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Have you also noticed that more and more social platforms implement avatars? Last month Instagram added this feature, and shortly after, TikTok also included avatars in their app.Avatars have existed for a long time but recently gained a second wave of popularity due to the metaverse trend.

Users love avatars: It’s so exciting to have a digital copy of yourself. On top of that, you can be whatever you want in the digital world.So, what are avatars? Why are they so special to us? And what are their future utility?

Origin of avatars

Let’s start with the definition. Avatar is a graphic representation of a user, his online alter ego.

The word “avatar” takes its roots from Hinduism and means a being who embodies a god. Its initial goal was to reflect specific character traits of a person and help create a fairly accurate impression of his inner spiritual world and status (the nickname also serves this purpose).

Also, avatars had a decorative purpose. In addition, avatars simplify the perception of the topic discussion: They make it easy to associate posts with their authors.

The gaming industry was the first to implement the concept of avatars. It was used in 1985 in the computer game Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar for the first time. Ultima has been releasing its series of adventure games since 1981, and becoming the Avatar was the goal of the fourth part.

The term was later adapted in the role-playing game Shadowrun (1985) and the online role-playing game Habitat in 1987 (this game is considered a forerunner of the metaverse).

Today, most games offer users to create their avatars and select their look, equipment, and other features.

The rapid development of the Internet led to the active use of avatars (a commonly used word for profile picture) in blogs, forums, and instant messenger services.

In the late 2010s, even before the metaverse trend went viral, several companies established a special feature for creating avatars, for instance, Apple and their memoji, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, and Zepeto.

Now, 3D avatars are becoming more and more widespread. The main advantage of such avatars before 2D pictures is dynamics. That means avatars can move and interact with other users.

The Wide Utility of Avatars

Avatars have come a long way from video games to an integral element of the metaverse. Let’s take a look at how avatars are used today and what their future prospects are.

Social media

Many social media platforms use avatars - Facebook (Meta), Instagram, Tiktok, IMessages, Snapchat, and Zepeto - just to name a few!

This can be easily explained by the fact that most social media developers understand the upcoming trend of virtualization and moving in the direction of metaverse development. Indeed, In Web 3.0, social media will be transformed, so avatars will be a vital part of them.

Social media avatars
TikTok avatars, photo from sea.mashable.com

Brands

Have you ever spent money to buy “skins” for your character in the game? Users are fond of making their avatars unique and are willing to modify them by purchasing different appearance items. And if something can be monetized, brands immediately jump at it.

Some brands, like Nike, MacDonald’s, or Gucci, have already contributed to this area and even created their own metaverse space. And avatars are expected to be used there.

Consequently, brands have started designing different skins and fashion items for avatars to sell online. Fashion and luxury brands will have a particular advantage in this field: Customizing the character not only with ordinary skins but also luxury items with a certain value, isn’t it cool?

Games

Games will evolve and become more immersive. The need for avatars representing gamers in the metaverse is becoming more crucial.

The quality and resolution of in-game avatars will increase, and with innovative motion-capture technology, player facial expressions, emotions, and movements can be transferred to the game.

Virtual people

In the future, AI-driven avatars that don't require any human management will be a part of our daily lives. Such smart avatars can be helpful in different fields: from bot-consultant in retail to personal assistants and virtual influencers.

Of course, AI-driven avatars can be anything, but to accelerate user adoption, these avatars will look like people. Such skeuomorphism is used to give something new a familiar look to speed up acceptance and adoption. In other words, to feel more comfortable chatting with AI-avatar, we would still need a person to see.

Beyond that, these avatars can be indistinguishable from real humans. A neural network, of Samsung NEON, for one, can create an image of a person and animate it based on a huge database of uploaded photos.

And this is no longer a futuristic concept! Artificial humans like Lu do Magalu or Lil'Mikela are taking over the digital world. They have millions of followers; meanwhile, they represent fashion brands and collaborate with different companies. On YouTube, they rack up 1.5 billion a month and earn $100,000 a week from donations.

Music

Avatars in the music industry are not new. You obviously know Gorillaz, whose performances created a real sensation at the beginning of the 21st century. At that time, no one could imagine that holograms could sing.

Another example is K/DA, a virtual K-pop girl group of four League of Legends characters. K/DA was developed by Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends. The group first performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 League of Legends World Championship Finals with their debut song, "Pop/Stars." "Pop/Stars" topped the World Digital Songs Billboard charts, making K/DA the fourth female K-pop group to top the chart.

And last year, in September 2021, US TV channel Fox launched a new TV show where digital avatars perform on stage instead of humans and fight to win the competition!

Furthermore, real artists can have their avatars to give concerts in the metaverse. The company Wave offers such services. Among their clients are Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Alison Wonderland, and others.

