Analyst firm ThinkBalm has created a virtual reception room for Web site visitors, using the 3DXplorer virtual worlds platform. ThinkBalm is  an independent industry analyst firm focused on work-related use of the immersive Internet — so the new three-dimensional, immersive environment was a good fit for the company’s mission. TheRead More →

Companies looking to have a virtual world running behind a firewall now have another option – today, Altadyn Corp. released its  3DXplorer enterprise platform. A web-based version of the product, hosted on Altadyn’s servers, has been available for about a year. The company claims SAP, Orange, Bayer, and Glaxo-Smith-Kline asRead More →

InWorld Solutions has premiered the world’s first virtual behavioral therapy product, based on Forterra’s Olive virtual worlds platform, Forterra announced today. Olive — or On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment — is a proprietary platform that competes with Linden Lab’s yet-to-be-released Nebraska server and the OpenSim open source virtual world platform. TheRead More →

Professors at Purdue University, Indiana, say their year-long presence in Second Life has made their teaching more engaging by giving students face-to-face interaction, preparing them to use virtual reality as a professional tool, and allowing business classes to simulate concepts. The program was originally for distance learning students, but laterRead More →

A California chapter of the American Society for Training & Development won the society’s national “Sharing Our Success” award for its use of Second Life for a virtual training simulcast, the society announced Aug. 5. The Mount Diablo chapter of the ASTD — located in northern California –was able toRead More →

Now that you have your own virtual world (go back and read Virtuation 101 if you don’t), you might be finding yourself standing in a barren landscape — or on a little pimple of an island in the middle of an empty ocean. What’s next? DO IT YOURSELF The basicRead More →

Here is what you will need to know if you decide to have a virtual world. First, you need to decide where your virtual world will be. Do you want a private world accessible only by you? Or a public one, accessible by millions? For a one-person world, go withRead More →

In conjunction with its two year anniversary, the folks behind OSGrid — the largest grid running the OpenSim open source virtual world platform — have added new functionality to the grid, including a social network, a general store, and an automatic region creator. SOCIAL SIGNALS The OSGrid administrators have integratedRead More →

Linden Lab has debuted a new portal for enterprise users, which features case studies of business uses of Second Life and offers a free tour of the Second Life environment. “For those of us working with enterprise clients, the new page is a welcome relief from what came before —Read More →

Crescendo Design, an architecture firm based in Madison, Wisconsin, is doing some innovative work in virtual worlds, using the OpenSim offspring RealXtend. “The virtual experience isn’t right for every client, but for those who are more tech-savvy and have newer computers, the virtual experience can provide an invaluable means ofRead More →

As the virtual worlds grow and develop — and evolve into the next 3D Web — the issue of copyright is being debated again. In some ways, virtual worlds copyrights may require changes in the way we think of and use copyrights. But, in most respects, virtual worlds copyrights areRead More →

Virtual worlds consultancy ThinkBalm announced the first ThinkBalm Innovation Community professional networking event, scheduled for August 4, to be held at the Amazon Developers Island in Second Life. Scheduled speakers include experts on virtual world use and design, including  IBM’s Christopher Bishop, Amazon’s Jeff Barr, ThnkBalm’s own Sam Driver,  AndrewRead More →

Just as colleges and universities were among the first to embrace the World Wide Web, educational institutions are now in the forefront of those embracing innovative uses of OpenSim and other virtual worlds platforms. For example, the CSI project from the Kansas-based Greenbush Education Service Center is an interactive crime-solvingRead More →

OSGrid — the biggest and oldest virtual world running on the OpenSim platform — celebrated its second birthday July 22. The celebration included several days of events, including a presentation on the history and future of the grid, live music, and dance parties. Since it first launched two years ago,Read More →

I’ve been talking to a few virtual world operators lately that are trumpeting their particular virtual world as the next “Web 3D standard.” They’re the biggest, or the best, or the prettiest, or the fastest, or the cheapest, or whatever — and everyone is going to leave the other worldsRead More →

I do love OpenSim. But, as a business journalist — I try to be open minded. And, as a business owner, I’m always looking for a faster, cheaper, easier way to do things. This week, I heard from a couple of experts about another way of doing virtual worlds —Read More →

