Virtual world users continued to show their love of OpenSim this month, with a record-breaking increase in total regions counts on the biggest public grids. The top 40 OpenSim grids reached a total of 8,561 regions — up almost 8% from 7,942 in January. However, these numbers are distorted slightlyRead More →

Press Release: New release extends ProtoSphere’s lead as the enterprise-ready 3-D virtual world for collaboration, meetings, and learning LANSDALE, Pa.–Today ProtonMedia released ProtoSphere v.1.4, a milestone update of the company’s market-leading 3-D virtual world for business. The new release boasts the seven major features most requested by global life sciencesRead More →

Today, online events producer Caleb Booker debuts a new video series devoted to, and filmed entirely inside, virtual worlds. The program, “Virtual Worlds Keynote,” is filmed in Second Life in front of a live studio audience. Well, virtually live. The first guest is Jonena Relth, president of TBD Consulting Inc.,Read More →

A growing number of companies are instituting virtual workforces allowing the employees to be closer to their customers and working in a remote environment. These remote employees work distantly from the members of their team and may rarely have in person contact. As a manager you soon learn you can setRead More →

I was reading something about how a small cadre of vocal power users can skew the development of a virtual world platform, and it got me thinking about the kinds of things corporate clients I’ve worked with have asked for in the past. Oddly, these are things that don’t evenRead More →

Project Wonderland developers say they will continue working on the virtual world platform, despite being laid off after Oracle’s takeover of Sun Microsystems. “I was laid off along with most of the rest of the team,” said Project Wonderland leader Nicole Yankelovich. “Most of us are working on the projectRead More →

Sun’s open source virtual world platform — Project Wonderland — will not be receiving any support from Oracle, which is currently in the process of acquiring Sun, according to the developers. “We found out on Friday that development resources are no longer being applied to Project Wonderland,” said Nicole Yankelovich,Read More →

As OpenSim continues to enjoy a sky-high growth rate and alternatives lose ground, a new gold rush may be in the works — to patent as many key technologies as possible, before other companies do. That doesn’t make OpenSim core developers very happy. “Infrastructures must by owned by everyone andRead More →

PRESS RELEASE: SAIC Purchases Simulation & Collaboration Product Line From Forterra Systems Inc. Company Adds On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE(TM)) to its Simulation Portfolio MCLEAN, Va. and SAN DIEGO — Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) ) today announced it has purchased Forterra Systems Inc.’s On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE(TM)) productRead More →

Second Life is a popular destination for businesses and schools because it’s cheaper and easier to use than most other enterprise-quality virtual platforms. In addition, Second Life’s popularity with consumers means that there are already millions of people who know how to use the platform, who are all potential ambassadorsRead More →

Today, Linden Lab is three companies in one. First of all — and this is where most their revenues come from — it is a community company and content distribution channel. They charge people for access to this community through land rentals, advertising fees, commissions on currency exchange transactions and,Read More →

When most people compare virtual worlds, they do so from a technical perspective — how many concurrent users, what kind of interface is being used, what data standards are supported. Too often, however, general business requirements are overlooked. This is a pity, because from a technical perspective there are fewRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained approximately 500 regions this month, maintaining the growth rate set in the last quarter of 2009. OSGrid gained almost 600 regions, for a growth rate of 17%. But OSGrid — which normally leads the rankings every month as the largest grid on the OpenSimRead More →

Total regions on the public OpenSim grids increased from 5,613 in September to 7,246 in December — a growth rate of 29% for three months, or an annualized growth rate of 177%. By comparison, resident-owned regions in Second Life reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6% over December 2008. AtRead More →

In my last column (“The 3D future“) I briefly touched on the idea of a 3D desktop to replace the current Windows interface. Nobody knows yet what a 3D workspace will look like. It probably won’t just be the current desktop with 3D graphical elements — though we’ll probably seeRead More →

Press Release: AI Learning Center Being Built in Second Life The IEEE Computer Society is developing an Artificial Intelligence Learning Center (AILC) on IEEE’s island on Second Life and is looking for participation from those interested in showcasing the use of AI technologies in virtual worlds, robotics, Web, and smartRead More →

