It’s About Time: Famed Magazine Engages In A Metaverse Project

It’s About Time: Famed Magazine Engages In A Metaverse Project

TIME Magazine is a partnering with The Sandbox to develop TIME Square, TIME’s destination in the metaverse. TIME Square will be built on TIME’s digital land in The Sandbox as a destination for networking, art and commerce in New York City. (Time)



By Michelle D. Madsen

Time Magazine has formed a partnership with The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based metaverse, to create a digital setting that is modeled after New York City.


Kieran Warwick, co-founder of Illuvium, which is partly billed as an NTF creature collector game, told The Defiant that the company’s intention to collaborate with The Sandbox as part of its “double down on their metaverse endeavor” was “great news for everybody in the field.”

“The sooner we are able to achieve mass adoption, the more well-known brands we will be able to transition to web 3,” Warwick said.

TIMEPieces is an NFT community initiative with Genesis, Inspiration, Long Neckie Women of the Year, Slices of TIME and Beatclub collections. (Time)

On June 21, as part of the celebration for NFT.NYC, the Time-Sandbox collaboration was officially put into motion. Time’s New Frontiers Territory (NFT) program, TIMEPieces, will make its premiere on a digital plot of land in The Sandbox. As it’s in a digital New York, TIME Square was the obvious choice for the name of the new development.

TIMEPieces will be a hub for online socializing, artistic expression and commercial activity. Time has launched an open call for architectural designs to be submitted for consideration

The Sandbox is the third-largest metaverse endeavor, with an estimated market worth of $1.1 billion. Republic Realm, the company that developed The Sandbox, paid Atari $4.3 million in November for virtual real estate, purportedly the most expensive transaction involving the purchase of digital land.

Alessandro Gottardo’s artwork for the TimePieces – Artists for Peace initiative. (Time)

TIMEPieces NFT holders will be given virtual access to discussions, events and screenings of TIME Studios’ works, Time President Keith Grossman said, pointing out that this will allow TIMEPieces NFT holders to partake in unique experiences.

“Our goal is to create a destination that will be the heart of the metaverse…,” Grossman said.  “We are thrilled to now tap into that community as we seek to find the architect to design TIME Square in the metaverse, as we create an immersive experience with The Sandbox that provides a natural bridge between the virtual community of TIMEPieces, the historical coverage and global relationships of TIME, the unique IP coming from TIME Studios, TIME for Kids and our real-life IRL events.”

Sebastien Borget, co-founder of Pixowl, the producer of The Sandbox, said that by partnering with TIME, The Sandbox is adding TIMEPieces “as the beating heart and soul of this virtual Manhattan, where a design call for virtual architects will be held in TIME Square, a place in our creative metaverse for brands and creators.”

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Fashion Statement: WowWee Unveils Metaverse Avatars

Fashion Statement: WowWee Unveils Metaverse Avatars

With My Avastars, kids can turn their digital avatar into a real-life fashion star. (WowWee)



By Michelle D. Madsen

WowWee is working with Gamefam, a major Roblox publisher, to produce My Avastars, a line of dolls that blends the physical and digital worlds.


While half of Roblox users are girls, the toy market focuses on action figures and blasters. Sydney Wiseman, vice president, brand development and creative strategy at WowWee, believes expanding to other categories and customers is a passion.

My Avastars lets youngsters turn their digital avatar into a real-life fashion star with a range of outfits and accessories for infinite personalization, creativity and self-expression, the toy company says

Each doll comes dressed in their signature fashion-forward outfit along with a mystery bonus outfit. KawaiiPie^^ and her accessories are shown here. (WowWee)

Each of the initial three Avastars — KawaiiPie^^, A VibeThng and Dreamer 3.0 — will premiere in a box that includes a trademark outfit, a bonus outfit and reusable sticker sheets for more than 100 outfits.

My Avastars’ style is distinctive, says WowWee vice president of marketing and operations Andrew Yanofsky.

