Vrban, a tool that allows users to see how proposed buildings will look like from different points of view or time of day, won the $5,000 grand prize at the Techcrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon this past weekend. Backstage interview with the developer: Read the full story here.Read More →

Press release: Next3D Streams Live 360-Degree Stereoscopic Video to Virtual Reality Displays Such as the Oculus Rift ATLANTA — Next3D, a pioneer and leader in stereoscopic video compression and transmission solutions, announced today deployment of its proprietary NextStream360 system to capture sports, concerts, films, and other experiences for broadcast inRead More →

I get invited to a lot of virtual meetings. Every week, I’m on conference calls, video calls, and in in-world meetups. Lately, because of the particular projects I’ve been involved in, the proportion of virtual meetings has gone up. In many cases, the proponents were lobbying for a particular platformRead More →

If you’re driving a tank through hostile territory, you don’t want to stick your head up out of the hatch to see where you’re going. A head-mounted display that allowed drivers to look in any direction would normally cost around $35,000 — but the Norwegian Army is using $350 OculusRead More →

Recent moves by the Federal Communications Commission suggest that Internet service providers will be allowed to charge extra for higher connection speeds. Not to customers — they are already paying extra for faster broadband. But to content companies, like Netflix. Read more about the topic in this essay by FreeRead More →

Animation Technology Company Nito Launches Face Tracking App to Make 3D Avatars Come to Life LOS ANGELES, CA – Animation technology company Nito today launched a first-of-its kind iOS application that uses facial recognition and tracking technology that allows users to control 3D avatars of their favorite and original characters using theirRead More →

Update: Kitely made some changes on June 11. The story below has been updated to reflect those changes. Many grids offer free land to residents (get your free land report here), but nobody goes as far as to give away a full-sized, 100,000-prim region to everyone who comes along to useRead More →

In a recent discussion, a reader suggested that High Fidelity might become a worthwhile replacement for OpenSim. The same had been said before, about Blue Mars, and about Cloud Party — both of which are now gone. But it made me think. What features would a platform have to haveRead More →

SimValley, an international grid based in the Netherlands, just added more than 300 new regions as part of its plans for a massive free land give-away. Over the past couple of weeks, the grid has grown from 202 to 541 regions, a gain of 339 regions. “A few of thoseRead More →

A couple months ago, the old Aurora-Sim branch of OpenSimulator was forked due to the slow development and a few other small reasons. Then WhiteCore-Sim was born, it has been gaining a bit of attraction from Aurora-Sim enthusiasts, however recently some larger individuals are seeing this as a cause toRead More →

UK-based Reign Development and students from Southampton Solent University have produced a ten-minute preview of their documentary, “Dawn of Virtual reality.” The documentary features the Oculus Rift, as well as Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment specialist Kevin Williams.  Watch the full video here:Read More →

MYMIC LLC revolutionizes maritime training with their Virtual Marina Safety Awareness Game-Based simulation Portsmouth, VA — Today MYMIC, a high-technology company specializing in game-based learning, simulations, modeling and computer visualization solutions, launched Marina Safety Awareness Training, that utilizes 3D game-based training to allow trainees to interact with a virtual marina.Read More →

Plenty of events happening around the OpenSim metaverse this month. The big social grids have packed events calendars. Check out the InWorldz Events Calendar and the InWorldz Event Announcements Forum Page. 3rd Rock Grid and Virtual Highway also have the month of May packed full of music and other community events,Read More →

Boycotting the Oculus Rift because of the Facebook buyout? Or maybe the $350 price tag is too steep. You have 19 hours left to chip in for the Altergaze Kickstarter, which has already passed its funding goal of UK £25,000. A pledge of  £30 or more gets you all the 3D files youRead More →

A Swedish Internet service provider has created an ad to demonstrate how terrible slow Internet speeds are, with a viral video that uses the Oculus Rift. The company, Umea Energi put the Oculus Rift, paired with a webcam and a Raspberry Pi,  to create a lag in the way peopleRead More →

The Oculus Rift virtual reality technology is one of the most exciting developments in gaming since original Nintendo. But can it be useful beyond gaming? You bet. Non-game virtual reality applications are poised to transform an enormous array of industries, including health care, oil & gas, architecture, education and just about everything inRead More →

Over the past two months, a number of bug fixes and improvements have made it into the OpenSim code base, according to core developer Justin Clark-Casey. The highlight is that the maximum physical prim size has been increased from 10 meters to 64 meters. The change was made by IntelRead More →