Movies

Cinematography influenced the nature of avatars not less than video games. The movie Avatar, as the name suggests, was one of them. The technology of motion capture was used in that movie. Simply put, the blue creatures in the film are high-realistic 3D models, not SFX-modified actors. This led us to ask the question: Do we really need people to act in the film now?

Avatar from the movie avatar
Motion-capture technology in the movie Avatar, photo from premiere.fr

These kinds of hyper-detailed avatars can be seen in the movies such as Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One, or Rachel in Blade Runner 2049.

Today, however, motion capture technology competes with deep fakes when recreating an actor who is no longer alive.

Now we are seeing how the technology, that once was designed for games and social network users, is being transformed into a way of representing a living person for various needs. And this is just the beginning. With the development of the metaverse, everyone will have their own avatar, and perhaps even several.

The Metaverse is coming, the team is growing: Adello is sure that the first phase of the Metaverse will be in the area of personalization.

Adello team is getting further strengthening with Dolma Memmishofer, who has already gained experience in the media sector at Mediaeffects and Promotion Tools, and Victor Huber, who used to work in VR.

RTFKT avatar
Huber's Avatar - a good NFT investment

Memmishofer will be involved in business development and marketing, while Huber will take up the topic of virtual clothing/personalization of avatars on the different platforms. Due to his VR experience and interest in Metaverse projects, he has already been able to successfully sell virtual clothing as NFT.

Adello team
Ready for work!

Contact: anja.prosch@adello.com

About Adello

Adello analyses human behavior in real time and combines this with fully automated, self-learning technology for maximum mobile marketing ROI. Global market research agency Technavio ranks the technology, which is protected by various patents and has won nearly 20 awards, among the top 16 in Big Data worldwide.

Since 2022, the company has refocused on the emerging Metaverse technologies Blockchain, Gaming, Crypto/NFT. Its satisfied customers include hundreds of the world's leading brands and agencies such as BMW, Clear Channel, GroupM, McDonald's, SBB and UBS. Adello operates offices in Europe, Asia and North America. The Metaverse is a key focus of the company. Adello is a Swisscom Ventures portfolio company.

http://www.adello.com

Recently, more and more Web 3.0 enthusiasts called us out to join their Discord chat. Discord is another instant messaging social platform that appeared in 2015 specifically for the gaming community but suddenly obtained its popularity now in 2022 within the new internet generation development. What’s so special about this messenger, and why did it gain its significance for Web 3.0?

Characteristics of the messenger

Before we dive into the history of Discord’s appearance, let’s glance at its characteristics.

The messenger has a mobile, desktop, and browser version. The push-to-talk mode works only if the browser tab with the application is active.

There is an option of creating public and private chats to exchange text messages. Apart from that, Discord users can arrange voice and video conferences by configuring the communication channel and working on the principle of push-to-talk. In 2017 Discord added screen sharing and integrations with Twitch, Spotify, and Xbox Live as some of the features.

In Discord, the users can also attach files and media limited to 8 MB and links with a preview for some web pages. To send the file of a bigger size, a subscription to Discord Nitro must be purchased. That’s also Discord’s largest source of revenue stream.

The messenger has flexible interface settings. The users can install different themes and add-ons to expand the functionality. It is also possible to format not only the text in messages or servers but to change the nickname fonts using special services based on Unicode symbols.

Based on the listed features, it may seem that this messenger does not have any features that would distinguish Discord from other software of this kind. However, users like to engage with this platform for different reasons. To understand why Discord gained popularity so fast, let’s take a look at the history of the messenger.

How it all started

Discord is listed as “Chat for Gamers” in most app stores. Indeed, initially, Discord was designed by gamers, for gamers, and has everything players need down to the smallest detail. For example, it consumes a minimum of resources and does not even automatically launch gifs (mini-rollers), so that the game does not slow down. Even Discord’s advertising slogan was utterly straightforward: “It’s time to abandon Skype and TeamSpeak” (referring to the other platforms that gamers used in the past). This led to the fact that the service has been popularized by e-sports players, including Twitch.tv users and gaming communities.

Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic helped Discord to become even more popular, and this time not only among gamers. Even some schools, businesses, and trading communities chose Discord as a service for online communication. Thus, Discord gained a larger audience with diverse interests that crowded the platform. In 2017, it had 45 million users; in 2018 - 130 million; in 2019 - 250 million; in 2020 - 300 million; and in 2021 - 350 million. Not only userbase has increased, but also daily time spent on the platform.

Jason Citron, the creator of Discord, was surprised to find out that a third of platform users have nothing to do with games. Now Discord is refocusing from gamers to a mass audience to compete with Microsoft Teams and Slack. That is why the messenger has been redesigned.

So why did users choose this new and previously unknown platform? We already have a bunch of different established communication platforms that offer pretty much the same features as Discord. So what’s the secret?

