Press release: Announcing the Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds 2015 Workshop, March 6-7, 2015 November 17, 2014 – The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Simulation and Training Technology Center’s Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy (MOSES) and AvaCon are pleased to announce the Federal Consortium of VirtualRead More →

You may have seen the recent flood of announcements from companies jumping on the virtual reality bandwagon. Movie studios, hotel chains, car companies are releasing virtual experiences at a furious pace. Most people are either excited or confused by all the attention, but a few have been upset at theRead More →

Tangle Grid, a mid-sized commercial grid known for its hypergrid-enabled Expos, has decided to reduce the number of its 2015 Expos, but to make each Expo longer. ” The committee got together and looked at traffic and participation numbers for the Expos on TanGLe and we decided to make changes,” saidRead More →

The InWorldz InShape app has been accepted by Apple for distribution in its App Store and will go live on Monday, InWorldz announced yesterday. This means that InShape will now run on the iPhone as well as most Android devices, the grid said. Read more about InShape here.Read More →

Crista Lopes — you might know her as “Diva Canto,” an OpenSim core developer, inventor of the hypergrid and professor of informatics at UC Irvine — is now also in the viewer development business. And her new viewer, OnLook, is a dramatic departure from other viewers we’ve seen so far forRead More →

OpenSim-based virtual networking company SimB2B was recognized as a top-five startup at the CoInvent NY Startup Showcase on Thursday, one of over twenty companies presenting. “SimB2B is the first grid to offer business to business networking and events such as trade shows,” SimB2B vice president Jack Mamiye told Hypergrid Business.  IndividualRead More →

Samsung has just gone public with its Project Beyond 3D camera for virtual reality film-making. It’s not yet available for sale, and there’s no news yet about when it will hit the market. The device is about the size and shape of a frisbee, with 16 high-definition stereoscopic cameras positionedRead More →

Are you still holding off on getting a Google Cardboard kit and turning your smartphone into a super low-cost virtual reality device? Maybe Volvo will change your mind. On Tuesday, the company is giving away a limited number of Volvo-branded Google Cardboard kits. All you have to do is downloadRead More →

Virtual reality’s success or failure will depend on interface design, Oculus Rift chief scientist Steve LaValle told a packed virtual conference hall last weekend at the OpenSimulator Community Conference. “If we do fail, it’ll be because human comfort hasn’t been given the respect it needs,” he told the attendees onRead More →

Full immersion virtual reality might be here sooner than you think — for movies, at least. Palo Alto-based Jaunt VR is developing a suite of hardware and software tools for creating 360-degree virtual reality videos. The use of 16-camera contraptions and 3-D sound-field microphones, which capture the sounds coming from variousRead More →

On Monday, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Firefox, the Mozilla foundation launched the MozVR project to help fosaster the emerging virtual reality Web. In June, an Oculus-compatible version of Firefox was released. This is not a full virtual world platform like OpenSim, but more of an open source alternative toRead More →

With OSgrid down for three months and no news from its managers about when it is expected to come back up, other grids have been stepping up to serve its users. Most recently, Tangle Grid launched the open Tangle OS grid at the beginning of October. That grid is nowRead More →

OSgrid has successfully recovered 1.9 terabytes, out of 3.5 terabytes total, grid president James Stallings II said during a conversation on OSgrid’s Internet Relay Chat channel yesterday. The conversation was reposted on OSgrid’s forums by grid administrator and OpenSim developer Allen Kerensky. Stallings — who was posting under the userRead More →

Press release: Avegant Closes Extended Series A Round of Funding Led by Intel Capital and NHN Investment REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Avegant today announced the close of an extended $9.37 million series A round of venture funding led by Intel Capital and NHN Investment. The company will use the fundsRead More →

Nimble VR is less than $1,300 away from its $62,500 Kickstarter goal, with 39 days left to go. It’s a sign that this is a useful bit of technology — a camera-based motion sensor that attaches right to the front of an Oculus Rift headset. A sensor attached to the frontRead More →