A video released yesterday by the  US Army Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center demonstrates the use of simulations throughout the US military — and the role that that outside contributors play in creating the simulations. The movie was created this spring, Douglas Maxwell, the Center’s science and technology manager forRead More →

High Fidelity founder and CEO Philip Rosedale released a blog post a couple of days ago outlining the company’s network architecture. One unique aspect of the platform is that virtual objects are stored in the form of voxels, which can be nested inside one another or averaged together. This allowsRead More →

Press release: Over a Hundred Global Visitors Experienced the Latest in Virtual Reality Technology at the EON Experience Workshop in Manchester Two days of speakers and technology demonstration celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of EON Reality’s Manchester office. IRVINE, CA, April 24th, 2014 – EON Reality Inc., the world’sRead More →

I gave a talk about virtual reality yesterday in Boston at a conference of the Society of Professional Journalists. The main goal of the presentation was to explain what virtual reality was, give a few examples of virtual reality currently being used for business, and discuss some ways in whichRead More →

A new report by UK research firm KZero highlights a number of brand-related projects in virtual reality. These include a recreation of the Wall from the Game of Thrones television series. You can read more about the Game of Thrones simulation here, or watch the video below. Then there’s theRead More →

If you accidentally stumbled on this story on Google thinking it was going to be about how to arrange cereal boxes on a supermarket shelf, you’re in the wrong place. This article is about how to create products that are designed to withstand commodification or virtualization. On second thought, someRead More →

We’re in the process of redoing the Hyperica hyperport. Part of the process is updating all the gate scripts. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve gone through and got rid of all the non-working scripts, so all the gates on hg.hyperica.com:8022 are usable. It doesn’t necessarily mean that theyRead More →

Virtuix, the company that makes an omni-directional treadmill designed to work with the Oculus Rift, announced a $3 million investment round today. The company raised $1.1 million in a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer. The Omni is currently available for preorder, at prices starting at $500, with delivery slated for September. The investorsRead More →

In a brief announcement yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission approved Facebook’s proposed $2 billion buyout of virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR, Inc. The Facebook purchases promises to accelerate Oculus Rift development and move it beyond its original base of gaming supporters, towards a wider social use.Read More →

A few months ago, I wrote about the VirWoX exchange having tons of money just sitting around in the OMC accounts, OMC being a hypergrid-enabled, multi-grid currency used by several OpenSim grids. Well it turns out that money is now starting to drain from those accounts. This was brought to our attention by DreamNation, the largestRead More →

It’s hard to tell from the Kitely home page, but the $14.95 price plan is not Kitely’s best deal.   It can take a bit of hunting around to find it, but, buried deep on the Kitely services page, there’s another option — a $19.95 “Premium Account” that comes withRead More →

Tangle Grid is a small, new commercial grid with about a hundred regions and 70 active users. It used to have a nice, big welcome area — a four-region megaregion. That didn’t work out, and the grid broke up the welcome mega into individual regions. Today, the grid announced thatRead More →

Kitely has done about half of the work needed to enable full hypergrid access, said Oren Hurvitz, the company’s vice president of research and development, in an announcement today. Kitely is the sixth-most popular OpenSim grid according to this month’s OpenSim statistics report, and the largest commercial grid by land area, secondRead More →

I just realized that I’ve been writing about OpenSim for five years, and never wrote an article addressing the question: What is OpenSim? The closest I got was an article titled “What is OpenSim standard time?” Which, of course, isn’t quite the same thing. So here goes. What is OpenSim?Read More →

Garry’s Mod, a multi-player 3D sandbox game, has nearly 5 million players on Steam, according to a report released today by Ars Technica. New World Notes‘ Hamlet Au suggests that Linden Lab take another try at distributing Second Life through the Steam platform, which is a popular channel for PC-basedRead More →

The Virtuix Omni, an omni-directional treadmill designed to be used with the Oculus Rift and similar virtual reality systems is now available for preorder at $499, with shipping scheduled for July. The company raised more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter last year, with more than 2,500 units already sold toRead More →

Last month, the Kitely grid rolled out hypergrid delivery of content sold in the stores of its fast-growing Kitely Market. But some closed grids are getting in on the action as well. Zandramas, a closed commercial grid, has also enabled Kitely Market deliveries for its residents, said its technology servicesRead More →

