- Neil Mandt
The Metaverse and NFTs are about to disrupt the real estate industry in a significant way this year.
Property owners who are prepared could make millions, while those who ignore the signs could see their property values plummet.
Now that I have your attention, let's get started. We’re going to cover a number of topics that will all come together this year (as well as in this article) which will fundamentally change the way people invest in commercial and residential real estate. By the end of this article, you will understand blockchain, NFTs, virtual worlds, virtual reality, augmented reality, the Metaverse and how they will affect the imminent disruption that is about to turn the real estate business upside down.
Buckle up because we are going on a big ride!
First stop, the rapidly expanding world of NFTs. There is a fundamental misunderstanding about this subject, and I will set the record straight. Currently there are about 4 million people in the entire world who are playing in the NFT arena, and I think less than 1% of these people understand NFTs.
WHAT IS AN NFT?
The definition is a Non-Fungible Token. Something that is fungible is an item that has interchangeable value. As an example, if I loaned you a $100 bill and you gave me five $20 bills when you paid me back, that would work just fine for me. Since they both equal $100, they have the same value, which makes them fungible. Things that are non-fungible are things like photographs, music, or a piece of real estate. While you could make a duplicate of these things, they would never be the exact same as the original. Even in the case of real estate, if someone were to build cookie cutter suburban homes in the same neighborhood, they would not be the same, as they occupy different positions in time and space. This makes them non-fungible. None of this makes any of them the actual NFT. The NFT is the result of the process that is involved in recording the ownership. Full stop. That's all the NFT is, it’s a certificate or receipt of ownership, it is not a thumbnail pic of a piece of art, it’s a digital signature.
A great example of an NFT would be in real estate. Imagine if you bought a home in Costa Rica. You went there regularly, you knew the neighbors, and everybody was always excited to see you when you visited. Then this summer you decide to return to Costa Rica, and you find somebody is living in your house. You ask the neighbors, and they say they don't know the guy and he’s been there for six months. You bolt down to City Hall, and you tell them there's a dude that’s living in your house. And they tell you “Oh yes, that's Marco. He's been there for the last three months.” Of course, you're surprised, and you explain that you purchased the property many years ago.
You show them your paper deed and they respond by saying there has been a change of government in Costa Rica, City Hall has burned down and there is no record of your ownership. This situation has happened in foreign countries before, and it can happen again. However, if the recording of that deed had been “minted” on a public ledger that is called blockchain as an NFT, this situation would not be possible. The NFT is the certificate of ownership and the fact that the public has the availability to view it on an immutable blockchain, you would have eliminated any falsification or destruction of the record. This is the future of recording land ownership, which will eliminate the need for a notary. Like so many other jobs that have been disrupted by technology, the need for a notary will soon cease to exist.
BLOCKCHAIN IS CRITICAL TO UNDERSTANDING NFTS
Blockchain is an open public ledger that exists on a distributed decentralized network. I know, that sounds like gobbly-gook, so let’s simplify. Pretty much all companies have their computer systems on a private network that is centralized. Maybe you’ve even seen that giant server in the basement, where the temperature is kept at 50 degrees so the room full of computers doesn’t overheat? This computer network is centralized, which means everyone on the network connects through this system. These networks get hacked all the time because they are singular. Imagine invaders attacking a medieval castle. By attempting to breach the defenses from multiple fronts, rather than a singular attack, the goal of penetrating the castle is far more likely.
(Image credit - Ace Infoway)
In a centralized network, hackers can attack from multiple angles, but it only takes one to get in and take control. In the case of blockchain, the network is decentralized, meaning it’s not in one place, it’s in many places. Hundreds or thousands of computers are connected around the world to share the load of verifying transactions. This network is called a chain and cryptography builds blocks full of data. All of this makes a chain that is distributed across all of the computers. If one block sees a flaw in programming or transaction, the chain is broken instantly. To hack the system, you would need to hack all of these independent computers and that’s not possible. Any NFT that is recorded on the blockchain is for all to see and it can’t be altered in any way.