Discord

It’s all about community

“Imagine a place...where you can belong to a school club, a gaming group, or a worldwide art community. Where just you and a handful of friends can spend time together. A place that makes it easy to talk every day and hang out more often.” - you see this quote firstwhen you visit the official Discord website. Citron himself saw the future of the service as something like a bar from Cheers (TV show): “A place where everybody knows your name. A place where you can be with your friends, talk, and share as much as you want.”

Discord creates this cozy virtual place where the users can have a feeling of belonging. In other words, Discord is about community. It allows users to create an invite-only home for their friends or group, a place where they can talk, hang out with friends, and just have fun. it’s like walking into a room with friends, plopping down on the couch, and casually asking: “What’s up?”

Discord and Web 3.0

And now, we approach the main question: Why is Discord so important for Web 3.0? The answer derives from the idea described above - the platform managed to gather people in the communities.

In our previous article, we wrote about the strong influential role community plays when it comes to selling NFTs. In fact, the community is a decisive factor for NFTs, since its size determines the number of requests from users and buyers in the market of operations. The larger the community, the more people are willing to buy NFTs. Discord, in its turn, is a great tool for creating communities: A group of people establishes a community with common interests to spend time together beyond any location boundaries. Once the community members develop a really strong bond, they can be converted into potential NFT buyers.

But it’s not only about NFT. Discord is often used as the main platform by most DeFi and NFTs projects and plays a vital role in their ecosystem. Sandbox, Star Atlas, Somnium Space, and many others have an official server to communicate with their community.

Also, in Discord, users can interact directly with important figures, such as CEOs, game developers, and artists, about innovations, fashion, and technologies, like NFT, blockchain, crypto, metaverse, and other Web 3.0 topics. Users get verified and reliable news, opinions, and insights from the different Web 3.0 fields.

Discord privacy policy

Just before discord installation, one would like to know how safe is Discord in terms of Privacy and Data storage. Here is Discord’s privacy policy shortly.

Just like other platforms, Discord collects certain private information from users that allows them to create a personal account, provide platform services, enforce obligations to users, and comply with legal requirements.

Discord retains information for as long as the user has an active Discord account. Some information can be removed directly from the services. Discord may also retain information for a specified period of time for certain purposes, typically in case of an open dispute between the company and a user.

Users can restrict the collection of certain data. Discord claims that all users are in control of how their information is used and can directly edit or delete information.

Users from European Union can be ensured that the GDPR grants them the following rights:

Discord is a great alternative to other programs for communication. It has a lot of advantages and a simple and intuitive interface. That’s incredible how fast Discord gained its audience and became a place where people can share their interests, find companions and learn more about the Web 3.0 world. Use it or not – the decision is yours 😉.

Blake Lemoine, a software engineer at Google, recently made a remarkable statement. He claimed that the corporation’s conversational AI bot LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) had obtained a consciousness. Lemoine noted that the chatbot speaks its rights and perceives itself as a person. In response, company management suspended him from work - reported by The Washington Post.

“If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics,” said Lemoine.

In fact, the capability of machines is becoming more advanced year after year, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) demonstrates prominent results. However, ones can protest in response: Then why do software like Siri or Alexa still barely cope with the most primitive tasks in languages?

Understanding the human language

For us, people, the language seems to be an ordinary and natural process. However, it doesn’t change the fact that natural languages are a very complicated system. Previously, there was a dominant idea that only humans could use logic, reasoning, and intuition to understand, use, and translate languages. However, human logic and intuition can be modeled mathematically and programmed. When computers became more advanced, people were trying to make them understand human speech. That is how the history of NLP went a long way from the virtual psychiatrist ELIZA in 1964 to the first automatically deciphers ancient language machine in 2010 and chatbots on almost every website.

Nevertheless, despite the long history of research, machines still have a range of serious limitations and barriers in terms of NLP. Machines can hear and read what we write, but they still do not completely understand what we mean since they don’t know the whole picture of the world. This is one of the problems of the century in artificial intelligence technology.

NLP in Web 2.0

In the 80s-90s, at the beginning of the mass scale of the Internet, Web 1.0 users could only read the content. With the appearance of Web 2.0, there was the possibility to interact with text (Read-Write). That is why NLP technologies became especially useful and widespread in the second generation of the Internet. Thank to NLP, certain processes were facilitated, such as spam detection, chatbots, virtual assistance, and many others. Although the ability of machines to communicate on the human level remains relatively low, there are some quite interesting achievements:

Voice-controlled assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Alisa

Despite the fact that voice assistant was not developed to the level of the sophisticated interlocutor, they excellently perform their functions by assisting the user in different tasks. 

Search engine

Every day Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches. There are several advanced NLP models that are used to process the queries, including the most famous one, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers).

An example of how BERT improves the query’s understanding: When the user was quire “2019 brazil traveler to the USA needs a visa”, it was not clear to the computer. It could be a Brazilian citizen who is trying to get a visa to the US or an American to Brazil. Previously computers were giving results according to the keywords. In opposite, BERT takes into account every word in the sentence. In this exact context, “to” means a destination.

