Our eye on the charts, Yuga Labs minting NFTs on Bitcoin, MetaMask in the Unity Asset Store, POPULATION:ONE becoming free to play, Fast Company’s look at XR, and news in brief from Cathy Hackl, Mighty Coconut, Decentraland, and many others!
An Eye on the Charts
Major tokens ended last week on a steep fall. While they regained some of their value throughout the week going forward, they failed to completely recover, leaving them slightly down on the week. BTC remains well above $23k and ETH is hanging onto $1.6k.
Other tokens followed a similar trajectory, with Hedera, ApeCoin, Polkadot, and Polygon all down over 10%.
Both Eyes on NFTs?
There has been a recent interest in Bitcoin-based NFTs. While possible, Bitcoin-based NFTs lack a number of the abilities and features of Ethereum-based NFTs, in part because Ethereum has a more agile protocol that has been altered numerous times to work in different kinds of NFT tokens. That doesn’t mean that no one is interested. NFT giant Yuga Labs recently announced a 300-piece art collection minted on Bitcoin. Because why not?
MetaMask Makes Milestone with Unity
A MetaMask SDK is now in the Unity Asset Store. MetaMask pumped this because it will make it easier for game developers to integrate their blockchain wallet. Microtransactions and in-game items have always been promising use cases for cryptocurrencies and NFTs; however, there is likely more to it than that. A growing number of immersive productivity apps for things like remote work are also created with Unity. While these may not be huge marketplaces for NFTs and Ethereum transactions, thinking about a MetaMask wallet as an identity verification tool for these applications is certainly interesting.
Meta Unlocks Popular Game
Speaking of gaming and monetization, POPULATION: ONE will be free to play starting next week. The game brought the battle royale model to VR, while introducing “vertical combat” systems encouraging players to take to new heights. One running theory is that Meta, who owns the game’s developer, will make more money off of in-game purchases if the game is free — a strategy identical to games like Fortnite. One might also wonder if the move is somewhat conciliatory after the company’s recent announcement that the popular free-to-play arena game Echo VR will lose support this summer.
Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in AR and VR
Fast Company released the 2023 list of the 10 most innovative companies in augmented and virtual reality. The list includes some repeat mentions and “usual suspects” including Meta (number 3) and Niantic (number 6).
The list also includes some newer entries that are innovating how and where we use these technologies. For example, Rendever (debuting at number 7) uses XR to improve the quality of life for seniors.
News in Brief
- Cathy Hackl launched the VerseLuxe fashion label, starting with jewelry linked to NFTs via NFC chips.
- Walkabout Minigolf announced a new DLC package coming out next week. Called “UpsideTown,” the new map and content is built around a gravity-defying citscape.
- Smart device maker Xiaomi announced AR glasses that wirelessly connect to a smartphone. The glasses are only a “concept design” so there are no release dates or price ranges so far.
- Metaverse Fashion Week is returning to Decentraland.
- The Third Annual Polys WebXR Awards are this weekend.
- Speaking of WebXR, web-based virtual world platforms Frame and Spatial both announced updates. Frame’s primarily focuses on tools for worldbuilders and administrators, while Spatial’s mainly focuses on avatar navigation and interaction.
- Zappar released a framework for AR success based on “The 5 Cs,” which is available as a free PDF download.
- Virtual real estate platform SuperWorld has a new referral program that rewards users when their friends buy in.
- The VR/AR Association is looking for speakers for its healthcare symposium coming in September