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 →

Press Release: Darius Lahoutifard, Reggie Smith III & Dr. Keysha Gamor top three in Virtual Awards 2011 Jacksonville, FL — The Association of Virtual Worlds announced the winners of its Virtual Excellence Awards 2011 today and Altadyn CEO Darius Lahoutifard was named Person of the Year.  He was nominated in the Enterprise category. AltadynRead 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 →

At the 2011 Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) in Oakland, California, Linden CEO Rod Humble announced that in the next few months Linden Lab will release a new version of Second Life for the web and tablets. This new software will be separate from the current Second Life, not justRead 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 →

At a public forum today, an OpenSim grid executive told the audience that creators could lose their intellectual property rights if their work is copied. This is a common — and harmful — myth that may keep creators from sharing their work. In fact, you cannot lose your copyright ifRead 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 →

The good folks at the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable are training new people to host our meetings, and they’ve asked us veterans to share our ideas. The following  principles have worked fairly well for me over the past few years. 1. Open forums are not completely open When I host one ofRead More →

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In recent months, the amount of innovation coming out of the OpenSim community has been staggering. Hypergrid travel is not only more secure, but now supports cross-grid friendships, messages, and landmarks. OpenSim providers are hosting their regions on-demand and in public (and private) clouds, offering full regions for under $10Read 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 →

For years I have been wanting to see 3D on the web become ubiquitous and with Katalabs‘ OurBricks, I am closer than ever to seeing that dream come true. Leveraging the power of WebGL and its supported browsers, OurBricks allows users to examine a full 3D version of any modelRead 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 →

Until yesterday, I’ve been keeping up with — but haven’t been particularly concerned about — the Google Plus real names controversy. After all, I already used my real name in all my social networking and the only complaint I have with virtual worlds is when I can’t use my realRead 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 →

Update: Please people, stop linking to this post! Unless you are actually an OpenSim user this is not relevant to you at all! This article is about a very, very, narrow niche use of Unity that’s only relevant to a small handful of people. I understand that Unity is not aRead 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 →

People pay the same amount of attention at virtual and physical events, says a  new report from the Professional Convention Management Association, UBM Studios, and the Virtual Edge Institute, detailing the behaviours of people in regards to virtual events that will be released Monday. “Too often the argument centers onRead 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 →

Kitely, a company that offers virtual worlds on demand, plans to make virtual worlds more accessible to all, said company CEO Ilan Tochner in an interview last week. The interview was conducted at the MetaMeets 2011 conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by the blog MixedRealities. Kitely plans to make “the existing SecondRead 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 →

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 →

An educator has released a free, 160-page “quick start” guide this week. The guide is a complete instruction manual for schools — or other institutions — looking to set up OpenSim-based environments from scratch. The guide was created by David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American InternationalRead More →

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business this week that the Second Life and OpenSim viewer can be ported to HTML 5 and Web GL in a matter of months — and he’s looking for people to help accomplish that. Tocher said that’s he’s received a commitment from Alon ZakaiRead More →

Washington, D.C.-based grid SpotOn3D is looking for developers to work on gambling-related projects, now that online gambling has been legalized in the nation’s capital. “This opens up many opportunities for metaverse developers,” Philippe Pascal, the company’s developer program manager, said in an announcement today. “SpotON3D is currently on the look-outRead More →

Press release: Brandman University Research Study Shows Companies Can Better Embrace Virtual Work Force as a Competitive Advantage Managers eager for workers to understand collaboration tools, but still rely on face-to-face contact for building trust IRVINE, Calif. — While businesses increasingly play on a global stage and a work forceRead More →

Kitely, a popular cloud-based OpenSim hosting provider, rolled out two frequently requested features today — the ability to export regions, and the ability to choose viewers. These two changes should make it much easier for virtual designers to use Kitely for building and design projects. In addition, the Kitely pluginRead More →

Intel will release the code for its Distributed Scene Graph 3-D — which allows thousands of avatars on a single OpenSim regions — at the end of June, the company told Hypergrid Business today. The DSG code will be available at OpenSimulator.org/wiki/Download And there will be documentation about the code, asRead More →

