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Rockford businesses prepare to move into the Metaverse

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people began shifting to shopping and work online, leading some companies to begin preparing for an eventual move into the “Metaverse” – or virtual reality.

“If I’d imagined this technology when I was younger, it would have been the stuff of science fiction, to put a headset on and be able to interact with environments,” said Ged Trias, the director of design at Larson & Darby Group, 4949 Harrison Ave.

Trias says virtual reality allows his team to build a project in virtual reality before embarking on real-world construction, and saving costs.

“They can see how that space is actually going to feel and look when they put the headset on and we can kind of have a more interactive session with them,” he said. “By moving things around with them in real-time, moving a wall around or changing a paint color, changing a carpet color.”

Trias says virtual reality technology has enhanced his company’s work and made it more cost-efficient.

“I think it has some amazing possibilities, in terms of allowing us to reach a larger audience, to be able to communicate at a global scale, without all the issues usually associated with that, like travel,” he said.

Facebook’s parent company recently rebranded itself as Meta, and plans on getting heavily involved with virtual reality in the future. The company already acquired Oculus and markets its VR headsets.

Meta held a workshop in Rockford on Friday to introduce local businesses to the platform, which allows users to interact with virtual 3D environments, objects, and other people, via avatars.

Lori Moylan, public policy manager for Meta, says the technology will change the way people will shop and socialize online.

“You can imagine doing shopping and things in virtual reality, visiting stores, and going to concerts and doing tours, and things like that,” she said.

Moylan says Meta wants to encourage businesses to start preparing for the Metaverse, which she says is expected to become the defacto platform of commerce and social media in the future.



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Walmart signals metaverse plans with trademark applications around virtual goods, NFTs

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Dive Brief:

  • Walmart filed a series of trademark applications late last month that indicate the retailer has bigger plans for the metaverse, including through the development of cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). CNBC first spotted the batch of documents that were submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 30.
  • The applications, of which there are seven in total, encompass concepts like “virtual goods” across product categories such as furniture, toys and sporting gear, along with downloadable software for managing cryptocurrency portfolios or establishing an electronic wallet.
  • Games and other services powered by augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology also make appearances. The news suggests the metaverse could play a significant role in Walmart’s strategy as the big-box brand centers more of its business around the digital world.

Dive Insight:

Walmart isn’t the first marketer to show budding interest in the metaverse, but a potentially substantial push to build out its offerings could go a long way in sparking more mainstream adoption of technologies that are foundational to the channel, including cryptocurrencies. The big-box store is the largest retailer in the world, reaching a massive audience of shoppers, and rivals may follow Walmart’s lead in ramping up their bets lest they lose an early-mover advantage in a market some view as the next evolution of the internet.

That said, many metaverse-related technologies like NFTs haven’t served a purpose in marketing beyond one-off stunts or generating some headlines. But the broader vision of what the metaverse could eventually become is appealing to companies like Walmart, with shared virtual realms acting as a venue for customers to try out experiences and products and eventually make purchases of digital goods as they look to customize their online avatars and living spaces. Though businesses clearly smell an opportunity, consumers haven’t quite come around to the idea, even as categories like gaming provide a loose sense of what’s possible in the metaverse.

Some groundwork has already been laid for Walmart’s metaverse approach. Last year, it began seeking a digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead, following in Amazon’s footsteps. Recent executive changes point to a possible strategy switch-up. Longtime merchandising chief Scott McCall is retiring, Bloomberg reported, while Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside — a key player in rounding out Walmart’s e-commerce playbook — will depart in March.

Walmart dipping its toes in the metaverse could support other ventures that are important to staying competitive in retail. In 2020, it introduced its long-awaited Walmart+ e-commerce portal meant to tackle the growing threat of Amazon Prime. Several of the trademark applications were also made under Walmart Connect, the marketer’s fledgling advertising business. Walmart has quickly built out the unit as the demand for retail media soars during the pandemic and packaged goods brands seek alternative targeting methods to cookies, which are being phased out next year.

Other marketers are more firmly planting their metaverse flags. Nike in December acquired RTFKT, a digital studio that designs virtual collectibles like NFTs. The sportswear marketer also recently established Nikeland, an interactive experience inside the Roblox gaming platform that lets visitors participate in activities like dodgeball and trying on virtual apparel.



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Is the Metaverse Ready for a Metaphysical ART CLUB?

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Public Mint opens at the price of 0.333 Ethereum. The project has opened an Early Mint Allow List with Limited Spots available, which allows minting 1 day early on January 22, 2022.  Registration is Required for Early Mint. Registration can be found at: https://456collectorsclub.com/public-mint-early-access-registration

Zevi G is a prolific and steadfast artist who uses his studio to bring unanticipated creations to life. In a world where love, unity and kindness have become a scarce commodity, Zevi is determined to make a change using his art and many compelling characters to spread this powerful message.

The 456 Collector’s Club by Zevi G is a collection of 4,560 unique algorithmically created NFTs featuring characters from Zevi G’s signature series “456 Land”. Holders become members of an exclusive Art Club and continually unlock redeemable artwork in intervals as the community grows, get access to future community events, and digital experiences.

Zevi G was never intimidated by his underprivileged and very orthodox upbringing, on the contrary, that became the very essence of his strength and will, to turn his life around and reach others with positive and relevant messages. Each 456 Land sculpture comes with its own personality and features different traits such as the angel with its thin legs and wings, or the soldier with its buff chest. The childlike characters with eyes full of wonder appear as a musician, a roofer, a jeweler, a guitarist; a world of references and emotional memories that is personal and reflects on the artist’s past.

456 Club holders get Utility. After holding for 1-month owners can claim a 1×1 print of the exact NFT they own. After holding for 4-months holders will be able to redeem a 7 in. by 7 in. Namaste Sculpture in the corresponding color of their NFT. There are 10 different colors available with some colors more limited than others. Each sculpture will feature an NFC chip that provides the owner with continual digital experiences and helps pair the physical item with the NFT.

Anyone who mints 3 or more NFTs is entered into a raffle for a 5 ft. Diamond Hands Bronze Sculpture valued at $175,000.

Each NFT is a raffle ticket to win a 26-inch Diamond Hands Resin sculpture valued at $10,000 – 5 winners total (3 white, 2 Blue).

Join the conversation on Discord to learn more about additional giveaways!

Mint a 456 Collectors Club NFT to join the club and become a member is the first community to dedicate its purpose to spreading the message of love and unity through physical and digital art. Register for Early Access.

Related Links

Website: http://456collectorsclub.com
OpenSea: https://opensea.io/collection/456-collectors-club-v2
Twitter: http://twitter.com/456_club
Instagram: http://instagram.com/zevigart
456 Land: http://zevigart.com
Discord: https://discord.com/invite/456collectorsclub

SOURCE 456 Collector’s Club





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Video Walmart steps into metaverse to sell virtual goods – ABC News

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