The hype of the moment is the metaverse. A feature that creates a virtual world that replicates reality through digital devices, allowing interaction between the online and offline worlds. It looks like something from a science fiction movie, but it is a reality that is closer and closer to our daily lives. Games like Roblox and Fortnite, in which gamers interact with the entire world through customizable avatars, are considered small demonstrations of the metaverse’s potential. Fortnite has even performed in-game artist shows using avatars, such as rapper Travis Scott.
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Giants like Facebook and Microsoft have already stated that they are working on developing metaverse products using features such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, NFT (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain. This year Microsoft launched Mesh, a service that enables hologram meetings and works with HoloLens, mixed reality glasses. Facebook is already testing the Horizon Workrooms, an app used in the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headsets, which allows people to enter virtual offices as avatars and participate in real-time meetings – innovations focused on the post-pandemic corporate world.
The theme is also on the rise in markets other than big tech, such as fashion and advertising, especially after the expressive growth of the digital sector in the last year and a half. In 2021, the Gucci brand launched a digital sneaker using augmented reality. Named The Virtual 12, the piece, which cost between US$9 and US$12 in the brand’s app, generated a lot of buzz in the market. O Boticário created a virtual concept store in the game Avakin Life, where players exchanged points for “BotCoins” that were transformed into in-game rewards, and Yahoo Creative Studios, from Yahoo, developed an extended reality experience for the Beefeater brand, from Pernod Ricard, which allowed the user to know, in an ad, and interactively, the new gin packaging.
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Fortnite: a of the biggest stages for actions in the metaverse (Image: Disclosure/Epic Games)
Also this year, Havaianas auctioned its first NFT collection, developed in partnership with designer and artist Adhemas Batista. In fact, NFT has been the main gateway for brands into the world of the metaverse. McDonald’s promoted in France a campaign that raffled four NFTs to the winners in the shape of the icons of the fast-food chain. Taco Bell replicated its tacos in the form of NFT and Pizza Hut created a pixel slice. Nike has developed digital versions of its physical footwear and Louis Vuitton has used the technology to track the provenance of its products (combating counterfeiting of items).
Countless examples that show the many opportunities interaction and, mainly, business that the metaverse universe tends to provide. With the advancement of the Internet of Things from 5G, when everything we do digitally is fully connected, technological advances and easier access to virtual reality devices, this technology will become more and more part of our daily lives, of going to work or school to shopping and interacting with friends. A new world that is getting closer to us.
*Article produced by a columnist exclusively for Canaltech. The text may contain opinions and analyzes that do not necessarily reflect Canaltech’s view on the subject.
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