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Know All About NFT’s

Indroduction about NFTs:

NFTs have played a key role in building mainstream consumer awareness of web3. NFTs of digital artworks such as Beeple’s Everydays — The First 5000 Days, collectibles such as Bored Ape Yacht Club avatars, and parcels of virtual land have sold for millions of dollars, both through traditional auction houses and on web3 marketplaces like OpenSea.

Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are held in wallets. Technically, an NFT is not the digital file itself, but a database entry on the blockchain that attributes ownership to a particular wallet.

cryptocurrency-coin-in-blockchain
cryptocurrency-coin-in-blockchain

The provable scarcity of individual NFTs means they can function as digital status symbols, helping to explain why they are sometimes compared to Rolex watches and Lamborghini sports cars. Various consumer brands, including Coca Cola, Nike, and McDonalds, have sought to capitalise on the craze by issuing (or dropping) their own NFT ranges, as have football clubs such as Manchester City and Glasgow Rangers.

Web3 nft token image
Web3 nft token image

Celebrity endorsements are a common means of promoting high-profile NFT projects. Some wealthy celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and John Terry appear to be enthusiastic collectors, while others including Paris Hilton and Floyd Mayweather seem to engage with them in a more straightforwardly transactional way.

However, not all NFT drops are extravagantly priced or associated with a well-known brand or celebrity (see, for example, The Pluto People or the case study on Les Éléfants Terribles). NFTs are said to offer digital artists a new way of selling their work directly to the public, without having to pay commission to agents or galleries, as well as the potential to earn ongoing royalties from future sales of their work in the secondary market. The same benefits are said to be available to musicians and creators of video content, whose products (respectively audio and video files) can also be represented by NFTs.

NFT marketplaces as DAOs:

Meanwhile, establishing NFT marketplaces as DAOs (see Blockchain article) has been proposed as a means of pre-empting the emergence of a new generation of dominant intermediaries – the web3 successors to Spotify, Youtube, TikTok et al. The idea is that creators would have the opportunity to co-own the platforms through which their work is traded, and to determine their decision-making via governance tokens.

NFT prices:

As with cryptocurrencies, NFT prices can be volatile, while trade in NFTs is prone to fraud and market manipulation. When NFTs are initially issued (or minted), the underpinning smart contract may be designed to siphon cryptocurrencies and other tokens from buyers’ wallets.

Opensea NFT Prices
Opensea NFT Prices

Meanwhile, prices in the secondary market can be artificially inflated by wash-trading – that is, the trading of an NFT between wallets controlled by the same individual or group. The pseudonymity offered by the web3 facilitates both practices.

All About Web3

Web3 Introduction

The term web3 refers to the putative next generation of the web’s technical, legal, and payments infrastructure – including blockchain, smart contracts and cryptocurrencies. For its advocates, the peer-to-peer character of web3 means it represents a more equitable vision for the web than its current iteration, Web 2.0, which is dominated by powerful intermediary platforms (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google and other big tech companies).

Web3 projects categories:

Most existing web3 projects fit into one of three categories:

• Decentralised Finance or DeFi – peer-to-peer, blockchainbased financial services including savings, borrowing, payments, and credit-scoring. Many (although not all) DeFi apps run on Ethereum.

• Digital Services – decentralised internet service provision, cloud storage, web infrastructure, data analytics, and identity management

• Collectibles – digital artwork, sports memorabilia, and virtual goods Current examples of web3 unicorns (companies valued at > $1bn) include:

  • Ripple, an international payments provider
  • Aave, a protocol for borrowing and lending crypto assets that runs on Ethereum
  • Chainalysis, a data analytics platform for compliance, risk management, and cybercrime investigations
  • Forte, a gaming infrastructure platform
  • OpenSea, a digital collectibles marketplace
  • Sorare, an Ethereum-based fantasy football game in which virtual player cards can be bought and traded

The web3 community is to be found in group chats (known as servers) on the messaging platform Discord, and on Twitter, where members can often be recognised by one or more of:

• Hexagonal profile pictures

• Profile names with “.eth” extensions (referring to the Ethereum equivalent of domain names)

Ethereum
Ethereum

• Use of web3 slang

Capital for new web3 projects is typically raised not by selling equity, but by selling tokens to prospective users of the product or service, and/or to financial investors who believe the value of the tokens will rise in future.

metaverse communities
Metaverse communities

The process is known as an initial coin offering, token-generating event, or simply token sale. A proportion of the tokens is usually reserved by the founding team so they continue to have a stake in the project, and can incentivise staff and contributors (similar to share options in conventional startups).