Designing Digitally, Inc. Develops HTML5 Version of Drive Vermont – DMV Drivers Training Online Learning System for the State of Vermont. Drive Vermont has helped over 10,000 permit drivers learn the rules and regulations of driving in the State of Vermont. Franklin, OH  – Designing Digitally, Inc., a full-service interactiveRead More →

The total number of regions on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids fell for the second month in a row, only the second time this has happened since we started keeping track in mid 2009. The major reason for the loss is the closure of ScienceSim, an Intel-backed research grid that hadRead More →

This year’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conferences brought in a total of 4,500 people, who attended in-person in Second Life and OSgrid, and online through streaming channels. There might be some overlap between these numbers, which were reported by organizers today, but overall the results are significantly higherRead More →

Another World, a small commercial grid, announced that it is shutting its doors May 12 because of personal reasons, but it will reopen again at some point in the future. “Due to some real life illnesses I will need to temporarily close Another World,” founder Jonny Vayro told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’ve been working away on a new, modern responsive design for the website. Some of you may have already seen the proposed design, and had some thoughts about it. We’ll be switching over this weekend, and are asking your patience ahead of time if the switchRead More →

It was good to hear Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s new CEO, speak at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014 conference in Second Life yesterday. Ebbe addressed a number of pain points with the educator community in Second Life and brought some healthy visibility into how he sees things moving forwardRead More →

Despite the dystopian predictions in Enerst Cline’s Ready Player One, the future virtual reality metaverse will not be owned and governed by one single corporate entity, said former Linden Lab CEO and founder Philip Rosedale in a keynote address today to the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. Rosedale,Read More →

Press release: Disney’s Katie Fico to keynote Immersion 2014 BOSTON, MA –  The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that Disney’s Katie Fico will keynote IMMERSION 2014 in Los Angeles, California, this June. The award-winning Stereoscopic Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios led the stereo team through the challenge of designingRead More →

Do you have a grid running on the Diva Distro and using its Wifi Web Application Account Management module? If your grid’s website looks like this, then you do: OpenSim versions that use this web front end include the Diva Distro, Sim-on-a-Stick and New World Studio mini grids, as well asRead More →

A couple of days ago, in Utopias, dystopias, and other traps, I wrote about the pitfalls of imaging a future whether either everything is completely awful, or unimaginably perfect — which often turns out to be secretly awful, anyway. Other than digging a deep, deep hole and cowering in it, there’s reallyRead More →

As a dork, I’m a huge fan of science fiction. But, over time, I’ve switched from reading books to watching movies. That’s because, for me, it’s a little easier to suspend disbelief in a movie theater. With books, there’s too much opportunity for me to have — imaginary — argumentsRead More →

Which ever way things go, with virtual reality, we’ve got to get in gear. For me, this means getting organized and productive. To help the process along, this week I’m reading The Secret to Peak Productivity by Tamara Myles. It’s all about the value of clear, concrete goals, and priorizing. For example, I’veRead More →

This month has the usual music events and parties across the grids, the Robstock Festival, and Easter-themed activities. Robstock Festival crosses grids Robstock 2014 is on three different grids this year — 3rd Rock Grid, Second Life, and, now, Metropolis. It’s three days of music, art, and other activities. KitelyRead More →

Last week, I posted the Easy Sticky-Note Script. This week, I wanted to expand on this idea, of having text automatically created on signs, by creating a hypergrid-enabled teleporter system. The idea is that you’d rez the navigation object, change its description, and it would automatically add itself to yourRead More →

When the announcement came out on March 12 that Linden Labs was inviting beta testers for their Oculus Rift based VR viewer, I dusted off my Oculus Rift Developers kit and signed up. About six months ago, I tried out the first version of the Oculus Rift developer’s kit inRead More →

Press release: VWBPE Announces Invited Keynote Ebbe Altberg The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference announced that Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, will be a featured keynote in Second Life. While he has not been long at the helm, he has made definiteRead More →

After Sony made their Project Morpheus announcement, and the Oculus Rift won best of show at CES, and rumors began flying around about Microsoft planning a virtual reality product, I knew I had to get my act in gear. Mass adoption of virtual reality is coming, and while it’s takenRead More →

Press release: Conquer Mobile and VRcade Partner to Provide Fully Immersive Virtual Reality Medical Simulation Solutions Conquer Mobile will Use the VRcade Virtual Reality (VR) Out-of-Home Platform to Create State of the Art Medical Simulation Solutions for Medical Education. Vancouver, BC  – Conquer Mobile, a mobile solutions specialist, and VRcadeRead More →

