Snap and Amazon Fashion partner to create a seamless AR Shopping Experience. (Snap Inc.)

Snap Partners With Amazon and Ozzy Osbourne Plays the Metaverse

Our weekly eye on the charts, a look at big movements from the Polygon network, a new initiative from the XR Association, Ozzy Osbourne and Kenan Thompson appear in virtual worlds, Snap partners with Amazon, and a new opensource project steps up to fill the hole in our hearts and headsets left by the sunsetting of Firefox Reality a few years back.

Eye on the Charts

Despite early internet hype after last week’s crypto climb, markets were unable to maintain the upward momentum that they enjoyed and prices are trending down again. However, they do remain above the lows of the middle of last month. BTC is down around two percent but remains above $20k, while ETH is down around one percent, but remains above $2.5k.

Also worth noting, classic memecoin DOGE is up nearly 70 percent, no doubt following Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. MATIC, the native token of the Polygon Network also saw a 10 percent jump toward the end of the week and has since stabilized around $.95 per token. Why? Not sure, really.

‘Interoperability by Default

One potential reason for the MATIC pump: Ethereum-based browser wallet MetaMask announced a partnership with HyperPlay, a “web3-native game launcher” that will now bring MetaMask into games launched through the platform. A partnership between Polygon and Meta will also mean the ability to directly mint NFTs from Instagram

Why does this matter for MATIC? One of the main use cases for the token is in blockchain-enabled games. The idea is extremely promising in theory, but in practice it’s the biggest pain in the internet since dialup. If this partnership helps to iron it out, or even help to convey to gamers where and why it’s worthwhile, it could do a lot for the project.

Snap and Amazon

Meta isn’t the only XR-centric social network making big plays in emerging tech. This week Snap announced a partnership to help users try on Amazon products from home. Snap has been playing in this area for a while, but a lot of the partnerships have been big-name collaborations with luxury fashion brands — largely out-of-budget for much of the platform’s usership.

The move also bodes well for Amazon. For one of the world’s largest online retailers with no brick-and-mortar locations at all, the company has been weirdly behind the times when it comes to exploring things like virtual try-on.

XR for All

The XR Association announced “XR for All” at their Limitless Futures conference which took place in Georgia this week. The new initiative is dedicated to “supporting the development of a diverse and equitable workforce for the immersive technology industry.” The founding board include two members of the XRA, as well as members from Unity, Microsoft, Meta, and Accenture.

Big Names in the Metaverse

Next week is the second annual Metaverse Music Festival in the Decentraland virtual world. The lineup reportedly includes Soulja Boy and Ozzy Osbourne among others. Some are hailing this performance by the Prince of Darkness as a return of “Ozzfest.”

While you get amped up for that, you can see Kenan Thompson on Failed to Render — a live comedy show that takes place in Altspace. The show has been gaining momentum for a while now, but having Thompson make an appearance is definitely a historical event. Some younger readers may remember Thompson from SNL, but he has been in sketch comedy since he was a teenager on Nickelodeon.

A New Option for Browsing the Immersive Web

The Wolvic Browser held a live launch event Thursday. The opensource XR browser has close historical links to the Firefox Reality XR browser that went dark a few years back, leaving some headsets without a web browser.

Some stand-alone headset manufacturers including Meta created their own immersive browsers, which brings technical hiccups as well as security concerns. Other headset manufacturers including Pico never meaningfully addressed the hole that Firefox Reality left in all markets. Wolvic is not currently available on all headsets, but it does offer a potential solution to this important problem.