It will take at least six months to get the Xenki OpenSim viewer ready for public use, according to the new lead developer on the open source project. Kevin Tweedy, founder and head of Philadelphia-based Extreme Reality, a virtual reality technology company, said he took the project over in March.Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc. has been working hard lately on making OpenSim more appealing to business customers — at least, to business customers in Japan. This spring, they came out with a Web viewer for OpenSim worlds designed to intergrate with the firm’s back-end OpenSim-based server software, and a demo websiteRead More →

South Carolina’s Appalachian St. University has been delivering an instructional technology degree almost completely inside virtual worlds for eight years, professor Sean Williams told Hypergrid Business. But recently the university ran a program designed to integrate virtual world technology into middle schools. The reason? As virtual reality branches into newRead More →

Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland will become the first UK university to offer a comprehensive virtual world creation course, the institution announced this summer. The course, available to fourth-year computing students, will cover the design and development of 3D virtual worlds, using the OpenSim and Second Life platforms. Creative computingRead More →

I frequently am tasked with recalling specific data points from the ThinkBalm Immersive Internet Business Value Study, Q2 2009 for client inquiries, presentations, press calls, and blog posts. I can’t remember the exact numbers — my memory is sieve-like — so for the first week after the report was published I would go to theRead More →

The battle for the future of the 3D Web is about to get hot… and steamy. Utherverse CEO tells us that he’s planning to launch an all-out attack against the other virtual world platforms out there, with free hosting and a set of free building tools designed to attract businessRead More →

The $50,000 price tag might scare off smaller customers, but IBM’s Lotus Sametime 3D product is designed to help large enterprises start holding virtual meetings. The product – released at the end of June — includes integration with corporate directories, with the Lotus Sametime chat service, and includes conferencing toolsRead More →

If Opensim is the Apache of the Metaverse, then what will be the Joomla of the Metaverse?  This isn’t a idle or rhetorical question, it’s something which has to be answered if Metaverse solutions like Opensim are ever going to truly become the next incarnation of the Web. While itRead More →

When you first open up an OpenSim browser – Hippo, for example — it seems pretty straightforward. Logging in is a snap, just type your name and password. But once you log in, it’s a different story. You start out as some faceless person in ugly clothes, although it canRead More →

My first time in OpenSim was on May 22, 2009, when my internship program put me in contact with my new boss. She suggested that I download Hippo so that we could meet at the company’s virtual offices and discuss my internship. I was studying in Madrid and she wasRead More →

IBM officially released its Lotus Sametime 3D collaboration product this week. The product is based on the OpenSim opensource virtual world server software, an IBM spokeswoman confirmed to Hypergrid Business today. This is the first serious use of the OpenSim platform as part of an established and popular enterprise productRead More →

Virtual reality will be more successful in China than in the West because of cultural differences in the way Chinese people use the Internet and emotionally connect with it, said Tom Doctoroff, the CEO of JWT, a marketing and communications company that specializes in brand identity. Doctoroff spoke today atRead More →

Having a held a few business meetings in OpenSim over the past few weeks, several staff trainings, I’m getting a better idea of the features I would like to see added to OpenSim. I’m not complaining about what we have so far: it is already making a big difference toRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.  Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.] There are a lot of different OpenSim versions flying around,Read More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.  Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.] There are plenty of virtual worlds out there, floating, isolatedRead More →

An unknown hacker took down more than a hundred OpenSim regions this weekend, as well as over a hundred thousand websites. This is bad news for some OpenSim hosting companies who relied on low-cost virtual shared servers to host their regions. Chris Greenwell, for example, lost 41 regions total, includingRead More →

The easiest way to predict the future of user interface design is to look at the purest market for applications: the gaming sector. Nobody is forced to play games. People choose the games that they enjoy the most. At first, there was the menu interface. Remember those? Probably not. TheyRead More →

Update: Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here. The choice of OpenSim hosts is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — in the last couple of months. In theory, anyone can host their own OpenSimRead More →

If you’re looking to rent some OpenSim land from someone, you’re probably thinking about the monthly cost and the setup fee, but here are a few more questions to ask:

