Blake Dowling: Dipping our toes in the Florida Metaverse

Blake Dowling: Dipping our toes in the Florida Metaverse

I saw an Instagram post this week for the rock band motor head and their performance at Ozzfest 2022.

It seemed a little strange to me, as a lead singer Lemmy Kilmister died in recent years.

After reading the details, this Ozzfest Music Festival performance was a metaverse digital hologram/avatar performance; hosted at Decentraland.

The event was filled with Web3 innovations (like Motorhead playing with their deceased singer), NFT, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. It was also free, as happened last weekend.

If you attended, you could run around the stage cheering on the performers as your virtual avatar without worrying about hurting yourself in the mosh pit since you’re not really there.

Some footage from the show reminded me of Wii Bowling (Gothic version); you can form your own opinion from this video:

Need clarification on these terms? Do you feel like the world has passed you by?

Fear nothing; this column is for you. Let’s dive into the metaverse.

Decentraland, which hosted the concert, is a 3D world on the Internet, where site visitors can buy virtual land, socialize and more.

The money used there is a cryptocurrency called MANA, built from and using the Ethereum blockchain.

This world has been open to the public since 2020.

Looks like someone had time off during the pandemic.

Short version – the metaverse is a digital playground where users own digital territory and can help govern its existence. You can also play games, collect artwork (NFT), and interact socially with other users.

There are around 300,000 monthly active users on this site.

What is an NFT? It’s an acronym for “non-fungible token,” which means proof of ownership of all that digital art you’ve purchased from Decentraland. Now you’re following or wondering if that’s really a thing.

Yes, it is, and daily apps are here now. Taco Bell jumped into the NFT space with the sale of some images, and they sold out quickly.

In addition, the buyer receives a large gift card.

Other high level NFTs include Glenfiddich whiskey, singer Grimesand William Shatner. Shatner sold 125,000 units in 9 minutes, including an x-ray of his teeth.

Does this seem unreal to you? It’s very real with very real (sort of) dollars in NFT (cryptocurrency, not dollars) transactions.

Now let’s move on to the metaverse.

The metaverse is the internet at speed, having a connection or immersion in the 3D world through a virtual reality headset or other VR device.

There are some very cool and very practical things happening in the metaverse.

In Florida, the City of Miami Gardens launched the Miami Gardens “Virtual City” metaverse experience.

You will be able to dive into a virtual version of the city with a social aspect. It is viewable through a VR headset or without a headset (smartphone, PC, etc.) to ensure it is inclusive for everyone.

Users can explore events and landmarks, feeling like they’re actually there.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living: run a city, run a campaign, tour, TV show, museum, or news publication; you could start diving into this world now.

Imagine sharing your vision with anyone in the world and having them experience it in a new way. why not check Miami Gardens first by downloading the Ceek VR app to see what I’m talking about.

There’s a lot more going on here than just visiting a city, as the Orlando Economic Partnership claims they are the center (the metacenter) of the metaverse with over $1 billion invested in the space this year, according to WESH2 News. They describe what is happening as a gold rush, including the tech sector, video game companies and more.

I contacted their team (thanks Jennifer) for their point of view:

“At the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership), we have catalyzed this momentum and have taken ownership of the task of making Orlando the MetaCenter, a unique region in the world that combines creativity, technology and innovation as we do,” said david adelsonDirector of Innovation for the Orlando Economic Partnership.

“Metaverse industries have had their roots in Orlando for decades, it’s not something we invent; we are just catalyzing and leveraging our full potential as a tech hub and growing our footprint by getting companies to relocate or expand in our region. We have the talent, the manpower, and everything else everyone needs to succeed in the metaverse,” Adelson said.

They’re doing something special in Orlando in the whole tech space with OEP office CEO, Tim Giulaniwinning prestigious awards this year, including the nomination of a GIS WebTech Award for Technology Leadership.

If you’re looking for a competitive edge, an edge over an opponent, or a differentiator from everyone else in your industry, you might just have found it.

It might be time to join the Metaverse in Florida.

Or do you think that with this column, I only scratched the meta-surface?

Both would be on the money.

There are tons of apps to imagine and yes, I have only dipped my virtual toes in the deep ocean of these topics.

As we boldly step into the future, look for an NFT photo of me writing this column for sale soon. I’m sure it’ll fly off the shelf like Shatner’s teeth.

Kudos to all the innovators in this space, because it’s not common to use Shatner, Ozzy, Taco Bell, and Miami Gardens in the same column; the stars have truly aligned.

See you soon in the Florida Metaverse.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at [email protected].

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