Press Release: 3Di, Inc. LAUNCHES FREE “3Di IMMERSIVE SEMINAR ” PUBLIC BETA SERVICE 3Di, Inc. Opens Online Seminar Service Using Avatars And 3D Virtual Worlds Free For Beta Testers 3Di, Inc., which offers 3D Internet solutions, announces the public beta release of “3Di Immersive Seminar,” a next-generation online seminar serviceRead More →

The dawn of the 3D age is upon us. Over a dozen immersive virtual world platforms are competing for our attention — and that’s just in the business sector. Our kids and teenagers are already fully immersed in any of hundreds of different 3D gaming and social worlds. What willRead More →

Press Release: ThinkBalm Publishes Enterprise Immersive Software Selection Guide Today, industry analyst firm ThinkBalm published “The Enterprise Immersive Software Decision-Making Guide.” This report is a use case-based guide designed to aid business decision makers in the enterprise immersive software selection process. The report covers nineteen vendors and presents “if/then” scenarios,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.] The number of Web-based distribution channels for OpenSim goods is growing steadily. Rexxed: Complete regions available, as well as tools, skins, terrains, and evenRead More →

At a time when hundreds of new hypergrid-enabled worlds are coming online, it may seem surprising that some are turning off hypergrid access. The Intel-backed ScienceSim has  recently backed away from hypergrid teleports, citing security concerns. According to Shenlei Winkler, the CEO of the Fashion Research Institute, hypergrid teleports haveRead More →

I just got off the phone with a company building an educational grid for a company in China — in OpenSim. They picked the platform not for its cheapness, but it’s feature set. This too often gets missed in the hype surrounding the various virtual worlds, but OpenSim is actuallyRead 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.] We’ve covered this topic before, but OpenSim is constantly evolving, so we need to bring our instructions up 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.] The following is a list of currently active hypergrid destinations. It’s not an inclusive list — there are hundredsRead More →

While most virtual worlds are limited to “thousands” of objects in a single location, OpenSim can support hundreds of thousands, according to a white paper published by Intel this month. As a result, OpenSim-based virtual worlds — like the Intel-backed ScienceSim grid — can be used to simulate complex environmentsRead More →

Second Life is being held back by an “elite group” of users, according to Forrester Research, Inc. analyst Tom Grant. There is an ” Iron Law of Oligarchy,” Grant wrote this week. “Over time, a subset of customers emerge who participate regularly in user group meetings, discussion forums, the commentsRead More →

Sparkle IM — an iPhone app that allows users to send and receive instant messages from inside Second Life — now supports access from OpenSim grids. “It’s been awhile since the last update of Sparkle IM,” the company announced today. “We apologize for the silence.” In addition to support forRead More →

Training company Immercio Ltd. is launching a full-service corporate training and meeting facility this month for small and medium-sized businesses on January 17. The facility has two locations – in Second Life, and on the OpenSim-based Reaction Grid – comes with pre-configured buildings and presentation rooms, as well as round-the-clockRead More →

PRESS RELEASE: New Virtual World Enables Companies To Utilize Paid Online Assistants, Next-Generation Avatar United Nations Citizens Features Lifelike Stores With Digital Signage, Paid Employees EW YORK, NY. —  Making use of the core graphics engine used in the smash hit AVATAR, Cisco Systems and Equifax have partnered with HeadsRead More →

This list was researched in late December… then we forgot to post it because of the holidays. In November, we counted up over 6,500 regions, so we’re continuing to see around 500 regions gained a month. This list still has unconfirmed numbers for two grids — OpenLife Grid, and LegendCity.Read More →

As 2009 comes to a close, and we can look back and see what happened this year, I’d like to make some predictions for what will happen next year. #1 – Consolidation continues throughout the first half of 2010. Platforms with relatively simple feature sets will continue to face increasedRead More →

Here at Hypergrid Business, we write a lot about the Second Life-OpenSim-realXtend ecosystem. We love the low cost, the flexibility, and the massive amounts of content available for this platform. But it isn’t the only option for business users. Here are some alternatives: ProtoSphere ProtonMedia’s ProtoSphere is an enterprise-focused virtualRead More →

