UPDATED 12:46 EDT / JULY 26 2021

BLOCKCHAIN

Nextech plans to launch augmented reality NFT creator program

Augmented reality company Nextech AR Solutions Inc. today announced plans to launch an AR nonfungible token creator program to let customers take advantage of the emerging new class of digital collectibles.

NFTs are a type of cryptocurrency asset representing a digital item such as artwork, images, videos and in-game items. The owners of NFTs have their ownership recorded on a blockchain and can prove that they own the asset because they hold a cryptographic token in a blockchain wallet, which they can trade with others.

This fact has created a massive market for such assets, which have traded approximately $2.5 billion in sales volume during the first half of 2021, according to Reuters. The market started small in January and hit record highs in June, then slumped somewhat.

“When the NFT enabled platform is completed it will squarely put us into the world of blockchain by merging our AR tech with NFT technology,” said Evan Gappelberg, chief executive of Nextech.

Nextech initially intends to use its human hologram creator program HoloX as a template, which is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2021. HoloX is currently in early access.

The human holograms will first be tradable on third-party marketplaces and viewable in the HoloX app. And Nextech also wants to allow creators to mint NFTs on Nextech’s platform and permit them to buy and sell them in its own marketplace as well.

The company also recently acquired Threedy.AI, which provides an artificial intelligence technology that can turn existing 2D NFT artwork into augmented reality images at scale. Using this technology, NFT images would be automatically transformed into 3D models and hosted on Threedy’s cloud and provide a new way to interact with NFT artwork.

Gappelberg said that AI will allow “us to scale up the production of high-quality and personalized content as a hologram NFT, be it your favorite athletes, artist or artwork.”

For example, it would make examining and interacting with artwork on marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible a different experience. It’s one thing to own an NFT, just because it’s collectible; it’s another to view or interact with it in context.

“Augmented reality experiences are extremely well-positioned as NFTs, as they not only display digital content but allow buyers to interact with them,” said Dawsyn Borland, vice president of AR Innovation Labs and Content at Nextech.

Immersive virtual reality startup Holoride GmBH also launched its blockchain technology with NFTs for similar reasons. The company uses NFTs to give users of its in-car entertainment system collectibles a way to interact and trade assets connected to its brand.

Image: Nextech AR Solutions

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