The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Back when I incorporated my first company a few years ago, I tried to learn as much as I could about the entrepreneurial process and mind set. I joined entrepreneurial organizations and attended events and seminars. One tool that stuck with me after all this time — and which IRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Freebies are plentiful throughout OpenSim grids, where uploads are free and land is cheap — anyone can put up a freebie store. But most freebie stores can’t guarantee the provenance of their content. Grid owners and content creators fight to remove infringing content, but that’s no comfort to a businessRead More →

On-demand hosting provider Kitely Ltd. has eliminated a major OpenSim scalability obstacle by moving its asset database to the Amazon storage cloud. “This is the most significant change we’ve made to our system since our beta started,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. Because of the upgrade, Kitely wasRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Several major OpenSim features, including mesh, which were previously available only in experimental releases of OpenSim are now part of the standard OpenSim release, numbered 0.7.2. “Despite having a minor point release number, it actually contains a very large number of features and fixes,” said OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey inRead More →

According to statistics released Friday by InWorldz co-founder Beth Reischl, in-world residents have been cashing out, on average, more than $15,000 a month over the past year. “Overall, I’m really pleased with the numbers, and while this is supposed to be fun, and hence our lower prices, it’s nice to seeRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Press Release: Practice Greenhealth selects Digitell for Live Streaming, Conference Capture, 3D Operating Room, Virtual Event and Webinars Jamestown, NY — Practice Greenhealth (PGH), a membership association aimed at helping companies focus on “Green” initiatives has selected Digitell to meet their multimedia needs for 2011 and 2012. Digitell will handleRead More →

Press release: Second Places becomes Bronze Reseller of Unity Technologies Cheshire, UK — Second Places, a leader in development of virtual worlds, today announced that during Unite 11 in San Francisco, the company was named a Bronze Level Reseller. “This allows us to sell our virtual world platform Unifier packaged withRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering productsRead More →

Press release: EON Reality Releases EON Mycube, a Surround Immersive Desktop 3D System IRVINE, CA — EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive 3D solutions provider, today announced the release of EON Mycube, a 3 screen immersive desktop system. The EON Mycube will complement the successful EON Icube as a smallerRead More →

Second Life has recently rolled out support for mesh objects. One key benefit is realistic clothing and accessories. However, Second Life’s implementation of mesh does not automatically adjust to the size of avatar bodies — and OpenSim, which is still heavily dependent on Second Life-compatible viewers — is limited inRead More →

There’s a new immersive platform in town. HostaVirtualEvent.com is focused on business users — like Venuegen and Web.alive. But it’s based on Unity, like ReactionGrid’s Jibe and Second Places’ Unifier. The advantage of Unity is that millions of people already have the Unity plugin, there’s no need to open portsRead More →

The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products andRead More →

We are going to have a metaverse of interconnected virtual worlds. Whether it evolves out from the current OpenSim and the hypergrid, or from the new crop of Web-based virtual platforms, or some combination, but we’re going to get there. Folks who got their hopes up with the VRML standards,Read More →

Back before I became a business journalist, I was a war correspondent. And I accumulated a few psychological scars as a result. In the past, I deal with some of my ghosts by lighting candles in church — I’m baptized Russian Orthodox — but multiple relocations and other changes inRead More →

Viewer developers are no longer restricted from working on OpenSim server code, OpenSim core developer and Overte Foundation president Justin Clark-Casey announced Friday. Previously, viewer developers had to wait six months after working on viewer code before they could work on OpenSim. The Overte Foundation — which oversees OpenSim developmentRead More →

How real does a virtual environment need to be for users to feel presence? This is a question educators have been researching in the attempt to implement virtual spaces to expand the classroom. For those of us old enough to have been playing eight bit video games and text-driven adventures,Read More →

Press release: Dassault Systemes: “Staying Alive”: 3D Experience Helps Save Lives Teaching People How to Administer First Aid Using 3D Online Experience Platform from Dassault Systemes PARIS — Dassault Systemes, a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced the launch of a 3D lifelike experienceRead More →

Press Release: Unite 11: Unity 3.5 Demonstrated Live for the First Time Major Additions Mark an Impressive Update to the Award-Winning Development Platform for Games and Interactive 3D SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity development platform for awesome games and interactive 3D on the web, iOS, Android, consolesRead More →

As the number of Unity-based virtual platforms proliferates, and a decent viewer for OpenSim and Second Life still remains a pipe dream, we’re getting close to the point where the center of gravity will shift over. And the future of the metaverse — or, at least, the first few yearsRead More →

