Mapping the Intersection of Web3, AI, and Mixed Reality
Updated: Nov 10
Blending Creativity and Ownership: The Fusion of Generative AI, Blockchain, and Mixed Reality By: Danny Pantuso, Venture Investor, Decasonic
With the upcoming release of Apple’s Vision Pro, we anticipate a rise in mixed reality applications, especially geared towards 'prosumer' users - a category that includes therapists, educators, guides, and a range of professionals who will take their headsets home and use it for work as well as pleasure.
As pioneers at this intersection, our goal is not only to anticipate what lies ahead but to actively shape it. We similarly believe that the startups that combine the best elements of Mixed Reality with the other two pivotal technologies of this moment - Generative AI and Blockchain - will realize the full potential of immersive experiences. Thus, we created this market map to better understand the market conditions today in order to invest and co-build with innovators for the future.
The Role of GenAI and Blockchain in Shaping the Mixed Reality
Three key consumer behaviors emerge as potential game-changers in the realm of immersive experiences:
Accessibility of Creative Expression & Creation: GenerativeAI is an engine for creativity at scale. Whereas before creating 3D content was cumbersome and expensive, a variety of Generative AI startups are enabling the high quality 2D and 3D content creation process as a matter of entering text and hitting run. It also significantly lowers the barrier technological moat to creative expression. Contrast this with the past, where content creation's complexities meant a vast majority (99%) were passive or lightly engaged audiences. Now, we foresee a future where highly engaged contributors and creators could grow to north of 10% of the total audience base.
Incentivizing Creativity: While the ability to create is empowering, the motivation to often stems from avenues for self-expression and more importantly ownership. Blockchain enables creators to own, track, and monetize their creations. Envision a workflow where human creativity feeds into ChatGPT prompt engineering, which then translates to 3D content. This content, once minted on the blockchain, ensures creators earn royalties, thus driving the cycle of creation and consumption. It’s a system of monetization that incentivized creators to build at scale.
Personalized Experiences across Physical and Digital: The immersive environment is an intuitive canvas for personal expression, with AI-driven tools allowing users to customize their virtual presence and environments with unprecedented ease and detail. This personalization extends to the physical world, where mixed-reality technologies bring digital interactions to life, overlaying them onto our tangible surroundings. Whether it’s virtual clothing lines that reflect a user’s style in the digital realm or personalized learning environments that adapt to a student’s pace and interests, the potential for personalized mixed-reality experiences is immense. As AI continues to learn and adapt to individual users, these experiences will become even more immersive and interactive, providing a level of engagement and personalization that has previously been impossible.
2. Understanding the Landscape: Web3 x Mixed Reality Ecosystem Map
The attached market map serves as a testament to the vibrant and ever-expanding universe where Web3 intersects with Mixed Reality. This rich tapestry of startups, technologies, and platforms showcases the diverse potential of these combined domains.
3. The Intersection: Where Large Opportunities Exist
When the economic possibilities of Web3 intersect with the immersive experiences of Mixed Reality, a new realm of large opportunities emerges for innovators and venture investors:
Development Tooling: Comprehensive 2D/2.5D/3D and augmented reality development tools are accelerating the creation of next-gen immersive experiences.
Hardware: Innovations in haptics, holograms, and other sensory hardware are driving the tangible elements of mixed reality.
Consumer Interfaces: Devices like Apple Vision Pro and Microsoft HoloLens form the interactive bridge between users and the mixed-reality web3 environment.
Cloud & Connectivity: Decentralized network and delivery solutions and modern cloud infrastructures ensure seamless, scalable, and secure mixed-reality experiences.
Rendering & Engines: Advanced rendering and game engines transform digital assets into realistic web3 metaverse components.
Decentralized Infrastructure: Layer 1 and Layer 2 blockchain solutions provide the foundation for secure, decentralized applications and data management.
Virtual Wellness & Sports: Web3 integration offers a unique blend of physical and virtual experiences for wellness and sports enthusiasts.
Virtual Work & Entertainment: Remote work and entertainment have been reimagined with virtual collaborative spaces and concerts.
Gaming: Gaming platforms, both centralized and decentralized, are at the forefront of defining mixed-reality interactions and economies.
AR Fashion: Augmented reality fuses with fashion, allowing for unique, customizable digital appearances.
Virtual Real Estate: Web3 is revolutionizing property ownership and management in virtual worlds.
Digital Twins & Avatars: Personalized digital representations in the metaverse highlight the convergence of identity and blockchain technology.
Education & Training: Mixed-reality platforms are reinventing how training and educational content is delivered and experienced.
Digital Fashion & Identity:The fusion of fashion and digital identity emphasizes the importance of unique expression and authentication in the metaverse.
Social: Social platforms in the metaverse prioritize decentralized, user-centric interactions and community building.
3. The Way Forward
As pioneers at this intersection, our goal is not only to anticipate what lies ahead but to actively shape it. While the potential is boundless, challenges such as scalability, interoperability, and user adoption remain. Ensuring seamless integration between Web3 technologies and Mixed Reality platforms, creating intuitive user interfaces, and fostering a sense of community will be pivotal and it’s yet to be determined if much of the promise of virtual worlds is technically possible, or commercially viable if so. But based on what we see today alone at this intersection, what’s clear is that there are hundreds of founders building to solve these challenges. For techno-optimists like ourselves, it’s a clear sign that the vision is being built in-spite of these challenges and that there’s much to look forward to invest at this critical juncture.
If you are among those pioneering at this intersection we encourage you to reach out to a team member to help drive this vision forward.