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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Editor’s note: We encourage groups using virtual worlds to tell us about their experiences — both good and bad — in order to educate the public about this new industry segment, and to encourage platform and hosting vendors to improve their services. If you would like to contribute a review,Read More →

Developers of the Aurora Sim version of OpenSim are building a hypergrid bridge to mainline OpenSim, said Enrico Ranucci, head of New Voice, d.i., an Italian technology company that’s been in business since 2005. Aurora Sim uses a different version of hypergrid, called IWC — InterWorldConnector — to allow teleportation betweenRead More →

Hypergrid Business is one of the very few publications you can safely categorize as virtual world platform agnostic. Editor Maria Korolov has visited our Avaya Web.alive environments from the earliest “MellaniuM Dome” with the dinosaurs and Spitfire replica to the latest Trainspotting and Medieval replete with “Helms Deep”-esque bridges andRead More →

There might be a role for new kinds of exchanges in our virtual future, just as the Internet spurred the growth of online trading and alternative trading networks. But there aren’t going to be any happy endings for investors in todays in-game virtual stock markets. Virtual shares on the CapExRead More →

Second Life “financial institutions” such as virtual banks and stock exchanges have historically been magnets for fraud and mismanagement. But the Capital Exchange — formerly the SL Capital Exchange, now under new management — promises to change that. Carmen Dubaldi, who bought the exchange this January, has actual business experienceRead More →

With OpenSim hosting prices dropping fast and features and stability improving, it surprises to me that people still ask why anyone should pay for OpenSim. Yes, OpenSim is free. You can go to OpenSimulator.org and download the software and run your own world, at zero cost. But, like much openRead More →

The closed, commercial social grid AvWorlds has abandoned its high price strategy — at least for now. When the grid was launched earlier this spring, a single region was priced at $145 a month. (See full story here.) While a bargain compared to Second Life, this price made it theRead More →

Customers looking for a high-end grid management service for their OpenSim worlds similar to that offered by PioneerX Estates now have another hosting option — Germany’s TalentRaspel virtual worlds Ltd. has licensed the RCI grid management technology from PioneerX and is now offering it to its customers. “We have finishedRead More →

Netflix now accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic. According to a new report from Sandvine, Netflix movies and television episodes are now more than 22 percent of the stuff traveling through the Intertubes — finally knocking peer-to-peer filesharing networks out of first place. The reason isn’t that peopleRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Obama, Palin & Trump Set Stage for Most Entertaining Political Season Yet Utherverse Re-Creates Popular Political Figures As 3D Characters For Fun & Free Speech On Virtual Wide Web Vancouver, BC – If the recent friction between President Obama and Donald Trump is any indication, the 2012 political season promisesRead More →

Press Release: Avatar Meets Superman At Miami Science Museum NASA Astronaut Leland D. Melvin to lead presentation in Miami Science Museum’s NASA funded Youth EXPO Virtual World Island Sat., May 21st at 10 a.m. Presentation will be projected in the Museum Theater so that the public can observe & participate.Read More →

Press Release: Daden creates World Finder, a virtual world selection tool Birmingham, U.K. — A simple virtual world selection tool, World Finder, has been created by virtual world specialist’s Daden Limited to help businesses and organisations choose between competing platforms for their projects. World Finder is based around 12 key virtualRead More →

The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worldsRead More →

I’ve been reading lately about how great mesh will be for Second Life. But I’m wondering whether it won’t actually be better for OpenSim, instead. Off-world content versus in-world content In Second Life, the most common imported content is textures. But it costs money to bring them in — anRead More →

The experiences people have in virtual worlds such as Second Life influence their behavior in real life, according to a new book. “There are consequences of spending 20 hours weekly using an avatar in a virtual reality,” said Jeremy Bailenson, co-author of Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, andRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained a total of 1,199 new regions over the past month, for a new record total of 15,765 regions. The biggest growth was on OSGrid, the non-profit grid which allows people to connect regions for free — or rent them from hosting companies for asRead More →