Ok, now that we understand that the purpose of an NFT is the process of recording ownership and that the ownership is minted on blockchain, and blockchain is an open ledger, let's talk about the Metaverse!
THERE’S NO STOPPING THE METAVERSE!
Last October Facebook announced they were changing the company’s name to Meta as an expression of how important they think the Metaverse will be to the future success of their company. They’re not alone, as Google and Apple have also doubled down on their assessment of this technology, leaving no doubt where big tech stands. It’s the Metaverse or bust and there’s nothing you and anyone you know can do to stop it. For real, this is coming fast!
There's been a lot of talk about the Metaverse since Facebook, excuse me, I mean Meta’s announcement. People are getting excited about it, however, almost nobody understands what it is. Let me break it down. Just like NFTs are recording of ownership, the Metaverse is equally as easy to understand, as it is simply a 3-dimensional internet. We are moving towards web 3.0. Web 1.0 was when we were stuck at a desktop. Web 2.0 was when we were mobile, by using a phone or a tablet and web 3.0 is 3-dimensional. That’s what it is, the internet in 3D.
We have already seen the 3-dimensional Metaverse come to life in virtual reality, most notably through Meta's efforts with the Oculus. By strapping on VR goggles, anyone can be transported to entirely new environments and experiences from the comfort of their own home. VR goggles have already made a huge splash in the gaming, training, medical and educational fields, and the growth will be massive in the coming years. Despite the positive outlook for virtual reality, the technology that will have the greatest impact on humanity will be augmented reality, otherwise known as AR.
AUGMENTED REALITY IS HERE AND IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE
In the future, rather, I should say that in the very, very, very near future, there will be consumer grade augmented reality eyewear sold at mass, which will allow an individual to see the 3D internet layered over the real world. This leads me to point out that all of the technologies that I discuss in this article have already happened. It’s easy for people to argue that these ideas are futuristic, and they may doubt whether they will come to fruition. This is because they don’t track the industry. Nevertheless, I’m talking about the past and how it is affecting the present and what will inevitably come.
Current examples of augmented reality wearables include Nreal, North (recently bought by Google) and even AR glasses for swimming and cycling. Whether wearing glasses or contact lenses, anything and everything will have additional information attached to it that can be unlocked by using your augmented reality device. If you're looking at an orange it will offer up relevant information, like where that piece of fruit came from, right down to the orchard and the exact tree, as well as what the caloric intake of the orange would be for you at that precise moment, based on the other data that your devices are capturing about you, as related to your health and current fitness.
This level of detail will be unlockable with any AR device on anything and will be connected to everything in our world. No longer will you hunch over and search on Google, you will simply look at something and the information and media will reveal itself in your 3-dimensional world. Remember, the Metaverse is the 3D internet, which includes a 3D search. It should be noted that in 2021 a company by the name of Mojo Vision won the best prize at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for their working augmented reality contact lenses. Once again, this is past tense.
(Image credit - Hyper Reality by Keiichi Matsuda)
Now that we understand the Metaverse is a 3-dimensional internet, it should make sense that the Metaverse is singular. There is only one internet and there will not be more than one Metaverse. There are currently two entry points to the Metaverse, through virtual reality goggles or by using an augmented reality device, like a mobile phone, tablet, or AR eyewear. When you hear of somebody saying they are going to build their own Metaverse, this means they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Metaverse is.
VIRTUAL WORLDS EXPLAINED
The Metaverse will behave exactly like the current internet behaves, platforms will have entry points via an app or through a web address. When you click on any of these portals, which can be discovered through either VR or AR, you will be able to enter “virtual worlds.” Likely, when people say they're building a Metaverse, they mean they're building a virtual world. Each of these entirely new environments may offer social interaction with others.
Not to bury the lead as they say, but the set up for our main subject was critical in understanding how this all impacts the real-world real estate, how it plays in the Metaverse, either in the virtual world or in the real physical world. Let's begin with an understanding of what is happening right now as it relates to real estate in the virtual world.