The OpenSim hosting industry is still young, and, though it is developing quickly, still lacking in experience and maturity. But it doesn’t mean that customers have to settle for substandard service. I’ve tried out several vendors in the past, and will continue to do so for both public and privateRead More →

I am a big fan of the hypergrid. I love logging into my personal grid. Then teleporting to my company grid, or visit friends on OSGrid, or go shopping on GermanGrid. But I don’t have any illusion that the hypergrid will replace the Internet. Instead, I believe that the hypergridRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Edge Launches Definitive Online Directory for Digital Meeting, Events, Learning, and Community Solutions Virtual Edge Directory simplifies process for researching, identifying and selecting vendors and service providers for going virtual Pleasanton, CA – Today the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI), an organization dedicated to advancing the development andRead More →

All existing OpenSim viewers are based on the GPL-licensed open source version of the Second Life viewer. All derivative viewers also have to be open source — which makes it hard to build a business here. So it makes sense that we don’t have companies coming in and investing aRead More →

Press release: 3DLES and virtyou join forces Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands—Germany’s Virtyou GmbH and 3DLES, an OpenSim design and consulting firm focusing on education, have   join forces to provide a stable 3D environment for education and architecture in Europe. “In the past, we were working on several grids,” said 3DLESRead More →

Press Release: New ProtoSphere v.1.5.4 Now Supports Video and Flash Content Five new features extend ProtoSphere’s lead as the virtual collaboration environment for learning and training LANSDALE, Pa.—ProtonMedia today released ProtoSphere Standard Edition v.1.5.4 with new video and Flash content support. Now large enterprises can train in ProtoSphere using videos,Read More →

The economic downturn has put a damper on tradeshow activities worldwide. Travel budgets have been tightened across the board. Attendees are less willing to hop on a plane halfway around the globe for a few meetings with uncertain ROI. On the vendor side, exhibitors are faced with stagnant budgets andRead More →

The Subsnapshot Importer Exporter module is now available in the Wonderland Module Warehouse. This was our first completed Wonderland Wednesday project. Community member Bob Potter described the project when we started it almost exactly a year ago in his blog post “Wonderland Wednesdays Subsnapshot Project.” We officially concluded the project at theRead More →

A traditional lecture hall in the vAcademia environment.

Russia’s Virtual Spaces LLC has released a new education-focused virtual world platform, vAcademia, that allows for both traditional 2D and 3D recordings. The platform, which is now in beta, is being used by Mari State Technical University in Yoshkar-Ola, a city in western Russia.  Although primarily used by Russian institutionsRead More →

An interesting quesion arose from my ALT-C talk last week. It was basically “How can you use Second Life for teaching when it takes two hours to learn how to use it?” Which isn’t really a question, of course. It’s a statement. Along the lines of “It takes my studentsRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 19,381 regions, a new high — up by 883 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew to a new record high of 212,452. These numbers do not include smaller public grids, or the unknown numbers of privateRead More →

Will free land destroy grids? There will probably a winnowing out of grids that continue to charge for residential land without offering enough additional perceived value. But the end result will, I believe, a net benefit for OpenSim. More money for content creators Retail consumers have only so much moneyRead More →

A few days ago, I heard a brief talk by marketing expert Steve Harrison in which he talked about how to get attention for your message. It turns out he was speaking about how to get the attention of journalists and news producers, so, being a journalist, I was curiousRead More →

One of the great features of Open Wonderland is its application-sharing facility. And one of the benefits this provides is the ability to use OpenOffice in-world to create and edit documents that are compatible with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite. But what if you just want to show a document in-worldRead More →

As John Rogate pointed out today, the 4096 bug — which limits hypergrid teleports to no more than 4,096 regions in any direction — is a significant impediment to hypergrid travel and to the growth of the metaverse as a whole. But, as several people commented, there is another impedimentRead More →

Hypergrid is probably one of the greatest and unifying features for OpenSim, and virtual worlds in general. Basically, virtual worlds cannot be what they should be without the hypergrid. It is the same unifying feature and innovation as the hyperlink was – and still is – for the unification ofRead More →

New Voice’s Nova OpenSim hosting company has dropped region prices to a new low today — just $5.95 for a region with up to 80,000 prims. The catch? The region is designed for low-traffic residential builds, and can support only five to ten avatars at once. And the 80,000 primsRead More →

OpenSim development — like that of any open source project — is very much focused on what developers want to do. They are, after all, volunteers, they don’t take orders. That leaves business users in a quandary — especially those without the technical skills or budgets to do their ownRead More →

Unity 3D is currently the hot platform for virtual world development and it’s going to get hotter, experts say, now that Unity has announced that their environments will soon be exportable to Flash. The announcement will “100 percent accelerate” the move to Unity, Tipodean CEO Chris Collins told Hypergrid Business. Collins wasRead More →

