What is The Metaverse?
Simply put, the Metaverse as a word, and as a technological reality, was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash, and describes the coming together of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) worlds that are accessible by way of headsets and browsers. In this place, filled with metaverse platforms (companies/startups) in several different verticals, users can interact with each other, communicate, play games, buy and sell things, as well as digitally own property and other cool stuff — in fact, those in the Metaverse can do most of the things we all do in our physical world!
What is a Metaverse Platform?
Metaverse platforms are by definition an initiative built for growth within the digital confines of the metaworld. Here, entrepreneurs provide services on some kind of transactional flow based on the bedrock of the technology, which is the blockchain. This can be done by creating content, designing and issuing avatars, trading in virtual real estate, etc, all using (non-fungible tokens) NFTs as the currency of trade.
Why are Metaverse Platforms growing fast?
The obvious answer to why Metaverse platforms are growing so fast comes down to the world in which they sit is developing more quickly than many experts in the space could ever have imagined. Meta’s (Facebook) entry into the Metaverse in late 2021 is a case in point, as when one of the largest companies on earth shifts its focus in the direction of a virtual, decentralized universe, the sheep will follow suit.
Novelty is yet another factor — although crypto and the blockchain have been around for more than a decade, they’re still a black box to most of the global population. NFTs, too — newer on the scene, have that mystery about them. People are interested in knowing what they are; and the experts, more than willing to teach these new recruits how they will change economic practices in the future. Eyeing the commercial value, some of these experts, their acolytes and those smart enough to see between the lines, have started their own metaverse platforms. The trend is set to continue.
How to Start a Metaverse Platform?
A better question here would be can I build my own metaverse? The simple answer is yes, though another thing to consider when building it, is the creator must know that it mustn’t be a closed system, as interoperability — a feature of a product or system that works with other systems or products — is a key characteristic in its design and ultimate essence.
Once the designer understands that, they can choose what it is they want to build for their metaverse platforms– this could either be an actual space (platform) or an app to use within the wider Metaverse universe. After that, metaverse platforms must be designed before the interaction level is implemented, which can come in the form of communication protocols between the users, as well as integration hardware tools and user devices like VR headsets, smart glasses and haptic gloves.
For metaverse platforms to successfully get off the ground include the human factor of determination, intelligence, and having the ability to pivot the direction metaverse platforms are going — all things an entrepreneur in charge of a tech startup requires to go from zero to hero.
The Metaverse Insider will now look at six Metaverse platforms in 2022 (though in the case of NVIDIA it hasn’t been a “project” for almost thirty years). Focused on different verticals, as well as various stages of development, they are an acceptable representation of “Metaverse platforms” in 2022.
At the end of the brief descriptions, we will put our verdict on the project, though this is in no way a vindication or sponsored feature.
A Portland, Oregon-based startup, Madeium was founded by Jesse and Sean Rademacher in 2020 and is the world’s first design decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
Madeium’s highest quality design and trusted partnerships (vetted for professional excellence) ensure its peer-to-peer design network supports the community — gain collective benefits, share resources and access the best Web3 technology.
Madeium is definitely one to look out for in 2022, as its Web3 tools like NFTs, blockchains, and smart contracts are well crafted.
Founded in Paris in 2014 by Jean-Christophe Baillie, Novaquark, the Metaverse Company, is dedicated to bringing people from across the globe together to breathe life into worlds of their own making, one voxel at a time.
Its first game, Dual Universe, showcases the power of voxels. An ambitious, continuous single-shard sandbox MMORPG taking place in a vast, untamed galaxy, Dual Universe focuses on emergent gameplay with a player-driven in-game economy, politics, trade, and warfare.
Novaquark has raised approximately $21.1 million in funding since it was founded and is helping fuel the growth of its expertise in voxel technology.
Novoquark’s shared universe, editable features and the player-driven world are going to make their mark in the Metaverse, for sure.
One of the frontrunners forming the Metaverse, NVIDIA was founded in 1993 by Chris Malachowsky, Curtis Priem, and Jensen Huang. NVIDIA is the inventor of the GPU and was responsible for the growth of the PC gaming market that — with its GeForce 256 (the world’s first GPU) — redefining modern computer graphics, and revolutionizing parallel computing.