When I show people around OpenSim, the first question they ask is: “So this is like Second Life? Only worse?” Which is a valid question. Any particular OpenSim world — like, say, OSGrid, or OpenLife, or ReactionGrid or WorldSimTerra — is small and puny in comparison to SecondLife’s grid. ImagineRead More →

These last couple of weeks have been problematic for many of us using OpenSim. The OSGrid, in particular, has had more than its share of downtime as a result of ongoing software upgrades, and links between regions break frequently because of incompatible software versions. So in planning the location ofRead More →

ReactionGrid, headquartered in Fort Pierce, Florida has been working in virtual worlds for years. The founders – Robin and Kyle Gomboy – produced three-dimensional models of aircraft and chip parts for Florida manufacturers as part of their work on automating production facilities. “We thought that if we put it intoRead More →

This week, ReactionGrid has released its $8,950 Banbury virtual world server, for those who want to physically own their own virtual universe. But for customers willing to let their virtual worlds be managed by someone else, there are also inexpensive hosted options. Today, ReactionGrid runs one public grid, and aRead More →

More than a dozen entrepreneurs got together Thursday night — or Friday morning, depending on their time zone — in OSGrid’s Business Center to discuss entrepreneurship on the emerging 3D Internet, or the hypergrid. Those attending included “Richardus Raymaker,” Jim Siler (“Omar Abdelrahim”), “Vette Chrome”, “RetroDan Dezno”, “Zauber Paracelsus”, “SimRead More →

One of the biggest obstacles to enterprise adoption of the OpenSim virtual worlds platform has been the lack of a decent behind-the-firewall solution. There are some hosting companies running OpenSim projects, but if you wanted to install it and run it yourself, you would need to invest serious time andRead More →

I missed the first Internet investment boom. I was covering wars in Central Asia, but that’s no excuse. I could have invented Yahoo! — it started with a guy in his dorm room with a list of favorite links. I could have done that. Or eBay — a guy whoRead More →

So you have decided that your company needs a virtual world platform. (Maybe you read our earlier article, “Do you need a virtual world?“) Here is how to select the rigtht platform. Do you expect to have more than 50 visitors at any one time? Most immersive virtual words haveRead More →

Grid A horizontal map composed of one or more regions, similar to the way that a chessboard is made up of individual squares. A grid is normally identified by a URL and a port number, for example, the OSGrid is located at osgrid.org:8002. Hypergrid All grids that are linked toRead More →

When business users first log into a virtual world like Second Life or OpenSim they usually have two questions: can they use their real names for their avatars? And can their avatars look like them? The answer to the first question is simple. In OpenSim, users can choose any namesRead More →

The company is in Singapore. The owners are in Thailand, Moscow, and Shanghai. What’s the most convenient location for the annual corporate meeting? Hint: it’s got dragons, a spaceport, and a red light district. You might think – China. But the company actually picked a place much cheaper to travelRead More →

Unlike Second Life, the open source virtual world platform OpenSim does not have a built-in currency system. To users, this is a significant lack of functionality – but developers see it as a feature. The reason? OpenSim is not a clone of the Second Life game – that multi-user virtualRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] What is the hypergrid? And why should business care? Because it’s starting to look as if this is theRead More →

Mike Joyce – that’s Michael R. Joyce on imdb.com – is a Hollywood producer. You may have heard of him from such projects as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Jewel of the Nile.” “The kind of work I did was line producing,” he said. “I did whole shows right from scratch. IRead More →

Virtual worlds can be difficult to access, with most of the popular ones — such as Second Life and games like World of Warcraft — requiring the installation of special software. The new OpenSim-based virtual worlds are no exception, requiring that users install software and then struggle to  figure outRead More →

Few companies today actually need a virtual world — but yours could be one of them. Here’s how to tell. Are you in the education business? Take for example, Tom Hood, president of the Maryland Association of CPAs. His group has conducted about a dozen events in Second Life overRead More →

Update: Full, up-to-date list of OpenSim hosting providers is here. Running an OpenSimulator instance is a challenging prospect for many — there are a number of important criteria you should be looking at before purchasing, but the single most important question is: “Will I be managing this myself?” “Do itRead More →