There are several platforms that are currently at the blueprint phase of selling plots of land in their virtual worlds, in advance of their world being built out. Imagine a developer in the real world comes to you and tells you they are developing a planned community outside of your town and there's an opportunity for you to buy the land now that will be developed later. You could eventually move into the newly developed land yourself, hire a leasing agent and a management company to rent it, leave it vacant until a time in the future when you find a use for the asset or you could sell if you can make a nice profit. This is exactly what is being offered to investors in these virtual worlds.
Your instinct is likely to think this is nuts. Real people are selling plots of land in places that currently don’t exist, in virtual worlds that have not yet been created, using a technology that only a fraction of people have ever touched and none of your friends have ever even heard of any of this? Not only is this happening, but it’s become a full-blown virtual land boom. In the first weekend of December, four virtual worlds collectively sold $106 million dollars’ worth of land to investors. Two of the most prominent virtual worlds that are seeing incredible traction are The Sandbox and Decentraland, and it’s not just people playing in the crypto and NFT space who are investing.
(Image credit - The Sandbox)
Big companies, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Nike, Gucci and most recently Warner Music Group, have all purchased large sections of land within The Sandbox and/or Decentraland. All of these companies believe that they can build virtual communities inside of these virtual worlds and their hope is that they are buying this land in the earliest stages of the Metaverse’s development, which would lead to a rise in prices over time.
While these are highly speculative bets, and many will fail, it does appear as though some of these could be good short-term investments. As the speculation and FOMO rises, so do prices, and it will be a while before we can determine which of these become popular. It will of course depend on what community and what experiences are built by those who own the land. If a virtual world becomes uncomfortable or simply not cool to visit, it will lose value, just as it would in the real world. This is what I call the Kenny Rogers gamble, you got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them, which can be tough, given the lack of history in this space.
You may be asking, if the worlds are virtual, what’s to keep the creators from just making and selling more land? Like in the real world, for the land to have value, there must be scarcity involved. So, when a developer introduces a new virtual world, they state how many total plots will be available at the outset. By adding more land in that world, they would be attacking their own exclusivity. Now, this does not mean the creators of Decentraland won’t build a version 2, 3, 4 and eventually 100. Each will have its own land limit and its own protocols as to how one can build and develop their real estate assets in those worlds. Along the way, earlier virtual worlds may be seen as Coke Classic, something that is time tested or Pong, and is only sold on eBay for nostalgia. Time will tell, but there is no doubt it is more than a wave, it’s going to be the way of the future.
The value of a real estate asset in the real world or in virtual reality, is based on one word, trust. People buy land because they believe it's going to go up in value. They trust the asset and its potential. There has never been anyone in the history of purchasing real estate that said, “Wow, this place is in the worst neighborhood ever and I hope it gets worse.” That is not the premise of real estate. People hope that it goes up in value. But that of course all depends on many factors in the community, including infrastructure, design, availability to goods and services, safe open spaces and protection from threats. Which leads us to what will happen to real-world real estate as the Metaverse grows.
IS POKÉMON GO A GLOBAL CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE?
Currently, real estate holders in our world are under extreme attack and threats and they are totally unaware. Let me begin by explaining where the law currently sits, as well as what the opportunity is. However, first we must understand how previous AR success stories panned out, and we will use Pokémon Go as our test case. In my opinion Pokémon Go is an ongoing global criminal enterprise. What, did I just say that? Yes, I did! They have used land they don’t own for their profit without consulting with the property owner. That is a crime.
Imagine you own a commercial building and in your lobby is a Jimmy John's and a Starbucks. Both businesses are paying rent to you. To secure their spot in your lobby, each of those business would have engaged in negotiations with the landlord as to what rights they had within the property, what hours could they be open, what kind of internal signage could they have, what were their rules and responsibilities regarding dealing with the public, and of course they would have to secure and provide a liability insurance certificate (soon to be recorded as an NFT) adding the property to the policy. Many things would have been discussed, negotiated and memorialized on a signed contract.