There’s yet another smartphone-based virtual reality headset on the market, this time from Australia-based company Phenomec. The headset, called the VRSmartView Developer Kit, costs AU $49.99 or about US $43.48 and is available for order now from the company’s website. Delivery is currently scheduled for December 12 of this year.Read More →

Over the years, OpenSimulator has grown to be a widely used platform, serving as the virtual world server for many communities ranging in size, specialization and languages. due to the platforms open source nature, community contribution to its code base over the years has made OpenSimulator a formidable choice forRead More →

Seems that there’s a mania for mergers going on. Next Reality and SkyLife Grid merged with AviWorlds. 3D Grid merged with Metropolis. And now Lost World grid is merging with AviWorlds, too. Is there a merger in your grid’s future? Take this quiz to find out!Read More →

The motorsports-focused Next Reality grid has merged with AviWorlds. Next Reality had 125 regions as of mid-October, and was known for its racetrack and for its adults-only Red Light Hotel. Grid owner Mike Hart had been running the grid on his own until a failure with its RAID storage broughtRead More →

There are plenty of headsets on the market today that are basically shells made out of plastic — or cardboard — that you slide your smartphone into. Higher-end devices such as the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus, GameFace, AntVR, Vrvana Totem, CastAR, and Immersion VRelia, haven’t yet hit the consumer market.Read More →

On November 1, for the first time, avatars and the people behind them are going to run the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, for real, virtually. What in the world does that mean? Using the InWorldz InShape system, beta testers from the virtual world will get together on aRead More →

Press release: CloudServe announces appointment of Chief Technical Officer AUSTIN, Texas — OpenSim hosting company CloudServe is announcing the addition of  Josh Boam — also known as Josh Piper in-world — to its staff as Chief Technical Officer. As experienced programmer and content creator, Boam assumed his role with the CloudServe teamRead More →

3DGrid, a small non-profit German grid offering free or nearly free regions to educational institutions, announced today that it is merging with Metropolis, Germany’s largest grid. 3DGrid is a three-year old grid that, at last count, had 14 regions. It did not release its user numbers. “My personal involvement inRead More →

The 3dcolab.com crew has built a simulation of the historic Michigan Central Station, a railway depot which is one of the best known iconic ruins of Detroit. We showed our magnificant as it used-to-be re-creation last month at the Detroit Design Festival dElectricity event. The location was a friendly art gallery and coffeeRead More →

The Tokyo University of Information Sciences released a new tool this week for converting OpenSim regions to mesh. The new OAR Converter tool takes a region saved as an OAR backup file and converts it to a Collada file, which can then be used inside Unity 3D and other all-mesh environments.Read More →

Love them or hate them — and many people do love them — but there are now breedables on the hypergrid. Previously, breedables in OpenSim were limited to closed grids like InWorldz, with Oyo Breedables, Fussels Breedables, and, of course, Amaretto Breedables. As of this week, however, breedable turtles have arrivedRead More →

Merchants selling products on the Kitely Market can now advertise them. According to today’s announcement, merchants can now put up ads promoting individual products, or their entire stores. The ads will appear on top of search results in a “Featured Products” or “Featured Store” section. Prices start at US $0.10Read More →

I just noticed that KZero has an excellent new design. Perfect timing, too — as interest in virtual reality is exploding, so is the need for virtual worlds consultants of all kind. Arch Virtual also has an excellent new site, as does Designing Digitally. Of course, lots of vendors in ourRead More →

OpenSim Creations, the top site for OpenSim creators sharing original content under Creative Commons licenses, is gone. “In the wee hours of October 20, the entire /home folder of this server got wiped,” said owner Vanish Seriath in a post today. “Why, I don’t know. To make matters worse, I don’tRead More →

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s article about the rules of grid competition. So you’ve decided to avoid self-sabotaging, unproductive, negative types of marketing and competition. What’s left? Lots of stuff! 1. Market your cool new features Don’t expect people to notice it when you add a major improvement toRead More →