Several different types of Web3 token:

There are several different types of token, including:

  1. Utility tokens, which grant rights of access to a product or service
  2. Governance tokens, which grant voting rights on decisions
  3. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which grant ownership rights over unique items of digital property, such as imagery, videos, and audio files

    Web3 nft token image
    Web3 nft token image

All such tokens are financial assets which can be traded in secondary markets. They are therefore more liquid and more volatile than startup equity or options, and can be used for the same forms of financial speculation as cryptocurrencies. Some consumer brands have financialised their loyalty programmes through token sales, notably a number of Premier League football clubs (in partnership with the web3 company Socios).

Simply Understand Blockchain Technology

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a distributed database technology. Rather than being stored on a particular machine (for example, on a cloud server belonging to Amazon Web Services), blockchain data is distributed across a network of machines. The individual machines in the network are referred to as nodes. Advocates of blockchain claim it offers three key benefits over conventional database technologies.

Three key benefits over Blockchain database technologies:

blockchain-Database
blockchain-Database

• Decentralisation – there is no single point of failure and no reliance on a trusted central authority to validate transactions (hence blockchain is sometimes described as “trustless”)
• Immutability – once written to the blockchain, transactions cannot be undone or altered
• Transparency – all transactions are a matter of public record

Consensus Mechanism

However, blockchain is slow and energy-intensive compared to conventional database technologies. This is a function of the consensus mechanisms used to update the database, which involve multiple nodes in the network validating each new transaction.

There are two types of consensus mechanism:

  1. proof-ofwork
  2. proof-of-stake

Proof-Of-Work

Bitcoin mining is an example of a proof-of-work mechanism, in which nodes compete for the right to add a transaction to the blockchain, with the winner receiving a reward in cryptocurrency (see Cryptocurrencies Article).

Proof-Of-Stake

Proof-of-stake mechanisms simply reward nodes in proportion to their existing cryptocurrency holdings, meaning that they use less energy than proof-of-work mechanisms.

Blockchain Smart contract
Blockchain Poster

Smart Contracts

While it was invented to support Bitcoin and continues to support all cryptocurrencies, blockchain can also be used for other purposes, typically in conjunction with smart contracts – contracts programmed in computer code, that can self-execute based on predetermined triggers.

Smart contracts are said to be important because they remove the need for trusted intermediaries such as lawyers, banks, and brokers, paving the way for peer-topeer transactions. However, the corollary is that transacting parties must be capable of reading the smart contract code themselves: if bugs or fraudulent features in the code result in losses, they have no recourse. Malicious smart contracts are the means by which many crypto frauds and scams are perpetrated.

Ethereum
Ethereum

Many real-life uses of blockchain involve Ethereum. In addition to issuing its own cryptocurrency, Ethereum operates an open-source platform which makes it easy for software developers to create:

• dApps – distributed applications running on blockchain Protocols – sets of standardised rules determining how different categories of applications should operate.

• Distributed autonomous organisations (DAOs) – an organisational form governed by smart contracts rather than a central authority, which some see as a digital successor to co-operatives and trade unions.

All About Cryptocurrencies

Indroduction of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies were originally conceived as a replacement for the fiat currencies issued by central banks. However, actually existing cryptocurrencies do not fit most accepted definitions of currency or money.

Too few things can be bought with them for them to be useful as a unit of exchange – at least in the formal economy. At the same time, they are too volatile to function as a store of value. As such cryptocurrencies are more accurately categorised as financial assets or securities, and are hence sometimes described by the label “crypto assets”.

