July 5, 2023

Emerging Technologies Highlights: Week of July 05, 2023

Overall, this week brings excellent news for the metaverse, including exciting new use cases and developments in the sector.

To start off, The World Economic Forum just released a report on the mental health implications of the metaverse, and analysts continue to speculate on the influence that Apple’s headset device and ChatGPT will have on the industry. Meanwhile, a few days ago, Meta launched a Virtual Reality (VR) subscription service, and Shanghai continues to invest massively in the metaverse. The world of golf, which had not seen much engagement with emerging technologies thus far, was shaken by two announcements: the first virtual golf tournament and the first virtual golf club. Lastly, as the SEC’s case against Coinbase continues to worry crypto enthusiasts, specialists claim that the Supreme Court might, in line with previous legal decisions, force the SEC to reduce the scope and intensity of its regulations.


The bottom line: A World Economic Forum report released on Monday, June 26, has said that metaverse as a technology may solve the growing need to combat mental health-related issues globally. How important the issue can be fathomed by this – the Surgeon General of the United States has declared war on what he identifies as one of the nation's most critical public health concerns: excessive screen time and social media usage.

The bottom line: Coinbase stands at the vanguard in the modern battlefield of cryptocurrency as it stares down a lawsuit brought by the SEC. In June, the company delivered a declaration in response to the lawsuit that leans on the “major questions doctrine.” This essential legal principle holds agencies like the SEC accountable when they circumvent Congress’ role in our constitutional structure and manipulate vague and antiquated statutes for their own ends. In recent landmark cases that curbed executive overreach in both the Obama and Biden administrations, the Supreme Court has underscored the importance of the major questions doctrine.

The bottom line: Facebook owner Meta has launched a virtual reality (VR) subscription service as it tries to make that part of its business profitable. Meta says paying users will get access to two new games a month. For the first three months of the year, the parent company of Instagram saw a $4bn (£3.1bn) loss in its VR unit. On Monday, the company said the Meta Quest+ service, which costs $7.99 monthly or $59.99 for an annual subscription, was compatible with its Quest 2, Quest Pro, and upcoming Quest 3 headsets.

The bottom line: Over the years, tech mega-corporation, Apple, has positioned itself as a reputable brand in the consumer electronics industry with its iOS smartphones, media players, and tablet computers. Since its inception, Apple has thrived with several trailblazing electronic products, including the MacBook, iPhone, iPod, iPad, AirPods, AirTag, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod. On June 5, 2023, Apple announced its debut in Spatial computing with its Apple Vision Pro. This article examines what the Apple Vision Pro could mean for the Metaverse.

The bottom line: The potential applications of ChatGPT in the Metaverse are significant. It can be utilized to develop chatbots and other forms of AI that mimic human behavior, offering guidance and assistance to users within the Metaverse. Additionally, ChatGPT can generate information about the Metaverse, such as character dialogues and virtual environment descriptions. Its capabilities extend to designing activities related to the Metaverse, creating interactive and unique user experiences. ChatGPT can generate personalized responses and challenges tailored to each individual in online games and events, enhancing engagement and immersion.

The bottom line:  Starting this fall, a popular intro-level coding course at Harvard University, CS50, will be taught by an AI instructor. "Our own hope is that, through AI, we can eventually approximate a 1:1 teacher:student ratio for every student in CS50, as by providing them with software-based tools that, 24/7, can support their learning at a pace and in a style that works best for them individually," CS50 professor David Malan told the university's student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.

The bottom line: Shanghai, China’s economic hub and industrial nerve center, has published a blueprint detailing its intention to expand its investment in culture and tourism by leveraging blockchain technology. Under the roadmap, administrators are looking to establish 30 metaverse projects in the tourism industry before the end of 2025. The metaverse project will encompass a replication of real-world landmarks in virtual worlds to provide tourists with a digitally immersive experience of Shanghai.

The bottom line: The metaverse has attracted big players in the game in the past. A recent partnership between R&A, a group of golf-focused companies, and Golf 5, a virtual reality-focused company, is bringing the oldest tournament in the game, The Open, to the metaverse. According to the announcement, R&A wants to attract new audiences via advanced technologies. The metaverse golf tournament is dubbed ‘The VR Open.’

The bottom line: While golf simulators have been prevalent for years, the Nicklaus-Hyperscapes partnership seeks to redefine the virtual golfing experience. Instead of replicating existing courses, this collaboration will introduce an entirely original layout that brings the essence of a physical course to life in a richly detailed virtual world. By leveraging state-of-the-art technology and incorporating photo-realistic 3D scenery, this digital golfing experience promises to transport players to breathtaking landscapes and push the boundaries of what's possible in the game.

The bottom line: Bitcoin's (BTC) fortune is no longer tied to sentiment in the U.S. stock markets. The 90-day rolling correlation of bitcoin's spot price changes to Wall Street's tech-heavy equity index, Nasdaq, and the broader index, S&P 500, has declined to near zero. According to data tracked by crypto derivatives analytics firm Block Scholes, that's the lowest in two years.

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