Healthcare and the pharmaceutical industries can benefit from using training simulations and serious games in everything from sales and customer relations to helping medical professionals work with upset patients. Since replicating these types of experiences in traditional training programs is difficult and costly, finding a much more effective, learner centeredRead More →

AVWorlds is a brand new grid — at just 26 regions, it doesn’t even make our monthly Top 40 list — but it has big ambitions. The grid launched with the highest priced land in OpenSim, but then abandoned that strategy and is now actually offering more free residential plotsRead More →

3DLES offers project management, educational support, building and scripting for educational projects in OpenSim.

The flight simulator celebrated its 100s anniversary a couple of years ago. A training rig was developed in 1909 to help pilots operate the control wheels of the early monoplanes in a safe environment and its predecessors have been a mainstay of pilot training ever since. Translating this concept toRead More →

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my day job — I’m not actually running Hypergrid Business for the money — in my dayRead More →

Use this script to put a Google graphic on any prim. Clicking on the drawing in-world will automatically refresh it. You can use it to create a white board for an in-world presentation. You can allow several people to edit at once by sharing the Google Doc with them. OfRead More →

Linda Kellie, whose free content has made her website a go-to destination for folks making their move to OpenSim and needing content, has released her first OAR file (free download here). This complete region includes a small freebie store with starting avatars, animations, and a large collection of textures. ThereRead More →

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

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

Because of its community and stability, Second Life is still the destination of choice for companies looking for a virtual world platform, said experts participating in a Second Life Community Conference panel about choosing the right virtual world. “Communities are amazing in Second Life,” said Chris Collins, CEO of Tipodean Technologies.Read More →

Kitely users will no longer be able to copy and export content that they don’t have copy or transfer permissions for, the company announced today. Previously, users could make full duplicates of entire regions, or save full regions as OAR files, with a simple click of a button. Now, KitelyRead More →

Second Life builders and designers coming over to OpenSim might think that it’s the same thing, except for the lack of support for some high-end vehicle physics scripting commands — and bigger prims. In fact, OpenSim actually offers some unique benefits that designers should be ready to take advantage of.Read More →

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

Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

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

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

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

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

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 →

Offers furniture, plants, sculpted stairs, wristwatches and a selection of other miscellaneous objects, including scripted vehicles.

The HGExchange multi-grid marketplace delivers products to OSGrid, Haven, Nova, AnSky or MyOpenGrid .

A selection of free textures, terrains, and a handful of starting skins.

Free clothing, textures, animations and scripts, created by Fleep Tuque.

KatiJack Studio is a virtual design firm specializing in landscaping and building which offers region terrains on its website.

A nice starting collection of free skins, hair and textures for OpenSim and Second Life users, all original creations.

Free, large, Creative Commons-licensed content collection, which includes avatars, clothing, furniture, buildings, scripts, plants, terrains, textures, and hair and other attachments.

Jeff Lowe is the maker of the BrainBoard, a collaborative note-taking tool for brainstorming and planning.

Virtual world development company working in Second Life and OpenSim.

Jon Brouchoud designs virtual environments, 3D experiences and serious game applications in Unity3D, Second Life and OpenSim.

ARCH Virtual provides resources and design services to clients using Second Life, OpenSim and Unity3D.

US $150 per month for a four-region simulator on the Starlight grid. Building, consulting, and Second Life migration services also available.

Daden offers consulting, design and building services in virtual worlds, with particular expertise in the areas of web and real world integration, and creating interactive virtual personalities.

Creative Twists Designs offers design, building and other services for companies considering Second Life and OpenSim deployments.

29 Euros (US $33) a month for up to 45,000 prims. Includes hypergrid, groups and voice. Free varregion upgrade.

US$19 ($25 AUD) a month with a US$37 ($50 AUD) setup fee for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused JokaydiaGrid. No currency. Hypergrid-enabled.

US$10 a month for a 15,000-prim region on the AviWorlds grid, no setup fee. Hypergrid, Vivox, Kitely Market, varregions available, local AV currency.

$35 a month, located on the AnSky grid, for a 15,000-prim region. Hypergrid enabled, Vivox voice.

$15 a month for a 15,000 prim region. In-grid currency, hypergrid, and varregions available.

$25 a month for 15,000-prim region, located on OSgrid, Metropolis, MyOpenGrid, or any other open grid, either private or hypergrid-enabled. Mini-grids also available.

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 →

US$ 9 (8 Euros) a month for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused, French-language hypergrid-enabled Logicamp grid.

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 →