Web3 at CES 2023: VR, Luxury NFTs, the Metaverse, and More

The Consumer Electronics Show of 2023 just wrapped up just this past weekend, and Web3 was a common theme among one of the most significant tech events of the year. In years past, it garnered a reputation amongst tech enthusiasts excited to see what the future holds for audio, video, mobile, and computer hardware.

Despite the bear market challenges posed to the crypto and NFT sectors last year, massive growth of Web3-ready markets continues worldwide. Reflecting this growth, CES 2023 went beyond Web3 gaming and other enthusiast crowds. Indeed, several legacy brands took the time to elevate their commitment to building in Web3. Additionally, several talks from industry leaders in the growing Web3 sector headlined panels at CES 2023, focusing on the future role of Web3 technologies in streaming, AI, and more.

CES 2023 events spotlight the metaverse, luxury and Web3 fashion

The CES of previous years emphasized AI technology, novel materials science, robotics, and the impact of intersecting advancements on daily life, consumer lifestyles, entertainment, and new immersive means of interacting with work, friends, and loved ones. But this year, the event took these topics into Web3. An entire track of sessions focused on the metaverse and gaming, with individual conference sessions like “Gaming to Lead Us Into the Metaverse”.

Notably, fashion and luxury were also featured prominently during CES 2023, with one discussion titled “Luxury Brands Embracing Innovation: How the Best of the Best Are Leaning Into AI, Metaverse, and Beyond”. The convention held an entire additional track of sessions on the creator economy and NFTs — with talks on the question of Web3 skepticism, lasting change, and the paradigm shift needed for builders, collectors, artists, and communities to view the most life-shattering challenges as opportunities for growth, harmony, and prosperous innovation.

LG’s market-leading hardware exhibits the best of Web3-ready tech

Despite exiting the mobile phone market in early 2021, the Korea-based tech giant LG has more than made up for the loss of one of its most prominent businesses by doubling down its efforts in other industries and establishing itself as a market leader in the rapidly growing display market over the past years. To extend its lead over competitors in the space, LG led the way in making innovative technologies like OLED panels accessible to its consumer base. Judging by its stint at CES 2023, this year looks to be more of the same for the Korea-based company.

In terms of displays, LG exhibited a truly innovative display that’s sure to please even the stingiest of pixel peepers in the TV market: a 97-inch OLED TV with no wires. Amidst all its eye-watering technical specs, one tidbit regarding what’s shaping up to be the most luxurious TV on the market stood out: like all other new LG TVs, it’ll come with access to several NFT marketplaces right out of the box. As per a Yahoo! report, LG TVs will now also come with access to several metaverse platforms such as Sansar, ELYNXIR, and Auxworld.

Aside from shaking up the display market at CES 2023, LG also looked to extend its reach into the footwear market with its Monster Shoe, a virtual collectible sneaker set to launch with a slate of shoecare-focused IRL products sometime in 2023, according to a CoinDesk report.

Mastercard unveils Web3-focused music incubator for tomorrow’s artists

Legacy payments company Mastercard unveiled its latest initiative at CES 2023: the Mastercard Artist Accelerator. It aims to join the ranks of the Red Bull Music Academy as one of the world’s leading incubators for the next generation of music superstars. However, what sets it apart from other accelerator programs for emerging artists is its focus on equipping these budding artists with all the tools to succeed as a Web3-native artist.

As such, its planned curriculum is slated to provide “five emerging artists […] with the tools, skills and access to forge their own paths in the digital economy,” as stated on its official website. To make this happen, Mastercard has partnered with Ethereum layer 2 network Polygon to handle the blockchain side of this initiative. Most notably, this includes its planned Mastercard Music Pass, an NFT pass that will make course materials related to the program’s curriculum — along with a host of other exclusive benefits — readily available to its holders.

VR headset promises to make “Smell-o-Vision” a thing

Virtual Reality (VR) is obviously immersive by design, but current VR tech is primarily constrained to engaging a user’s senses of sight and hearing. Over the past decades, numerous players in the space have experimented with the use of haptic technology as well. However, its implementation in current technology is mainly limited to mobile phones and gaming peripherals like Sony’s DualSense for the PS5. CES 2023 saw gaming-centric tech company Razer unveil Project Carol, a cushion designed for use in their lineup of gamer chairs. It offers users haptic feedback to go with a limited surround sound speaker implementation.

Given the relative constraints seen in the mainstream consumer electronics sector’s ability to engage a user’s senses, OVR Technology’s booth at CES 2023 was leaps and bounds ahead of anything else debuted at the event. At their booth, OVR Technology debuted a VR headset capable of reproducing a wide range of scents and aromas, as reported by Fortune. It’s called the ION 3, and is slated to hit the consumer market sometime in 2023. For years, OVR Technology has been hyping up the power of scent, and this upcoming product looks to serve as a culmination of the company’s values and ideals in relation to the role of technology in our lives.

The headset, positioned by the company as a means to bring spa-like experiences into VR, reportedly will ship with eight different “scent cartridges,” which, combined, can produce a wider pallet of scents for the end-user to enjoy. Used in conjunction with existing technologies with haptic feedback implementation, those looking to immerse themselves into the metaverse may see that possibility roll around for them sooner, rather than later.

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