Meta brings NBA matches to the metaverse

Meta announced its partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women’s National Basketball Association, G League and 2K League to provide content in immersive reality. The NBA Arena in Meta Horizon Worlds experience will feature live NBA League Pass games in virtual reality throughout the season.

Users will have access to more than 50 live virtual reality (VR) games on Meta Quest, including five immersive, 180-degree VR games in 5k resolution on Xtadium and Meta Horizon Worlds. In Meta Horizon Worlds, users could access game highlights, recaps and archival content.

Additionally, the NBA-licensed merchandise will soon be available in Meta’s Avatar Store, allowing users to purchase items for their avatars and showcase them on Meta Quest and social media platforms.

Tuvalu plans to create its digital twin in the metaverse

The small island nation of Tuvalu is planning to create a version of itself in the metaverse as a response to the existential threat of rising sea levels. Piece by piece, the entire country, its natural and other riches, will be created in a digital 3D world, with the goal of preserving the island and its unique culture.

Speaking at the COP27 climate summit, Foreign Minister Simon Kofe of Tuvalu has revealed the country’s intention to establish itself as the first digitised nation in the metaverse. ‘Islands like this one won’t survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels, and droughts. So we’ll recreate them virtually’ said the minister.

Deloitte estimates that metaverse could add US$1.4 trillion a year to Asia’s GDP

Deloitte’s new report, titled ‘The Metaverse in Asia: Strategies for Accelerating Economic Impact‘, estimates that the metaverse could contribute US$800 billion–US$1.4 trillion per year to Asian economies by 2035.

The report examined the potential influence of the metaverse on 12 Asian economies. Deloitte estimated several factors, including demography as well as high digital literacy and cutting-edge digital infrastructure.

As somewhat expected, the Chinese economy will benefit the most, with US$456–862 billion of economic input per year, followed by that of Japan (US$87–165 billion) and India (US$79–148 billion).

Dubai Metaverse Strategy

The Dubai Metaverse Strategy goal is to turn Dubai into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies and a global hub for the metaverse community. The strategy also aims to develop global standards in building safe and secure platforms for users and develop metaverse infrastructure and regulations to accelerate the adoption of these technologies.

Strategies objectives are:

  • attracting more than 1,000 companies in the fields of blockchain and metaverse;
  • promoting Dubai’s ambitions to support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030;
  • to support the UAE government’s vision of increasing the number of blockchain companies by five times.

 The Dubai Metaverse Strategy seeks to:

  • foster innovation, enhance the metaverse’s economic contributions through R&D collaborations, and promote advanced ecosystems utilising accelerators and incubators that attract companies and projects to Dubai
  • foster talent and invest in future capabilities by providing the necessary support in metaverse education aimed at developers, content creators and users of digital platforms in the metaverse community
  • develop Web3 technology and its applications to create new governmental work models and development in vital sectors, including tourism, education, retail, remote work, healthcare and the legal sector.

 The strategy’s key pillars focus on:

  • extended reality (XR)
  • augmented reality (AR)
  • ·virtual reality (VR)
  • mixed reality (MR)
  • and digital twins (a virtual representation of an object or system).

2022 State of the Union Letter of Intent by President von der Leyen

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has published her ‘2022 State of the Union Letter of Intent’, underpinning the Metaverse as an important digital opportunity and trend while also setting out plans for potential regulations of the Metaverse.

The president acknowledges that Europe must adapt to the digital age and added that the EU ‘will continue looking at new digital opportunities and trends, such as the metaverse’. However, the letter provides little specifics on EU actions.

Action Plan for the Integration and Development of Virtual Reality and Industrial Applications (2022-2026)

The Chinese government has published an Action Plan for developing the virtual reality (VR) sector and integrating VR with industrial applications.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the National Radio and Television Administration, and the General Administration of Sports of the People’s Republic of China collaborated to create the action plan.

The European Parliamentary Research Service briefing titled ‘Metaverse: Opportunities, Risks and Policy Implications’

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) published, on 24 June 2022, its briefing titled ‘Metaverse: Opportunities, Risks and Policy Implications’. While the exact scope and the effects of the metaverse on society are still unknown, it can already be seen that it will open up a range of opportunities and risks in a variety of policy areas.

In particular, the briefing summarises studies of the possible effects of metaverse platforms on several policy concerns, including competition, data protection, liability, financial transactions, cybersecurity, health, accessibility, and inclusiveness.

Horizon Worlds losing users, reports show

Horizon Worlds, Meta’s flagship metaverse platform, is failing to meet internal performance expectations, as was reported by The Wall Street Journal which reviewed internal company documents. The Journal said the records showed that the user base had progressively been falling since the spring, with many Horizon users leaving after the first month on the platform.

Meta had set a monthly target of 500,000 active users, but recently reduced it to 280,000. Currently, there are fewer than 200,000.

Horizon’s services include several interactive virtual spaces or worlds allowing users to socialise, play, and have fun. Internal statistics have shown that only 9% of developed worlds have more than 50 visitors, while many never get visited.

Metaverse laws considered in South Korea

 

The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has announced plans to refrain from enforcing traditional video game legislation in the metaverse. Instead, the ministry will release new guidelines and regulations specific to metaverse platforms. The new regulations will encourage wider use of the metaverse and will help the new ecosystem thrive.

According to the ministry, new industries demand the development of new rules. These new industries include over-the-top (OTT) streaming services, self-driving cars, and the metaverse.

Park Yoon-kyu, Director General of ICT Policy at the MSIT, believes that applying outdated and traditional regulations to a new industry like the metaverse would hinder its long-term growth and innovation. In regard to the metaverse, MSIT cautioned that a lack of institutional and legal support and regulation could negatively affect its development.

US trademark applications for metaverse and NFTs at all-time high

 

Recent data reveals that since January 2022, there have been more US trademark applications for crypto assets, NFTs, Web3, and the metaverse than during all the months in 2021. The number of applications has more than doubled, with March 2022 seeing the highest number of filings for all types of trademark applications.

Mike Konduodis, an intellectual property lawyer, stated that individuals and businesses filed over 3,600 trademark applications for crypto-related services with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2022, whereas in 2021, there were 3,516.

When it comes to NFT applications, they have also increased from 2,087 in 2021 to more than 5,800 in 2022. The number of trademark applications for the metaverse and Web3 has more than doubled, with nearly 4,150 applications for the metaverse and Web3 in 2022, and only 1,866 in 2021.