“What will the metaverse look like?” is a question that’s been on everyone’s mind ever since Meta made headlines with its name change in 2021. Considering the high prices of quality VR technology and the current limited uses of the metaverse, it can be hard to imagine it becoming as intertwined with our lives as the internet is today.
MeetKai - a Conversational AI company with an up-and-coming meta-verse alternative - is not only helping people envision that future, they seem to be creating it. On July 11th, MeetKai launched a PokemonGo-esque Phase 1 Beta metaverse in the middle of Times Square. The activation turned the Times Square billboard on 47th Avenue and 7th Street into a live portal that’s allowing thousands of users to access a Times Square Metaverse, instantly, by scanning a QR code with their smartphones.
Until August 11th, the public will be able to explore MeetKai’s hyper-realistic digital Times Square. They will be able to see and interact safely with other users, effortlessly walking into an alternate Louvre metaverse also developed by MeetKai. Users will also have exclusive access to a limited stockpile of free “Key to the City - NYC Edition” NFTs that can win them special features, gift cards to iconic stores of real-world Times Square, and even a customized street in the MeetKai Metaverse, for one lucky winner.
The AI company has previously released demos of an AR Restaurant Ordering app at AWE 2022, as well as several immersive metaverse-ready scenes like a Beach and Japanese Zen Garden showcased during CES 2022. MeetKai has hinted at future digital twin activations in other cities – city keys are actually collectible – and will offer similar rewards to those accessing via MeetKai’s website during the activation.
All scenarios portrayed in MeetKai’s live demos and Phase 1 Beta Launch are not just an interesting peek into the future; they’re pilots of the actual technology MeetKai is creating for its metaverse and its differentiators. As the first company to display actual mappings of real places within the metaverse, MeetKai’s overarching goal is all about digitally replicating the physical world and encapsulating it in a smarter, AI-powered virtual space that enhances livelihoods.
As seen on their official website, MeetKai believes that the metaverse should be a place where you can do “anything you can do in real life” with tangible impacts on the real world. How? Imagine ordering food in the metaverse and “receiving it on your real-world doorstep” or having a full-fledged and open-ended conversation with AI-powered NPCs who have colossal knowledge on a subject of interest.
Like Web2 today, MeetKai sees the metaverse as a frontier where users will enhance everyday activities - like visiting a museum or shopping for clothes - with AI technology that will be very common and accessible to everyone in the future. MeetKai’s metaverse will offer the unique opportunity to personalize user experiences, like shopping in a virtual store curated to match your preferences or visiting a museum catered to your interests. It will also offer users the ability to try new things without any risk or cost, and share unique experiences with others who aren’t physically near them.
MeetKai’s vision aims to address an issue that is still a topic of debate in metaverse discussions: can the metaverse be widely adopted? In its current iterations, metaverse experiences are often limited to gamers and VR enthusiasts, but the company believes that technology like MeetKai’s has the potential to truly bring the metaverse into the mainstream by increasing overall productivity and accessibility.
Even though the price of standalone VR devices has started to come down, they can still be in the $300+ range. MeetKai has unleashed the first-ever browser-compatible metaverse product, available across a spectrum of smart devices such as your phone, tablets, and laptops – while current barriers to VR for the general public still remain.
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