Terry Ford, founder of the commercial 3rd Rock Grid, is spearheading the formation of new association of OpenSim grid owners. “We at 3rd Rock Grid do not see other grids as our enemy,” he told Hypergrid Business. “Instead, we hope all grid are successful as their success is our success,Read More →

As OpenSim grows bigger and bigger, some grids might think that an easy way to gain customers would be to bash other grids. For example, AviWorlds grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli said in a recent comment, “For me a competitor is my mortal enemy.” Now, I’m all in favor of competitionRead More →

Now that the Hyperica hyperport is starting to get into shape, I’ve set out some free hypergates for people. Just teleport over to hg.hyperica.com:8022 and pick them up. I’ve got some all-in-one gates, like the one from The Hypergates, and a Blamgate from Pathfinder, and Diva Canto’s teleporter. The gate fromRead More →

The Hyperica hyperport gets a decent amount of traffic, and has a few scripts running on it. Plus, I recently rearranged the grid, and my hosting company updated our software. Let’s just say that region restarts are common place. And my gate scripts kept breaking. It’s turns out, this wasn’tRead More →

Press Release: Archos VR Glasses: Jumping Into the Mobile Virtual Reality World Available in November, starting at $29.99, Archos VR Glasses create immersive experiences for smartphone users Denver – Archos, a pioneer in Android devices, announces the Archos VR Glasses. Immersing users in a virtual reality environment, the French company keeps on making cutting-edgeRead More →

Island Oasis, a closed commercial social grid, released a new viewer for its residents yesterday. The custom viewer — available for download here — is a version of Firestorm configured specifically to work with Island Oasis, including links to the grid’s online marketplace, currency purchases, and full search functionality, said theRead More →

Are you already preparing your smartphone to be your doorway to virtual reality? If no, it’s high time you did so. While virtual reality hardware keeps going three different paths, mobile platform is taking shape as the one with a huge potential to dominate eventually. So don’t wait for the consumerRead More →

The Adult Grid became the second major closed grid to connect to the Kitely Market, the grid announced today in a press release. Zandramas, another closed grid, did the same this past April. The Adult Grid — like the name suggests — features adult content. It came in second inRead More →

There is a new version of the OpenSimulator software, 0.8.0.2, which fixes an inventory permissions bug that appeared in 0.8 and 0.8.0.1. This change fixes a problem with the llGiveInventory and llGiveInventoryList scripting commands, said core developer Justin Clark-Casey in a post. When these script commands are used to give items to anRead More →

Press Release: First Classes in U.S. to Use Oculus Rift Virtual Reality System at Charlotte Latin School CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The art, engineering and programming students at Charlotte Latin School are the first students in the U.S. to use the Oculus Rift virtual reality system in their classes, announced Arch N.Read More →

OpenSim hosting company Zetamex is bringing founder Timothy Rogers back as its CEO, a new support partnership with Zandramas, and a limited time region offer to existing customers. This was the news that came out at last night’s public meeting at the Zetamex virtual office on their ZetaWorlds grid, andRead More →

The total land area on OpenSim’s public grids rose by the equivalent of 1,616 standard regions to 52,180, the grids gained more than 6,000 new registered users, but the number of active users fell by 280 this month on the back of a continued outage at OSgrid. Metropolis was the biggestRead More →

Trying to come up with a new name for a grid? Try to avoid any of the words in the cloud above so that you wouldn’t be confused with other grids.Read More →

Press Release:  OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 Expected to Sell Out, Tickets Still Available October 16, 2014 – Conference organizers expect the OpenSimulator Community Conference 2014 to be a sell out event this year.  The conference will be held on November 8 and 9, 2014 on an OpenSimulator grid designed specifically forRead More →

Piquant. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, at the epicenter of tech, opined last week about women in tech, suggesting they not ask for raises but instead trust “the system” to recognize performance with pay increases when appropriate, earning “good karma” along the way. At the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. FiveRead More →

The Museo del Metaverso — Metaverse Museum — is starting back up again on the Craft grid after two years of inactivity. The Museum was originally created in Second Life in 2007 and in 2010 it moved permanently to Craft. The museum offers a new way of presenting and promoting art through workshops,Read More →

