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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

One of the joys of exploring virtual worlds grids is finding new fantastic new regions and builds. Then comes the pain of virtual worlds — you bring your friends back to visit, and the builds are no longer there. Maybe it cost too much to keep the region up andRead More →

OpenSim worlds will soon be able to have 1,000 avatar visitors to a single location, according to ReactionGrid CEO Kyle Gomboy. Gomboy, who was speaking Thursday in front of a live Second Life audience on the Train for Success program hosted by the Gronsted Group , said that Intel hasRead 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.] According to a recent Piper Jaffray report, US virtual good sales will total $621 million in 2009 — upRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 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 →