If you have been worrying about how to report your Bitcoin transactions or trading profits to the IRS, worry no more. The tax agency issued new guidance this week, explaining that Bitcoin should be treated as if they were any other kind of property. According to Jacob S. Farber, senior counselRead More →

In a stunning development for the virtual reality industry, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company will buy Oculus VR Inc., the company behind the leading virtual reality headset. “The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with otherRead More →

So there I am, making plans to redo the website, and put out some special reports and I realized that what I was really missing was an in-world project planning board. Now, last time I just used a Google document and media-on-a-prim, but this time I wanted something a littleRead More →

Journalists know that the best ways to get the public’s attention are sex, money, violence — and rankings. This is why when there’s an important story to be covered that the public needs to know about, but it doesn’t involve any of the first three topics, rankings come into play.Read More →

Kitely Market is out of private beta and is now delivering goods to any hypergrid-enabled grid. By default, the Market offers a choice of deliveries to avatars on Kitely itself, as well as to  Craft, DigiWorldz, FrancoGrid, Great Canadian Grid, Metropolis, OSgrid, and ZanGrid. Just make sure the items you’reRead More →

Virtual reality is finally starting to hit the prime time, with the Oculus Rift taking Best of Show at the Consumer Electronics Show and Sony unveiling its own headset, Project Morpheus, at the Game Developers Conference this week. This isn’t the same virtual reality that flopped big in the 90s.Read More →

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article titled 8 best grid websites, and followed it up with Nice WordPress themes for a grid a few days later. While I still love the FrancoGrid website and think it looks great, it turns out I was very, very wrong aboutRead More →

Virtual reality isn’t just for Kickstarter start-ups anymore. Tonight, Sony unveiled their new “Project Morpheus” virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, the worlds largest game industry event for professionals. The headset will be available for conference attendees to try out tomorrow, theRead More →

Press release: Unity 5 Announced at GDC 2014, Pre-Order Begins SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Unity Technologies unveils Unity 5, the next generation of the award-winning Unity multiplatform engine and development tools, during its Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Unity 5 brings a wealth of newRead More →

Back when I met regularly with my mastermind business support group in Shanghai, we asked each other this question on a regular basis: “Are you working IN your business, or ON your business?” Working in the business means that you’re doing a job. If you run a restaurant, you’re cookingRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grid lost nearly 5,000 regions this month, as a result of a long-overdue spring clearing on OSgrid. The last time there was a net drop in regions in OpenSim was last April, when ScienceSim cut around 2,000 regions from its grid, an Intel-backed OpenSim testing platform.Read More →

Press release: The Immersive Technology Alliance to Launch at Game Developers Conference Non-profit organization represents and grows Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D and Gesture markets. San Francisco – Originally founded in 2009, The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance has been formally renamed the The Immersive Technology Alliance (The ITA) and hasRead More →

Press release: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market worth $1.06 Billion by 2018 DALLAS — According to a new report, Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Market  – Global Forecast and Analysis to 2013 – 2018 published by MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to grow at a CAGR ofRead More →

Press release: Serious Play Conference Moves to USC in Los Angeles July 22-24 Event Examines Value of Games for Engagement, Learning, Retention LOS ANGELES –  The Serious Play Conference,  a gathering of game industry luminaries and game-based learning enthusiasts, is moving to University of Southern California (USC)’s School of Cinematic ArtsRead More →

Press release: VWBPE 2014 Kick-Off “Connections” March 12 — The four-day Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference starts on April 9, and will feature keynotes by Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity, founder of Linden Lab and creator of Second Life, and Ebbe Altberg, the new CEO of Second Life. TheRead More →

Lilith Heart’s Heart Botanicals is now on the Kitely Market, with a Kitely Market store selling exportable sets of palm trees for $4.95 to $9.95 each. “Exportable” means that the plants can be taken to other grids via OAR region exports or, once testing is complete, via hypergrid delivery. “ThisRead More →

Last week Linden Lab and the OnLive cloud gaming service debuted a new service aimed at delivering Second Life to almost any device capable of connecting to the internet. While still in beta and available for PCs, OSX and Android — iOS support is coming — I had an opportunity toRead More →

Storytelling is changing and the authors at Greyville Writer’s Colony have banded together to tell tales in the metaverse. The writers have created interactive stories, allowing readers to explore their worlds as their story unfolds on the screen. Offerings in this first set of tales range from 500 to 1,300Read More →