The great advantage of using OpenSim is that a grid owner can leverage all the work done by the open source community. The OpenSim server platform is updated continually, with new bug fixes and new features coming out almost daily. And the viewers — also open source — are steadilyRead More →

On Monday, Metaplace announced that the company was shutting down its virtual world. This virtual world wasn’t the first platform of choice for enterprise users. The game-like interface, the kid-friendly avatars, and the lack of true 3D graphics — not to mention the lack of business functionality — didn’t lendRead More →

As OpenSim-based social grids continue to grow, Second Life content designers are understandably worried about the free content floating around these grids — content which may have been ripped off from Second Life. Part of this is accidental. Users copy their bought-and-paid-for inventories from Second Life to their OpenSim regions,Read More →

A Virtual Immersive Environment is Not a Parallel Universe, It is an Alternative Reality. While it is possible to make a 3D virtual immersive environment (VIE) look exactly (or pretty darn close) to your actual office building or training room or college campus…what’s the point? The real power of aRead More →

Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd.  announced they reached a record number of prims this week, with half a million separate objects in a single OpenSim region. According to the company, the objects were mathematically-generated  “Menger sponges,” or fractal shapes. And the region wasn’t killed by the load, said company directorRead More →

Press Release These days, City Tech faculty and students are happy to oblige if anyone tells them to “get a life.” That’s because several classes are involved with developing the College’s presence in Second Life (SL), a virtual digital world created by its more than nine million “residents,” where alterRead More →

Virtual Worlds, Simulations, and Games for Education: A Unifying View I wrote this article for Innovate magazine a few months ago, to coincide with the release of Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds. While pieces have have been excerpted, many have asked for the complete article, which IRead More →

The choice of OpenSim hosting companies has grown a bit but is still very limited, due to the fact that the OpenSim platform has only become stable — and grids hyperlinked — at the start of this year. If you’re looking for a free alternative to a paid hosting services,Read More →

Imagine a place full of literate adults, 100 percent broadband penetration – and people willing to work for pennies an hour. There’s no minimum wage, no unemployment insurance, and no labor laws. Sounds better than China, doesn’t it? The place is Second Life — and other social virtual worlds alsoRead More →

Press Release: Virtual Reality Collides with Real-world Law in Forthcoming Book by Rutgers–Camden Law Professor CAMDEN –  In the new James Cameron movie “Avatar,” characters “inhabit” other bodies to fight oppression.  Sounds like science fiction, but thousands engage in similar activity every day through online communities and gaming.  And theRead More →

One year ago (nearly to this day), Cisco Systems announced the cancellation of their annual “Global Sales Meeting” – in a statement, Cisco CEO John Chambers was quoted: In almost all instances for business critical activities, we will be utilizing Web 2.0 collaboration technologies, such as TelePresence and WebEx, toRead More →

Back in August, I jumped the gun a bit and wrote a “year in review” posting about virtual events.  Now that we’re in December,  I think it’s high time to peer into the Magic 8 Ball and speculate on what’s in store for the virtual events industry in 2010.  AwayRead More →

I love Google Analytics and use it to track visitors to my Websites — and where they come from and how they leave. It would be great to have this same information for my grid. This could be a gadget that I place on each region I need crawled, possiblyRead More →

The largest social OpenSim-based grids have gained over 1,000 regions since our last count in early September, bringing the total regions on these grids to over 6,500. These are grids that allow anyone to register for free. In addition, social interaction is a significant aspect of the grid’s activity.  InRead More →

This article is now out of date. Lots of new material is now available! Read more here: Where to get content in OpenSim. One of the great advantages of using OpenSim as a virtual world platform is the availability of free or low-cost ready-made worlds. OpenSim allows world owners toRead More →

Jeff Lowe, consultant and immersive tool architect with Immersive Life, demonstrated the second version of his BrainBoard three dimensional collaboration tool today on ReactionGrid. The tool allows users to create visual representations of flowcharts, diagrams, and brainstorming sessions and integrate it with a Web-based hosted database or a private server-basedRead More →

On Thursday, I experienced a wonderful example of effective training in Second Life.  During the weekly Train For Success meetup, Mark Jankowski of Virtual Training Partners conducted a portion of his negotiations training course and gave a tour of his training grounds.  It was impressive not due to fascinatingly complexRead More →