Best-known Cryptocurrency:

The first and best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin (BTC). At the time of writing 1 Bitcoin is worth ~$16646.30 and there are ~19,203,231 coins in circulation, implying a market capitalisation of ~356.52B. The total supply of Bitcoin cannot exceed 21m coins – a deflationary feature built in by its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The first and best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin (BTC)
The first and best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin can be obtained by exchanging fiat currency at cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance and trading apps like eToro, or by mining it. Bitcoin mining involves solving computational puzzles. As the complexity of the puzzles increases, more and more computing power is required. Based on today’s prices, the value of Bitcoins still to be mined exceeds $88bn, creating strong economic incentives for mining. Bitcoin mining has become highly professionalised: miners use specialised rigs and routinely migrate to locations where electricity is cheapest, implicating Bitcoin in energy crises in places like Kazakhstan.

Web3.0 A More Decentralised Metaverse

Why do people buy Bitcoin?

As it operates outside the financial system and offers a degree of anonymity, Bitcoin is useful for illegal transactions (for example, purchasing drugs), and for laundering the proceeds of crime. It can also be useful for circumventing foreign exchange controls, and for hedging against hyperinflation and currency devaluations in emerging market economies.

But for UK investors, the main non-criminal rationale for purchasing Bitcoin is to speculate on short-term movements in its price, or to buy-and-hold in the expectation of long-term appreciation (known in crypto parlance as hodling). While an estimated 114m people globally own Bitcoin, the majority of holdings by value belong to hedge funds and other professional investors.

The next largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin is Ethereum ($377bn market cap). Importantly, Ethereum’s platform can be used to create new cryptocurrencies (see Blockchain Primer), which has led to a proliferation of altcoins, including Dogecoin ($20bn market cap). The use-cases for altcoins are identical to Bitcoin.

Stable coins are a subcategory of cryptocurrencies which are pegged to fiat currencies (typically the US Dollar), and exist to offer investors a haven from market volatility and facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies back into fiat currency. The best-known stable coin is Tether ($78bn market cap), which has drawn regulatory attention due to its low dollar reserves (see Policy Implications).

Metaverse Meaning in Marathi

Metaverse Meaning in Marathi (Metaverse चा मराठीत अर्थ):

मेटाव्हर्स हा शब्द खुल्या, पर्सिस्टंट, रिअल-टाइम, इंटरऑपरेबल, आभासी जगाला सूचित करतो
web3 तंत्रज्ञान वापरून तयार केले जाऊ शकते. NFTs, blockchain, स्मार्ट करार आणि क्रिप्टोकरन्सी देयके आणि कायदेशीर पायाभूत सुविधा प्रदान करतात असे म्हटले जाते व्हर्च्युअल रिअॅलिटी (व्हीआर) क्षमतांना पूरक, म्हणजे स्नो क्रॅशमध्ये सादर केलेली दृष्टी – किंवा अधिक आशावादीपणे, रेडी प्लेयर वन – साकार होऊ शकतो.

virtual-reality image
virtual-reality image

Metaverse Use cases

तथापि, हे लक्षात घेणे महत्वाचे आहे की मेटाव्हर्स अद्याप अस्तित्वात नाही. मार्क झुकेरबर्गचे
2021 कनेक्ट कॉन्फरन्समध्ये मेटाव्हर्सवर सादरीकरण आणि री-ब्रँडिंग Facebook, Inc. ते Meta Platforms, Inc. ने समालोचकांना विद्यमान VR चे वर्णन करण्यास प्रोत्साहित केले आहे
मेटाच्‍या ऑक्युलस हेडसेटद्वारे उपलब्‍ध असलेल्‍या अॅप्लिकेशन्ससह – यांच्‍या प्रकटीकरणांप्रमाणे
metaverse. हे चुकीचे आहे, कारण असे अनुप्रयोग स्थिर नसतात (कारण ते रीसेट केले जातात
जेव्हा वापरकर्ते त्यांना सोडतात), किंवा इंटरऑपरेबल नसतात (कारण ते बंद केलेले असतात आणि ते हलवणे शक्य नसते त्यांच्या दरम्यान अखंडपणे). तर, यामध्ये वर्णन केलेल्या इतर संकल्पना आणि तंत्रज्ञानाच्या विपरीत कागदावर, मेटाव्हर्सची चर्चा केवळ त्याच्या संभाव्यतेनुसार केली जाऊ शकते.