“Fashion dolls are traditionally ‘perfect.’ My Avastars’ blocky shape, flat surfaces and peel-and-repeat sticker play inspire youngsters’ creativity by letting them replace and rearrange their dolls like they do their avatars,” Yanofsky said.

Each My Avastars doll has a code for the new Roblox game My Avastars: RP. Roleplaying

Starting next month, youngsters may bring their dolls online, unlocking new clothes, hairstyles and face traits. My Avastars is the first fashion doll franchise centered on a community, the company says.

In addition, WowWee and Gamefam are launching a Discord channel to allow fans and the brand to converse in real time. Moreover, fans will have an important role in the development of My Avastars, both in terms of gameplay and tangible toys.

My Avastars will launch with three dolls: KawaiiPie^^, A_VibeThng and Dreamer_3.0. (WowWee)

“As the Roblox universe grows, we’re building the next generation of hit brands,” said Joe Ferencz, creator and CEO of Gamefam. “My Avastars is the first toy and Roblox game designed simultaneously, giving players a real-world and metaverse experience.”

A limited number of dolls are being shipped this summer before officially hitting shelves at major retailers including Walmart, Amazon, Target and Macy’s in October.

Gamefam’s mission dovetails with, in part, with WowWee. Its media partners include Fox and Mattel. The company co-develops games; it also delivers ad campaigns for major brands. Its games include Sonic Speed Racer and Military Tycoon.

If you are not familiar with the metaverse, here is a handy definition: It’s a “digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually,” Investopedia.com said. “Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities.”

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Reel ‘Em In: Flyfish Restaurant Releases NFT With Benefits

Reel ‘Em In: Flyfish Restaurant Releases NFT With Benefits

Flyfish Club members will have unlimited access to sumptuous meals in a private dining room. (Flyfish Club)



By Billy Houghton

The newly launched NFTs by the Flyfish Club are a colorful and inviting old-school collection from a celebrated artist. This collection is believed to be the first private dining club for non-fungible token holders.


Club members will be able to gain access to an exclusive dining room in New York City of more than 10,000 square feet. The standard membership NFT gives the holders access to reservations for one table with up to eight non-token guests.

Blueprint of the physical restaurant Flyfish Club plans for New York City.  No location has been announced yet. (Flyfish Club)

A token owner is given access to eat at Flyfish, a yet-to-be-built brick-and-mortar restaurant in New York, whenever they want with a reservation. The club expects to open to its members in the first half of next year, according to its website.

“FFC will be a seafood-focused restaurant with a robust raw bar, drawing from international influences, created by award-winning chefs and hospitality experts. For limited members, a private sushi omakase room will be tucked away within the club, which will showcase fresh fish flown in daily from Japan,” the club says.

“Omakase” means entrusting the chef to design the perfect menu, it says, pointing out that every four months there will be a “private Japanese party, exclusively for and complimentary to Flyfish Omakase members, at ITO in Tribeca. 50 FFO members will be selected for each gathering.”

Also, every four months, there will be wine tastings offered, the first ones over Zoom. The next is scheduled for August 22.

The token owners are required to call the restaurant ahead of time, up to 14 days in advance, if they’d like to reserve a table. There will also be a waiting list, so registration is subject to hold, but the NFT owners do get preference.

Flyfish Club members will be able to gain access to an exclusive dining room in New York City of more than 10,000 square feet. (Flyfish Club)

“At a high level, the Flyfish Club and its NFT membership is essentially a new, crypto-ized spin on an old idea: a member’s only dining club,” says Opensea’s description of the concept. “To start, VCR initially made a total of 1,501 membership tokens for the Flyfish Club available to the public and reserved 1,534 for the company. Membership remains valid as long as a person owns the token.  As with most NFTs, the owner can resell the token (and many are already trying to do just that) on marketplaces like Opensea.”

Josh Capon is a founder and chief culinary officer of the Flyfish Club. Capon is mainly known for his appearances on the Food Network, “Rachael Ray,” “CBS Early Show, ”TODAY” and his own show, “Frankenfood,” on SPIKE TV over the past decade.

