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 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 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 →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not respond to ourRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

</p> <p>Your browser does not support iframes. Please go to the <a href=”http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=opensim” mce_href=”http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=opensim”>#opensim</a> page directly.</p> <p> Open in full screenRead 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 →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not respond to ourRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

The world’s top 40 public OpenSim grids gained 424 regions and 12,746 registered users since the middle of February, a slightly slower than usual growth rate. However, we’re continuing to see growth in private and mini-grids. For example, 466 new copies of the Diva Distro were downloaded last month.This doesRead More →

OpenSim’s largest commercial grid, Avination, announced a major new milestone today — it will be offering in-world Vivox voice at no charge to its residents and region renters, as well as to customers who host private grids with the company. Vivox is currently the gold standard of in-world voice, usedRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

OpenSim grid owners now have another option for their grid server software — Aurora-Sim. This branch of OpenSim, still in “pre-alpha” stage of development, promises more security features and better vehicle physics than mainline OpenSim, but it is still too early to tell whether it will be able to deliver.Read More →

After ReactionGrid announced plans to patent a process for deploying and managing OpenSim earlier this month, the open source community responded with dismay. In comments on the initial announcement, and in ReactionGrid’s follow-up clarification, and in the OpenSim discussion list, open source advocates worried that patenting processes might hurt the developmentRead More →

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been surveying the owners of all the public OpenSim grids about what their grids are all about. We asked about hypergrid, currencies, maturity levels — and intellectual property policies. What we found suprised us. A number of OpenSim grids now have very detailedRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

There are hundreds of OpenSim grids, most of them running quietly on private servers, behind corporate, school and university firewalls. The following two tables cover just the publicly accessible grids. Some of the grids are run by individuals or school groups and may not be up and running at allRead More →

This list includes all grids that have been active this month. Please note that some grids may only be up part-time, especially the smaller ones. Click here for key info. Click here for more details. Last Update: 7/17/2020 • Total grids: 369 If your grid isn’t listed and you would likeRead More →

This list includes all grids that have been active this month. Please note that some grids may only be up part-time, especially the smaller ones. Click here for key info. Click here for intellectual property protection info. Last Update: 7/17/2020 • Total grids: 369 If your grid isn’t listed and youRead More →

Many grids today have hypergrid turned off, for fear that content will be taken from their grid to a less secure grid, copied, and distributed illegally. OpenSim developers are working to create a hypergrid-wide permission system for content that will help abate this fear, and open more of the OpenSimRead More →

OpenSim makes for a good, and free, tool for 3D animation work. I have spoken at conferences and webinars on the use of Second Life for creating video for branched scenario-based eLearning because it is a relatively easy tool to use. My focus has shifted to our current endeavor forRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 529 regions since mid-December, to reach a new high of 15,623 regions on January 15 of this month. The monthly growth rate, 3.5 percent, was the second-lowest since we started gathering the statistics in the summer of 2009, a possible indication of a seasonalRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

Grid owners with proprietary viewers can now add high-quality voice to their worlds Not yet included in Hippo, Imprudence — users must download add-on This week, vComm Solutions of Switzerland released the source code for Whisper, a high-quality voice option for OpenSim. Whisper supports directional voice and lip synching, andRead More →

OpenSim grids hit yet another new peak this month, with 15,094 regions on the top 40 grids, an 11  percent increase from last month’s 13,564 regions — a gain of 1,530 new regions. Meanwhile, total registered users on these grids grew 5 percent from 140,053 in mid November to 147,565Read More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

Press Release: Novell Announces Winners of First Annual ‘Dister’ Awards Radical Breeze’s ‘Illumination Software Creation Station’ and Anderware’s ‘Hypergrid to Go’ win $10,000 prizes in showcase for creating innovative software appliances WALTHAM, Mass. — Novell today announced the winners of its First Annual ‘Dister’ Awards, handing out two $10,000 grandRead More →

SpotOn3D will hold a benchmark test on Wednesday, December 15 to determine the difference in performance of OpenSim version 0.7.1 and OpenSim 0.6.9 when they run in the cloud. According to SpotOn3D co-founder and COO Tessa Kinney-Johnson, the test will be conducted from 2 to 3 p.m. SLT (Pacific time)Read More →