The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today. The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — getRead More →

I first wrote about wanting a content management system for a virtual environment in 2009, when I was just getting started in OpenSim. I’m revisiting the topic now because I’ve continued to think about it ever since, because nobody has built one yet, and because the imminent arrival of the OculusRead More →

Press release: Multi-User Virtual Reality System for Sale from ICAP Patent Brokerage New York — ICAP Patent Brokerage announces for sale a patent portfolio disclosing an improved, interactive multi-user virtual reality system from Louis de Groot, as trustee of The Louis and Barbara de Groot Trust. This IP package is available viaRead More →

Folks disappointed with the standard 16-acre region size can now have variable-sized regions in OpenSim, as long as they are comfortable running experimental code, and are using the latest viewers. Those using the official release of OpenSim, will have to settle for megaregions for a while longer, however, as wellRead More →

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Virtual Highway As usual, the Virtual Highway calendar is packed with DJ parties and live music every single day this month, with at least two events every day. This includes a Mardi Gras celebration on Monday, March 3 at 1 p.m. and a grand ball on Tuesday, MarchRead More →

Not too many people saw the 2009 movie Surrogates in which Bruce Willis plays both his old, gnarly self as well as a plastic, youthful-looking robot version of himself. In the still above, Bruce Willis is sitting in a recliner, wearing a comfy bathrobe, about to lie back and put onRead More →

The U.S. Army, with its MOSES grid, is one of the more high-profile users of OpenSim. But the military gives back, as well. The Army’s Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center has been expanding Intel’s SimianGridFrontend for OpenSim, and, this month, has made their version — the MOSES Grid Manager, orRead More →

We write a lot about business models in Hypergrid Business. You’ve got the big commercial grids, offering a lower-cost and more personal alternative to Second Life. The non-profits, which allow anyone to connect regions and live on donations from users, founders, and hosting companies. The school and company grids thatRead More →

New grid owners who skimp on sales and marketing often rely on word-of-mouth to bring in users. But what many don’t realize is that word-of-mouth usually doesn’t just happen by itself. Here are some ways to help create and growth word-of-mouth buzz for your grid. 1. Have stuff worth talkingRead More →

There’s been a lot of bad news about Bitcoin in the media recently — the problems at the Mt. Gox exchange, regulatory action in China and Russia, the Silk Road arrests and, more recently, a $2.7 million Silk Road hack. This is on top of the more endemic problems ofRead More →

UK-based CasperTech Ltd., is taking over development of the text-only METAbolt viewer, company director Casper Warden announced recently. “It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued,” said Warden in the announcement. “We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have steppedRead More →

Press release: Virtual Reality Set to Revolutionize Architecture, Engineering and Real Estate PocketCake’s virtual reality services, combined with Oculus Rift hardware, allow clients to experience a project in an immersive 3D environment for a price comparable to traditional architectural illustrations KANSAS CITY, Mo. — PocketCake is working with some ofRead More →

In 1911, Arthur Brisbane’s quote “a picture is worth thousand words” appeared in a newspaper article. Today more than 100 years later, everyone has the means to show pictures at rates of 60 per second and magnify the value of their communication. The readily accessible means to communicate our ideasRead More →

Last updated Feb. 19, 2015: Please click here for latest list of Metaverse Communities. Staying on top of metaverse news and developments is hard. And getting help when you need it can be even harder. Fortunately, there are several online communities where OpenSim users share information and advice. Join in,Read More →

Over the weekend and the previous week I must have looked at hundreds of grid websites for the February stats and grid news report. And I’m seeing a lot of grids — a whole lot of grids — that haven’t put any effort at all into their websites. This isn’tRead More →

The past four weeks have been slow for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids gaining only 153 regions. This is the first time the growth has been under 500 regions since last April. OSgrid was the major culprit this month, losing 133 regions — as well as 318 active usersRead More →

As part of my New Year resolutions — and in response to the growing interest in OpenSim — I’ve been planning a couple of ebooks, to sell through this website, on Amazon, and through other channels. The goal is to make OpenSim more accessible to a wider audience. Please helpRead More →

If you have read my previous article, New comment moderation policy, you know that moderation has been proposed for Hypergrid Business. Maria and I have worked on the guidelines, which are listed below, and via a link at the bottom of every site page. You can also send an emailRead More →