The metaverse train just keeps gathering steam. Here are just a few of the many new developments taking place in this fast-moving space as the week wraps up:
- The music industry behemoth Universal Music Group says it has struck a partnership deal with the metaverse avatar firm Genies, the label announced Thursday. A number of the label’s performers, including Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Rihanna, Shawn Mendes, and Migos have already created Genesis avatars, but the new deal will allow all of Universal’s artists to make avatars for use on social media platforms as well as metaverse spheres like Decentraland. Genesis has spoken about its vision for a “Decentralized Disney of the metaverse.”
- The New York Times reported on a couple named Traci and Dave Gagnon, who “met in the cloud,” and then held a wedding “in the virtual world known as the metaverse,” where their digital avatars even walked down the aisle at a virtual ceremony and “seven-year-old twin avatars (the ring bearer and flower girl)” even “danced” at a reception. The event was masterminded for the couple by Virbela, a metaverse firm that creates virtual environments for work, learning, and events. Guests were also required to download the appropriate software and create an avatar in order to attend the couple’s “happy day.”
- Gizmodo reported that Meta (the company once known as Facebook), has launched its Horizon Worlds VR platform, although only owners of its Meta Quest 2 VR headsets (aka the Oculus Quest 2). The media outlet explained: “Think of Horizon Worlds as an early, small-scale version of what [Meta founder] Mark Zuckerberg imagines the metaverse will be.” Users will need a Facebook account to access the platform, and up to 20 people can gather at once in designated rooms.
- The Microsoft chief Bill Gates thinks the metaverse will be the place where most office meetings are held in the space of just “two or three years.” In a blog post, Gates wrote that employee demands for flexibility and remote working options are “changes [that] will only intensify in the years to come,” a factor that will eventually lead more people and firms to the metaverse. He wrote: “Within the next two or three years, I predict most virtual meetings will move from 2D camera image grids […] to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars.”