Educators looking for OpenSim alternatives to Second Life are currently limited to ReactionGrid or Jokaydia Grid, which is operated by ReactionGrid — unless they want to set up their own grid or join a multi-purpose grid that’s about more than just education. That changed this week when Houston-based FireSabre Consulting,Read More →

Press Release: Huzutech’s Paperworld Takes Social Gaming To New Virtual Worlds HuzuVirtual is a new technology which takes social gaming and community into whole new virtual worlds. GLASGOW —  HuzuVirtual is a brand new technology from HuzuTech, which promises to revolutionize the rapidly evolving social gaming market. The technology allowsRead More →

Virtual worlds like Second Life can successful be used for creative learning activities but only if the students understand the purpose of their activities in the virtual world, and aren’t overwhelmed by the learning curve, according to a researcher at Indiana’s Ball State University. Otherwise, students will feel frustrated withRead More →

While most of the attention within our industry has been on the 2D and 3D platforms for virtual events, I envisioned that a simpler, website-like interface may begin emerging for digital events. My post last December postulated that this website interface would be widgetized, allowing users to add or removeRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Edge Institute Launches Extensive Survey about Work-Related Uses of Virtual Technologies Giving away two free iPads to participants Pleasanton, CA – The Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) announced today that it is launching a comprehensive survey to understand the work-related uses of virtual technologies and digital environments. The ProfessionalRead More →

Press Release: SAIC Showcases On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment Software Platform at ITEC 2011 Company to demonstrate virtual world technology for collaboration, simulation and training Cologne, Germany — Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI] will demonstrate how its On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE) three-dimensional (3-D) software platform can be usedRead More →

A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead of in Second Life? The short answer is: no. Second Life’s average concurrency is around 50,000.Read More →

OpenSim’s new 0.7.1 release supports meshes, media-on-a-prim, and adds additional security features for grid owners and content creators. The upgrade also promises increased stability and less lag. However, hypergrid teleports are not backwards compatible to previous versions of OpenSim. Many large public grids have already upgraded to the new version,Read More →

Blue Mars has an iPhone client that allows users to change their clothes. There’s an app for Second Life and OpenSim that allows users to chat with other users. VenueGen is working on an iPad-enabled version of their virtual world client, which runs fully in the browser. But it’s aRead More →

A researcher at the University of California in San Diego is seeking participants for a large-scale study of avatar movement in Second Life and OpenSim. The study involves both online questionnaires and in-world movement tracking. The researcher, Jean-François Lucas, is a graduate student at the Department of Anthropology and SociologyRead More →

Immersive virtual environments are helping to transform storytelling. The new technique – immersive, collaborative storytelling – can be used to expose people to the reality of living life a different way, for education and for community story telling. One company doing just that is Toronto-based Startled Cat. “Startled Cat isRead More →

Earlier this week, Teleplace announced that it was releasing the current version of proprietary virtual world software to the open source community as OpenQwaq. The next generation of its software won’t be commercially available for three to six months. The Teleplace software normally runs for $50 per user per monthRead More →

One thing that might keep Teleplace customers from scampering away to its newly open-sourced, free OpenQwaq alternative is the promise of Teleplace Connect — a new version of the Teleplace software with better Sharepoint integration, better in-world application sharing, and a fully-featured Web-based viewer. The new goodies will be availableRead More →

Press release: ProtonMedia and Sify Sign Technology and Services Agreement Partnership to deliver next-gen virtual learning and training solutions to global life sciences companies LANSDALE, Pa.-ProtonMedia and Sify Software Limited today announced a new technology and services agreement that will bring collaborative learning and training solutions to global life sciencesRead More →

In the early days of virtual events (i.e. a few years ago), we used to say that users could attend a virtual event “from anywhere.” Of course, that wasn’t entirely true, as “anywhere” usually meant at a location with “fixed” (vs. roaming) Internet connectivity and “chained” to a desktop orRead More →

Press Release: Teleplace Announces the OpenQwaq Open Source Project for Virtual Workspaces REDWOOD CITY, Calif.– Teleplace, the leading provider of virtual workspaces, today announced a new open source project called OpenQwaq. The OpenQwaq project will enable organizations — large and small, profit and not-for-profit — to implement virtual workspaces for theirRead More →

