We’re back from Autodesk University in Vegas, where we had the opportunity to show some of our latest Oculus Rift projects to the architecture, engineering and construction crowd there. Wow, was that ever fun! Exhibiting can be a boring, exhausting experience, but not with the Rift! From beginning to end,Read More →

The recent surprise announcement that the InWorldz/Second Life Connection Centers would be closed was followed by the creation of a new group to fill the void and word from the owner of the original group that he is not closing after all. Amore Crux, owner of the Connection Centers, issuedRead More →

Today, OpenSim development moves along at an uneven pace, with an estimated 1,200 bugs that need to be fixed before OpenSim can get to a stable, reliable version 1.0 release and get out of “alpha.” Development is mainly driven by three groups — large organizations like Intel who have paidRead More →

US$13 (12 Euro) a month for a 15,500-prim region that can hold up to 80 avatars, with no setup fee on on OSgrid, Metropolis or other OpenSim grid.Read More →

OpenSim’s 40 largest grids passed the 30,000 region mark this month, with a new total of 30,214 regions, a record high. The number of registered users on those grids reached 324,021 — with more than 4,000 new registrations over the past four weeks. Active users numbered 18,615. The non-profit OSgrid was theRead More →

Update 4: We’re back on Google! Yeay! The problem turned out to be in the htaccess file, which had mysteriously mutated so that it was blocking search engines. So, overall, I’m happy with my experience with Dreamhost. The first few solutions they offered didn’t work, but each time I came backRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

AviWorlds, a Brazilian OpenSim grid with a history of trouble, seems to be on the outs again. The grid went down on Tuesday night and is officially closed, according to hosting provider Zetamex. “The owner just told us to shut down,” Zetamex founder Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. “Real lifeRead More →

If you’re planning to create a new grid website, or redesign an old one, a great place to start is WordPress themes. WordPress is a popular blogging platform, so it’s easy to update. You can create accounts for all your grid administrators and volunteers so that they can upload newRead More →

OpenSim grid owners are busy people and, sometimes, the website is an afterthought. Many grids simply go with the default website created by the Diva Distro or New World Studio, which is usually the grid stats, an image, and links for creating accounts. In fact, you don’t need to have aRead More →

Virtual reality design firm specializing in custom design and development for medical training games and simulations.Read More →

US$15 per month, no setup fee, for a 15,000-prim region. $1 a month per every 1,000 additional prims. Hypergrid enabled.Read More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the winter holidays this month, with calendars full of Christmas and winter-themed events. Holiday freebies, contests and music on Virtual Highway Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid known for its music scene, is going all-out for the holidays this year. “Two stunning winterRead More →

I just got back to my computer from a big, turkey-filled family dinner, taking a quick break before settling in for a marathon session of Arrow episodes and writing a book chapter about the Chinese economy. And, reflecting on the current status of the hypergrid, there’s quite a bit toRead More →

Hypergrid Business has posted its Fourth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey. 654 people responded to questions about their primary grid and about the other grids they have visited. The big winner this year was Kitely. The report says: “Kitely came out on top for ‘How do you rate this grid overall?’ withRead More →

Press release: Cyramix the new hosting service for your virtual world Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) with the help of WonderBuilders, Inc. has been using Open Wonderland, a Java-based open source virtual world platform initially developed by Sun. For the past two years, the college has run an English asRead More →

I heard that Walmart is making its employees work on Thanksgiving this year, because the poverty-level wages they’re paying out, at a time of record corporate profits, aren’t making employees suffer enough. Do companies have to be this way? Callously disregard people’s needs in favor of the all-mighty bottom line?Read More →

Bitcoin, a virtual currency, was recognized by the US Department of Justice as a “legal means of exchange” last week, and the number of companies accepting it in payment continues to grow. The most recent additions to the Bitcoin club include Virgin Galactic and Europe’s University of Nicosia. A number ofRead More →

Much has been said about using virtual environments for teaching and training. While it is an inescapable fact that no environment, real or virtual, can make up for a dedicated, well-prepared teacher with a passion for their subject matter, there is merit in the concept that a virtual environment canRead More →

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s 87 percent, 8 percent said “maybe” and less than 2 percent said they would not recommendRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 29,617 regions, an increase of 912 regions since this time last month. They also reported 319,872 total registered users and 19,527 active users this month, a total of 3,675 new registered users and 1,052 new active users. All three numbers were record highs for OpenSim. Kitely, a cloud-based,Read More →