Key Components of AR / VR System

Key Components of AR (Augmented reality) / VR System (Virtual Reality)

Key Components of AR System:

Hardware

Key components of any AR device are processor, display, input devices and sensors. Today’s Smartphone fulfil all these hardware requirements of AR. Besides above, Microsoft Holo lens is a head-mounted display and focusses on MR. Google’s AR headmounted device known as ‘Google Glass 2.0’ is being used by enterprises with a focus on workforce productivity.

Software

Special 3D Augmented reality programmes are used in AR based applications. Virtual images used for overlapping over the real live image, can be generated using 3D software. Software can be Auto Cad 3D, Cinema 4D. To experience AR, end user has to download a software application.

Remote Server

Apart from the hardware and software, a web cloud server plays an important role in storing the database of virtual images.

Augmented reality (AR) Technology Roadmap

Major Players in VR system:

In the VR space major player is oculus VR brought by the makers of the Oculus Rift headsets. It is VR head mounted display and hand controllers focussed on Gaming.

HTC vive is VR head-mounted display and hand controllers.

Many other companies are developing virtual reality headsets and other peripherals. To name a few are Sony’s Morphens, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and Magic leap. Neura link is an early stage of brain machine interface to connect humans to computers.

 

(AR & VR) AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY

1. Introduction:

Until recently, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies have served primarily as inspiration for fiction writers and special effects teams.

The term Augmented Reality was coined by Thomas Caudell while making attempts to apply VR technology to Boeing’s manufacturing & engineering processes. The verb ‘augment’ refers to the action of adding to something in order to make it more substantial. It derives from the Latin ‘augere’ meaning ‘to increase’.

Morton Heilig is known as the ”father of virtual reality” for his research and inventions in the ‘50s and 60s’. However, actual inventor of VR is Ivan Sutherland who created the first Head Mounted Display (HMD). It was attached to a computer system and closely resembled a portable television and could not be comfortably worn by a person.

Google: Development of AR/VR for Metaverse

Both AR & VR are finding more and more practical applications in the enterprise and have a huge disruptive potential in the business processes. Their impact is already being felt across consumer technologies as dozens of new products enter the market. AR and VR are introducing new opportunities to transform the enterprise, particularly in the areas of Gaming, Media & Entertainment, training & simulation in education, defence, real estate, financial services, health and retail sector and reinvention of employee and customer experiences.

2. What are AR & VR Technologies:

AR and VR (AUGMENTED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY) are two sides of the same coin. While AR stimulates artificial objects in the real environment, the VR creates an artificial environment to inhabit.

AR  Technology:

AR is a direct or indirect live view of a physical, real world environment whose elements are augmented by computer – generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities including Visual, Auditory, Haptic, Somatosensory and Olfactory. In laymen terms it refers to a simple combination of real and virtual (computer generated) worlds. Mixed reality (MR) is a subset of Augmented Reality, which overlays 3D holographs into the real environment.

Virtual platforms
Virtual platforms

VR Technology:

VR is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike the traditional user interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds like Metaverse. Neuro Reality (NR) is a subset of VR which involves technologies that interface directly with the human brain to create a deeper sensory experience. However, it is in a very nascent stage of development.

Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Common things in AR and VR:

Metaverse on AR and VR devices: Near-Term Focus

AR & VR have one big thing in common. They both have the remarkable ability to alter our perception of the world. Where they differ is the perception of our presence. Putting a VR headset over your eyes will leave you blind to the current world, but will expand your senses with experiences within.