Club One’s two virtual weight-loss programs last year were a clear success — participants lost as much or more weight as in a similar program held in a real gym, and made more positive lifestyle changes. (See How Club One lowers your weight and BP virtually and Study: Virtual health club deliversRead More →

Press release: VastPark Launches OpenAvatar for Virtual Worlds and Games Washington, DC & Melbourne, Australia — VastPark, an industry leader in virtual worlds, launches OpenAvatar to create an open source standard generator for avatar development for the virtual world and gaming industry. Frustrated by the lack of high quality 3D avatarRead More →

Press release: UtherConvention Trade Show Will Showcase Best of 3D Web and Demonstrate Breakthrough Convention Concept Convention highlights: Session with attorney Greg Piccionelli about intellectual property rights in virtual worlds Educational sessions on PhotoShop, running a virtual business, becoming a virtual DJ, and using the Utherverse marketplace Vancouver, BC – UtherverseRead More →

Press release: Intel Announces New Research and Partnership Efforts at Annual R&D Event Will release open source packages: To increase avatar capacity on an OpenSim region 20 times, allowing thousands of simultaneous visitors To accelerate rendering of photo realistic images by 100 percent on Intel systems MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. –Read More →

Press release: InteSolv Announces Virtual Show Partnership with ON24 InteSolv will deliver ON24’s Virtual Show and Virtual Briefing Center products into several key markets, including government, manufacturing, high tech, healthcare and multi-level marketing organizations, just to name a few. Visalia, CA — InteSolv, a leading national virtual business solutions and servicesRead More →

We all remember the Microsoft-Netscape battle. Okay, maybe some people don’t, so here’s the summary: Netscape was a company that made a free Internet browser and and a not-free commercial Web server. (The latter has since been bought by Sun, and open sourced.) Microsoft built their own version of aRead More →

I am looking for volunteers for an OSGrid Academic Consortium — somewhere between four to eight schools who want to have free regions in an education-oriented community located near to one another on the non-profit OSGrid. Here is how it will work. I will take care of the setup —Read More →

Hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine called today on big public grids to begin a mass migration to lower regions. The reason is that Second Life-compatible viewers don’t handle jumps of more than 4,096 regions in any direction — causing problems both forRead More →

Press release: ACSM: Weight loss success in a 3-D virtual world Bloomington, Indiana — Participants in two weight-loss programs — one involving traditional health club sessions and the other delivered online in a 3D virtual world — lost similar amounts of weight and body fat, but the online contingent reportedRead More →

Press release: Immersive Virtual Classrooms Boost Engagement and ROI for Instructor-Led Training: VenueGen Execs to Discuss at eLearning DEVCON and ICELW VenueGen CEO David Gardner and President Jeff Crown will explore the potential of virtual environments to make enterprise distance education as powerful as face-to-face instruction Research Triangle Park, NCRead More →

What’s the fun of teleporting to other grids and meeting new friends, if you can’t keep in touch with them afterwards? That’s not going to be a problem for long, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine in an announcement Friday. The new functionalityRead More →

People who remember the last dot-com boom, and are thinking of launching a virtual worlds business so that they can take part in the next one, need not worry that their memories of the 1990s mean that their too old to succeed. In fact, according to a new study, olderRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

Press Release: Designing Digitally, Inc. Wins 2011 Air Force Research Lab Virtual World Contract FRANKLIN, OH– Teaching students how to build airplanes, robots and simulations is serious business, but Designing Digitally, Inc. plans to make it a game — literally. Designing Digitally, Inc., the web-based training firm that specializes in e-learning, virtualRead More →

Many people view virtual online currencies; the kind used in online websites such as Second Life for example, as being wholly different from their real life counterparts. Many online games have their own currencies with their own currency conversion rates but until now they have not been viewed in anyRead More →

Press release: Virtual Edge Institute and ROI of Engagement’s Multi-Year Study Reveals Effectiveness of Hybrid Events Survey Reveals Different Motivations for Attending Events In Person or Online Virtual Extends Attendance: If no virtual option was available, 93 percent of virtual attendees would not attend the in-person event whereas 78 percentRead More →