As the hypergrid grows, we should be wary of vanity metrics. I’m a pretty big fan of the Lean Business model pioneered by Eric Reis of IMVU fame.  The main concept behind Lean is that you start small, release a barebones version of your product, measure carefully, and then modifyRead More →

Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey was in Cambridge Saturday, at the Microsoft NERD Center, for a recruitment event and mini virtual reality conference. If you couldn’t make it, you missed three different tracks of presentations, running from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., plus demos of several Oculus Rift games. MostRead More →

A lot of people lately have been telling me to move into the cloud and I have been talking about this with many developers — both OpenSimulator and web server development as well. Most of them, in both groups, agree with me that the cloud is just not great forRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this month, staring with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who on November 23. There will be aRead More →

As many of you know, early last September we held the first OpenSimulator Community Conference, a purely online event hosted in OpenSimulator itself. It was produced collaboratively by the Overte Foundation and Avacon, with the planning process beginning in February 2013 and increasing in intensity right up until the conferenceRead More →

I went, and I had a great time. I was completely blown away by the excellent presentations and level of professionalism at OSCC13. Everything worked like clockwork, and I saw many friends from Second Life. I went with the idea that, if I could use virtual worlds technology in anyRead More →

Today at the SAP TechEd conference I got a change to try out Google Glasses in conjunction with an SAP-powered warehouse application. Up to now, I haven’t been a big fan of Google Glass. If you need to know something, how hard is it to pull out your phone andRead More →

Hypergrid Business articles and other content — except where noted — is copyright protected and cannot be cut-and-pasted to other sites. Though I don’t mind people using excerpts or quotes. There are both good and selfish reasons for this. The good one is that we might have made a mistakeRead More →

10 ‘Star Trek’ Technologies That Actually Exist Out There (via AnyStatements) Whether it’s deep space or the deepest depths of the ocean, truly brilliant machines can operate in all sorts of extreme conditions. While the U.S.S. Enterprise doesn’t exist (yet!), there are other technologies out there that seem to beRead More →

As the editor of Hypergrid Business, I regularly hear from people with stories of projects that failed. Most of these don’t make it into print — nobody wants to go on the record in a story about things going wrong, no matter how useful or enlightening it may be forRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,705 regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 316,197 total registered users and 18,475 active users this month, a total of 6,405 new registered users and 33 new active users. Virtual Worlds Grid andRead More →

How would you define a classroom? Some may think of it as a gathering place, others as a laboratory. Another may shudder with the memory of being confined in a crowded artificially lit room, all students facing in the same direction like workers in a garment factory. To each memberRead More →

Press release: New Device to Revolutionize Gaming in Virtual Realities How is it possible to walk through 3D virtual realities while staying in one place? Engineers from the Vienna University of Technology have solved this problem and are now introducing their “Virtualizer”. VIENNA — Head-mounted devices, which display three dimensionalRead More →

Capitalizing on the excitement generated by the Oculus Rift, several other companies, both big and small, are jumping into the virtual reality headset market. There’s a product that projects 3D images onto a special screen in front of you, one that projects 3D virtual reality right into your eyeballs, andRead More →

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told me he was excited about the potential of virtual reality. “I’m bullish and predict a huge future for it,” he said. “Not only that, but it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.” He said he can see a lot of uses for it. “Especially for games, butRead More →

If you have decided to transfer all your content from Second Life to another OpenSim grid, like Kitely, you have several possibilities how to do that. One good solution is make backup from Second Life and restore it on your home local OpenSim standalone region, you can use vanilla OpenSim, Diva Distro or Sim-on-a-stick, allRead More →

Press release: PPD and ProtonMedia Recognized for Advancing Clinical Research Associate Training Brandon Hall Gold Award honors innovation in employee learning and development WILMINGTON, N.C. & LANSDALE, Pa.–Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) and ProtonMedia today announced that PPD® 3D earned the Gold Award for Best Use of Virtual Worlds forRead More →

For those of you who haven’t been watching the latest Google+ feeds, Fernando Francisco de Oliveira, a long and involved OpenSim enthusiast and programmer and founder of OpenSim hosting company Oliveira Virtual Lands, has released to the world a module that lets OpenSim use PostgreSQL. For those who do not know,Read More →

A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many scripting improvements, better teleports, better voice, materials, and the new hypergrid export permission. A Diva Distro version of the new release is also out but, as of thisRead More →

InWorldz announced the beta version of a  new mobile fitness app this week, called InWorldz InShape. Participants will download a smartphone application which will allow their real-world movements and activities to be mirrored by their avatars in-world. The Android app will be available for download within the next two weeksRead More →