Press release: SpotOn3D announces collaborative partnership with Purdue University The Virtual Collaboration Laboratory within the Purdue University Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision (College of Technology) announces the beginning of a collaborative partnership with SpotOn3D — a software firm whose main objective is to bridge the gap between the 2DRead More →

Press Release: Tipodean launches Canvas, a Web-based viewer for Second Life and OpenSim, which is built using Unity 3D Tipodean Technologies is pleased to announce the preview launch of Canvas, a web-based viewer for both Second Life and Opensim. Licensed from IBM, Canvas is unique in that it is highlyRead More →

The OpenSim economy continued to grow this month, with both the OMC currency and the I’z currency from InWorldz growing in users and transactions. The OMC, a convertible currency from Austrian virtual currency exchange operator Virwox, is now accepted on 18 different grids — AnSky Grid, Avatar Hangout, FrancoGrid, GermanGrid,Read More →

OpenSim grid hit a new peak this month, with 13,564 regions on the top 40 grids, a 9 percent increase from last month’s 12,425 regions — a gain of 1,139 regions. Meanwhile, total registered users on these grids grew 8 percent from 129,797 in mid October to 140,053 today. OSGridRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

The majority of OpenSim grid residents said that their grids were “excellent” overall, with community and support getting the highest marks across the grids. Technology and content of the grids scored slightly lower, however, with the majority of users rating these two factors “pretty good” or “just okay.” In addition,Read More →

Exactly how many people can a region in OpenSim support? How many people could meet for business meetings or presentations in an OpenSim region? Allow me to illustrate with this piece of string and a tape measure. There are unfortunately many variables to consider, so much so that it isRead More →

OpenSim users overwhelmingly said that they would “absolutely” recommend the platform to others. Out of 114 people who responded to our survey this week and answered this question, 84 percent said they would “absolutely recommend” it, with only 1 percent saying they would “absolutely not recommend” the platform. Of theRead More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we’re in the process of launching a virtual events directory (now that the vendor directory is up and working). And the question comes up — what times do we list events under? The Second Life events directory shows everything as SLT time — which is theRead More →

One of the joys of social games like FarmVille is getting to visit your friends. In a virtual world like Second Life, this is also a major attraction — your friends’ regions on the map, you can walk or teleport over. Second Life, however, can’t scale. If millions people suddenlyRead More →

One of the most confusing parts of moving to OpenSim is figuring out how the commerce system works. Not as confusing, maybe, than than figuring out how to run the server software, learning how to hypergrid, picking a home grid, or finding a hosting provider, but up there. There areRead More →

Both the G$ and OMC multi-grid currencies reported strong growth over the last two months. Since we last took a look at their numbers in mid-August, the OMC currency — backed by Austrian Linden exchange operator Virwox — has grown from 14 to 20 grids, and now reports 382,537 OMCRead More →

Teesside University is piloting a quarter million pound (US $400,000) citizenship education project in OpenSim this year. The project, which will eventually involve as many as 900 high students in the UK, will be officially launched in January. The entire project is scheduled to run for 18 months and isRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

Just a day after Second Life launched its mesh beta, OpenSim already has experimental mesh in the latest test release, and people have begun trying the technology out on OSGrid’s experimental Danger Grid. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim implementation of mesh leverages the work done byRead More →

This month, the Youth for Christ charity celebrates its second year in Second Life. But the big party will be held in OpenSim, the charity’s new home. The reason? The Second Life Teen Grid, where the YFC has been offering support and mentoring programs for at-risk youth, is closing atRead More →

There are a lot of different kinds of OpenSim grids out there — it can get a little confusing. Well, a lot confusing. Here’s a quick primer. Social grids Social grids attempt to replicate the experience of Second Life. They don’t make up the majority of grids running on theRead More →

NASA’s OpenSim-based Moon World — a quarter-million-dollar project —  will go live on December 1, allowing students to experience what it’s like to live and work on a NASA moon base. “It helps students understand the geography of the moon,” said Charles Wood, executive director for the Center for EducationalRead More →

Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a short piece today about the five stages of users, which applies to OpenSim as well as to any other product or technology: Novice: wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible Advanced Beginner: needs a bit of freedom,Read More →

UPDATE: TalentRaspel has lowered its price for exporting Second Life regions. It now starts at US $273 (200 Euros)  per region, and is based on the complexity of the build. Vendors are offering full-region migrations from Second Life to OpenSim at prices starting at as little as $80 a region.Read More →

• Clients three times as likely to complete virtual treatment program as face-to-face program • Outcomes ‘as good or better’ as at physical treatment centers • Private OpenSim grid operated by ReactionGrid, more stable than Second Life Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc., is a substance abuse treatment organization with headquarters inRead More →

Updated May 4, 2013 Yes, you can run OpenSim for free on your own computer –  you can even run it on a USB stick. But do you want to? Here’s a question — would you run your own Apache Web server for your website, or would you use aRead More →

Press release: NYIT Receives $1 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation Project to Enable Teachers to Use Information and Communications Technologies in the Classroom New York, N.Y.  – New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) was awarded with a grant for $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) forRead More →

Press Release: Virtual World Campus for OpenSim HOUSTON, TEXAS  — FireSabre Consulting, a virtual world developer focused on educational clients, responded this week to the announcement by Linden Lab that the Teen Second Life virtual world product was to be discontinued. FireSabre has launched a program to help K-12 institutionsRead More →

The lack of mesh imports has long been a problem for enterprise users of OpenSim and Second Life. But Second Life is about to start open beta testing of mesh — and OpenSim won’t be far behind. According to OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey, the OpenSim team will adapt theRead More →

Update: The Chat-World project has moved back to Second Life. According to the Laura Crane Trust, cancer is the most common form of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK. The Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to funding research specifically into cancers affecting young peopleRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

Hosting providers with previous experience in Second Life are bringing some Second Life terminology with them into OpenSim. For example, Coral Estates draws a distinction between “owning” a region and paying “tier” — and “renting” land. “All of the land in this section of the web site is non rentalRead More →

Correction: Coral Estate regions start at $20, not $10. OpenSim hosting prices have fallen to a record-low, with providers like New Voice offering regions for just $10 per month — though the performance of such low-cost regions may be in doubt. New Voice on the map If you’ve glanced atRead More →

My company is a small, enterprise user of virtual worlds. Over the past year, we’ve used them for meetings with partners, new hires, internal collaboration, and external business networking. There were plenty of virtual worlds to choose from. But since we wanted to be able to customize our environment ourselvesRead More →

Tonight’s meeting of the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group was an eye-opener for me and several other attendees — well, ear-opener. We got a chance to try out the new Whisper directional voice system for OpenSim, and it was amazing. Not amazing as the way in Freeswitch was amazing, in that youRead More →

The latest versions of OpenSim support Second Life Viewer 2 and, over the next couple of months, grids and hosting providers will be upgrading their OpenSim server software to make Viewer 2 usable everywhere on the hypergrid. I’ve spent the last five weeks heavily using SL Viewer 2 in SecondRead More →

Today, vComm Solutions of Switzerland released Whisper, a high quality voice solution for OpenSim based on the popular Mumble open source VoIP client. The key feature of this solution is that it enables avatar lip sync and speaker indication to work correctly, in addition to providing very stable, high qualityRead More →

The top 40 public OpenSim grids resumed their breakneck growth pace this month, gaining a total of 1,139 regions and crossing back over the 10,000 mark with a total land area of 10,427 regions. This was a growth of over 12%compared to last month, which translates to an annual growthRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. InWorlds and OpenLifeGrid do not consider themselves OpenSim grids and OpenLifeGrid does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change”Read More →

A couple of weeks ago, two OpenSim content designers came to Hypergrid Business with a complaint: they were offered a chance to produce content for a new grid, in return for space on that grid. They did the work, then got locked out. What could they do? Unfortunately, not much.Read More →

Linden Lab developer Qarl Linden reported that he was laid off yesterday. The developer — known as Karl Stiefvater outside of Second Life — was responsible for such innovations as scupties and flexi prims, making the in-world environment richer and more realistic. “He is widely recognized as a competent andRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. InWorlds and OpenLifeGrid do not consider themselves OpenSim grids and do not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” andRead More →

