Mark Zuckerburg may or may not have inadvertently changed the virtual reality space as we know it. Announcing the name change of Facebook to Meta back on 28th October 2022 and declaring to the world his commitment to VR/AR technology may have started a huge domino effect. In fact, some may be dramatic enough and call it a revolution!
It’s predicted that the metaverse could potentially lead to an 800 billion dollar growth in the VR marketing industry and no company big or small will want to miss out on a slice of that pie. Let’s get into it!
After filing seven closely guarded patents late last year, it has come to light that Walmart is committed to entering the virtual space. Their trademark filings on 30th December indicate their intentions to enter into the Meta Verse. They are currently working on three distinct virtual properties to push them firmly amongst all other VR e-commerce businesses. Virtual products similar in design to what they physically sell already, ranging from furniture to electronics and everything in between is one category we know of. Secondly, the buying and selling of Walmart NFTs. NFTs are of course a huge buzzword at the moment and tend to trigger a lot of people for good and bad reasons. And lastly, their own crypto/virtual currency. Another filing that we know of is a patent on the names ‘Verse to Home, ‘Verse to Curb,’ and ‘Verse to Store.’ This would strongly indicate that Walmart is preparing to set up a virtual shopping experience for their customers. Exciting times lay ahead!
All of these factors combined show a serious level of commitment from Walmart and prove that there may be a promising future ahead for the Metaverse. Things are starting to look a lot less like ‘Ralph breaks the Internet’ and a lot more like ‘Ready Player One’ in the bright future of virtual reality.
Of course, Walmart isn’t the first major company to jump two feet first into the virtual world. Famous brand names such as Nike, GAP, Ralph Lauren, and Coca-Cola have all thrown their respective hats into the virtual ring. GAP in particular is the most interesting as they are going for a kind of half-committed hybrid. Offering virtual NFTs but also sending buyers of the NFTs a real-world physical hoodie! More of this, please!
It is no surprise that a huge company such as Walmart has gotten involved as they have long since had a research and development department that trials and experiments with new concepts. Known as ‘Store No. 8’ this group looks to make innovations and help grow the company. Stepping into the virtual space seems like the next logical step and planning to maximize the profit of the potential behind the metaverse seems like a no-brainer. The cost of entry is relatively low for large corporations but the potential for growth is massive. An official statement from Walmart only helps to support this theory: “[We are] continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. We are testing new ideas all the time,” adding, “Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”
So it’s clear that the metaverse concept has grown some legs in just a short few months since October. Major brand names are all investing heavily so as not to be left behind and you can’t read the news these days without seeing trendy buzz words like NFTs or Meta. That said, it’s still too early to call this one. Cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies are definitely here to stay. Meta verse is being backed by Mark Zuckerburg so it’s a safe bet that it’s here to stay too. NFT however is almost a dirty word in some circles. Selling something virtual with no obvious value seems a little shady to most. It can hold value if done right but there’s a huge trend of selling nothing for something lately and it’s just too new a concept to fully support right now. My honest opinion is that NFTs aren’t here to stay unless they can start garnering some good press and fast!
One thing that is here to stay though thankfully is the Metaverse. Early days, but it’s already shaping up to be a rather promising place. No doubt Walmart and all the other big companies will invent as many new ways for consumers to hand over their cash but I for one look forward to it. If the investment is high, then consumers will enjoy doing what we do best: consume!
If you would like to look at recent company filings for patents and trademarks etc. you can find most public filings using TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System).