There are several different components to consider in designing and developing interactive 3D software that will ensure that your training simulation will get the results you want. These components aren’t random in design and structure. They are developed within each serious game to allow management and training coordinators to haveRead More →

Press Release: Annual Unisfair Survey Shows Virtual and Hybrid Events are the New Normal in Marketing, Training and Collaboration 550 Marketers Weigh in on Why and How They Use Virtual Environments Key findings: 60% will increase spending on virtual events and environments in 2011, while 42% will decrease spending onRead More →

Press Release: Lockbox and VastPark Announce Strategic Alliance SAN JOSE, CA — Lockbox and VastPark today announced the formation of a strategic partnership that would use each company’s complementary strengths and expertise to create the defining platform in the emerging private, 3D virtual world arena. Using healthcare as an example: TheRead More →

Press Release: Utherverse Hosts and Provides a Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Virtually Participate in and Attend the Royal Wedding Over its 50,000 Site Virtual World Web (VWW) Network Open Event Provides PC and Mac Users the Opportunity to Become Royal Family Members or Attend Nuptials, Wedding Reception and After Party asRead More →

The world of computer or web-based training has evolved rapidly over the last several years. In particular, a large amount of interest has surrounded the world of interactive 3D simulation training and the several advantages it brings to hands-on training. The question: Are people really learning here? The answer: quiteRead More →

I know the iPad is supposed to be magical. But, to me, it doesn’t come close to the magic I feel inside Second Life and OpenSim worlds. When I’m on a grid, I can wave my virtual arms and have things appear out of thin (virtual) air. I can changeRead More →

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according to Tateru Nino, concurrency in Second Life is at its lowest level in two years. TheRead More →

Magne Metaverse Research LLC, the parent company behind the Meta7 grid, announced on Thursday that it will be shutting down by the end of the month as a result of trandmark-related legal issues. Today, the grid reports 7144 registered users and 300 total regions. Current users will be able toRead More →

Ten Kitely users lost 13 regions this week because of a bug in the company’s software. The bug has been fixed, users compensated for their losses, and a new automated backup system is in the works. Kitely is a new company with software that they’re still testing — and aRead More →

Press Release: IU shares $297,929 NSF grant to study use of 3D virtual worlds by business and education enterprises BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The National Science Foundation has awarded $297,929 to a multi-disciplinary team from Indiana University and Arizona State University. The award supports on-going research concerned with the use ofRead More →

A new U.K.-based grid, Tescos, is marketing itself as a gambling destination, with an added bonus of low-cost regions. It’s not the first grid to have gambling in-world — Avination has a number of sims dedicated to gambling — but it is the first to promote itself in this way.Read More →

The developers behind the realXtend branch of the OpenSimulator virtual world platform announced the formation of the realXtend Association today. “The purpose of the association is to be a place for realXtend users and developers to give feedback and steer together the platform development,” said association chairman Jani Pirkola. “TheRead More →

Press Release: UtherAcademy Now Recruiting Instructors & Students for 3D Web Classes Revolutionary Virtual Learning Center Lets World Be Your Classroom Vancouver, BC –  Imagine being in your kitchen with your laptop, learning how to cook tonight’s dinner from an acclaimed chef via live video feed. Your instructor is inRead More →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

Press Release: Henk Rogers named CEO of Avatar Reality, Inc. Entrepreneur and Interactive Entertainment Visionary Expands Role at 3D Virtual World Company HONOLULU, HI — Avatar Reality, developers of the Blue Mars 3D virtual world and iOS app, today announced the appointment of company Co-Founder Henk Rogers as CEO, effective immediately. Rogers isRead More →

With the recent growth of OpenSim grids, both public and private, and growing demand for both low-end starter items and high-end content, content creators have recently launched several Websites to distribute both free and commercial products for OpenSim. Total Avatar Shop Total Avatar Shop is a commercial destination for OpenSimRead More →

(Last updated April 26, 2013) There are plenty of reasons to run OpenSim on your own computers. If you’re a content creator, you can have as many regions as you want, for free, and load them up when you need to work on them. There’s no lag due to connectivityRead More →