Text correction

As was mentioned, Web 2.0 allowed users to create text in the Web space. Hence, there was a high demand for text correction. Previously, users were relying on the built-in corrector in the Office 360 software that was pointing out mistakes. However, the mistake-detection technology in that software was quite vulnerable.

The new generation software that is AI-driven, such as Grammarly, uses NLP to help correct errors and make suggestions for simplifying complex writing or completing and clarifying sentences. They are more advanced and precise than the error-detection technologies of the previous generation.

Chatbots

Today there are a lot of websites that offer on their web pages chatbot assistant. Same as with voice-controlled assistants, they are not fully advanced and, in many cases, use simple keyword search and decision tree logic. However, it helps the users at a certain level and facilitates the work of the support team.

It may seem that NLP development doesn’t achieve the expectational level as it could be and has a range of serious limitations. Hence, in Web 3.0, we must deal with all those flaws of NLP we have today.

NLP in Web 3.0

There is no doubt that NLP will be a critical and foundational component of Web 3.0. AI-driven speech recognition and analytics technology can be used in many fields, such as enabling voice-based user interactions, command-driven hands-free navigation of virtual worlds, connection and interaction with virtual AI entities, and many others. Those are the examples of how NLP technologies will be used in web 3.0 and what are the objectives we need to achieve in this new internet era.

Voice operation

When we are talking about navigating in the metaverse, we might think about handheld controllers, gestures, eye-tracking, or voice control. In fact, voice operation would bring the user experience to a new level. Meanwhile, NLP technologies would help generate audio responses with linguistic nuances and voice modulation.

Speaking about voice operation in metaverse, it is important to mention development of the voice operation in games. The representatives of such in-game technology were games Seaman, Mass Effect 3, Bot Colony, Nevermind and others. Their NLP technologies were not that precisive. However, they can be considerate as the inspiration of the voice control  in metaverse.

Voice operation is already in the development process by Meta. The company launched a Voice SDK that allows VR developers to create virtual environments using voice commands.

Virtual assistance

In Web 3.0, the users would expect assistance in more daily tasks than in Web 2.0. Hence the virtual assistance would need to be upgraded to a higher level.

For the development of such a voice assistant, Meta took responsibility. Meta claims that their voice assistant will take presence in the metaverse, so it will probably have a virtual form of an avatar. Moreover, Meta wants its voice assistant to be more sophisticated, unlike the existing voice assistant in terms of understanding the context of the request.

“To support true world creation and exploration, we need to advance beyond the current state of the art for smart assistants,” said Zuckerberg.

AI companions

The difference between the Virtual assistant and AI companion is that the first one is designed to serve the user, while the AI companion is designed to be a virtual friend who knows your interest, can maintain a dialog, and give advice.

Web 2.0 offered us different AI chatbots. New generations of AI chatbots go further. One of the most prominent examples is the app Replika. After creating an avatar of its virtual companion that can also be visible via AR, users can start a conversation. AI companion, unlike many other AI chatbots, is capable of memorizing information about users, such as name, date of birth, interest, hobbies, memories, opinions, and others. Also, for the paid subscription, the AI companion can also be a romantic partner.

Replika
Replika, AI companion

Trade and Retail

Developing technologies of virtual assistants and AI companions is crucial for the Web 3.0:

If we manage to master those, it will pave the path to mastering other AI bots that will be responsible for the various jobs, such as psychologists or consultants.

Trade is one of the areas where AI-driven chatbots that will have the role of seller/consultant will be required. Trade, in general, has a great potential in the metaverse. That is how AI chatbots in this field will upgrade the purchasing process and improve the buyer experience.

Translations

In the 2000s, the developers were trying to bring to the life idea of social media with a built-in translator. Users could talk to different people around the world in their own languages, and everyone will understand each other thanks to the built-in translator. For some reason, those social networks didn’t gain popularity. Moreover, translation technology at that time was not that well developed and often provided awkward results.

Metaverse will be more than just social media, rather also a place for business, networking, education, shopping, sports, and so on. In that case, the automatic translation would be very useful. However, to achieve this, we need to make sure that AI-powered translators cope with their job precisely, fast, and flexibly.

Meta is already working on such a translator. This year the company announced they are developing an AI-powered c for languages in their metaverse.

Another prominent company that reached certain achievements in the real-time AI-powered translations is Unbabel. The software combines the speed and efficiency of machine translation with the accuracy and empathy of a global community of native-speaking translators. The merits of the company was noted by Windows, they said:

“We’ve seen CSAT scores jump as much as 10 points, and in one instance, we increased issue resolution by 20 percent.”

Those are just a few examples of how NLP technologies can be applied in Web 3.0, which will be used provided that the NLP technology is advancing fast enough. In fact, the development of NLP in the context of metaverse remains one of the underrated topics. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that the ability of machines to perceive text remains one of the prior tasks for AI today.

