Roblox Launches Their Own Podcast
This week Roblox launched a podcast called “Roblox Tech Talks” with its first episode, “Step Into The Metaverse,” a discussion between CEO Dave Baszucki and Roblox’s CTO Dan Sturman. New podcast episodes will be released every other Wednesday and according to the company, the podcast will cover topics that will analyze in-depth the technological breakthroughs that are building the metaverse. The next episode will be released on August 4.
Epic Games Purchase 3D Content Site SketchFab
Epic Games have purchased one of the world’s largest 3D content platforms, Sketchfab. Sketchfab and Epic Games are joining forces to make 3D, augmented reality, and virtual reality content more accessible to increase the creator ecosystem. Sketchfab will continue operating independently branded service while collaborating with the Unreal Engine team.
Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Be A Metaverse Company
This week’s special episode of The Vergecast podcast included an interview between Platformer’s Casey Newton and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. During the interview Zuckerberg shared that in the next 5-10 years Facebook will essentially move from being seen as a social media company to being seen as a metaverse company. Zuckerberg is betting on the metaverse as the successor of today’s mobile internet and says he has been envisioning the metaverse since he was young.
HaptX Raises $12 Million For Haptic Gloves
HaptX, a Seattle-based company that builds haptic gloves for virtual reality and robotics, has raised an additional $12 million. The company’s customers use haptic gloves to train their workforces, design and test new vehicles, and control robots from a distance, among other uses. HaptX will use this funding to manufacture a second run of the HaptX Gloves DK2, which is currently sold out.
Fox Will Launch Avatar Singing Competition This Fall
This fall, Fox is premiering a new reality singing competition called Alter Ego, but there’s a catch. Participants will perform in their avatar’s alter egos. Grimes, Will.i.am, Alanis Morrissette, and Nick Lachey will be the judging panel, and Rocsi Diaz will host the show. Contestants will appear in avatar form using motion capture and visual effects, while the judges will gather in real life to evaluate each performance.
Snap Buys Vertebrae And Continues To Bet On AR Shopping
Snap has acquired Vertebrae and continues to bet on the future of AR shopping. Using Vertebrae brands will be able to upload visuals and other information about an item into Vertebrae and have a 3D version made for shoppers to access and potentially buy directly in Snapchat. This function will benefit brands, but it can potentially also create a marketplace based on augmented reality shopping for any user without leaving the app.
Alibaba Launches Real Estate NFTs
Several years ago, Alibaba created the Chinese Taobao Maker Festival for young Chinese entrepreneurs to show their products. This year, Alibaba included real estate NFTs in its lineup. Chinese artist Heshan Huang worked with Web3 Games and NEAR Protocol to create virtual building NFTs, including ten luxury single-family villas, 300 high-end units, and 1,000 parasols within the virtual Bu Tu Garden Community. Bu Tu Garden Community is part of Huang’s ‘Toorich City Series’ NFT collection. Because China is against digital currencies, interested buyers won’t pay in cryptocurrency; so, customers will need to purchase at the Taobao website and pay in yuan.
Polygon Studios To Push On Blockchain Gaming And NFTs
Polygon has launched Polygon Studios. Polygon Studios’ goal is to attract brands and franchises into launching games and NFTs. Polygon Studios will be divided into two sections: Polygon Gaming Studios, which will help developers create blockchain-enabled gaming, and Polygon NFT Studio to support custom NFT models and marketplaces development.
Tom Brady’s NFT Platform Partners With Lionsgate And DraftKings
Tom Brady’s NFT Platform, Autograph, signed partnerships with entertainment company Lionsgate and sports betting firm DraftKings. Tom Brady also announced he signed exclusive NFT deals with iconic sports stars such as Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, and Tony Hawk. DraftKings’ digital marketplace will sell Autograph’s NFT content. Lionsgate’s digital collectible content will be released on Autograph, featuring NFTs linked to film franchises such as “John Wick,” the “Twilight” saga, “Dirty Dancing,” and also TV series “Mad Men.”
Apple Receives An Official Patent For XR Headset With A Dynamic Focus 3D Display
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent related to a mixed reality (XR) headset with a Dynamic Focus 3D Display that projects images directly into the retina. This new system will scan the images, pixel by pixel, into the user’s retina, instead of conventional virtual reality systems. Apple’s new project will allow objects and surfaces to appear at different distances in a scene to be projected to the subject’s eyes at the correct depths. Apple’s invention is to overcome the accommodation-convergence issue in augmented reality and virtual reality systems.
