UPDATED! Infiniverse: A Brief Introduction to a Blockchain-Based Augmented Reality Platform

Infiniverse 25 Oct 2018

Infiniverse is a blockchain-based augmented reality platform:

Frankly, this is nothing more than a slickly-produced promotional video, a purely imaginary artistic concept of what Infiniverse is supposed to be. (It reminds me of that equally imaginary Decentraland promotional video I keep seeing people refer to.)

The reality is probably very different from what is portrayed here. Who knows what the actual technical state of the project is? According to this Medium article, Infiniverse is currently in development and scheduled for a public beta release in the fourth quarter of 2018. (I’ll believe that when I see it.)

According to their white paper:

Infiniverse is a decentralized augmented reality (AR) platform and persistent virtual world on top of the real world, powered by the EOS blockchain and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Users can bring digital content into the real world, allowing it to be seen and interacted with by any other nearby users. The platform also allows users to place persistent content in the world, which remains in the same physical location even after the user has left the area or quit the application. However, due to the scarcity of real world space, users must purchase or rent “land”, the digital layer of real world locations, in order to place persistent content there.

Infiniverse has its own economy and virtual currency: Infinicoin, an EOS token. Infinicoin is used to register land and make transactions on the marketplace. The marketplace allows users to sell their creations, trade unique items, and buy and rent land, all without percentage-based commissions. The blockchain gives users full control and security over their virtual currency, land ownership and assets, while content is duplicated and distributed across the IPFS network.

Initially, the platform runs on iOS and Android devices that support AR frameworks with positional tracking, such as ARKit and ARCore. In the future, support will be extended to smart glasses when these devices are more mature and widespread, appropriate for outdoor use, and include GNSS chips for geographic location tracking.

The goal is to create a rich parallel universe that users can seamlessly switch into, allowing them to experience diverse AR content and applications, all co-existing and interacting, and a thriving virtual economy that allows content creators to create real economic value, while keeping all of the proceeds.

If you’re interested in Infiniverse, you can follow them on Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Medium. Or you can just visit their website.

Infiniverse 2 25 Oct 2018

Since it’s not yet clear how social this platform will be, I am not adding this product to my List of Social VR/Virtual Worlds. But it is interesting, nonetheless. I wish them luck!

UPDATE Oct. 26th: Someone from the Infiniverse team named Neb reached out to me via Telegram with the following video, in response to my question about the current technical state of the Infiniverse project.  This three-minute video shows how Infiniverse would look using a smartphone:

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The Killer App for Virtual Reality is the Metaverse

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Anna Bashmakova and Oculus Rift (photo by Sergey Galyonkin on FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0)

Loup Ventures is a research-driven venture capital firm based in Minneapolis and New York investing in frontier technology. They just wrote an article on Medium titled Is VR Dead or Just Getting Started?

Here’s a quote:

VR’s Killer App, the Metaverse

Everyone is searching for the killer app for VR, the application or experience that will be a system seller like Wii Sports for the Wii or VisiCalc for the Apple II. VR’s killer app, we believe, is already in development and should be ready for mainstream adoption in the next five years.

The Metaverse, a term coined in the 1992 sci-fi classic, Snow Crash, is a virtual universe similar in many ways to reality. Players can be anyone, do anything, or go anywhere, regardless of their real life circumstances. The Metaverse will be a place where all of what VR has to offer branches off from. A place where you can socialize, do business, shop, go on outerworld adventures, watch esports tournaments, and more. The limits lie in the imagination of users and developers who will compete for prime real estate in the Metaverse. We will take an in-depth look into the potential of the Metaverse in a future note, but for now, just picture The Oasis from Ready Player One.

High Fidelity raised $35 million in June, with the goal of bringing VR to a billion people through their new VR world. Linden Labs, maker of the popular online role-playing game, Second Life, is also working on bringing a Metaverse to the mainstream with Project Sansar. It remains to be seen who will become the real-life Gregarious Games, but one thing is certain — the Metaverse will play a critical role in the future of VR.

