A Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life is a Holy Grail for business users: it would make it easier for employees, customers and business partners to access virtual platforms. That would make for easier meetings, easier conferences, easier product demonstrations, easier training seminars, virtual tours, showrooms — all theRead More →

In Virtual Events Year In Review: 2009, I summarized key trends that I witnessed in the virtual events industry this year. The trends for 2009 included global adoption, emergence of new industries (as virtual event show hosts), emergence of hybrid (virtual/physical) events, the shift to ongoing communities and the shiftRead More →

Manpower Inc., a world leader in the employment services industry, will host a provocative hourlong discussion, “The Evolution of the Virtual Workforce” on Tuesday, September 1 at 11am ET in the virtual world of Second Life.Read More →

Ever more frequently, companies looking to save money are moving meetings and training into virtual environments such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra, and Qwac. In some cases, the company fully controls the environment, creating avatars and user names for their employees. In other environments, it’s all up to the employees. Read More →

In recent years, companies have begun using virtual worlds such as Second Life, OpenSim, Forterra and Qwaq to hold virtual meetings — and employees have begun using avatars, or cartoonish animated online characters, to represent themselves in these meetings. Some companies and employees pick avatars that reflect their real identitiesRead More →

Coming into this year, I considered 2009 a taking-off point for the virtual events industry.  Sure, virtual events and virtual tradeshows have been around for some time, but I felt 2009 would see enormous growth (in both event volume and in the breadth of industries entering the mix), as virtualRead More →

Guess what, the below is not security! “If we want to put a life-size prototype of our super-secret product in Second Life, then there are many creative ways we implement extra layers of security such as making it invisible unless we’re in the room.” Really? Did you just say that?Read More →

Corporate Planners Unlimited, Inc. is not only a meeting and events company – it is also a travel agency. So it might be strange that president Dan Parks is promoting a way to hold meetings and conferences that requires no travel at all. It wasn’t always this way. When ParksRead More →

Though virtual events enable organizers to avoid travel and facilities expenses, in many respects they are no different from real world events in their marketing, according to the Event Marketing Institute. While many people think that virtual events are easy and don’t cost any money — and that only tech-savvyRead More →

Whenever I interview a Wall Street executive, or a technology expert, I have to ask for a photograph.  I often joke that we already have a lot of headshots of guys in suits — what I really want to see is some variety. Maybe a photograph of them on aRead More →

Boston students may be able to attend a virtual high school in September 2010, if Roxbury Institute of Technology‘s plans for a charter high school are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education. The school will combine a virtual environment, based on the Sun Wonderland virtual platform, and a real-worldRead More →

ReactionGrid has joined a very short list of OpenSim grids offering online shopping, with an e-commerce site open to all OpenSim users, not just ReactionGrid members. Two other grids have online commerce platforms, but their products are only available to grid members (though grid membership is free). The largest isRead 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.] New OpenSim grids pop up all the time — and old ones change their hypergrid coordinates. It doesn’t helpRead More →

(Photo by Elsie esq. via Flickr.)

I occasionally get announcements or news from new grids running on the OpenSim platform, but they require the creation of a new avatar to visit. I don’t personally have anything against these kinds of grids, but there isn’t usually an interesting business story there. Semi-public grids — grids which don’tRead More →

Many friends have asked me recently if I’ve seen Ameba? Apparently it’s a virtual world for older teenagers and young adults in Japan. Other than maybe it’s Japanese cute it isn’t much different from most virtual worlds, except it’s wildly popular. It’s thriving. But how can that be when virtualRead More →

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 →