As of 2022, NVIDIA is increasingly known as “the AI computing company and is led by original co-founder Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s CEO. After going public in 1999, NVIDIA has raised a total of $4 billion in funding and is definitely one company whose influence on the Metaverse will be seen for years to come.
As a legacy company, there’s obviously not much to say about it, other than — with the likes of other big players like Meta, Decentraland etc — NVIDIA is going to forge its own path in the space, one that leads by example and technological innovation.
MootUp, marketed as “the first Metaverse Virtual Events Platform”, is a Phoenix, Arizona-based startup founded by twenty-year virtual reality veteran Danny Stefanic in 2019.
MootUp’s technology allows for collaboration online, making engagement exciting. Novel features of the platform include being able to jump into a meeting instantly or invite a team member into your personal space. Conference calls with audio, video and text chat are another cool feature, while you can pin documents, share images, video and 3D, decorate your team space together, and customize your own avatar to your own personal taste and style.
One to watch out for, especially as in 2022 avatars are all the rage.
Based in Berlin, Germany, JOURNEE — The Metaverse Company, was founded in 2021 by Thomas Johann Lorenz and Christian Mio Loclair. Its custom interactive stream technology of photorealistic 3D environments for people, allows people to get together, inspire each other and exchange ideas.
Journee’s technology offers an unparalleled experience consisting of the highest quality visual live-renderings, interactive and web features, and the ability that allows visitors to enter its metaverse experiences simply through any browser and on any device.
One to watch, as it provides the connection between brands and their audiences in the Metaverse, something that is set to grow in popularity and demand this decade.
rooom spelt with an extra vowel lets you know this startup, founded in Jena, Germany in 2019 by Hans Elstner, wants to do things differently.
This global startup’s company’s experience Cloud, an all-in-one platform for creating, managing and promoting engaging 2D, 3D, AR and VR experiences, works across all desktop and mobile devices. It has been designed to cover the marketing and visualization needs of different industries through its comprehensive product portfolio. These include event Cloud (optimized for virtual events, exhibitions, conferences, meetings), space Cloud (real estate, property, museums), product Cloud (3D products, product showrooms) and immerse Cloud (tours, guides, 3D books). rooom’s event Cloud is routinely hosting up to 200,000 users for hybrid events like IFA, Berlin and for global customers such as Porsche, Deutsche Telekom, DHL and E.ON. rooom has won over 20 awards, including the Global Eventex Award (twice), the Innovation & Excellence Award and the German Innovation Award.
Financially, rooom has raised a total of $7 million in funding.
As reportedly the first all-in-one platform for content in 2D, 3D, AR and VR, the last three being prerequisites for the Metaverse, rooom has potential in the new reality only just starting to get warmed up.
What are the benefits of Metaverse Platforms to business?
The opportunities that are afforded by the Metaverse to business are huge and encompass countless industries. Metaverse platforms can aid technological innovation in the entertainment industry, verticals like augmented reality (AR) will improve workflow in business, and there will be improvements in customer service, and business interactions (meetings), not to mention the enhancements that are going to come for education and training, while — and this is a big one which global companies are already exploiting — the Metaverse is set to revolutionize advertising, marketing and branding.
What is the future for Metaverse Platforms?
The future of Metaverse platforms looks healthy, notwithstanding the NFT winter the summer of 2022 seems to indicate; a stark contrast to the bullishness the NFTs market showed in 2021. But, with any new technology, hope springs eternal. As companies with the calibre of Meta, The Sandbox, NVIDIA etc lead the charge, smaller metaverse platforms — both ones already developed and those yet to be born — will find their product/market fit and inevitable destinies.
It’s still early in the life of the Metaverse. The six Metaverse platforms we took a look at are just a cross-section of those exploiting the new technology in different ways. Whether it’s as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), a VR company, one into cryptocurrencies/NFTs, or a virtual events platform — as is the case with MootUp — it’s an exciting time to be involved in the sector.
Join the Metaverse Insider as we ride this extraordinary train with you, discovering — and writing about — fabulous metaverse platforms as they happen.