Update: Read Kitely’s announcement about listing fees and merchant exports here Kitely continues to roll out improvements to its marketplace, with listing fees eliminated as of tomorrow, and a plan to allow merchants to export their store listings. Today it costs 100 Kitely Credits (about US $0.50)  to add aRead More →

Amiryu Hosoi has earned over $200 since starting to list items on Kitely Market last Tuesday. This is the story of how this well-known designer decided to try out this platform. Hosoi started out in Second Life, with six regions on Japan Kanto, supported by her Hosoi Ichiba Second LifeRead More →

Currently, the New World Studio distribution of OpenSim — the single easiest way to get an OpenSim mini-grid up and running — only runs in standalone mode. This means that your region, or group of regions, is not connected to any grid, but exists all by its lonesome. If youRead More →

October promises to be a busy grid on the OpenSim grids, with German residents celebrating Oktoberfest, some grids celebrating their anniversaries, and everyone celebrating Halloween. If you’re looking for a group to get you comfortable with hypergrid travels, check out the Hypergrid Adventurers Club, which started up up again lastRead More →

In researching today’s news story about Linden Lab terms of services change, content seemed to be the main topic. Protecting it, licensing it, controlling it, owning it. Everyone wants content. Creators make content, then content attracts users. Without any content, there is no grid. Or is there? Is content reallyRead More →

Regions on Second Life are going black, creators pulling out, Renderosity and CG Textures forbidding the upload of their content to Second Life, and a new survey of content creators indicates they expect things to get worse, while OpenSim grids stand ready to welcome another crop of fleeing content creators.Read More →

If anyone has visited Hyperica lately — hypergrid teleport to  hg.hyperica.com:8022 — you might have noticed many of the gates not working correctly. The scripts keep requiring manual restarts because they keep doing weird things, and I haven’t been able to track down the problems. But it’s all a mootRead More →

A public version of the browser-based PixieViewer will be available by Christmas, German-based PixieTec announced earlier this month, as will the source code for the project. Currently, the preview version of the viewer only works on the company’s own grid (read more about the preview release here). PixieTec is also working onRead More →

It’s been more than four years since the hypergrid was invented, and the “4096 bug” has plagued hypergrid travelers for all that time, preventing users from jumping more than 4,096 regions in any direction. The problem involves both viewer and server code, and is a legacy of the Second LifeRead More →

Press release: XR SDK: 3D Player Framework that can turn any website into a Virtual World PHILADELPHIA — After over two years of development, Extreme Reality Inc. is announcing the release of XR SDK, a framework for building multi-user, multi-platform 3D players with dynamically downloaded content based on Unity3D and Photon. A3D Player works like aRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 28,186  regions, a new record high and an increase of 578 regions since this time last month. They also reported 309,792 total registered users and 18,442 active users this month, a total of 281 new registered users and 520 new active users. Some of theRead More →

Over the course of the past week, I attended two very different technology conferences. One was a virtual conference, last weekend’s OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013. The other was a traditional conference, held in a hotel complex in the Chicago suburbs, the Unisys Universe conference. Both included participants from around theRead More →

Press release: Avination is sponsoring and attending the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference on September 7-8, 2013 The first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference will open on September 7, 2013 and Avination, one of the main contributors will not only be part of it but also co-sponsoring the event. It is the first conference ofRead More →

The first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference will open this Saturday morning Pacific time with a keynote panel of core developers discussing the future of the OpenSimulator platform. Core developer panelists include Justin Clark-Casey, who is the president of the Overte Foundation that oversees OpenSim. He will be joined by Intel engineer MicRead More →

The Kitely Market is significantly different from Second Life’s Marketplace. Not only because it will soon allow delivery of items to foreign grids – that’s just the biggest and most obvious difference. But there are a number of other areas where, according to Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner, the new platformRead More →

The Kitely Marketplace is now open for business to residents of the Kitely grid with over 700 items listed. The web-based platform allows users to buy items for either Kitely Credits or real money, using PayPal. Payments made via Kitely Credits help preserve the anonymity of the buyers, while PayPal paymentsRead More →

CtrlAltStudio released a viewer yesterday that can be used to access Second Life and OpenSim grids with an Oculus Rift. This is a preview viewer, which can be used to walk and look around inside the virtual world, but is missing user interface functionality. It works both in standard mode,Read More →

