Značka: Virtual reality

Going meta: Disney, Second Life and K-pop

Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the Metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer. Visit Disneyland… in the Metaverse?The entertainment company behind some of the most popular theme parks in the world recently had a patent approved for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue.” Though the Los Angeles Times reported that Disney had “no current plans” to use the simulator in the near future, the application does suggest Disneyland and Disney World guests may eventually see Metaverse attractions at one or more of the parks in the United States, Hong Kong, China, France, and Japan. Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Source: PexelsThe tech would work by tracking visitors using their mobile phones and generating and projecting personalized 3D effects onto nearby physical spaces, such as walls and other objects in the park. According to the patent application, Disney’s possible foray into the Metaverse could “provide users with realistic and highly immersive individualized 3D virtual experiences without requiring those users to wear an augmented reality AR viewing device.”K-pop in the Metaverse?On Monday, Metaverse concert organizer Animal Concerts announced it had inked a deal with South Korean unicorn Kakao’s Klaytn network as part of a plan to increase its exposure to the country’s entertainment industry. Animal Concerts CEO Colin Fitzpatrick said that “Klaytn’s major goals are NFTs and Metaverse.”“Technical limitations prohibit how many people can actually attend a concert in the Metaverse,” said Fitzpatrick, referencing scalability issues. He aims to build a network of virtual venues across existing and new Metaverse platforms to host concerts with a variety of talent, seemingly including K-pop artists.Second Life creator returns as project goes metaLinden Lab, the company behind the virtual online world Second Life, announced on Thursday founder Philip Rosedale would be rejoining the project as a strategic adviser along with Metaverse team members of San Francisco-based VR company High Fidelity. According to the firm, the addition of the new and old talent would facilitate Second Life’s entry into the Metaverse.“Virtual worlds don’t need to be dystopias,” said Rosedale. “Big Tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven, behavior-modification platforms isn’t going to create a magical, single digital utopia for everyone.”Launched in 2003, Second Life was one of the earliest virtual world experiences before the connectivity of modern social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Rosedale departed as the CEO of Linden Labs in 2008 before going on to found High Fidelity in 2013. His return could mark a significant milestone for incorporating new Metaverse-themed ideas into established platforms:Philip Rosedale returning to Linden Labs (breaking news today) definitely reminds me of Steve Jobs in the 90s returning to Apple #secondlife #metaverse— Andrew Oleksiuk (they/them) (@Andrew_Oleksiuk) January 13, 2022

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Going meta: Paris Hilton, Times Square, and ETFs

Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the Metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer. Virtual ball drop on NYEThe Ethereum-based virtual reality world Decentraland announced on Wednesday that a New Year’s Eve celebration would be taking place in the Metaverse. Grayscale owner Digital Currency Group has partnered with real estate firm Jamestown to create a virtual One Times Square — the iconic New York City location where a giant ball descends on a flagpole, stopping at midnight to mark the start of the new year. The virtual event starting at 11:00 pm EST will feature a live feed of the real Times Square as well as crypto art galleries, games and virtual gatherings. “The metaverse is quickly evolving to bring together the most interesting and alluring parts of our favorite physical places around the world,” said Simon Koster, the Digital Currency Group’s head of real estate. “This event highlights how virtual events can cohesively integrate with real ones in an effort to bring once-in-a-lifetime experiences to so many that would have never been able to participate otherwise.”Times Square in the Metaverse. Source: DecentralandCelebrity capitalizes on the spaceReality TV star Paris Hilton has her own New Year’s Eve party plans involving the Metaverse — and these are (virtually) far away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square. Gaming platform Roblox is home to a virtual island called Paris World where the socialite will be playing an electronic set for virtual patrons on Dec. 31. Hilton, who commands a following of millions on social media, may draw quite the virtual crowd. It’s unclear how many people will be attending Metaverse events as opposed to celebrating the new year in person due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States and worldwide. Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the New Year’s Eve events in Times Square would be limited to 15,000 people — there are usually 58,000 in attendance — with everyone required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination.Exchange-traded funds going metaAt least three companies in the United States and Canada have launched or plan to launch exchange-traded products with exposure to metaverse-related firms. In November, Evolve Funds Group and Horizons ETFs Management listed their metaverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with the latter tracking the performance of the Solactive Metaverse Theme Index (SOMETAV). The index includes tech companies Apple and Nvidia, as well as social media giant Meta. Shares of the offering have fallen roughly 5% and 3%, respectively, since launching on Nov. 29.Related: Baidu metaverse app would take 6 years for a full launch, VP saysIn the United States, however, the first company to successfully launch an ETF with exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) futures has begun delving into the metaverse. A Tuesday filing from the Securities and Exchange Commission shows ProShares plans to launch a metaverse-focused ETF tracking SOMETAV. The SEC has yet to approve the offering.