Country of Georgia Releases Wines As NFTs
The eastern European country of Georgia partnered with Norwegian-based blockchain platform WiV Technology to release Georgian wine as NFTs for reaching a wider audience. The country’s objective with this partnership is to bring its wine to a broader audience and lift its reputation. WiV Technology will mint the wine’s NFT and will also help Georgia’s National Wine Agency to develop a quality assurance system.
Steve Jobs’ Handwritten Job Application Is Now An NFT
Steve Jobs’ 1973 handwritten job application is up for auction in print and as an NFT version. Jobs wrote the job application after dropping out of Reed College and three years before he found Apple. The auction website is selling a genuine copy and the NFT version to see which fetches a higher price. London-based entrepreneur Olly Joshi organized the auction which is set to close on July 28.
Dolce & Gabbana Reveals Alta Moda NFT Collection
Dolce & Gabbana is joining the NFT world, revealing DGGenesi, an Alta Moda or high fashion NFT exclusive collection in partnership with luxury marketplace UNXD. The D&G NFT collection premiered at the August 28 Alta Sartoria and Alta Gioelleria shows in Italy.
Wolf3D Announces New Avatars Hub
The studio behind Ready Player Me, Wolf 3D has added a Hub to bring your avatar to 260 XR games and apps. Now players can create their custom avatars with hairstyles, skin tones, facial features, and clothing that they will be able to travel between video games, virtual reality experiences, and other applications using a single virtual identity. Wolf3D removes the need to create a new avatar for every new application or video game. Users now can sign in with Ready Player Me and participate in many platforms with the same 3D avatar around the Metaverse. Ready Player Me is currently working with online social platform VRChat, streaming app LIV.tv, virtual reality game store SideQuest, and social platform Koji.
UK Startup Seeks To “Invade’ Other Metaverses Via Use of Tokens
The UK-based startup vEmpire DDAO went out of stealth this week and became only the fourth protocol out of 450 to be included on Unicrypts Incubated ILO Launchpad. According to vEmpire, they aim to be the first platform to offer “DeFi esque” staking for Metaverse tokens, such as MANA & SAND. According to Dominic Ryder, vEmpire’s CEO, the company plans on using the metaverse tokens staked onto its platform to “Invade” Decentraland and other protocols by continuously purchasing and reinvesting LAND & NFT profits while paying a yearly yield (APY) to token owners in VEMP. They plan to launch their vEmpire Gamer Token (VEMP) at the end of August.
Animoca Brands Inaugurates NFT Accelerator
Animoca Brands and global venture accelerator Brinc have inaugurated Launchpad Luna, a new accelerator program to identify, mentor, and invest in promising blockchain and NFT startups that are driven into digitalization. Launchpad Luna will also accept high-potential startups seeking to adopt blockchain and NFTs into their core business. The admission to the program will prioritize climate-conscious projects driven into that emphasize proof-of-stake protocols and sidechains instead of proof-of-work and that have lower overall physical footprints. These startups will benefit from funding up to $500,000 and end-to-end support. The new accelerator has support from various mentors and corporate partners, such as AppWorks, Blockparty, Dapper Labs, Binance, Mindfund, The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget, and Virtually Human Studio.
Decentraland Hosted “To The Moon” Music And Arts Festival
As part of the official Decentraland Art Week, NFT marketplace KnownOrigin partnered with NFT curator Illumino, and Metaverse creative agency BEAR NFT collaborated to produce “To The Moon” Music and Art Festival at the KnownOrigin Headquarters in Decentraland on July 11, 2021. The event featured musical performances and an NFT collection created by BEAR NFT’s sister company Confidential Creative. Over 700 fans attended the festival and received a proof of attendance protocol that attendees can show off in their Decentraland profile. In addition, a selection of four exclusive wearables designed for the festival was available for the attendees to purchase and use to accessorize their avatars.
Genvid Holdings Raised $113 Million For Massive Interactive Live Events
Genvid Holdings, the parent of Genvid Technologies, raised $113 Million in Series C funding to fuel Massive Interactive Live Events (MILEs). Massive Interactive Live Events are a new kind of interactive experience. Genvid produced Rival Peak, an online presentation on Facebook where spectators could determine the fates of 12 artificial intelligence characters who competed against each other. The success of Rival Peak inspired a new business where Genvid will become a publisher of massive interactive live events in the future. Up next is Project Raven, which features young adults stuck in a wood cabin, and zombies chasing them. In this horror, part show, and game, the audience can decide the fates of both humans and zombies. Project Raven’s official trailer is available on Genvid Technologies’ YouTube channel.
This edition of Metaverse Weekly was created with Rob Crasco’s assistance.