The top 40 public OpenSim grids gained more than a 1,000 new regions since this time last month, propelled partly by low-cost cloud-based regions from a new hosting provider, Kitely. There are now a total of 14,566 regions on these grids alone, an increase of 8 percent since this timeRead More →

Press Release: HP and Avaya Address Banks’ Need to Place Customers at the Center of Service Innovation Virtual Branch and Contact Centers Increase Effectiveness with Enhanced Channel and New Assisted Self-Service Technology NEW YORK — Building on HP’s Unified Communications and Collaboration Services portfolio for the enterprise, HP and AvayaRead More →

Press Release: Digitell Releases New Hybrid Meeting Tool Kit Jamestown, NY — Virtual conference vendor Digitell has just released a free hybrid meeting tool kit to assist those organizations in deciding whether to turn their live event into a hybrid event or not and capitalize on the growing success of thisRead More →

Press Release: The University of Central Florida Deploys Virtual Training for Accountancy Tools Birmingham, UK — The University of Central Florida (UCF), commissioned Daden Limited (Daden) to develop several accountancy orientation exercises in Second Life on UCF’s campus “ReallyEngagingAccounting.” Dr Hornik, an early adopter of virtual worlds for education has been using SecondRead More →

Latest update: April 8, 2013 This is a primer for folks considering moving into OpenSim who have never used OpenSim before and who don’t have much of a technical background. First look at OpenSim If you want to get into OpenSim in the quickest, easiest way possible, just follow thisRead More →

UBM Studios Offers Mobile Support on iOS and Android-Based Tablets for Virtual Events Chicago, IL – Today, UBM Studios announced it now offers support on iOS and Android-based tablet devices including: Video delivery through Ustream, Silverlight, YouTube, MP4 videos and InXpo’s proprietary on-demand media player; and Text chat supported throughRead More →

Machinima, once banished to the realm of the basement dwelling geek, is now being let out of the closet and into the company of professional society. No longer relegated to fanboys, the cinematic art is finding a new life as a highly effective method of marketing. A few factors haveRead More →

Technology improvements have allowed us to meet, connect and engage online. The 2008 financial crisis further drove the adoption of virtual events for organizations. But even to this day, there is no standard definition of what a virtual event is today and where it should be tomorrow. My partner atRead More →

The evolution of the Linden Dollar from a strictly virtual currency and economy to a currency that intertwines with recognized currencies and economies has created many issues that need to be addressed in order for Second Life to continue to flourish as a developing world and be a viable blueprintRead More →

Update: There are now two marketplaces, Cariama and HGExchange, that deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids. Read more here: Where to get content for OpenSim. As a business owner — and someone who is very concerned about inadvertently violating copyright, having recently done so to my great chagrin — I’ve beenRead More →

Press Release: Designing Digitally, Inc. Partners with the United States Air Force Academy to Develop a Browser Based 3D Virtual Campus Tour Based on Unity Virtual world developer Designing Digitally, Inc. used the Unity development platform to design a browser based interactive 3D virtual campus tour for prospective cadets toRead More →

Today, we are seeing an explosion in virtual world platforms. We’ve got various — and incompatible — open source projects, including OpenSim, Open Wonderland, Open Cobalt, Sirikata, and Vastpark. We’ve got stand-alone proprietary software that runs behind corporate firewalls, and requires dedicated viewer software, including ProtoSphere, Teleplace, and SAIC’s Olive.Read More →

Press release: VX Platform Combines Industry Leading Scalability, Reliability and Security with new User Interface, Making Virtual Event Production Easier than Ever CHICAGO — INXPO announces the General Availability of INXPO VX Platform. The most scalable, reliable, secure and flexible virtual business platform is now the easiest to use. AfterRead More →

Press Release: ProtonMedia and PPD to Introduce New Virtual Clinical Trial Training Solution LANSDALE, Pa., and WILMINGTON, N.C.—ProtonMedia and PPD, Inc. today announced they have entered into an agreement to jointly develop a new virtual clinical trial training solution that will improve the cost effectiveness, speed and quality of clinicalRead More →