In a nutshell: This WWDC appeared to be more of a preparation for something bigger. They cleaned up and enhanced the software (OS versions). Of course, faster MacBooks are great, but that’s not typically what you mean by innovation from Apple.

Many had expected that Apple would now jump on the VR bandwagon, but no VR/XR hardware was presented this time. Does this mean the Metaverse is off the table for Apple?

Anyone who has been observing the IT industry for a while will notice that despite all the development of new technologies such as VR headsets or gesture recognition via cameras, our user interfaces are still based on the classic desktop-mouse concept with horizontal or vertical menus (even on mobile).

Apple was the first company to successfully establish user guidance with the mouse (stolen from Xerox...), replacing cryptic keyboard combinations with simple clicks. The same happened over and over again, with the iMac, Touch the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. First and foremost, Apple stands for making technology intuitively accessible to all.

In the battle for on-person sensors, Apple beat the weird concept of “Google Glasses” with the Apple Watch. Google Glasses will be remembered by the memes “Glassholes”, while Apple’s sensor continues to sell better than any other sensor. They simply had it elegantly packaged in a familiar watch form. It’s not really a watch after all (that’s still misunderstood today, I had described that in 2015).

Apple creates ecosystems. And successfully manages, maintains and expands them. This has been shown with the launch of the iPhone. First, a mobile operating system was established, and then apps and music were sold in a curated marketplace.

WWDC 2022

I think Apple is once again preparing for the next big leap. They have just announced several things:

WWDC 2022

In short, Apple is ready for the Metaverse. However, Apple is smartly waiting until users get accustomed to the technologies and until successful solutions emerge. The race for the next version of the Internet has begun. Apple does not seem to be in the running, but they are likely already in the lead.

Social media is an integral part of daily online media consumption for many users. The number of social media users worldwide is estimated at more than 4 billion. This market has been dominated by Facebook (Meta) for years. However, the range of recent occasions provoked a significant decline in the popularity of this tech giant.

For several years now, it has been obvious that Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, are increasingly struggling with new competitors, such as TikTok. In fact, Facebook and Instagram look outdated compared to other social media. It’s time for the social networks to commit an important step into the web 3.0 and the metaverse.

How will the Web 3.0 social media work

Web 3.0 will bring significant changes in the many fields of the Internet, including social media. Let’s take a closer look at how Web 3.0 opportunities will transform social media.

Decentralization

When we are speaking about decentralized social media, we mean social networks operated on independently run servers rather than on a centralized server owned by a company. The benefits of decentralized social media are governance by users, freedom, and autonomy.

Decentralized social media already exist. Among them are Minds, Diaspora, MeWe, Mastodon, Signal, and others. Even though most of them may sound unfamiliar, those social networks have a great chance of obtaining popularity in the near future.

Immersion

Social media has been providing people with interactive social experiences for decades. However, only digitally. Imagine that social media can be immersive, so all the features that social networks are offering will be available in the meta-reality.

We remind that immersiveness is an ability to dive into the world, connecting virtual and real experiences. It can be achieved by using special equipment such as VR glasses, AR applications and other technologies. The classical social media would have to rebuild themselves to be immersive.

Tokenization

Social media will provide some kinds of tokens in the near future. 

NFT may appear on Instagram in the coming months, according to Mark Zuckerberg. In December, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri revealed that the company is opting to use non-fungible token technology.

Moreover, Twitter started using and verifying NFT with a new profile picture feature. This feature is offered to users of the Twitter Blue subscription service.

Avatar

Yet previously, social media users could picture any image of themselves. It’s the Internet where you can be whatever you want. In the social media of Web 3.0 creating avatars will be a must.

By the way, avatars and their skins will be closely connected to NFTs.

New regulations

A very important challenge for Web 3.0 social media will be regulations.

Even today, within Web 2.0  there are several issues in social media, such as misinformation, data privacy, digital bullying, harassment, and many others. The range of the problem is yet not solved! Thus, Web 3.0 platforms will inherit those issues in order to fix them.

Considering that the social media of Web 3.0 will be decentralized and governed by the community, logically, a question arises: Will the users come to a certain consensus on what is acceptable in social media?

When the Internet became available for simple users, everyone claimed it was a new space separated from the government laws with absolute freedom. But the expectations don’t correspond to the reality of the Internet we know today. That’s why we can’t be sure that Internet Web 3.0 will guarantee safety and freedom.

Future social media

Social media with elements of metaverse are not just a futuristic concept. Let’s take a look at examples of such social networks.

Second Life

During the metaverse fever, Second Life developers can proudly say, “We were the first”. Second Life is a 3D virtual world developed with elements of a social network. This game project can be called not just an online game but a whole virtual universe. There are no mandatory missions or hero upgrades. Instead, users participate in communities of interest, create virtual goods, build, communicate in voice or chat, and travel this virtual world. Moreover, Second Life has its own currency Linden Dollar (L$), which can be exchanged for real money.