A new hosting provider, CloudServe, is offering cloud-based OpenSim regions starting at $7.95, mini-grids starting at $34.95 and full grids starting at $94.95. CloudServe is a service operated by Austin-based 3D Virtual Web, Inc., the company behind Virtual World City. Prices are mid-range — not as low as Zetamex, but aboutRead More →

Attendees of the New York Comic Con 2014 got a chance to fly virtual dragons, thanks to the folks from DreamWorks Animation. The movie studio created a virtual experiences using Oculus Rift headsets, fans, and vibrating seats to put users on the back of flying dragons, part of the studio’sRead More →

3rd Rock Grid, a mid-sized closed, commercial grid won’t be closed for too much longer. The next grid upgrade will bring hypergrid functionality in the next two or three weeks, grid founder Terry Ford, also known as Butch Arnold in-world, told Hypergrid Business. “We will have some safeguards in place to notRead More →

It looks like a little gray box. But when you move it through the air, it sounds more as though you’re moving a whole orchestra around the room in the palm of your hand. Technology developed at the university makes it seem as though the music is coming from thisRead More →

Zetamex will not be accepting any new customers for the rest of the month, incoming president Richard Lehman said in an announcement posted today on the company’s website. Lehman became the owner of the company in mid-September, but previous CEO Timothy Rogers was slated to continue to serve as actingRead More →

OSgrid residents who rent their regions from Dreamland Metaverse and who can no longer wait for OSgrid to come back up can have them moved to a private mini-grid, the company announced yesterday. The offer includes a free month of hosting, plus custom asset retrieval. OSgrid has been down forRead More →

  Robert Bosch, the world’s largest supplier of automotive parts and equipment, is training between 8,000 and 10,000 mechanics on direct-injection and breaking technology — using virtual reality. The company has launched a 750-stop tour with Oculus Rift headsets that allow the technicians to get virtual tours of the insidesRead More →

SkyLifeGrid founder Josh Boam agreed to provide hosting for the much-troubled AviWorlds grid last month. Now, the two grids are merging — and a third grid, QuickLifeGrid, is joining up as well. As of last month, SkyLife had a little over 100 regions and 36 active users. I have no data onRead More →

The hypergrid turns six years old on October 26. On that day in 2008, Crista Lopes, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, sent an email to the OpenSim developers mailing list. “I started working on an extension to OpenSim that makes it work in peer-to-peer mode… I’mRead More →

I just spent an hour Googling around for this because half the tutorials out there are for older versions of GIMP, so they no longer work! But I needed some quick gold and silver textures — and this technique works for silks, as well. Here’s how to do it. CreateRead More →

Exo-Life, a small social world, has completed its move from Zetamex to Dreamland Metaverse hosting this week. Zetamex and Dreamland Metaverse are the two leading hosting companies for companies, organizations and individuals running private OpenSim grids. How they switched The migration process was very straightforward, Dreamland CEO Dierk Brunner told HypergridRead More →

Carl Zeiss, a company known for high-end lenses, is now in the virtual reality business. Their headset, the VR One, is currently available for pre-order, with shipping scheduled to begin before Christmas. The first version of the device will support iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones, trays for otherRead More →

Anyone who has worked on the production side of virtual environments can attest that content creation and scene development is a costly and time consuming endeavor. Depending on the complexity and fidelity of the scene, production can easily become the highest expense of the project. In more traditional virtual environmentsRead More →

One of the most popular articles on this site is Log your visitors to Google spreadsheet, which I wrote in 2012, and which Zuza Ritt updated the following year. Here’s an easier way to do it, and the script to go with it. Step One: Create the form Sign in toRead More →

If you live in Houston, Los Angeles, or Washington DC, check out the Oculus Rift experience for the upcoming movie “Interstellar” by director Christopher Nolan. The virtual tour, which began in New York City this week, takes you on a three-minute trip through the spaceship “Endurance” featured in the movie.Read More →

