Space Jam Premieres With NFTs, Buffalo London Collabs With The Fabricant, Harry Potter Store Gets New VR Experiences, American Express Gets Into NFTs


Even though we took a short summer break, metaverse-related news didn’t slow down. Metaverse Weekly is now back to its regular schedule and you can expect every Sunday. This edition includes news from brands like Zoom, Barclays, Twitter, Brookfield Properties, Roblox, Sony Music and more.

Space Jam Brings A New Legacy: NFTs

In 1996 Space Jam brought fans fast food meal toys and collectible cards. Now, Space Jam: A New Legacy brings NFTs. The launch of Space Jam: A New Legacy NFTs happened on Nifty’s and was financially supported by Dapper Labs and Samsung Next. Any person registered at Nifty’s would receive a free NFT and the opportunity to purchase any of the 91,000 Space Jam NFTs that have been minted for the launch of the movie. The Space Jam: A New Legacy NFTs have been sold out by now, and hopefully, a new collection will be released soon. 

South Korea Launches Metaverse

SK Telecom launched a “metaverse” virtual environment and looked forward to transforming it into a forum for collaborations. The virtual environment is known as “Ifland,” which offers users to visit 18 different virtual spaces surrounded by conference halls, outdoor stages, and rooftops that can hold 190 participants. Users can choose a wide variety of virtual avatars with 800 customizable virtual items such as costumes and hairstyles. Also, avatars can express their feelings by choosing 66 emotional expressions. Sk Telecom is looking forward to increasing the number of participants who can share a virtual room. Now the collaboration is restricted only by sharing PDF documents and MP4 video files. 

Barclaycard And Capital Launch AR-Powered Campaign

Barclaycard and media group Global are promoting the “Capital up close with Barclaycard” campaign featuring pop singer Anne-Marie. The campaign offers outdoor, radio, digital audio and interactive 3D AR experiences to generate expectation and publicity ahead of the first live event on Wednesday July 28. From July 12, users can hold their smartphone cameras up to a “Capital up close” ad on a Global billboard that will unlock Anne-Marie inviting to the live music event and how anyone can win tickets to the event hosted at London’s Under The Bridge venue. The AR activation will also be available as an Instagram interactive filter to radio station Capital’s followers. The AR experience was built with WebAR technology where Anne-Marie’s digital twin was captured using volumetric video technology. 

Wyoming Approved The First Legally Recognized DAO In The United States

Wyoming is becoming a crypto pioneer. The American CryptoFed DAO was recognized as a legal entity by Wyoming’s Secretary of State’s office. Mobile banking solutions provider mSHIFT created the American CryptoFed DAO. CryptoFed DAO looks to facilitate fee-free transactions by the Ducat, CryptoFed DAO’s token.  The Ducat is based on EOS, a third-generation blockchain established on the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithm (DPoS) to achieve high-speed transactions at low power consumption. The DAO also released a governance token called Locke, which stabilizes the Ducat token. The American CryptoFed DAO issued both tokens in consent with the Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0. Wyoming became the first state to pass legislation into law recognizing DAOs as a distinct form of limited liability companies. 

NICE Establishes A Robo Ethical Framework For Applying AI To Customer Service

AI-powered interaction analytics company NICE, which stands for Neptune Intelligence Computer Engineering, published an ethical framework for applying AI to customer service. NICE is a provider of the Robotic Process Automation  (RPA) platform immersed with machine learning algorithms employed in call centers. NICE’s mission is to guide how best to operate robots alongside humans in a call center environment without replacing humans. The guiding principles for the framework are: Robots must be designed for a positive impact, robots must be free of bias, robots must safeguard individuals, trusted data sources must drive robots, and robots must be designed with holistic governance and control. NICE includes a copy of this framework with every license of its Robotic Process Automation platform that it sells. 

Zoom Acquires AI Translation German-Based Company Kites

Videoconferencing Company Zoom announced the acquisition of Kites GmbH, a startup developer of AI-powered language translation technologies in real-time.  The terms of the deal are not publicly known. Kites’ team will remain in Karlsruhe, Germany, working with Zoom’s engineering team to build translation features for Zoom users. Kites provides to deliver leading translation accuracy with low latency. Kites offers transcripts, and translated texts appear in real-time before speakers can finish their sentences. It self-corrects if it identifies a better interpretation after additional context. Its system has an error rate of about 5%, with nearly a one-second delay behind a person’s speech. 