By contrast, Pokémon Go has come inside of your lobby and set up an invisible business. They encourage strangers who will not be your clients to enter your property at all hours to play a video game, which can cause harm or danger to the property, its clients and disruption to visitors. The creators tell you to ignore the Pokémon, they say it’s not there. It is only on your phone. When, in reality, it is there, it’s only there! If I point my phone to the right or the left or behind me, I will not see the Pokémon. If I put it in front of me the 3D cartoon is revealed on the phone, meaning that it is occupying a very specific place in space and time, which happens to be locked in your lobby. The XR term for this is persistent. As players engage with the game, often they will spend money. This is like Pokémon came into your lobby, opened a card table and started selling watches.
Furthermore, if little Bobby is sliding down the escalator trying to catch the Pikachu and he slips and falls and breaks his neck, the building owner is liable, whether they knew about it or not. However, often in real estate, property owners wanted Pokémon activity on their property with the hopes that people would convert into customers. This did not happen. What did happen was injuries and disruption.
(Image credit - Pokémon Go)
So, to recap, Pokémon has been stealing the use of a real property’s space, as well as their intellectual property rights to activate Pokémon’s business, generate capital, collect heaps of data and never ask for permission, or offer protections in case of injuries or damages. If I wanted to put on a puppet show in your lobby, you would ask many questions. What is the content? Who is showing up? When is this happening? Where is a safe place to perform this puppet show? And of course, last and certainly most importantly, I would be required to deliver an insurance certificate protecting the property owner against any loss, damage or claims.
None of this happened and Pokémon is ongoing. Property owners should tell Pokémon to get off the property. In 2019 Pokémon settled a class action suit, in which they agreed to remove any Pokémon assets from a property and move it 40 meters away if a building or owner complained. This was an incredible settlement for Pokémon, as they never had to address any of the points I just mentioned regarding trespassing, paying rent or delivering insurance certificates. Property owners were suckered in this deal.
It should be of great concern to landlords that the activities of Pokémon will only expand to other games. Pokémon’s parent company Niantic has released several other real-world AR games, including a multiplayer game called Neon, which requires a group of people to use real estate as a field of play. As augmented reality becomes more prevalent, it’s probable that people may show up on your front lawn with toy guns in the middle of the night. When Halo or Grand Theft Auto moves to activate their augmented reality real world games, all bets are off. Property owners must be vigilant against all video games and any business that requires real estate to activate content in the augmented Metaverse.
All of this leads to how property owners can benefit from augmented reality and virtual worlds. Property owners will be able to generate serious revenue through augmented reality advertising. In this future, where people are using AR glasses, we will see platforms like Meta create full augmented reality environments as overlays in the real world. As I mentioned, the behavior will be like using an app or a website. You will put on your glasses and say, “Hey device, activate Meta!” and in an instant the world will have a slight blue hue to it. Probably the road would turn blue, and we'll see some other icons around that signify you are in a Meta environment, as opposed to another virtual augmented environment.
Meta and others will need to find a way to coexist in the real world, and create experiences that enhance that world. It will go far beyond my earlier orange example. The facial recognition of the glasses will identify anybody who is on the internet. Meaning that when you walk into a conference room with your LinkedIn AR app activated, everyone's LinkedIn profile will hover next to their face, once it is recognized by the AI.
For Meta, it will be imperative to offer a clean and comfortable 3-dimensional experience when you activate their platform in the real world Metaverse. They will not want to have digital assets jumping at you and scaring you in the middle of the street. They will want to make it smooth, which opens the opportunity for buildings to be used as a canvas for information and advertisements. When we walk down the streets now, we are used to seeing advertisements and media on the sides of buildings, so this will be natural. However, the billion-dollar question is who owns those rights? Does Meta need permission to use them?
REAL ESTATE METAVERSE RIGHTS ACCORDING TO CURRENT LAWS
The answer is the same as in the real world. The building owner owns the rights and anybody that would put a billboard on their building would need permission, the law is very clear and has been in the books for many years in many ways. Let's begin to break it down. First off, in the real-world building owners are aware of owning invisible space despite their apathy towards Pokémon Go, landlords do see value in air rights, which is the invisible space above their building. This means that owners need to rethink ownership of real estate in their 3-dimensional space within their property.
