Most people reading this won’t need convincing about the incredible utility of NFTs. Personal identification, legal contracts, real-world assets, in-game items, physical art, digital art, real estate and more — almost every aspect of our lives will be improved by NFTs. And at this stage it is no longer and if, but a when.
But with the holiday season approaching, a sense of dread is beginning to fill NFT holders and investors alike. When you meet with family or friends around the festive dinner table and an aunt you speak to once a year asks you if you’re interested in the ‘Bitcoins’ and the ‘nifties’, how do you explain to her why the pixelated monkey butt you paid a month’s salary for was not only a worthwhile investment, but also a precursor to a much broader technological revolution which seeks to improve the lives of billions of people? Are there even words to adequately explain this to your extended family?
In this regard, it’s going to be a tough year. People understand things they can touch and see, but NFTs’ intangibility can make them difficult to grasp. Particularly as the applications for their technology increase, NFTs’ confinement to 2D screens may hinder widespread adoption.
If only there were a way to view NFTs in 3D, as if they were real objects right there in front of you… Could you imagine the implications for how we interact with NFTs in general?
AR: The physical-digital interface 👩💻
Augmented Reality (AR) technology is not new, but only recently has it developed to the point where widespread applications are being seriously explored. From virtual classrooms and meetings through to interactive displays in shops and galleries, AR gives us a way to connect the virtual to reality in new, exciting ways. At a time when metaverse narratives are capturing the world’s attention and validating our digital representations, a way to interface between digital and physical worlds is gaining importance.
Hololoot believes in AR. Obviously: we’re an AR app, built by experts with a history of developing innovative AR solutions. Because of that, we think that instead of trying to explain to your aunt what NFTs can do, you should be able to show her.
AR NFTs 🥽
AR NFTs extend the concept of traditional NFTs beyond ‘flat’ digital assets by allowing for them to be projected into the real world. As visual animals, people are interested in viewing their virtual property in 3D space — not just because it’s cool, but because it’s useful.
Retail shopping 👠
People love shopping, and with the emergence of the metaverse and NFTs-as-identifiers tied to real-life items, the retail experience is poised to undergo a revolution. In the luxury goods market, for example, NFT solutions are already being deployed to combat fakes and forgeries. But still, something is missing from the online shopping experience.
Imagine now you’ve sold your pixelated monkey butt NFT for the GDP of a small nation. You rightfully want to flex a bit with an LV bag and some Gucci slides. You’re a degen though — high-end shops aren’t exactly familiar territory, so you turn to online shopping. You find a couple of items you’re interested in and inspect their associated NFT for authenticity. But you’re still not convinced — there are pictures, but you’re not sure how the items will actually look. Luckily, the retailer has taken photogrammetric scans of the items (which you can do through Hololoot) and so a 3D representation is available. You load up the NFT on Hololoot, point at the table, and instantly feel like you’re there in the shop.
The benefits of this use case go both ways — retailers and brands can connect with their customers in ways that were previously relegated to sci-fi. And because their NFT can be instantly transferred and quickly redeemed for the physical item, buyers are afforded a seamless checkout experience.
In-game items 🎮
The Play-to-Earn (P2E) economy has taken the world by storm. Thanks to crypto assets like NFTs, gamers are now earning real income from their time in-game. While it often takes a lot of grinding to make any real money, secondary item markets from other multiplayer games tell us that there is serious demand for in-game assets — and really, it’s only a matter of time before the largest existing marketplaces move to NFTs.
With AR, these in-game items become real. Whether it’s to flex a drop you just got or to inspect the properties of a skin or weapon, AR brings in-game items to life. If you plan to spend real money on purchasing something virtual, being able to view it in the real world can prove especially valuable.
Real-world experiences 💻
AR is already changing the way we experience real-world locations like museums or art galleries. By scanning a QR code users can bring an historical display to life, or interact in new ways with contemporary art. Most of us have seen or heard of this use case for AR, but widespread adoption remains elusive. The simple fact is that AR applications are too fragmented for most users — you usually need to download a new app for every museum or display you go to, which is often more trouble than it’s worth.
NFTs have their metadata stored on the blockchain — which means if your app can interact with the blockchain, in theory it can call the metadata. Our Hololoot Cloud leverages this to allow users to load assets anywhere, at any time. Tying them to NFTs makes cataloging easy, which means all a museum needs to do is to upload their display to Hololoot, mint an associated NFT and then give patrons a QR code to scan. Because of our easy scalability, Hololoot is poised to become the go-to app for real-world AR experiences.
AR real estate 🏢
The metaverse is growing rapidly and people are lining up to buy virtual plots of land. Often these virtual lots are in made-up digital worlds, but in some cases they can be tied to real- world equivalents. As a unique item, metaverse land is usually secured by an NFT which works in much the same way as a traditional title deed.
Thanks to AR, these virtual NFT properties are being made real. We can very easily imagine your metaverse home being tied to a real-world location — your house, or some other nice landmark you own. With location-based AR, these assets can become visible just by standing at the location. You can enter a virtual house, inspect the NFT art hanging on the wall and even interact with virtual items through the AR interface.
Location-based AR NFTs are something that we’re working on supporting with Hololoot. As the metaverse continues to grow, people will want to interact with location-based NFTs in the real world — and AR allows for just that.
It’s a brave new world 👀
Your family dinner has just finished and not only is your entire family convinced that AR NFTs are the future, but your aunt is now farming 150,000% APY on some ultra-low cap pair with no trading volume. All is good in the world, and another holiday season is survived.
But even if your conversations don’t play out exactly like this, we’re still confident in the future of NFTs. Particularly with the extra utility that AR brings, we’re sure AR NFTs will be the norm. And while there is a lot of work ahead, what we’re building at Hololoot is going to change AR and NFTs forever.