Marvel Fans, Assemble. NFTs Collectibles Are Coming

Marvel Entertainment announced a new collaboration with digital collectibles company Orbis Blockchain Technologies Limited to build and launch NFT digital collectibles through Orbis’ mixed reality app, VeVe. Marvel fans will purchase and interact with Marvel NFT collectibles like 3D statues and digital comic books. The VeVe app is now available on iOS and Android allowing users to buy “Gems,” Marvel’s currency, for buying and selling official Marvel NFT collectibles with others at VeVe’s secondary marketplace. Users will be able to display their collection through customizable virtual showrooms. 

Design And Mint Your Sneakers With Cryptokickers

Cryptokickers launched Sole Selector, a new platform that allows users to design and mint their own NFTs sneakers on the Solana blockchain. Users can select between many styles for laces, soles, and accessories, customizing colors and patterns. The sneakers’ price will be around from $50 to $150 per pair, depending on the customization level and Solana’s SOL token price. Since launching, 364 pairs of NFT sneakers have been minted with the Sole Selector platform earning a total of 590 SOL (US$19,930) approximately. Cryptokickers’ vision is to soon these sneakers can be avatar-wearable.

Roblox Partners With Sony Music

Roblox announced its partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, an opportunity for both companies to work together to create music experiences for the Roblox community. Also, there are opportunities for Sony Music artists to reach new audiences and generate revenue. Roblox and Sony Music Entertainment have been working together on previous projects, such as the first virtual concert with Lil Nas X in 2020 and in May 2021, the Zara Larsson Launch Party. Both companies are looking forward to expanding commercial opportunities to merge music and gaming. 

VR Experience “Madrid Noir” Now Available In Oculus Quest

“Madrid Noir” is a 45-minute mystery adventure that unfolds with a young woman called Lola as she searches for her missing uncle, who has been declared dead. Real-time creative animation studio No Ghost and VR/AR immersive experiences company Atlas V developed and produced “Madrid Noir” with the direction of James A. Castillo. “Madrid Noir” has been premiered at the Tribecca Film Festival 2021 and Annecy Film Festival 2021. The film is now available at the Oculus Store, and the official trailer features Madrid Noir’s Youtube channel. 

Sensorium Galaxy Welcomes Charlotte De Witte To PRISM World

Sensorium Galaxy is bringing a series of exclusive VR shows within the metaverse’s virtual PRISM venue. Sensorium Galaxy has teamed up with David Guetta, Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren, Black Coffee, and Eric Prydz. The next artist added to the lineup is the Belgian techno artist Charlotte de Witte. The performance will include AI avatars, unique aerial perspectives, and interactive experiences, making a lifetime show. A sneak peek of Charlotte de Witte’s show is available on Sensorium Galaxy’s Youtube channel.   

Budweiser Signed On As VaynerNFT’s Flagship Client

Gary Vaynerchuk launched VaynerNFT, a consultancy to help brands plan, strategize, and execute NFT strategies. Budweiser has already signed on as a flagship client of VaynerNFT. Budweiser is looking forward to inviting influencers and fans to join innovating experiences with them, bringing NFTs to life. VaynerNFT will work with Budweiser and other clients to educate them on NFTs’ potential for marketing and launch plan strategies for long-term NFT projects. Also, VaynerNFT will help brands choose a correct blockchain, build a community around NFTs, generate a PR strategy to grow excitement, and connect brands with vendors towards generating revenue from royalties. VaynerNFT is being lead by Avery Akkineni.