When it comes to virtual world real estate and design, DeepThink has been a big player, operating one of the largest continents in Second Life. But in recent months, the Shanghai-based company has been refocusing on OpenSim, the open-source platform that’s rapidly becoming the standard for enterprise virtual worlds. OpenSimRead More →

According to OpenSim core developer Charles Krinke, there are 330 key functions in Second Life – and 300 of them have been fully implemented in OpenSim. Of the remaining 30, half have to do with vehicle physics, he said. These are the functions that allow virtual passengers to ride inRead More →

Many virtual worlds, including  Second Life, OpenLife Grid, ReactionGrid and many others, keep the entire grid behind a corporate firewall, and restrict access. OSGrid, however, is wide open. Anybody can install OpenSim on a server – or, like I did, on a home PC – and fire up a regionRead More →

Charles Krinke joined the OpenSim core development team a year and eight months ago. In that time, he saw the project go from being a collection of 600 messages – packets – used by Second Life browsers to communicate with their servers – to a fully-fledged platform for building hyperlinkedRead More →

The OpenSim project – while backed by big companies like IBM and Intel – is not beholden to them. In fact, it works more like a pick-up game of basketball. People show up at the same court, break into teams, play a few games, then go home when they’re tiredRead More →

Many people think that the OpenSim platform was reversed engineered from Second Life’s browser — but this is not actually true. It was actually built based on eavesdropping. No, not on company phone calls — on the communications between the Second Life browser and the Second Life servers. Servers areRead More →

The folks behind the OSGrid — a non-profit open grid focused on OpenSim development — answer questions about the grid, and about OpenSim, every Saturday at 10 a.m. PST, or 3 p.m. eastern time. The PST refers to the internal clock set in the Hippo browser, the recommended browser forRead More →

Gwyneth Llewelyn actually posted this article “OpenSimulator: The Choice for 2010 back in January, but it still remains one of the best overviews of what’s happening in the OpenSim worlds that I have read so far. She talks about how OpenSim was developed, and how its modular approach makes itRead More →

Everybody knows about the big three of virtual business: sex, gambling, and role-playing. But with the new OpenSim platform and hyperlinks between different virtual worlds, the three-dimension Internet is about to explode as a serious platform. Here are a few ways to take advantage of it.

Today I attempt to create my own virtual world. Second Life, World of Warcraft — prepare to meet your new competition. I’m not speaking facetiously. With the new OpenSim platform for creating and hosting virtual worlds — and linking them to other virtual worlds — any person, and any company,Read More →

According to Ralf Haifisch, a virtual worlds developer, what we’re seeing now is the emergence of a new Internet. And he knows what’s he’s talking about – he was the first one in his part of Germany to run an Internet host there – and sent me a document dating back to 1991 attesting this fact.

As a demonstration project, Mueller is now building his own grid, called NextReality, which will be home to Future City, a business destination.

If you want to see how the OpenSim platform works in practice – and who doesn’t want a glipse of the next generation of the Internet? – you might be tempted to come to the OSGrid, the largest public OpenSim deployment that’s out there right now. Don’t. If you want to see a nice, stable OpenSim project, go to the Folk Cafe at Grid4us.

If you’re looking to see what a good OpenSim deployment looks like, I strongly recommend the Folk Cafe and the surrounding German village region on the Grid4us OpenSim grid. How to get in: If you already have an OpenSim account, see below. If you are new to OpenSim: Step One:Read More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] Today I stepped through a StarGate — several times — to travel between different grids in the OpenSim universe.Read More →

The three top businesses in Second Life are land sales, item sales, and (presumably — no hard data available) sex. For businesses looking to explore Second Life, however, these are the worst businesses to get into right now. First, land. It might seem a no-brainer on the surface: rent landRead More →

OpenSim has many of the same things you can get in SecondLife – land, buildings, furniture, clothes and avatar shapes.

I’ve been playing around with a beta account on Metaplace — a new 3D virtual world, something like Second Life. If you’re looking for a place to start, Metaplace is by far simpler. No download required — it works in a regular browser. It’s in beta, so it’s not fullyRead More →

Press Release: The Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds Is Now Available Free from the Association of Virtual Worlds The Association of Virtual Worlds has released its new title The Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds listing over 250 virtual worlds and is pleased to offerRead More →

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