Earlier this year, Linden Lab released Second Life Viewer 2 which, though it had a large number of usability problems, also offered one huge advantage for business and education users: the ability to put a live webpage or any other media onto any in-world surface. This means that a groupRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. InWorlds and OpenLifeGrid do not consider themselves OpenSim grids and do not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” andRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. InWorlds and OpenLifeGrid do not consider themselves OpenSim grids and do not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” andRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di Inc., will release the new version of its OpenSim server software on June 25, and the new release will allow the use of separate account registration systems. For example, if a retail company, say, allow customers to register on its website, those same registrations can be used toRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids totaled 11,717 regions this month, a respectable 4 percent increase over last month’s 11,240. However, adjusted growth is up a record-high 1,377 regions — an increase of 13.3 percent. Why adjusted? ScienceSim has been running scalability tests, loading up 1,024 regions on a single serverRead More →

Tokyo-based 3Di, a leader in developing commercial viewers for Opensim, today announced a viewer that will run on Android smartphones. The company is currently recruiting industry partners to develop practical applications of this technology, and will share its platform with them. The platform can be used to develop online games,Read More →

The Second Life and OpenSim platform are the best bet for educators, according to a white paper released today by virtual worlds research firm Daden Limited. “It is the only one offering reasonable graphics with in-world building tools, and as a result high levels of flexibility,” wrote author David Burden.Read More →

Japan’s PR News, a press release distribution service, will hold free virtual seminars this summer on how to use Twitter and other social media for marketing and promotion, the company announced today (English translation here.) The seminars will be conducted in a virtual world — OpenSim — and accessed viaRead More →

Developers released a new version of OpenSim this week, with support for group management of land, the ability to offer teleports to other avatars, and other minor improvements and bug fixes. Many OpenSim users would already have seen these features on OSGrid, the Diva Distro, and other grids running theRead More →

The world’s top public OpenSim-based grids slowed their growth rate this month, possibly due to the growing popularity of standalone grids. As of today, the top 40 grids totaled 11,240 regions, up 7.2 percent from 10,588 regions in mid-April. However, half of that growth was due to ongoing scalability testingRead More →

Press Release: 3Di, Inc.’s 3D Virtual World Technology Powers Language Learning Service Offered by NTT Learning Systems and ALC Press “Virtual English Conversation Class” Service Opens, Enabling Avatar-Based Learning in 3D Virtual World 3Di, Inc. , which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions, announces the deployment of its 3Di OpenSimRead More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained 1,055 regions over the past month, from 9,533 to 10,588, an increase of more than 11 percent. By comparison, Second Life grew just 1.4 percent during the same time period, according to data from Grid Survey. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggestRead More →

Last week, I surveyed the state of OpenSim commerce, in the column Business in OpenSim. This included the beginnings of in-world retail shops, OpenSim hosting providers, and design and development services. These are new industries, only really born last year, when OpenSim became stable enough for deployment and hypergrid-enabled. ButRead More →

Educators in primary schools, colleges, and other institutions looking for lower costs, better controls, and no age restrictions are considering switching from Second Life to its open source alternative, the OpenSim virtual world server platform. The OpenSim server software can be used to power an entire public grid, or aRead 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.] Is it too early to start doing business in OpenSim? We are certainly not in an age of v-commerce, though we can see itRead More →

The Internet is a wide, and anonymous place. For me, it’s always a slight shock when I comment on someone’s blog post — and they comment back, or send me a personal “thank you” email.  Except for these blogs, most Websites are run by anonymous Web administrators, and when I’mRead More →

One of the common complaints enterprises have about OpenSim is that if they set up a private grid, they’ll have to create all the content from scratch. Employees will have to create their own hair, fashionistas will have to make their own shoes, teachers will have to create their ownRead More →

The world’s top 40 OpenSim-based grids gained over 900 regions over the past month, from 8,626 to 9,533, an increase of more than 10 percent. As usual, OSGrid was the single biggest gainer, with 609 new regions. The biggest growth was at OSGrid, which gained 847 regions. OSGrid allows anyoneRead More →