Kitely offers OpenSim hosting in the cloud — ridiculously easy to use and ridiculously cheap for low-traffic regions. Now, anyone can have their own sim up and running in less than two minutes, at a cost of $0.10 per region per month — yup, ten cents — with an extraRead More →

Kitely may be turning the OpenSim hosting model upside down with its metered pricing, but other OpenSim hosting providers have already embraced the cloud. “We already utilise cloud based resources to allow for dynamic commission and decommission of region servers, both in our private cloud and [Amazon] EC2,” PioneerX ownerRead More →

Update: AvWorlds abandons high-price strategy At a time when most OpenSim hosting providers are attempting to attract users with low prices, or, at least, moderate prices, one  OpenSim grid — AvWorlds — plans to buck the trend by pricing its regions at $145 per month. “I am looking to give ourRead More →

With Kitely‘s bill-per-minute, cloud-based OpenSim hosting service now available, non-technically inclined folks now have a real choice in what kind of hosting they’d like to have. Here is a breakdown of common use cases of virtual environments, and whether Kitely makes sense, or whether you should go with Second LifeRead More →

How’s this for a match made in heaven: One company has a Web-based viewer for OpenSim. Still in early, experimental stages, but fast and responsive. Add avatars, voice, and the ability to sit down and they’ve got themselves a big winner. The other company has a Web-based front end forRead More →

San Francisco-based Tipodean Technologies launched a public beta today of its BuiltBuy.me Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. The viewer, formerly known as Canvas, is free, and can be embedded inside a Website, YouTube-style. The latest update includes several improvements over the private beta release in December, including speedRead More →

A lot of debate about open source code versus proprietary code these days centers on the personalities of the folks involved, or on the politics behind the idea of open source. But, from a business perspective, the availability of open source alternatives is a net positive for enterprise — andRead More →

In a major step forward for usability of OpenSim, Israel-based startup Kitely has created a Website that allows any Facebook user to create, load and enter an OpenSim world in less than two minutes. The world owner can then invite other individual Facebook users to visit, invite an entire group,Read More →

Now that you’ve settled on the title, topic and date of your virtual event, it’s time to rally the sales team to go out and sell sponsorships. We provide six tips on how to approach the selling process. 1. Target wisely. As with any sales effort, categorize your accounts basedRead More →

Back when I was fresh out of college, in my first reporting gig, I learned that context matters a lot in getting folks to talk to you. At the start, a typical conversation would go like this: “Hi, this is Maria Korolov from the Chicago Tribune…” “No, thank you, weRead More →

CliniSpace took first place yesterday in the AI-assisted training category of the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge with its virtual medical training simulation. Los Altos Hills, CA-based Innovation in Learning, Inc. launched CliniSpace in September of 2010, based on the Unity 3D platform. (We’ve written about the company before, see full story here.)Read More →

Press Release: UBM Studios Introduces New Evolution of Virtual Environments’ Chat Tool Chicago – UBM Studios continues to follow on its mission of transforming the way show organizers and event attendees interact through world-class engagement.  Today, UBM Studios adds a new chat tool to its virtual environments.  Key features include:Read More →

Avination grid owner Melanie Thiekler rolled out Vivox voice to her grid today — at no extra cost to residents or land renters. Residents immediately began trying it out, and it sounded great. Those who had good microphones came through crystal-clear, without any of the cutting in and out andRead More →

What would happen if at a school’s talent show some parents stood up and started heckling the child playing the piano or dancing in front of them? “You’re awful!” or “You call yourself a dancer?” For one thing, it would never happen. And if it did, the rest of theRead More →

InWorldz has taken a further step way from mainline OpenSim Tuesday with the announcement of a proprietary scripting engine, called Phlox, which is expected to enter beta testing this week. The new scripting engine promises to support 99 percent of existing Second Life scripts, with increased speed and stability. ScriptsRead More →

Yesterday, I posted a story (yes, a little on the long side) about a new services from PioneerX Estates where they manage your whole grid for you. Everything — estates, land rentals, voice — all the tech stuff for a ridiculously low price of $41 a month. (No, they areRead More →