Mastodon

Don’t like the fact that Elon Musk could make Twitter private? Then Mastodon must be a good alternative!

Unlike centralized social networks, Mastodon is not controlled by individual providers and can be created at users’ own facilities. Any user can deploy their own social networking site or join an existing one. Nodes connected in a common network allow their users to communicate with each other. At the same time, unlike conventional platforms that implement SaaS, it has a decentralized architecture.

Horizon Worlds

With the appearance of this social media platform, many were thinking that Meta was obtaining a monopoly on Metaverse. More than two years after testing began, Meta has finally launched its Horizon Worlds.

Horizon World can be entered with Oculus VR glasses. The users get into the Horizon universe, where they can create their own avatar, meet other users, find friends, and create Horizon Worlds.

Creators cannot earn money directly from their worlds. Instead, Meta put $10 million into a “creator fund” to reward community creators who win competitions. This is different from apps like Roblox, where creators can sell their games for in-game currency.

Zepeto

This social media became extremely popular in 2018 and, it seems, has a second wave of popularity with the metaverse hype.

Zepeto is an app from South Korean developer SNOW. This is a social network where virtual avatars generated using face recognition technology represent users. These virtual figures can then be customized by changing their appearance, clothes, and houses and creating unique greetings by combining various phrases with gestures or dances.

Zepeto has a digital currency used to buy new moves and greetings.

Technology is a driving force that makes the world a better place. The way we live, communicate and interact with each other changes. What will our communication look like in 20 years? Maybe, the metaverse world will become a big part of our lives, and one day we will hear in the news that Zuckerberg decided to delete Facebook forever.

One thing should remain clear: real-life communication should not be replaced by a virtual one.

The beginning of VR and AR technologies is not new at all. The first attempts to enter “virtuality” were made at the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, virtual and augmented reality technologies have undergone a significant evolution.

According to a Digi-Capital report, the virtual and augmented reality market will grow from $13 billion (2021) to $67 billion by 2024. At the same time, it is expected that VR/AR devices will oust the popularity of smartphones, the current device number.

That is why Facebook began to acquire virtual and augmented reality companies, such as Oculus VR, Pebbles Interfaces, The Eye Tribe, Ready At Dawn, and Downpour Interactive and BigBox VR. Later in this article, the majority of VR and AR devices we will describe belong to Facebook!

VR and AR glasses

For a moment, VR and AR sets are the most popular and available for mass consumption products of such kind. Those are some of the most prominent companies that are producing VR and AR devices.

Oculus

As we mentioned above, Oculus is a company producing VR glasses that Facebook took under its wing. The Oculus set includes VR glasses and 2 remote controls for both hands. One of the main benefits of the glasses is their lighter weight in comparison to other models. The latest model, Oculus Quest 2, can also be used without controllers and the headset supports hand tracking.

Oculus can connect with PC and smartphones. The VR glasses come together with the platform, where users can browse and manage VR apps.

Oculus remains one of the most affordable options with a reasonable price on the market.

Oculus Quest S
Oculus Quest S, photo from ibzstore.com

Rokid Air glasses

Rokid Air - portable and lightweight glasses of augmented reality. Unlike VR glasses Rokid Air are smaller and can fit in a small bag or even in a pocket. Rokid Air is the first truly progressive smart glasses for consumers with the removal of content in amazing quality and comfortable ergonomics.

Users can run apps from a smartphone, play video games with a PC or console, and watch movies. Switching multimedia and other manipulations can be done using a voice assistant and gesture management.

Rokid Air glasses
Rokid Air glasses, photo from next.reality.news

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Previously, most people interacted with electronic devices through flat displays: laptops, computer monitors, phones, tablets, or video games on the television screen. Microsoft offers solutions using mixed reality and gives people the opportunity to work with holograms in the real world.

Mixed reality glasses Microsoft HoloLens 2 are the next generation of gadgets for working with VR/AR content. The device received an increased viewing angle, a new processor, a unique system for tracking the position of the eyes and hands, as well as voice control. New HoloLens 2 glasses provide more complete immersion and are also more intuitive and convenient to use. The device allows you to interact with holograms and VR objects using your hands at an intuitive level, without special gestures.

It’s important to mention that for now those glasses are extremely expensive ($3,349 - $4,349 for a pair) and designed for use by employees whose hands are busy performing physical labor. They help them identify the problem in the operation of the aircraft or see step-by-step instructions.

Microsoft HoloLens 2
Microsoft HoloLens 2, photo from pocket-lint.com

Other technology for immersion

The era of Web 3.0 brought us an opportunity to develop new innovative technologies. The development of VR and AR was only a first step. However, they are already not enough for the immersion the users would expect. Hence, there are additional technologies that will help to enter the metaverse.