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Elon Musk thinks Neuralink is better than Metaverse in long term

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk showed no support for the Metaverse and Web 3 ecosystem as he dismissed the terms for being used as buzzwords and marketing tactics.”I don’t see someone strapping a friggin’ screen to their face all day,” said Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, in an interview with The Babylon Bee when asked about his thoughts on the Metaverse ecosystem. “I don’t know if I necessarily buy into this metaverse stuff, although people talk to me a lot about it.”Speaking around Metaverse and virtual reality (VR), Musk said that he does not see a future where one would have to leave the physical world to live in a virtual world. Sharing a personal experience, he added that the VR headsets tend to trigger motion sickness while playing video games:“In the long term, a sophisticated Neuralink could put you fully into virtual reality. I think we’re far from disappearing into the metaverse, this sounds just kind of buzzwordy.”Elon Musk founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company that primarily aims to deploy brain implants on humans for restoring and enhancing physical capabilities through computers. First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021“I’m currently unable to see a compelling metaverse situation or Web 3 sounds like more marketing than reality. I don’t get it, and maybe I will, but I don’t get it yet.”Musk also highlighted that people will not prefer moving around with VR headsets without wanting to ever leave it. He also recollected being warned growing up about not sitting too close to the TV:“It’s gonna ruin your eyesight, right? And now we’ve got TV literally right here (on the face). I’m like what? Is that good for you?”Related: Crypto is impossible to destroy, says Tesla CEO Elon MuskAdding to his role as the most influential Dogecoin (DOGE) supporter, Musk recently expressed support for crypto, calling it indestructible and fundamentally aimed at reducing the power of a centralized government. As Cointelegraph reported, Musk said at Code Conference in California:“It is not possible to destroy crypto, but it is possible for governments to slow down its advancement.”He also suggested that the United States government should “do nothing” when asked about his views on crypto regulations.

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Going meta: digital cities, attacks on female creators, and more

Following the announcement that Facebook’s parent company would be rebranding in a shift towards the metaverse, many projects have started similar initiatives entering the virtual space, from buying property to testing the limits of what this universe has to offer. Digital cities: Santa Monica and SeoulThe Downtown Santa Monica District west of Los Angeles was one of the first real-world areas to allow users to have access to the metaverse through the FlickPlay app. Branded as a metaverse tool, walking around the district seems to be more of a limited augmented reality experience rather than a virtual one, with people collecting digital tokens in the style of Pokémon GO. In contrast, Seoul’s entry into the metaverse is expected to be a 100% virtual environment once launched in early 2023. In November, the local government announced it would be starting its own platform, Metaverse Seoul, slowly integrating services related to the economy, culture, education and civil complaints. In addition, the Korean capital planned to create virtual versions of its major tourist attractions and hold festivals in the metaverse.Seoul, South Korea. Source: authorDoes Meta have a ‘women problem’?Following the launch of Horizon Worlds, the virtual reality game and online community platform released by Meta — formerly Facebook — at least one user reported that the virtual environment allowed sexual harassment. In a Dec. 16 report from MIT Technology Review, one of Horizon’s beta testers said a stranger had groped her avatar. Though there is a feature capable of encasing an avatar in a protective bubble to seemingly stop such an attack, the user was either unable to activate it in time, or was otherwise unaware of it.“At the end of the day, the nature of virtual-reality spaces is such that it is designed to trick the user into thinking they are physically in a certain space, that their every bodily action is occurring in a 3D environment,” said Katherine Cross, an online harassment researcher at the University of Washington. “It’s part of the reason why emotional reactions can be stronger in that space, and why VR triggers the same internal nervous system and psychological responses.”In November, another woman reported her metaverse persona under attack, this time without the use of avatars and with seemingly more real-world effects on her business. When Facebook rebranded to Meta, Australian artist Thea-Mai Baumann reported being locked out of her Instagram account. Her handle? “Metaverse.”Source: Thea-Mai Baumann’s Instagram account, “metaverse”Because Meta owns Instagram and Baumann’s account was relatively small — fewer than 1,000 followers at the time — many on social media suspected the company would simply seize her account rather than buy it. She ended up being locked out for more than a month without being able to verify her identity before Instagram restored access.“This account is a decade of my life and work. I didn’t want my contribution to the metaverse to be wiped from the internet,” said Baumann. “That happens to women in tech, to women of color in tech, all the time.”Companies going metaOn Dec. 10, Chinese internet giant Baidu announced plans to launch its own metaverse product, called XiRang, a universe capable of handling input from 100,000 users where it also plans to host an AI developer conference. The Baidu Create conference is expected to be held on Dec. 27.A city in Baidu’s metaverse. Source: BaiduSports footwear and apparel manufacturer Nike’s products are officially going virtual following the acquisition of virtual sneakers and collectibles brand RTFKT this week. RTFKT, which describes itself as “fully formed in the metaverse,” will likely help Nike advance its own plans to “just do it.”Facebook whistleblower issues metaverse warningFormer Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who turned over thousands of documents that implied that the company was not doing what it claimed in regard to removing hate speech and posts encouraging violence, voiced her concerns about the metaverse. In a Dec. 16 newsletter released by Time magazine, Haugen said she was “super scared” about the potential risks of the virtual world for surveillance, socializing, and more:“When you go into the metaverse, your avatar is a little more handsome or pretty than yourself. You have better clothes than we have in reality. The apartment is more stylish, more calm. And you take your headset off and you go to brush your teeth at the end of the night. And maybe you just don’t like yourself in the mirror as much. That cycle… I’m super worried that people are going to look at their apartment, which isn’t as nice, and look at their face or their body, which isn’t as nice, and say: ‘I would rather have my headset on.’”