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Japanese Hospital Group Reaches Virtual Patients In India Via Metaverse

Japanese Hospital Group Reaches Virtual Patients In India Via Metaverse

A real-world addition to Yashoda Hospitals Group's operation in Hyderabad is this planned 2,000-bed hospital in the HiTech City hub. (Yashoda Hospitals Group)



By Jonathan Hobbs

The Yashoda Hospitals of Hyderabad, India, has gone virtual.


It has created a presence in Decentraland, one of the most widely used metaverse platforms.

To commemorate the organization’s more than 30 years of public service, experience zones have been designed. This is the first time a Japanese medical institution has done so on a global metaverse platform, according to Yashoda Hospitals.

“We are happy to be able to claim several firsts as a direct result of our early commitment to the overall development of our company. This list of firsts includes infrastructure improvements, technological developments and clinical quality,” the hospital said.

“We’ve always been early users of digital technologies, from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 to today’s Web 3.0. As a result of this, we’ve been able to add value to our ecosystem. This is still true in our day and age.”

The introduction of new technologies, such as bitcoin and Web 3.0, would expedite the transition from centralized to decentralized ecosystems.

This is the first time a Japanese medical institution has done so on a global metaverse platform, according to Yashoda Hospitals. (Yashoda Hospitals)

“We will continue to improve and invest in making our digital infrastructure future-ready,” said Dr. Abhinav Gorukanti, CEO of Yashoda Hospitals. “Establishing our presence on Decentraland is the first step toward our efforts and acceptance of decentralized technology.”

Once the platform regulations have evolved, the goal is to provide decentralized medical treatments, as well as jobs to those who work in the metaverse. Both are seen as a benefit to the hospital organization.

“Web 3.0 and the metaverse will change human interaction, we think. Future digital interactions will be more realistic,” he said.

Telemedicine offers patients a comparable but not identical experience to face-to-face therapy. Medical education will also change drastically. Conference participants and teachers may utilize avatars to converse in-person. Future clinics and hospitals may have a virtual component, too.

A publicly accessible virtual environment that can be accessed via the internet is referred to as the metaverse. It’s a cross between the physical and digital realms. Imitating human actions and emotions, which can be used to build a “virtual world.”

The concept of a metaverse that encompasses both physical and virtual domains is intriguing to many companies, which also see it as a potential revenue stream.

The hospital group is also expanding its real-world operations, by planning a fourth hospital in its home city. Situated on a 5-acre lot, the hospital in Hyderabad’s HiTech City hub will have 2,000 beds, along with food courts, a convention center and VIP lounges. The complex will offer holistic support for patient recovery with 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of greenery on each floor and a strong emphasis on natural light in all areas.

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Year Of The (Big) Cat: Tiger Beer Malaysia Rolling Out NFT Collection

Year Of The (Big) Cat: Tiger Beer Malaysia Rolling Out NFT Collection

One of the 6,688 pieces in Tiger Beer's NFT collection. (Tiger Beer)



By Billy Houghton

Tiger Beer Malaysia and Pestle & Mortar Clothing are partnering to create and release a collection of NFTs. This art is set to herald the “Year of the Tiger” from February 1 of this year until January 21 next year and is of note in Chinese mythology and astrology.


Called “The Tiger Archives,” this nonfungible toke (NFT) collection consists of 6,688 pieces that are for sale in the metaverse. The non-fungible tokens are an integral part of Tiger Beer’s “The Year of Your Tiger” campaign, which focuses on encouraging “people everywhere to set aside their fears and achieve bold ambitions in 2022.”

 Tiger Beer’s “The Year of Your Tiger” campaign focuses on encouraging “people everywhere to set aside their fears and achieve bold ambitions in 2022.” (Tiger Beer)

Each NFT is handmade, offering a variation of the “Lucky Tiger” in different poses, backgrounds and themes. They are accompanied by borders unique to each design. The NFTs are the company’s take on Chinese tiger artwork, and they each derive inspiration from the ferocious, noble tiger that graces the bottles of Tiger Beer – “making 2022 an especially great time for the animal motif,” the company says.