Augmented reality however, takes our current reality and adds something to it. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply ‘augments’ our current state of presence after with clear visors.

In VR You can swim with sharks while with AR you can watch a shark pop out of your business card. While VR is more immersive, AR provides more freedom for the user and more possibilities for marketers because it does not need to be a head mounted display.

1. Augmented reality (AR) Technology Roadmap…read more

2. Virtual Reality (VR) technology roadmap…read more

Birdbath: A solution for AR optics

Birdbath is another solution for AR optics.

It contains a spherical mirror/combiner (part-mirror) and a beam splitter. The method works like a birdbath in which it projects light from the OLED into the beam splitter, at a 45-degree angle with the OLED light source plane. Lenovo Mirage AR and ODG R9 were two examples adopting this method, but it has two major downsides being light loss and double image. Curved mirror (adopted by DreamWorld and Leap Motion) is the cheapest see-through display technology. It is based on semi-reflective curved mirrors placed in front of the eye. The major advantage was the low cost because it works with LCD, but suffers from a high degree of distortion, low image resolution and less comfort.

Waveguide and micro-LED solutions are at the early stage; it is very difficult for this solution to be mass produced at a low cost, but companies such as Glo, VueReal, BOE, and AUO are investing heavily in micro-LED technology. With the advancement of mirco-LED technology, we expect the solution will be adopted by most of the AR makers in the future. For AR glasses, Meta has Project Nazare, its first AR glasses that allow augmented reality overlays on the real world.

Birdbath: A solution for AR optics
Birdbath AR optics

AR requires integration of hologram displays, projectors, batteries, radios, custom silicon, cameras, speakers and sensors to map the world into glasses that are 5mm thick. It also introduced its Ray Ban Stories—which allows taking pictures or phone calls, listening to music, and watching videos—at US$299.

Meta also has a Project Cambria for new high-end glasses. With Project Cambria, Meta would integrate “high-resolution coloured mixed-reality pass-through” glasses, which combine an array of sensors with reconstruction algorithms to represent the physical world in the headset, with a sense of depth and perspective. The representation on the display with these innovations is finally getting closer to representing what the eyes see in the physical world. For optics, the company is developing pancake optics by folding light to achieve a slimmer profile than current lenses.

Vuzix, an AR headset company founded in 1997, recently unveiled its Vuzix Shield which contains battery, computer, cameras and display projector in the temples of the glasses but can be worn all day.

 

Augmented reality (AR) Technology Roadmap

Augmented reality (AR’s) Technology Roadmap

Mark Zuckerberg called AR glasses “one of the hardest technical challenges of the decade.” Due to the complexity of the architecture, the price of AR glass is still high, which hinders penetration. For example, one of the products from a leading industry player sells for US$3,500 and the majority of the users are enterprises. Unlike VR, in which most components are becoming mainstream specs, AR makers are still exploring different architectures:

virtual-reality image
virtual-reality image

Display: DLP, LCOS, Si-OLED are mainstream and MicroLED would likely be the ultimate solution

AR glasses require compact and power-efficient displays with very high contrast and brightness. We had a leap in AR display technology achieving these objectives, yet there is still room to improve on the yield rate and costs. Organic light emitting diodes on silicon (OLEDoS), digital light processing (DLP), and liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) are the three main pathways:

(1) OLEDoS is fabricated on silicon wafers instead of glass substrates and polyimide substrates.

(2) DLP is a popular solution for projectors, using micro mirrors (DMDs) which are positioned in a semiconductor chip to reflect light, and directs red, green, blue light to the imagers.

(3) LCOS technology is a variation of LCD technology, separating light into red, green and blue components and reflecting the light off the chip surface to LCD cells. A CMOS chip is under the chip surface to control voltage on square reflective aluminium electrodes.

Initially, LCOS was the major technology for AR, for the high brightness, but it was not energy- or cost-efficient. OLED has limitations with brightness; however, breakthroughs in OLED material such as silicon substrate bridged the gap.