Kernel And Aim Lab Partner To Introduce Brain-Computer Interface To Esports

California-based neuroscience startup Kernel announced its second commercial partnership with Statespace, creator of Aim Lab, a training platform for eSports and video gaming. This partnership seeks to support Kernel’s Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) for performance improvement. The kernel startup contains two brain interface helmets, “Flow” and “Flux.” Kernel’s Flow helmet captures high-fidelity neural activity at record-breaking spatial and temporal resolutions enabling Aim Lab players real-time access to brain data which can be used to measure, track, and improve performance.  An upcoming event will launch the partnership where professional gamers will wear Kernel Flow while playing and training with Aim Lab. 

Superworld Hosts “Digital See” NFT Exhibition For Flint Water Festival

Augmented reality virtual world platform Superworld announced its partnership and participation with Flint Water Festival, dedicated to raising funds and awareness for safe water to communities affected by water crisis through charitable presentations. Superworld hosts the first AR Art Walk and social NFT exhibition called “Digital See” for the Festival. In the Exhibition, renowned local and international artists like Krista Kim, Marja Moghaddam, Isiah Lattimoore, and others will participate with its NFT artworks. The Festival began on July 2, 2021, at Flint’s historic Berston Field House with interactive activities and live music, along with Superworld’s NFT AR art drop, which showcased ten pieces that festival attendees could access through a QR Code and the Superworld app. “Digital See” is a free event starting on July 3, 2021, and will run through July 31, 2021. 

Metaverse ETF Lets You Invest In The Future Of Internet

Futurist and investor Matthew Ball and Jacob Navok, CEO of Genvid Technologies with registered investment advisors and exchange-traded fund (ETF) sponsor, Roundhill Investments, have launched The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF. The ETF allows people invest in companies making the metaverse happen now, or are situated to do so in the future.  People can invest in the companies listed in the stock, focusing on seven categories: virtual platforms, computing, networking, hardware, interchange tools and standards, payment services, and content services and assets. The mix of companies is managed by The Ball Metaverse Index, managed by Ball Metaverse Research Partners, and the ETF is designed to offer investors exposure to the metaverse by tracking before fees and expenses. 

 Artist Brings Lobsteropolis To Decentraland Metaverse

The British Neo-Pop Surrealist Artist Philip Colbert, sometimes referred to as the “Godson of Andy Warhol,” has taken his unique art style and Lobster alter ego to the metaverse. Philip Colbert is known for his lobster art and inaugurated Lobster Land with “Lobsteropolis” and “Lobster Land Museum” on the Decentraland Metaverse. Lobsteropolis City includes a gallery, museum, record shop, university, live concert venue, bank, coffee shops, and more, all in Colbert’s unique style. 

The ARIA Network Partners With Brookfield Properties And the MLBPAA 

Brookfield Properties is partnering with The Aria Network to offer augmented reality advertising inventory throughout its shopping centers nationwide. The deal gives The Aria Network exclusive rights to Brookfield Properties’ virtual air space, covering more than 150 million square feet in 100-plus locations across 42 states. Brookfield properties seek to appeal to tenants, brands, and guests from its shopping centers to create “phygital” advertising experiences. Other features include virtual mall directories, wayfinding in mall environments, immersive retail displays, touch-free transactions, and more. ARIA Exchange, The ARIA Network’s NFT exchange, also announced its partnership with Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA), to offer unique NFTs in tribute to the contributions of baseball legend players in sports today through game moments and personal experiences.

 Twitter Launches NFT Giveaway

On June 30, Social media platform Twitter posted: “140 free NFTs for 140 of you, besties,” referring to Twitter’s initial 140 character limit. Twitter has created a set of 7 NFTs, 20 copies each for a total of 140, viewable on the Rarible platform. The NFTs take the form of short video loops related to the platform. For example, “Building Characters” commemorates the tweet characters’ limit transition from 140 to 280. Twitter is currently randomly giving away the NTFs to anyone who replies to the original tweet about the release. However, some of these are already being resold on Rarible for thousands of dollars.

 Talewind Raises $800K To Develop Games For Roblox

 Talewind CEO started the company after working with Supersocial to launch Ghostopia on Roblox and being impressed with the ease of launch vs. mobile. The $800,000 will be used to expand the studio and support future games on Roblox. The companies first game Breezy Bay described as Animal Crossing meets Runescape, is “coming soon.”

