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This Week in the Metaverse: NFT.NYC, Meta’s New VR Headset Prototypes

Things are moving fast in the metaverse and the wider world of Web3 as a whole. Depending on who you ask, this futuristic blockchain-based space is either the next big thing for marketing — and pretty much everything else — or an overrated fad. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

NFT.NYC Takes Over Midtown Manhattan

Thousands of people gathered in New York this week for the fourth annual NFT.NYC, an event designed to bring together some of the best, brightest and most enthusiastic minds in the NFT community. The four-day flash event – June 20-23 – included NFT galleries, Web3 celebrity appearances, exclusive parties and massive digital billboards in Times Square displaying new NFT projects (the number of QR codes oversized digitals competing for attention was a bit overwhelming). The event apparently took place the same week as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – arguably the world’s biggest and most prestigious annual event for marketers – which returned this year after a hiatus. two years due to the pandemic. While Cannes Lions in many ways symbolizes the old guard of creativity, NFT.NYC seems to represent the new.

Meta presents new VR headset prototypes

Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave an online presentation on Monday showcasing the company’s new virtual reality (VR) headset prototypes. The presentation also appears to have demonstrated the considerable distance between the current state of technology and the strange valley of virtual reality – that is, the point at which virtual phenomena seen behind a helmet become almost indistinguishable. of reality (this point is also sometimes called the “visual Turing test”). Zuckerberg showed off four hardware prototypes, some of which look a bit more like desserts than highly sophisticated technological equipment: Butterscotch, Half Dome, Starburst and Holocake 2. There are a number of technical issues, like what some in the VR space call “retinal resolution” – which will need to be overcome before VR graphics become convincingly photorealistic. Each of the prototypes was reportedly designed to solve one of these problems, but we’re apparently a long way from a device that solves them all and is simultaneously compact enough to ship, let alone wear comfortably on one’s face. “There’s still a long way to go,” Zuckerberg said at the end of the presentation, “but I’m excited to bring all of this technology to our products in the years to come.”

Agencies Unveil New Metaverse Activations for Cannes Lions

The Metaverse may still be somewhat esoteric to many marketers, but a growing number have been striving to become pioneers in this growing virtual landscape. This was demonstrated during Cannes Lions this week, where a number of high-profile agencies unveiled new activations designed to, among other things, help their clients get a foothold in the metaverse. McCann Worldgroup, for example, has launched its “MWVerse,” a virtual experience designed in partnership with Meta, which features some of the agency’s work exhibited IRL at the festival, thereby (the agency hopes) reaching a wider audience. Similarly, Wunderman Thompson built “Inspiration Beach,” which the agency describes as “an immersive metaverse activation to celebrate the start of Cannes’ biggest advertising festival.” These activities, designed to coincide with Cannes Lions, follow in the footsteps of other metaverse-based projects from a handful of top advertising agencies.

Amid Potential Crypto Winter and $258 Billion Lawsuit, Musk Says He’ll “Personally Support Dogecoin”

Elon Musk – serial entrepreneur, occasional provocateur and the richest person in the world – reiterated his support for Dogecoin, despite the ongoing crash in the crypto market and a recent $258 billion lawsuit filed against him which alleges that he, along with his companies SpaceX and Tesla, are at the head of a Ponzi scheme designed to drive up the price of Dogecoin and dupe crypto investors. In a virtual interview with Bloomberg during the Qatar Economic Forum earlier this week, Musk said, “I personally intend to support Dogecoin because I just know a lot of people who aren’t that rich who… encouraged me to buy and support Dogecoin. So I respond to these people…when I walked around the factory of SpaceX or Tesla they asked me to support Dogecoin, so I do. (Tesla has started accepting Dogecoin for some of its wares earlier this year, and SpaceX may soon follow suit.) He also said he had “never said that people should invest in crypto”. – a cryptocurrency that started as a joke in 2013 – surged this week after Musk emphasized his support for the coin.

Mini and Fender Make Their Metaverse Debut in Meta’s Horizon Worlds

Meta launched two new virtual activations on its Horizon World VR platform at Cannes Lions earlier this week: one for car brand Mini and another for musical instrument company Fender. The ‘Miniverse’, developed alongside Pereira O’Dell, is a branded racing game that “reinvents that thrilling Go-Kart feel in ways you never thought possible”, according to an online announcement. of Meta. The Fender “Stratoverse,” built in collaboration with R/GA, is described by Meta as “an island-shaped Stratocaster guitar surrounded by floating islands, giant Fender guitar amps, and planets floating above the stratosphere. . its kind of co-play audio experience to create original musical riffs. Like many brand new virtual experiences, the Mini and Fender activations in Horizon Worlds seem designed to mix marketing with gaming in an effort to appeal to younger audiences while simultaneously positioning the brands behind them as forward-thinking. “We couldn’t be happier to have been invited by Meta to bring Fender into the Metaverse for the first time,” Fender chief marketing officer Evan Jones said in a statement. “As a brand, we are committed to enabling all forms of musical expression and are excited about the potential of this technology to allow Fender fans and creators to connect, play and create across borders. , cultures, and from any distance. Collaboration and experimentation are essential ingredients of the musical journey, and we’re excited to see what creators can do with the unlimited potential of the Metaverse and our first Fender Stratovere experience.

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