Press release: Arch Virtual releases architectural visualization application built with Unity3D game engine, including Oculus Rift compatibility This week, Arch Virtual released a new interactive, real-time architectural experience for the Panoptic Group, based out of Chicago, Illinois. The application was developed using the Unity3D game development engine, and can be embeddedRead More →

The folks behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset announced an app store yesterday, called Oculus Share. The site is intended for developers at first, but the company plans to grow it into a full-scale gaming marketplace. Oculus Share is already up and running. “With Share, you can host Oculus-readyRead More →

I recently read Eric Ries’ book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses and as I was reading it, I kept thinking, “This would be great advice for grid owners!” Ries was the co-founder and CTO of IMVU, which I’ve never used, butRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 27,608  regions, a new record high. They also reported 306,942 total registered users and 17,922 active users this month. This is 709 more regions than on the Second Life grid. Meanwhile, of the 266 currently active public OpenSim grids, 214 reported their statistics this month,Read More →

At some distant point in the future, virtual reality will be good enough and immersive enough that we can telecommute to our jobs by simply stepping into some version of a Holodeck or plugging into some version of the Matrix. Today’s virtual reality has only very limited use for theRead More →

If you’re an educator considering taking advantage of Second Life’s newly-restored educator discount, but wondering about what else is out there, check out some of these OpenSim-based alternatives. You typically get much lower prices, more control and privacy and — best of all — ability to back up entire regionsRead More →

Linden Lab has restored the 50 percent discount for educators and non-profits last month, but some educators are wary of taking the company up on its offer. “Our IT [information technology] folks, like many who once supported experiments in Second Life, have moved on,” said Joe Essid, who directs the WritingRead More →

[Editor: Virtual therapy has been in the news lately for everything from schizophrenia to addiction recovery to pain management for burn victims to weight loss. Studies and research reports are accumulating, showing that virtual therapy and counseling can be as effective, or even more effective, than traditional approaches. To offer a personalRead More →

The promise of virtual reality was all the rage in the 90s, but didn’t go anywhere because the headsets were laggy, low-resolution, had small fields of view, and made their users sick. Today, the Oculus Rift is ushering in a new wave of virtual reality technology, with over 17,000 developmentRead More →

Press release: Designing Digitally, Inc. Chosen to Be on the 2013 TrainingIndustry.com Top Content Development Companies Watch List FRANKLIN, OH–Designing Digitally, Inc., a full-service interactive E-Learning development company, has been named as one of the 2013 TrainingIndustry.com Content Development Companies Watch List. “This year’s Watch List includes a combination ofRead More →

Train wreck image by Wystan via Flickr

Whenever a grid closes unexpectedly, there are always some users who are surprised and unprepared. They didn’t make offline backups of their builds, didn’t get their OAR or IAR exports, didn’t move their in-world social networks to a more permanent — or, at least, different — platform like an emailRead More →

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference began today, and will continue for the next three days. The conference will take place across three different virtual worlds and will host presentations in Second Life, OpenSim’s Jokadia grid, and in Cloud Party. The majority of presentations and social eventsRead More →

Linden Lab has cut its land and setup prices in half for educators and non-profits, the company announced this morning. “We’re pleased to announce an update to Second Life pricing for educational and nonprofit institutions,” the company said. The offer is effective immediately, and applies to any accredited educational institution.Read More →

AviWorlds, a commercial grid which allowed people to connect self-hosted regions, went down yesterday. At the time, it had 138 regions and 319 active monthly users. Many of the grid’s regions, as well as centralized grid services, were hosted by Zetamex. “The owner has just contacted and left me,” ZetamexRead More →

The land area of the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to grow, with the number of regions now at 25,783 — an increase of 535 regions compared to the same time last month. This is another record high month for OpenSim region totals. ScienceSim saw the most growth, with 512Read More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Keynote Panel: The Future of OpenSimulator The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2013 will open on Saturday morning, September 7, 2013, with a keynote panel of core developers, who will discuss the future of the OpenSimulator platform. Topics will include a variety of issues including theRead More →

InWorldz, OpenSim’s most popular grid, has made it possible for OpenSim users to have well-fitting mesh clothing. The grid hired former Second Life developer Karl Stiefvater — known as Qarl Fizz in-world — to finish work on his mesh deformer project, which began with a $5,555 crowdfunded project on Indiegogo. TheRead More →