Sensor Gloves

Sensor gloves are supposed to give sensations such as pain, heat, numbness, cold, and others. This glove would be essential to enter the metaverse. That’s why there is no surprise that Meta is investing in the development of sensor gloves. The company is developing handwear that reproduces sensations such as grasping an object or running a hand along a surface.

Apart from Meta, there are other developers designing sensor gloves. In the recent paper by Jasmine Lu, Ziwei Liu, Jas Brooks, and Pedro Lopes, the group of scientists describe the concept of sensor gloves that implement chemicals triggering user sensors (also known as chemical haptics). Those chemicals are safe and contain small doses of key active ingredients. Those are tingling (sanshool), numbing (lidocaine), stinging (cinnamaldehyde), warming (capsaicin), and cooling (menthol).

Sensor Glove
Sensor Glove, photo from the research paper by Jasmine Lu et al.

Let’s see what other wearables we will see on the market with such technologies 😉.

Face tracker

Another important player in the virtual reality market, Vive releases a face tracker - a small and inexpensive ($130) gadget that attaches to VR glasses and reads emotions from the lower part of the face, which are the lips, chin, and even tongue.

There is a problem with avatars in virtual reality - lifeless faces. Thank the face tracker, this problem will remain in the past.

Vive face tracker
Vive face tracker, photo from vive.com

Neurointerface

Traditional control systems, whether for work or entertainment, have always been required to use the output of your physical actions, like pressing the buttons or using the remote control. Imagine that instead of an additional tool to operate a computer, one can operate it with thoughts!

Facebook is the one that wants to implement this function in its metaverse. That is why the company acquired CTRL Labs. CTRL Labs is developing a wristband-like device that will allow controlling digital interfaces by using the electrical signals that run through the user’s arm. That is how it allows the brain to control the movement of the hands and fingers.

Miointerface will solve one of the fundamental problems of virtual and augmented reality devices: it will finally become convenient to type on virtual keyboards because humanity has not yet invented any faster way to enter text. Modern controllers are good for any actions - shooting, drawing, modeling - but not for text input and working with very small details. If such a prototype becomes a mass-produced device in the next year or two, working from home in a virtual “office” from the exotic will become commonplace - after all, it is much more pleasant to work not with the small screen of your laptop, but with a virtual surface the whole wall.

Another company Valve is developing the dream of advanced humanity - a gadget that helps users control other devices by the mind. Valve’s partner on this project is the company Tobii, a world’s leader in eye-tracking technology.

A bracelet by CTRL Labs
A bracelet by CTRL Labs photo from uploadvr.com

Of course, this selection does not end with the amazing news: Apple’s AR/VR devices have been rumored for years, and they threaten to hit the market in the next few years; Samsung is also developing augmented reality glasses; the list of incredible new things can be added to literally every week. And this is how we are witnessing the change of must-have devices, where VR glasses will exchange the smartphones.

Due to the strong growth in sales in the first quarter, Adello hired another employee.

Ana Cecilia Bravo Lopez is the fourth person to join the team this year. She studied marketing in
in Karlsruhe. With her passion for data analysis and digital marketing, she is the ideal candidate for the Big Data company.

Cecilia Bravo on her new position: "I like data. What fascinates me about Adello is the combination of technology and behavioral patterns to achieve better results. By making the decision regarding the company, the dynamic, young team was also very important to me. I hope to learn a lot and contribute to make digital marketing even better."

We still have open positions in the areas of:

Contact
anja.prosch@adello.com

About Adello
Adello analyzes human behavior in real-time and combines it with fully automated, self-learning
technology for maximum mobile marketing ROI. Global market research agency Technavio ranks our technology, which is protected by various patents and winner of nearly 20 awards, among the top 16 in Big Data worldwide.

Since 2022, the company has been refocusing on emerging Metaverse technologies Blockchain, Gaming,
Crypto/NFT. Adello has among its customers hundreds of the world's leading brands and agencies such as BMW, Clear Channel, GroupM, McDonald's, SBB, and UBS. Adello operates offices in Europe, Asia, North America, and is a Swisscom Ventures portfolio company.

After the successful event in February on the topic of Metaverse and changing the company focus,
Adello decided to straighten its team in the Zurich office. The goal of such expansion is to drive technological innovation in the company in the coming years.

Konstantin "Excalibur" Pak joined Adello as an associate in January. He is focusing on Metaverse/Gaming/NFT.

Mike Saladin joined the team in March as an associate with a focus on business development/blockchain/crypto/NFT. Mike Saladin on his motivation to join Adello:

"For me, blockchain is one of the most exciting new technologies. In my previous job in investment management, innovation was not the main focus. What I like about Adello is the forward-thinking vision, the positive energy, the young, international team, and the continuous evaluation of new technologies in our own "Lab51". The fact that I can work here on a topic that is important to me is a perfect fit. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the coming months and years."

Cristian joined our team in March as well. He is an Associate with a focus on Business Development/Social Media/and Metaverse.

