Virtual McRib anyone?
McDonald’s filed a Deposit mark for a virtual fast-food restaurant, as well as virtual goods and services, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in February jumping on the “metaverse” bandwagon.
The metaverse is envisioned as an immersive online space where users can play games and interact with others as avatars in a computer-generated environment.
According to industry experts, people will be able to shop and attend virtual concerts as well as sporting events in the metaverse.
The giant fast-food franchise hopes to operate virtual restaurants, “offering real and virtual products” and “operating an online virtual restaurant with home delivery,” according to the trademark application.
On Feb. 4, McDonald’s also filed a trademark application hoping to eventually provide entertainment services, “namely, the provision of real and virtual online concerts and other virtual events,” the application states.
FILE – In this photo illustration the silhouette of a woman is holding a smartphone with the McDonald’s Corporation logo displayed on the screen. (Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The idea of buying an item you can’t touch or an event you don’t experience in person is fueling a frenzy among investors and artists looking to cash in on the virtual market.
For example, non-fungible tokens, better known as NFTs, inspire a bit of a “gold rush mentality,” said Larry Cheng, managing partner of Volition Capital, a growth capital firm based in Toronto. Boston, to FOX Business during an interview in January. .
Cheng, who focuses on investment opportunities in internet applications, e-commerce and consumer products, said “Varney & Co.that there’s been a “massive explosion” of interest and investment in NFTs, “which really are the fiber of the metaverse.”
“They are what allows you to own real estate,” he explained, describing NFTs. “They are what allow you to own virtual goods in the metaverse and so on and they are skyrocketing right now.”
Cheng pointed to data that highlighted NFT’s massive sales growth.
The total value of all NFT sales that took place in 2021 was $23 billion, up from less than $100 million in 2020, according to data released by DappRadar and noted by Cheng.
DappRadar noted in its Industry Report 2021 that “the NFT space has seen one of the most impressive expansions overall”.
“Strongly tied to the success of NFTs and blockchain games, the prospects for the metaverse and virtual worlds were already promising,” the report notes. “Nevertheless, following the announcement of Facebook’s rebranding, the outlook for the metaverse has positively skyrocketed.”
What is an NFT?
In economics jargon, a fungible token is an asset that can be traded on a one-for-one basis. Think dollars or bitcoins – each has exactly the same value and can be traded freely. A non-fungible object, on the other hand, has its own distinct value, such as an old house or a classic car.
Combine this notion with the cryptocurrency technology known as blockchain and you get NFTs. They’re actually digital certificates of authenticity that can be attached to digital art or, well, pretty much anything in digital form – audio files, video clips, animated stickers, this article you’re reading .
FILE – The Bored Ape Yacht Club Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection on the OpenSea Marketplace on a computer located in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, USA on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Who sells NFTs?
William Shatner of ‘Star Trek’ fame sold 90,000 virtual trading cards last year for $1 each. Electronic musician Grimes sold for $6 million value of his digital art last month, including a music video featuring winged cherubs floating in pastel dreamscapes that went for $389,000. NBA star clips LeBron James dunking sell for up to $225,000. Actress Lindsey Lohan sold an image of herself Face. You can also buy virtual land in video games and meme characters like Nyan Cat.
Digital artist Anne Spalter started out as an NFT skeptic but has now sold several works of art using the tokens. The latest was a video called “Dark Castles” – mysteriously deformed castles generated by artificial intelligence technology – which sold for $2,752.
“NFTs opened up art to a whole bunch of people who would never have gone to a gallery in New York,” said Spalter, who pioneered digital fine art classes at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1990s. “They’re investors, they’re tech entrepreneurs, they’re in this world.”
What is the Metaverse?
Think of it as the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described it as a “virtual environment” you can step into – instead of just watching on a screen. It’s essentially a world of endless interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work, and play, using VR headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices.
It will also incorporate other aspects of online life such as shopping and social media, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who tracks emerging technologies.
“It’s the next evolution of connectivity where all of these things start to come together in a seamless, look-alike universe, so you live your virtual life the same way you live your physical life,” she said. declared.
FILE – An attendee uses a virtual reality (VR) headset at the Metaverse Summit booth during the Paris NFT Day conference in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
More companies are joining the metaverse
In January, Walmart revealed plans to join other companies in offering cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
The December 30, 2021 filing, listed under the retailer’s digital advertising business “Walmart Connect”, describes a financial transaction service involving cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology that will be used by members of a community online via a global computer network.
“Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies can shape future shopping experiences,” a spokesperson told FOX Business.
The retailer also appears to be setting the stage for entering the Metaverse.
Separate applications called “Verse to Store”, “Verse to Curb” and “Home Verse”reveal plans for door-to-door services and online ordering, while another filing seeks trademarks for the Walmart name and “fireworks” logo for health services and education in virtual and augmented reality.
In December 2021, it was revealed that Ralph Lauren was rushing to settle in the metaverse. The fashion brand opened its doors to the online world of Roblox, with 47 million daily active users, Forbes reported, noting that Ralph Lauren was stocking its virtual stores “with virtual puffer jackets, plaid beanies and hats. other retro ski wear for the winter season, under $5.”
More companies are entering the space, with The Walt Disney Co. getting approval for a patent to project 3D images onto real-world objects in theme parks, the Los Angeles Times reported. in January.
After announcing its intention to Buy Activision Blizzard Inc.the creator of “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,” Microsoft noted that the nearly $68.7 billion deal was made in part with the goal of expanding into the metaverse.
“Gaming is the fastest growing and most exciting entertainment category on any platform today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “We are investing deeply in world-class content, community and cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to everyone.”
The Associated Press and FOX Business contributed to this report. This story was reported in Los Angeles.