Press release: Stephen Gasior Joins NOBLE Virtual, Inc. ATLANTA – NOBEL Virtual, Inc. has announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Gasior as the Director of School Development. In addition to overseeing the chartering of NOBLE Virtual Schools across the nation, Dr. Gasior will monitor science content in the NOBLE LearningRead More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Announces Keynote Speaker Grady Booch World-renowned computer scientist Grady Booch will deliver a keynote address at the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference.  Grady’s keynote address, titled “My Virtual Life,” will reflect on a quote from Joseph Campbell, who observed that, “One has to know how andRead More →

In late June, I was among 94 people who participated in a scalability and training scenario test on the military’s MOSES grid. The goal of the test was to help work out the kinks in creating immersive training environments with large numbers of simultaneous users, using a new technology donated toRead More →

The Oculus Rift is coming to Second Life. It’s already available for the Unity platform. Other virtual world platforms and games are rapidly signing on, including the Unreal engine, Valve, Bioshock, Hawken, Minecraft, Portal, and many, many more. This 3D headset — and the flood of competitors soon to comeRead More →

Vivox may be the gold standard of voice in video games, and be the best integrated with Second Life and OpenSim viewers, but it isn’t the only game in town.  TeamSpeak, for example, is another commercial voice product used on some grids. However, like Skype, it requires users to haveRead More →

The Vivox voice platform is currently used on more than 500 OpenSim grids, according to Vivox co-founder and CTO Jim Toga. The vast majority do not pay for the service, and do not need to, because they are non-profits, educational grids, or personal hobby grids. The large commercial OpenSim gridsRead More →

Press release: OpenSimulator Community Conference Needs Participants for Grid Load Test Organizers of the first annual OpenSimulator Community Conference are planning a large-scale load test of the OpenSimulator conference grid on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at Noon PDT.  The conference will take place entirely within an OpenSimulator virtual world designedRead More →

Press release: Proposed Charter School Reaches Final Step NOBLE Virtual World, Inc., announced today that chartering of NOBLE Virtual School of South Carolina is now on the last step of the process – a hearing in front of the Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Public Charter School District.Read More →

San Francisco-based virtual worlds developer David Rowe has released a 3D viewer for OpenSim and Second Life, based on the Firestorm Viewer. The CtrlAltStudio Viewer works in conjunction with active shutter glasses and high-end graphics cards to create a 3D effect. “With the CtrlAltStudio Viewer, the display effect is that the virtualRead More →

Press release: ProtonMedia Announces Mobile Strategy for ProtoSphere 3D Virtual Collaboration Cloud LANSDALE, Pa.–ProtonMedia continues to lead the industry by announcing the first enterprise-ready 3D virtual collaboration environment optimized for iPad. ProtoSphere by ProtonMedia brings the ultimate business collaboration solution to the simplicity and mobility of iPad in Release 3.0 of its award-winning collaborativeRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 25,248 regions, a new record high. They also reported 295,411 total registered users and 19,505 active users this month, both of which are also record highs. The previous record high was last October, when the 40 top grids had 25,202 regions. The numbers dropped dramaticallyRead More →

Stand4Love, an annual event in support of marriage equality, has expanded beyond its traditional base in Second Life to include an OpenSim grid, Avination, in this year’s celebrations. “This event is actually our first Stand4Love event in a different grid other than Second Life,” said Stand4Love founder Editorial Clarity. “Our mainRead More →

Virtual reality therapies are increasingly proving successful in a number of settings. As the virtual reality platforms and interfaces improve, we will start to see more of the following: 1. Reducing pain Pain is partly psychological in nature, which means that distractions can help relieve pain. Listening to music, forRead More →

Avination donated code to the OpenSim project today intended to reduce viewer disconnects, crashes, server instability, and teleport failures. According to the company announcement, the technology is called “HTTP-inventory throttling.” What happens is that when an avatar first appears in a new location, the user’s viewer requests information about theRead More →

Second Life customers who have difficulty buying Linden Dollars from the official LindeX exchange — your voices have been heard. When Linden Lab shut down all third-party currency trading in early-May, there was a mass outcry that included two public petitions. Linden Lab reversed course ten days later,  allowing approved outside exchangesRead More →

Press release: Daden releases White Paper on Mobile Immersive Learning Birmingham, U.K. — New training and education opportunities offered by 3D Mobile Immersive Learning, and the potential benefits to learners and organisations are described in a free white paper released today. Mobile immersive learning is a type mobile eLearning that usesRead More →

Virtual worlds are a great way to run classes. In fact, according to the latest Hypergrid Business survey, educators are the second largest professional user segment for OpenSim, and about a third of users overall used OpenSim for training and simulations. You can have students from all over the worldRead More →