If an advertiser puts content, whether augmented or not, on the building, it is using their 3-dimensional space. Just as Pokémon being locked to a position in the lobby, the advertisement would similarly be locked to the building. There is a law in the books called the Lanham Act. This part of the federal copyright code specifically addresses false advertising and endorsements that can confuse the public that involve commerce.
If I were to wear my augmented reality glasses and look at the side of a building and see a Coke ad on it, logic would lead me to believe that the building was aware of the Coke ad and had approved it, thereby endorsing Coke. If the building was not involved in the deal, and does not know that there is an advertisement on the property, then the endorsement of the building has been stolen from the owner. If there is commerce involved, then this is a violation of the Lanham Act. Full stop, no discussion.
Another law that covers this is the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act, which states that the real-world IP translates into the digital world. Meaning you cannot be me on the internet, nor can you monetize my building on the internet. Also, if the building was built after December of 1990, its architectural design is inherently protected under copyright law.
There are a number of examples where a property has exercised these rights, one of which is the Chrysler Building and the Spider Man video game. The Chrysler Building elected not to be used within the Spider Man video game experience and the game removed the building. Property owners should feel comfortable that they are the sole owners of all rights in the Metaverse to their properties, look, feel, design and brand and they must aggressively defend these attacks.
However, this is a far greater threat than a movie or a video game featuring a property in the content, presently there are several platforms that are selling the rights to real-world properties in the Metaverse for cash. Right now, they are generating revenue and are not sharing it with the owner of the property, nor are they sharing any of the data collected on the individuals who have purchased their land. Upland, Superworld, and Spotland are a few of the platforms admitting they do not have permission to do what they are doing. Upland is no small platform, as they currently have 100,000 daily active users on the site and they recently raised $18 million dollars at a whopping $300 million dollar valuation. Reminder, they are selling people's real world real estate, making real money, and are not telling the property owners in the real world. Your real estate may have already been sold. They say that no one has complained, which makes this a 5-alarm fire for property owners.
It just so happens that I am one of those property owners. As you can see on the screen capture of a map below, 6910 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood is owned by HAMROCKET on the Upland platform. The problem is I own the real building at 6910 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood and I don't know who HAMROCKET is. I never heard of this person until I searched my address on their platform. I did not receive any communication from Upland indicating that they were selling my property, nor did I received any of the proceeds.
(Image credit - Upland.me)
Once again, the platform would tell you not to worry, it's a game. The fact is this is a real-world game. When its users start activating augmented reality content as overlays, in what is trending to be a well adopted platform, it could promote messaging that does not align with the owner's messaging. On top of that, it could be collecting revenue on an ongoing basis and the owner would never know.
Despite the bad actors, of which there will be many, as we move forward to the ubiquity of augmented reality glasses and advertisements on buildings, Meta and others will gladly license these properties for use. Fortunes will be made for many building owners because of this technology and opportunity, including click through a purchase in the real world. The few buildings that have permission to display a physical ad on the side of its building today are usually limited to one ad. However, the Metaverse will be filled with limitless ads that could appear on all four sides of the building, as well as the fifth area above. None of this will require a permit, as these ads do not exist in the real world.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in this future, allowing content to be tailored to each one of us, based on our behavior and searching history real time in the Metaverse. Remember, the Metaverse is a 3D internet. This means if I'm walking down the street with my buddy Paul and we each look at a building, we may see three different ads. The platform will notice that I have been looking at hamburger ads all morning and it will serve me a final one to get me to go to a restaurant. Paul will be seeing that blue sweater that he searched on the web six months ago. This opens a massive global inventory of advertising space. Meta will not throw an ad on every building at the same time, instead they will have licenses to a high volume of buildings, which will serve ads when it is most comfortable for the user, based on the AI information.
Remember that scene from Back to the Future Part II when Marty McFly went to back to the future and he was terrified because a 3D shark animated off a building and tried to eat him? Well that has already happened.