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$106M worth of metaverse land sold last week: DappRadar

Four blockchain-based metaverse projects generated more than $100 million worth of virtual land nonfungible token (NFT) sales last week, according to data from DappRadar. A Tuesday post from the decentralized application analytics firm reported that between Nov. 22 and Nov. 28, activity was “booming” on The Sandbox, Decentraland, CryptoVoxels and Somnium Space with a combined $105.8 million worth of trading volume among them from more than 6,000 traders:“Undoubtedly, Metaverse land is the next big hit in the NFT space. Outputting record sales numbers and constantly increasing NFT prices, virtual worlds are the new top commodity in the crypto space.”The Sandbox represented the lion’s share of volume for the week with $86.56 million, Decentraland accounted for $15.53 million, while CryptoVoxels and Somnium Space generated $2.68 million and $1.1 million, respectively. All four of these metaverse projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain, although projects on other chains such as Solana are beginning to gather pace, too. DappRadar noted that “the wave of attention towards virtual worlds like The Sandbox and Decentraland started with Facebook’s rebranding to Meta.”“However, this is only the tip of the iceberg that pushed the term Metaverse into the mainstream. Virtual worlds carry such enormous potential, and we’re just beginning to see the full array of use cases for metaverse land,” the blog post read. Related: NFT sales aim for a $17.7B record in 2021: Report by Cointelegraph ResearchCommenting on The Sandbox’s enormous surge in NFT land sales volume, Yat Siu, chairman and co-founder of Sandbox’s parent company, Animoca Brands, told Cointelegraph: “Facebook in their attempt to usurp the narrative of the metaverse caused a chain reaction of other companies not in Web 3.0 (such as Microsoft) to also announce their metaverse strategies and created mass interest and awareness.”Siu contrasted Meta’s approach to the more organic, user-built environment of The Sandbox.“While not everyone understands what digital property rights really mean, enough of them are interested in this now, and this has created more net awareness. The Sandbox has captured the narrative of a real metaverse — one where you can really own a piece of it, and this is also reflected somewhat in the token price,” added Siu.Out of the four projects listed, Decentraland has seen the biggest NFT land sale over the last 30 days, with a plot consisting of 116 parcels of land in the virtual world’s Fashion Street District selling for 618,000 MANA tokens ($2.7 million at current prices) on Nov. 23. On the same day, The Sandbox also sold a tokenized ultra-luxury mega-yacht for 149 Ether (ETH) worth more than $666,000 at the time of writing. Top 10 NFT sales Nov. 22–Nov. 28. Source: DappRadar

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