“Tigers are renowned for being bold and courageous,” said Sean O’Donnell, global brand director of Tiger Beer, one of 10 beer brands owned by Netherlands-based Heineken. “This spirit has always been intrinsic to Tiger Beer — everyone said brewing beer in the tropics was impossible until we did it.”

“The Year of The Tiger is the perfect opportunity for us all to embody the symbolic power of the Tiger and uncage our bold ambitions for the year ahead. ‘The Tiger Archives’ is the perfect realization of this,” the company said.

Owning one of these NFTs is also designed to bridge the metaverse with real life, as NFT holders unlock a series of exclusive perks and curated experiences.

“The Year of The Tiger is the perfect opportunity for us all to embody the symbolic power of the Tiger and uncage our bold ambitions for the year ahead,” said Heineken, the owner of the Tiger Beer brand. (Tiger Beer)

“One of our main drivers for The Tiger Archives is to educate newcomers into the metaverse and illuminate this space for our community. We want to show how the metaverse enables endless possibilities, and are excited for our community to join us on this adventure,” said Hugh Koh, founder of Pestle & Mortar Clothing.

Not familiar with the metaverse? Here’s a handy definition: It’s a “digital reality that combines aspects of social media, online gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and cryptocurrencies to allow users to interact virtually,” acccording to Investopedia.com. “Augmented reality overlays visual elements, sound, and other sensory input onto real-world settings to enhance the user experience. In contrast, virtual reality is entirely virtual and enhances fictional realities.”

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Meta Partners With Trio Of Top Fashion Brands

Meta Partners With Trio Of Top Fashion Brands

Mark Zuckerberg models some of the new clothing options for Meta avatars. (Meta)



By Michelle D. Madsen

What people wear and their sense of style constitute a significant way in which individuals express themselves, says Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, which changed its corporate name to Meta last October.


Thus, Meta Platforms, through high-end clothing items for its avatars, will make it possible for users to more effectively express themselves and connect with other people, the company says.

Balenciaga, Thom Browne and Prada are the first three designers to cooperate with Meta on the development of the digital fashion experience.

Meta said digital fashion items would cost between $2.99 and $8.99.

“Digital goods will be an important way to express yourself in the metaverse and a big driver of the creative economy. I’m excited to add more brands and bring this to VR [Virtual Reality] soon too. Eva Chen and I tried out some of the new looks from Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne – a change of pace from my terrycloth sweater,” Zuckerberg said.

Chen, the platform host and also the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, said Balenciaga is “hotter than hot. And then Prada, you can do either your ‘traditional’ Prada or your ‘Hypebeast’ Prada.”

Chen said she was delighted to see “a lot of brands that don’t exist physically exist in the metaverse” and that this was in addition to asking luxury designers to develop collections for the metaverse.

“To see the fashion work we’re doing in the metaverse with that kind of high-quality stuff is really cool,” Zuckerberg said of the partnerships, noting that he hopes a digital fashion marketplace will help inspire more designers to create garments they may not have been able to materialize in the physical world.

Eva Chen, head of the Meta platform and of fashion partnerships at Instagram, models some avatar fashion offerings. (Meta)

“A lot of the dream here is to make it accessible to anybody,” Zuckerberg said.

The launch of the Meta Avatars Store is scheduled to begin this week in the United States, Canada, Thailand and Mexico. It’s anticipated that other brands will soon join the shop. Avatars on Meta platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, will be able to wear clothing that has been purchased by users.

In March, the first Metaverse Fashion Week featuring luxury brands and digital-native designers took place.

“Made possible using exclusive new tech that converts 2D product images into 3D experiences, Fashion Week offers an immersive shopping experience where buying virtual clothing in Decentraland also sees a physical twin shipped for your real wardrobe,” a Fashion Week statement said.

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