And I do agree with this. VR’s “killer app” will be the metaverse. Sansar and High Fidelity are just two of dozens of platforms which are in various early stages of development, and which could potentially transform the way we use computers and communicate with each other. It’s a major paradigm shift, similar to the one where we moved away from command-line MS-DOS and towards using a mouse with graphical user interfaces like Windows and the Mac.

One day (just not as quickly as the most enthusiastic forecasters predicted), we will all be in a form of virtual reality/augmented reality/mixed reality, both for work and personal use. It’s just going to take time, maybe another decade. In the meantime, enjoy the ride!

Coming Out of the Closet, and the Twists and Turns This Blog Has Taken

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Photo by Jamesthethomas5 on Unsplash

Life is strange, isn’t it?

By now, all you regular blog readers know my secret: my favourite pastime over the past eleven years has been creating and outfitting Second Life avatars, and endlessly shopping the SL grid and Marketplace for steals, deals, and freebies for my collection of alts!  (Hey, you didn’t think I actually spent a lot of money on this, did you? I did almost all of it for free!)

And it only took a cancer scare for me to come clean about my hobby, in an effort to find good homes for all my avatars after my death, via my will. (That work is ongoing. I have to start getting in touch with all the people who expressed an interest in inheriting one of my avatars.)

Hey, some people collect stamps; I just happen to collect avatars. Yes, I know, it’s a rather strange hobby. But I’m quite certain that I am not the only person who does this in Second Life. (Perhaps not to the same extent…)

I just decided to come out of the closet, just like I had earlier in my life about being gay and about being someone with chronic, clinical depression. Coming out of the closet is liberating. Like the Bible says, the truth will set you free.

All I know is that shopping for deals and freebies makes me happy, and I have also been happy to share my expertise and experience with those of you reading my blog. I hope by now that I have convinced you that you do not need to spend thousands of Linden dollars to look like a million bucks in Second Life!

And I find it so ironic that I am now a Second Life blogger! As I said recently on the VirtualVerse user forums:

You know, I started off on July 31st, 2017 as a blogger exclusively about Sansar. I never planned to blog about other virtual worlds at all, and I certainly never planned to become an SL blogger. There are already thousands of bloggers doing that, and doing it well, like Strawberry Singh and Inara Pey.

Then, after an incident in January 2018 where I was asked by Linden Lab to take down some pictures I had taken (with permission, mind you!) of one of their Ready Player One experiences after Warner Brothers objected to LL about my use of the apparently forbidden word “exclusive”, I got pissed off and I decided to rebrand and expand my blog to cover all the newer social VR platforms including High Fidelity, Sinespace, VRChat, and AltspaceVR.

You can follow the drama as it unfolded here:
Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar (The blogpost that started this whole mess, where I was asked to take down the pictures by LL’s legal. I eventually was allowed to repost the pictures, and I got a personal apology from Ebbe Altberg, which meant a lot to me.)
UPDATED: I’m Taking A Break
The Sansar Newsblog Is On Hiatus
The Sansar Newsblog Has Changed Its Name to RyanSchultz.com

In February 2018, I also started covering the ever-expanding and truly hyperbole-filled world of blockchain/cryptocurrency-based virtual worlds like Decentraland:
Blockchain-Based Virtual Worlds – Ryan Schultz

But what I find most amusing by far is that now, by far, the most traffic to my blog is generated by my many posts about the steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life!
Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies – Ryan Schultz

I’m actually in the first page of search results when you Google “second life freebies”. It just goes to show you that you never can predict what will happen…

In its short life, this blog has already had a couple of twists and turns! I’m sure there will be more to come in the future. But I have discovered my calling. I just love blogging about social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse! And I will continue to share news and views about Second Life and the dozens of newer virtual worlds and social VR spaces.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for joining me on this journey.