We still have open positions in the areas of:

Contact
anja.prosch@adello.com

About Adello
Adello analyzes human behavior in real-time and combines it with fully automated, self-learning
technology for maximum mobile marketing ROI. Global market research agency Technavio ranks our technology, which is protected by various patents and winner of nearly 20 awards, among the top 16 in Big Data worldwide.

Since 2022, the company has been refocusing on emerging Metaverse technologies Blockchain, Gaming,
Crypto/NFT. Adello has among its customers hundreds of the world's leading brands and agencies such as BMW, Clear Channel, GroupM, McDonald's, SBB, and UBS. Adello operates offices in Europe, Asia, North America, and is a Swisscom Ventures portfolio company.

Today on the agenda, is a game in which the dwarfs drink beer on a space station, and then go to crush the alien bugs along the way mining minerals. In this edition, we will review the blockchain game Deep Rock Galactic.

Deep Rock Galactic is a team-based First-person shooter in which you and your team have to descend into the massive cave system of the planet Hoxes 4. The new unique cave systems are constantly generated in the game.

There are four classes in the game. Engineer, Gunner, Driller, and Scout. Each of the classes has its own gameplay and equipment:

Engineer

Engineer, a class supporter, with standard equipment has a shotgun, a 40 mm grenade launcher, a platform gun, and a turret. The essence of the engineer to help the team, to put a platform on steep cliffs, which scout could get Nitra, put the turret to keep the fire or shoot from a grenade launcher at a crowd of enemies or one big. Of other equipment, instead of a shotgun, he can take a submachine gun or a homing rifle. And instead of a grenade launcher, a cutter.

Gunner

The gunner, almost the main shooting force, carries a machine gun, a revolver, a tether gun, and a shield generator. The gunslinger can do a lot of damage with the machine gun and revolver, pull ropes for the team across the chasm, and cover or sometimes even save the team with the shield generator. Other equipment includes, instead of a machine gun, an autocannon or a rocket launcher, and instead of a revolver a serial fire pistol.

Driller

Driller is similar to the Engineer Sapper but more independent. He has a flamethrower, a pistol, a C4 charge, and reinforced titanium drills in his equipment. The driller's main job is to dig or at least undermine the team's way through the rock, ignite, and control the bulk of the enemies. Of the other equipment, instead of a flamethrower, a cryo cannon, or a corrosive sludge pump. And instead of a gun a plasma gun.

Scout

Scout class carries an assault rifle, a double-barreled rifle cutter, a hook, and a flare gun. Must light the way of the team, as well as extract resources in inaccessible places. Of the other equipment, instead of the assault rifle, he can take a semi-automatic rifle or plasma carbine, and instead of the double-barreled pistol, a machine gun.

Each class weapon is upgradeable: The player can customize the weapon so it will suit the gamer’s style. Also, all classes have different types of grenades.

Adello Game Review: Deep Rock Galactic

The Aim

The aim of the game is to choose a job at the station and its complexity. The players have to carry out the primary and optional secondary tasks. The players need to destroy everything around in order to reach the task goal. According to developers, there is no same path to complete the mission.

The players can explore a network of procedurally generated cave systems, which are filled with enemies to fight and riches to collect.

It may seem that the game is boring and monotonous at first glance. However, there are 8 main and many secondary tasks that differ from each other.

The game also has perks. They are divided into passive and active perks. They can be

bought at the terminal in your room for stars, which are obtained for performing tasks in the same terminal.

The game is full of different skins. The players can obtain new skin by buying them in the store at the station, passing the battle, or finding them during missions.

Surprisingly, the game doesn’t have Go donate. Indeed, by donation, the gamers can buy only skins. Even Battle Pass is free, which allows the users to not think about how much money they have to invest to get new equipment.

Adello Game Review: Deep Rock Galactic

The game has remarkable mechanics - overclocking. Overclocking can be earned and obtained in different ways. The players can get them as a reward for completing one of the stages of the deep dive, as well as getting them as a reward for completing core hunting missions. Another way to acquire weapon overclocks is to get them as a reward for advancing in the forge. All overclocks can be selected in the equipment terminal, which is located on the first level of the spacecraft, right next to the mission terminal. The slot responsible for modifying overclocks is at the bottom of the modification table.

Unlike regular weapon modifications that need to be unlocked, the overclock slot is available from the start.

Before you can add overclocks to your weapon, the gamers first need to unlock at

least one additional modification for each level.

The overclocks alone are more than 30 per class, and each of them partially or completely changes the gameplay of the class. But the game doesn't dump them on you all at once.

To achieve this, gamers need to upgrade a dwarf. When players reach level 25 of the class they are given a task to upgrade. After completing, you can go to the memorial hall and get the promotion.

Those are only the basics of the game. The playing process is more interesting while gaming rather than on paper.

Make friends, have fun, and drink beer with them at Deep Rock Galactic.

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