Buffalo London Collab On Digital NFT Sneakers

The 90s cult footwear brand Buffalo London & digital fashion house The Fabricant revealed their new customizable and multi-layered virtual sneaker. To help popularize the release, a public QR code lets customers try on the shoe in augmented reality.

Mintable Raises $13 Million

Mintable has raised $13M in Series A funding from blockchain/NFT brands Ripple Labs, Animoca Brands, Metapurse, and Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer. The funds are to be used to expand Mintable’s operations and assist with new acquisitions and growth.

 American Express Launches NFTs

American Express is entering into NFTs and has started with images of “Good Days” R&B singer SZA, who was recently featured in a virtual concert hosted by the credit card company. Amex is selling 14 NFTs presenting the singer’s performance. NFT developer Fanaply sold the first 10 NFTs to concert attendees, and the other four were put on sale on July 12, 2021, to Amex cardholders. The first drop sold out. American Express intends to launch more NFTs in the future where users can gain crypto rewards on purchases. 

Harry Potter Store Introduces Two VR Experiences

Be a Hogwarts student, cast a spell with your wand, and fly on a broom! Harry Potter Store in New York introduced two location-based VR experiences developed by WarnerMedia in collaboration with Wevr, Keylight, and Dreamscape immersive. People can choose between  “Chaos at Hogwarts” to help out Dobby after accidentally releasing magic creatures by casting spells; or “Wizards Take Flight,” where people can join Hagrid’s best flying skills by battling Death Eaters through the skies. Each experience can be enjoyed by six players simultaneously. 

First Virtual Reality Water Slide Opens In The Poconos

Kalahari Resorts is hosting the first virtual reality waterslide. The resort partnered with Ballast VR to immerse visitors in this experience with a combination of elements where they can choose a space, safari, or dragons ride. Visitors can pick any of these rides, and then the attendant scans the passage into the headset; visitors wear the headsets and finally experience one thrilling adventure for $14.99 per person. 

Animoca Brands Grows Its Crypto Gaming Metaverse With The Walking Dead And NASCAR

Animoca Brands has made this week crucial partnerships to extend its crypto gaming presence. Animoca Brands teamed up with Skybound Entertainment to bring The Walking Dead comic Series into The Sandbox metaverse, which includes developing its characters and assets that players can use to create Walking Dead adventures. This partnership allows participants to purchase virtual real estate with the Walking Dead-related digital content and property. Animoca Brands has also signed up NASCAR champion Joey Logano as its global brand ambassador for the REVV Motorsport ecosystem, promoting their games and NFTs. Joey Logano will be promoting digital content in a REVV-branded driver suit and car, conducting media with meet and greet sessions, performing virtual live streams, and providing autographed products. As part of the agreement, Animoca Brands will create Joey Logano’s NFTs, including his helmet and logo, iconic racing moments, and unique car liveries. 

Rec Room Announces Avatar Update

Social VR platform Rec Room is releasing an avatar update that will allow users to buy more articulated avatar outfits that will add more flexibility to their look in the game. Each full-body animated costume will be created by other players and available for purchase via the platform’s in-game currency. In the coming months, Rec Room is preparing an Android version that will feature cross-play with supported platforms, including iOS devices, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Oculus Quest, and SteamVR-compatible headsets. 

Resolution Games Raises $25 Million

Resolution Games announced it closed a $25 Million Series C funding round, which Qualcomm Ventures and Bitkraft Ventures co-led. This round also includes previous investors such as Initial Capital and Sisu Game Ventures, among others. Resolution Games seeks to use the funding to build up its resources for supporting games like Blaston and Demeo. 

VividQ Raises $15 Million To Scale HoloLCD Technology

VividQ, a UK-based deep-tech startup with technology for rendering holograms on legacy screens, has raised $15 Million in a seed funding extension round to develop its technology for next-generation digital displays and devices. UTokyo IPC led the seed funding extension round and was joined by Foresight Williams Technology, Miyako Capital, APEX Ventures, and the R42 Group VC. The funding will be used to scale VividQ’s HoloLCD technology, which turns consumer-grade screens into holographic displays.

This edition of Metaverse Weekly was written with the help from Rob Crasco.

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