Spatial News™ #008
This week we're all about Augmented Reality in 2021, gamifying fashion, and a decentralized metaverse.
Welcome to the 8th edition of Spatial News™! I was looking for an inspirational quote from an influential entrepreneur, and this one sang to me. “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.” -Robert Kiyosaki, founder Cashflow Technologies Inc. I have no idea what 2022 will bring, but, at this rate, even realer entrepreneurs are bound to emerge.
Hyped-up Thoughts Continued
Thanks to Investor-Operator-Portfolio Entrepreneur Marvin Liao on LinkedIn, I came across a blog written by cryptographer and founder of the Signal app Moxie Marlinspike (I’m pretty sure that’s not his real name, but I could be wrong). In order to understand Web3 better Mr. Marlinspike made some dApps (decentralized applications) and created an NFT. His findings shed more light on the rhumba between centralization and decentralization that I wrote about in last week’s newsletter.
“[W]e should take notice that from the very beginning, these [Web3] technologies immediately tended towards centralization through platforms in order for them to be realized…”
He goes further using OpenSea as an example, stating that if
“the web3 parts are gone… you have a website for buying and selling JPEGS with your debit card.”
“The project can’t start as a web2 platform because of the market dynamics…”
(basically meaning that it needs to be plugged into the crypto-fueled Web3 ecosystem and all that it entails to make and continue to make the crazy amounts of money that it’s been making)
“but the same market dynamics and the fundamental forces of centralization will likely drive it to end up there…”
that is, centralized, despite the utilization of decentralized, Web3 technologies.
1, 2 cha-cha-cha.
Now, if the money flows back into crypto to keep the party going (instead of building the infrastructure to make Web3 something revolutionary, for example)
“it could continue to accelerate forever (regardless of whether or not it’s just web2x2)… If that’s the case, it seems worth thinking about how to avoid web3 being web2x2 (web2 but with even less privacy) with some urgency.”
Dark chocolate, red grapes, and walnuts for thought.
Okay, so we need various forms of centralization to make things faster, cheaper, and easier to use, to ensure better privacy and so on, and if the metaverse is to be built upon the internet, it is inevitable (see Spatial News™ #007). At the same time, we don’t want the megacorps to dominate the space. Instead, we want there to be a mansion with many rooms open and for everyone, where the needs of creators and consumers can be met, which is where decentralization comes in. (See Tony Parisi’s Seven Rules of the Metaverse.) Does decentralization require blockchain though?
Around since 2007 and still in active use, the open-source project called OpenSimulator can provide a peek into what a decentralized metaverse could look like, even without blockchain technology.
“OpenSimulator has also long offered ways for users to jump from one virtual world (or “grid”) to another, keeping their avatars and possessions intact.”
I’ve never heard of it before, but consider my curiosity piqued. Thanks to Dr. Heather Dodds for bringing this to my attention (via LinkedIn, as per usual).
To sum up my hyped up thoughts for this week, while Web3 and the metaverse are having dinner, maybe drinking some organic wine with no added sulfites, and engaging in playful banter, it’s too early to tell how serious this relationship will get. (I’m not even sure what the metaverse’s relationship with the internet will be like. Maybe we’ll communicate telepathically via a network of extraterrestrial fungi like Tade Thompson’s Rosewater trilogy.)
And because #008 is already shaping up to be like #007 part 2, let’s also welcome back Joakim Achrén, Co-Founder of Next Games and investor. In a LinkedIn post from last Friday he wrote:
“Investing in NFTs is risk-wise equivalent to the power law of investing in startups. Few NFT projects will become the "next big things". Most will fail.”
To that I’ll say, ”Well, ya know, for me, the action is the juice.” -Michael Cheritto in Heat
Lightning for Louis Vuitton, Credit: Louis Vuitton & Square Enix
Kelly Vero, game dev, “NFT & Metaverse Weirdo”, and fashion industry insider has started a series to walk you through the manifold layers involved in developing digital for luxury and fashion. It’s an enjoyable read chock-full of goodies like
“The first rule of the digital transformation club is stay within your brand… your end users are looking for a digital version of what they love about your brand.”
This is a series worth following, especially if you want to be a doer that walks between the realms of fashion and gaming.
Tom Emrich, VP of Product at 8th Wall and XR industry insider, has written up an excellent breakdown of how Augmented Reality fared last year. If it’s so that AR and not VR will be the “heart of the metaverse”, as AR pioneer Louis Rosenberg believes, then this is a good way to catch up.
And so we go from AR to Social AR to end things off.
Social AR for Dummies
Tip #3: “Social AR creators are often underestimated in terms of their talents and skills. The majority of filters you see on Instagram can pass by with just basic Photoshop skills and, therefore, it makes an overall impression that social AR is based on graphic design. Whereas, in fact, the more interesting and exciting skills requires a multidisciplinary skillset that includes 3D game design, UX and UI, QA and testing and, finally, development. At the moment, there is a deficit of AR developers because CG graphics and web development used to be completely opposite fields that weren’t connected and now they merge in the field of mobile AR. For example, WebGL-based commits make up only 1% of all commits on GitHub.”
Social AR for Dummies will briefly go on hiatus. We’ll be bringing you more tips in the near future so stay tuned.
Thanks for joining us at the Spatial News™ desk. Feedback is like a pile of walnuts placed in an obstacle course created by an industrious YouTuber in the middle of his backyard to test the cleverness and skill of the neighbourhood squirrels. Thank you for reading, and, remember, you are spatial!
P.S. Don’t forget to take our Future Technologies Usage Survey 2021 for a chance to get some random NFTs!