(Image credit - Universal Pictures)
This concept of 3-dimensional augmented reality advertising on the building is not futuristic. In fact, it is in the past. In April of 2019 Snapchat was hired by HBO to create a 3-dimensional augmented reality activation on the front facade of the Flatiron building in New York. This 3D content featured the dragon from Game of Thrones landing on top of the Flatiron building and the structure turned into a giant block of ice. When I came across this, I contacted the executive offices of the property to inquire whether or not they were aware of this advertisement on their building. Their response was no.
(Image credit - Daily Variety)
Another example of this behavior was also a Snapchat activation, when they placed an AR Spiderman on the front of the Chinese Theater. Once again, I contacted the building owner and he was shocked to learn of the content. Building owners who do not defend these rights will find themselves increasingly in court and the genie may be hard to put back into the bottle. In both Snapchat instances commerce and advertising took place. HBO and Sony separately paid to have the content created and Snapchat locked that content to properties they don’t own, violating the Lanham Act. If property owners don't protect themselves, not only will this Snapchat and others be emboldened to continue this behavior, but the property owner will have to contend with their own tenants creating AR assets just like the Jaws example in Back to the Future Part II. Property owners must put them on notice immediately.
PROTECT YOUR REAL ESTATE ASSETS WITH THE METAVERSE RIGHTS PLATFORM NOW
The Metaverse Rights platform is the first ever NFT exchange where individuals can invest in ownership of a portion of a property's future revenue stream, generated through augmented reality advertisements in the Metaverse, as well as licensing the properties rights in the virtual worlds. This offers land owners the ability to cash out on their property’s future revenue for cash.
We will get to the money part shortly, but let's talk about the most important part of this story, being protected against threats. It starts with a simple question, do you own your property's XR Title? XR, also known as Extended Reality, is the umbrella term for all immersive media, including VR, AR, MR and any future "realities" that have yet to be invented. The current slate of bad actors who are violating XR property rights levy the excuse that they are not aware of any issues in using real estate assets for XR content experiences, because no one has complained. To put it even more simply, there has not been a mechanism that even would allow a property owner to record their XR Title, until now.
The Metaverse Rights platform is free to use and with just a couple of clicks, a property owner's real world title is verified with a blue check mark and is minted on a public blockchain for all to see, eliminating the "I didn't know it was an issue" excuse. Protection should be paramount for anyone who owns real estate. The Metaverse Rights platform promotes transparency and awareness. Our real estate partners are always kept up to date on the latest legal, technology and any other issues that are relevant to protect an asset from infringement.
MONETIZE YOUR REAL ESTATE ASSETS WITH THE XR EXCHANGE ON THE METAVERSE RIGHTS PLATFORM NOW
The Metaverse Rights platform uses the world’s most advanced proprietary artificial intelligence technology. Property owners will be able to pre-sell a percentage of their future revenue on the real-time auction blockchain platform, called the XR EXCHANGE. The winner(s) of an auction essentially become a type of partner with the property owner, as they will receive their portion of the income the asset generates through licensing in the Metaverse. The result is an NFT which is owned by the investor. Furthermore, the new owner of the NFT can re-sell their new asset on a secondary trading market.
Property owners will continue to benefit from any ongoing sales on these markets. The NFT has a smart contract, which requires a 10% royalty be paid to the property owner every time there is a sale, whether it trades up or down. As perceived values rise, more trades will happen, kicking back more revenue to the landowner. These percentages can be fractionalized, which allows for the democratization of real estate ownership, opening the market for everyone.
So, what can a property be worth in this new take on a futures market? Let’s use a high rise on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles as an example. One of these properties today can generate $150,000 per month for a billboard on one side of the building, which is $1.8million per year. If the owner needed cash, they could find a person that would pay to buy some of that revenue. What would someone pay to secure 10% of a property's $1.8 million annual revenue to be paid out over a 10 year term? Presumably it would be some multiple. Would it be 2X or 5X of one year’s net revenue? Remember, we are talking about one billboard that is not connected to the internet, it cannot offer click through revenue or data collection.