Therefore OLEDoS (OLED on silicon) is now becoming the most popular technology due to its merits of higher contrast, power efficiency, thickness, wider temperature range, and faster response time. Although there are still many hurdles to achieving mass production, we believe micro-LED would be the ultimate solution for AR glasses due to its super-high brightness and contrast, excellent temperature endurance, fast response time, and low energy consumption.

Optics: Waveguide becomes the major architecture

The industry is developing two different approaches in waveguide technology:

(1) Diffractive waveguides are considered the most mature technology, used in HoloLens 2, Magic Leap 1 and Vuzix M4000. A diffractive optical element (DOE) or holographic optical element (HOE) are used to inject the light over a small area into the waveguide and extract it to the user’s eyes. The diffractive method disperses wavelengths, so separate waveguides are used. Mainstream products are leaning towards the use of two layers of waveguides for thinner glasses.

(2) Reflective waveguide designed by the Israeli AR company, Lumus, does not require nano photonics. This methods employs a 1D or 2D semitransparent mirror along the optical path to guide the light to users’ eyes.

Virtual Reality (VR) technology roadmap

VR technology roadmap

Common complaints against VR (Virtual Reality) were on the motion sickness caused by:

(1) the screen door effect (SDE) (visible gaps between pixels);
(2) mura (colour inconsistency of each pixel);
(3) aliasing (series of square blocks instead of curved lines);
(4) latency (low chipset processing and transmission speed); and
(5) the weight of headsets.

To mitigate these issues, headset makers are advancing the chipset, optics, display, and tracking solution to improve the user experience.

Chipset: Qualcomm XR series

Qualcomm launched its XR platform Snapdragon Extend Reality (XR) series in 2018 as its first SoC for AR/VR devices. The XR2 5G platform was announced in Dec2019, which is a derivative of the Snapdragon 865 (7nm). Oculus Quest 2 was the first to deploy the chipset, with a process speed doubling that of Snapdragon 835 in Quest 1. The XR2 enables 2x more video bandwidth, 6x higher resolution, and 11x AI improvement.

Chipset
Chipset

The strong performance has attracted most of the major headsets makers including HTC, PICO, DPVR, Lenovo, and Microsoft Hololens.

Display: Fast-LCD is becoming mainstream

The display in the HMD (head-mounted device) for VR is usually one or two pieces of LCD (liquid crystal display) or OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel, depending on the design of the device, although a dual display system is preferred as human beings have two eyes. Although LCD and OLED are both applicable for VR displays, the majority of recently announced VR models have adopted LCD due to its cost advantage. OLED display was first used on VR devices by Sony’s PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive due to its fast response time, which reduces motion image blur significantly.

However, OLED is limited by its inadequate lifetime and higher cost/lower yield for higher resolution. Normal LCD has the characteristic of high resolution, high brightness, long lifetime and low cost, but its response time is ~100x slower than that of OLED. As a result, LCD usually displays much more severe image blurs than OLED.

Optics: Fresnel lenses to replace aspherical lenses

Fresnel lenses are advocated by more VR makers due to their lighter weight and thinner centre. HTC was the first to use Fresnel lenses in its high-end product, Vive, followed by Oculus. To reduce the weight of VR devices and enhance the user experience, Fresnel lenses are more likely to be adopted by the majority.

Tracking solution: 6DoF and inside-out tracking solution will be the basic feature

6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) is an upgrade of 3DoF which adds rotational axes for rolling, yawing and pitching. 3DoF is enough for basic applications such as VR movies, but for a complete immersive experience 0like gaming, healthcare and training, 6DoF is required.

Most of the newly released VR headsets in 2021 employed 6DoF, and we expect the 6DoF function to be a basic feature for VR in the future.

In inside-out positional tracking, the camera or sensors are located on the headset being tracked (e.g. Oculus); while sensors in the outside-in scenario are placed in a stationary location (e.g. PSVR). We believe inside-out will be used for most VR devices for its mobility and flexibility, whilst outside-in will likely be used in specific scenarios such as healthcare VR and console-powered VR for its accuracy.