Update: Craft was back up earlier than expected, on Monday, October 6. See this post for details. OSgrid went down with RAID problems in late August and still hasn’t recovered. The Next Reality Grid was hit a week later. Now Craft, an open, non-profit European grid popular with artists, hasRead More →

I’ve been feeling left out because so many cool virtual reality accessories coming out are for Android phones. And I have an iPhone. So I was really excited about the $49 AirVR, which just pulled in $25,000 Canadian — of a goal of $20,000 — with 11 days still left to go inRead More →

Okay, so the field for motion control is wide open. Nobody knows what technology and user interface paradigm will actually take us into mainstream virtual reality. But this probably isn’t it. Watch the video below, where users wear thimbles on their fingers while pointing at computer screens. If you don’tRead More →

A prototype virtual reality system from Sightline VR‘s Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík combines an Oculus Rift, a Leap Motion controller, and an innovative user interface to allow people to use their actual hands as controllers, no gloves required. I really like the in-world touch-screen interface but wonder whether your arms would get reallyRead More →

The folks at Oculus VR have posted videos for all the keynotes and talks from their Oculus Connect conference two weeks ago, so if you weren’t able to get to San Francisco, here’s your change to catch up on what you missed. Watch the Oculus Connect introduction below. Then theRead More →

One of the downsides of PC peripheral headsets like the Oculus Rift is that they require high resolution screens and motion sensors, which are expensive. Case-based virtual reality displays that are simply holders for smartphones solve trade that problem for a different one — cell phones don’t have enough powerRead More →

Bassima Alansary came to virtual worlds in secret. Her family and culture forbid her from having an avatar, or from speaking to men even in virtual settings. She lived in Saudia Arabia, in fear of being punished for the simple desire of wanting to learn to speak English. “When IRead More →

We all love OpenSim. That’s why we’re here. But some of us aren’t as good at communicating it as others. One reason could be that a large part of the human population, especially the technically savvy and the creative folks, hate the idea of marketing. They’ve been the victims ofRead More →

Island Oasis pulled in the highest overall scores in the fifth annual OpenSim grid survey, narrowly edging out The Adult Grid for first place. Island Oasis is a top-ten grid by active users, making its high score even more surprising, since scores tend to diminish over time as grids get largerRead More →

For my hypergate portals, I’ve been using a texture I made a few years back, before I really knew my way around GIMP. So it’s a little jerky. Tonight, I made a new texture and it’s much simpler and easier than the first time I did it. First, you makeRead More →

The Fifth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey is closing tonight and many of the smaller but still worthwhile grids still haven’t received enough votes. So later on this year, I’m doing another survey — one of favorite hypergrid destinations. What is the best place to go shopping? To hang out withRead More →

In the face of criticism from GLBT groups, Facebook has rebranded its real names policy as an “authentic name” policy and apologized to the community. “In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand theRead More →

Reddit, a major tech-oriented social network and news site, has revealed plans to launch its own cryptocurrency backed by shares in the company. Reddit recently raised $50 million in financing, which gives the company a valuation of $500 million. “Led by Sam [Altman, president of Y Combinator, which originally launched Reddit],Read More →

Press release: The Immersive Technology Alliance Announces Metaverse Working Group AvaCon, Cloudhead Games, SiliconArts, Cubicle Ninjas and More Join Alliance October 2, 2014 – The Immersive Technology Alliance (The ITA) is pleased to announce that AvaCon will be leading a working group pertaining to the development and interoperability of the metaverseRead More →

Marriott Hotels has found a use for Oculus Rift headsets — teleporting newlyweds to paradise destinations. The video below is set outside New York’s City Hall, but the teleporters will also be visiting DC, Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco.Read More →

Luxury car maker Lexus may soon become one of the first companies in the UK to use Oculus Rift headsets to give customers test drives and the ability to see how their cars will look with their selected options, according to an article today in Automotive Management. “Things like the virtualRead More →