Now imagine a property on the XR EXCHANGE that pre-sells 10% of its future AR advertising revenue. This uses many positions of the asset, four sides, air above, ground floor inside and out, and interior, all connected to the new 3D internet. Revenue will be generated from the advertising licensing and additional revenue from click throughs, which can be personalized to many different people. The property just became a portal that can have limitless content associated with it, all which is controlled by the landlord. The owner doesn’t need to pay out to their investors until the future when the AR or VR revenue flows in, which could be as soon as 2025. Given the massive investments that are pouring into platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland, all doubt should be removed as to whether investors will bet that a building will generate money through advertising soon and invest. In addition to collecting money in this calendar year, the landlord will have added underlying value to the asset, which would lead to a higher property value, which could allow the property owner to refinance their asset.
Auctions will begin soon for those who sign up on the website. You don’t need to own a Sunset Strip high rise to bring in money, every piece of real estate has value. Perhaps you make enough to pay your house’s mortgage for a few months, or you are able to generate enough funds from your commercial assets to buy more properties, or offset any losses you may have had because of lack of rent during the Covid pandemic. Just like air rights, these rights can be retained after the sale of the building to a new owner. However, you can’t negotiate to keep them if you don't know or acknowledge they exist. Claiming this ownership establishes to other platforms that you are serious about your rights and is your best protection in court against violators. Despite the traction the Metaverse is currently experiencing in pop culture, the media and businesses, there are countless people who pledge that they would never wear eyewear. These people are simply wrong. They will wear eyewear, despite what they say now. If I had asked anybody 20 years ago if their life would be spent hunched over all day texting, they would have said I was crazy. When in reality these devices are highly addictive and augmented reality information will change learning forever. The fact is people can only learn by reading and watching videos. It is impossible for somebody to understand any subject matter, place, person or business by reading or watching a video. The process of understanding requires presence, and a three-dimensional internet offers just that. When someone experiences something, it imprints in a different part of the human brain which has a much higher retention value.
ADJUST OR FAIL
Businesses who do not immediately establish a proactive augmented reality and virtual reality Metaverse strategy may find themselves left behind very quickly. Two words sum that idea up fast, Kodak and Blockbuster. Kodak, the dominant force in film and photography did not anticipate the digital camera, meanwhile Blockbuster, who controlled the entire video tape industry, was toppled by a mail order company that realized the value of digitizing content and delivering it electronically, by way of a subscription model. Netflix is now one of the most valuable companies in the world and all media companies now digitize their content. Both were titans of their industries, and both disappeared in a flash because they did not adjust to new technologies. The Metaverse, known as the 3D web, web 3.0, or the spatial web, will disrupt a significant portion of the workforce; understanding it should be mission critical. NFTs will only expand in their use, delivering security of ownership. Remember, an NFT is not a thumbnail and the Metaverse is the next level of the internet. While virtual reality will be fun, interesting, tantalizing and social, augmented reality will have a greater impact on humanity than the printing press, the electric light and the internet combined. It is impossible to overstate the importance of augmented reality and how it will light up the Metaverse in our real world. Ignore it at your own peril or ride the wave to an entirely new human experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Mandt is a five-time Emmy Award-winning Producer, Director and Tech Entrepreneur. For the past three decades, Neil has created content for all U.S. based media conglomerates and major sports leagues, including 3,000 episodes of series television. Neil's ten feature film producing credits includes movies for Disney and A24. Neil was tapped by the Hollywood Foreign Press to be the producer of the 2022 Golden Globe Awards.
A creative thinker, with an extraordinary breadth of experience, Neil has been a pioneer in the creation of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content since 2015. Neil has been working with real estate companies to maximize their Augmented Reality rights since 2017.
Neil has given keynote presentations at the Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers and the Building Owners and Managers Association annual conferences. Neil has developed the concept and strategies of selling fractionalized Augmented Reality rights as an NFT. @neilmandt