for its innovation in life sciences with its ProtoSphere virtual collaboration technology LANSDALE, Pa. — Microsoft Corp. has named PPD, Inc. and ProtonMedia winners of a Microsoft 2011 Life Sciences Innovation Award, recognizing their innovative useRead More →

Press Release: TEDxBoston Expands Reach With Avaya web.alive Global Online Auditorium — Avaya web.alive Immersive Web Conferencing Enables Attendees to View Event From Comfort of Their Desktops — TEDxBoston Speakers Live Streamed From Event to Avaya web.alive Audience of Avatars BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Avaya, a global provider of businessRead More →

Press release: New Learning System for Virtual World Educators Released The creators of Texas State Technical Colleges’ virtual presence in Second Life®, vTSTC, have released a new learning management system created specifically for educators using virtual worlds like Second Life® for teaching and learning. Abilene, TX — The creators of TexasRead More →

Press release: ProtonMedia Raises $4.5 Million in Series B Financing Led by Kaplan Ventures LANSDALE, Pa.—ProtonMedia today announced the successful completion of a $4.5 million Series B venture financing led by Kaplan Ventures. ProtonMedia will use the funds to extend its leadership position within life sciences by further integrating itsRead More →

Simple curiosity and the pioneering spirit are driving the growth in hypergridding, despite technical challenges. According to data from The Hypergates, the total number of travelers using their teleport gate system has more than tripled from 133 a month in May of 2009 to 471 last month – and theseRead More →

As the number of new grids proliferates, grid owners need to look beyond “cheaper than Second Life” as their key marketing ploy. Instead, why not try one of these time-tested strategies? 1. Limited time offer! You see these all the time — because they work. The limited offer could beRead More →