It’s going to be a busy month, with Oktoberfest and Halloween parties across the grids. One of the biggest Halloween celebration this year is probably the InWorldz Frightfest, on the InWorldz Event sims which will run from October 17 through Oct 31. Island Oasis will hold its Halloween Party on October 31.Read More →

OSgrid’s files could not be recovered by a simple cloning of the damaged drives as hoped, the grid announced today. Instead, the grid was forced to pay extra for a full recovery — $2,510 extra, to be exact, using up much of OSgrid’s current balance. According to grid administrator Dan Banner, thatRead More →

One annoying problem I’ve had with hypergate teleport scripts is that some regions have the right threat level settings to run walk-through scripts, while others don’t, and require a different command to activate the teleport. Users had to know what their threat levels were — and who knows that? AndRead More →

Las Vegas-based OpenSim hosting company Zetamex is recovering from a security breach that hit its servers late Sunday night. Hackers attempted to use the Zetamex servers to attack random websites. “All data is safe, and upon further investigation nothing was lost, no data was compromised,” acting CEO Timothy Rogers said inRead More →

PolyWorld Woodland Toolkit. (Image courtesy Xin Xin.)

When I demoed my Oculus Rift game, “Black Hat,” recently, one man told me that he felt sick the previous time he tried a Rift. I convinced him to give it another go and he was surprised by how pleasant the experience was. Quite a few people become nauseous while in the Rift. PartRead More →

Avatar Social Network has recently passed SL Universe in Alexa traffic rank, making it the leading dedicated platform for avatars to discuss virtual world topics. “Now of course at the moment it may not mean much,” Avatar Social Network founder Arkad Baxton told Hypergrid Business. “But if it’s maintained or getRead More →

Update: The poll is now closed. See the results here. It’s time again for the OpenSim grid survey, where OpenSim residents can rank their grids and see how they compare to others. If your grid isn’t on the list, write it in and help the world discover new hidden gems.Read More →

Press release: Second Annual Samsung Developer Conference to Focus on Global Developer Opportunities in Smart Health, Wearables, Virtual Reality and Smart Home SEOUL, South Korea–Samsung Electronics today announced the global Samsung Developer Conference will gather the growing community of developers and partners to explore software and services opportunities in smartRead More →

The London-based Spellscape grid, a magic-themed role play world, has donated code for filtered inventory exports. This would enable grid owners to allow their users to save their inventories in the form of IAR files, while still protecting exclusive content that is not allowed to leave the grid. Previously, this was only possibleRead More →

Samsung and Oculus VR are expected to release their collaborative project, the Gear VR, sometime before the end of the year. The headset uses the Galaxy Note 4 to power a completely untethered virtual reality experience and will be Oculus VR’s first actual step into the consumer market, since their own headset isn’t expected outRead More →

The European Union is giving away more than 80 million Euro — US $103 million — as part of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme for tech startups using cutting-edge technologies such as realXtend, an early off-shoot of OpenSim. The funding is in the form of a direct grant — no equity or loan repayments required.Read More →

OpenSim is a free, open-source platform for creating immersive, 3D virtual worlds. The user interface looks almost exactly like Second Life. The OpenSim software comes in two major parts. The viewers allow you to explore OpenSim worlds, while the server software allows you to create your own world. I wantRead More →

Zetamex is no longer the low-cost hosting leader in OpenSim. As of today, if you are looking for the lowest-host regions in OpenSim, you have to go to Canada — specifically, to The Great Canadian Grid. Land prices start at just CAD $5 for a 15,000 prim region with noRead More →

The AviWorlds grid is coming back up — this time with help from Josh Boam, founder of SkyLifeGrid. “I am going to offer him paid servers and unlimited help,” Boam told Hypergrid Business. According to AviWorlds owner Alex Pomposelli, the grid will be hypergrid-enabled, have its own virtual currency, and willRead More →

As we wrote before, virtual reality is transforming education in many different ways. But one of the most powerful is that it helps students develop a motivation for learning through virtual rewards that provide real value to the learners, a sense of personal or group success, and personal autonomy. Virtual rewards can replace traditionalRead More →