Read more: ETC @ USC CES 2022 Report
Rather than a singular, all-encompassing metaverse, we may see many “verses” in the future, according to ETC@USC, the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
ETC has rounded up key trends from the CES show in Vegas at the start of the year into a new CES 2022 Report. It suggests that AR is poised for wider consumer adoption, and that NFTs could potentially become “a backbone of CRM and understanding for commercial, marketing, and experiences.”
Perhaps the most intriguing trend, which ETC is not alone in spotting, is that of “social audio.”
Its feedback matters since the ETC is supported by the major studios — Universal, Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. — and other entertainment industry stakeholders including Epic Games, Google, Microsoft and Technicolor.
Are NFTs just more hype, or are they actually the building blocks of the creator economy? Understanding blockchain technology can seem like a lot, but NAB Amplify has the expert knowledge and insights you need to remain at the top of the intersection of art and technology:
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ETC suggests that the human voice could be described as the original mass media and, as social audio, it is now the latest trend.
United Talent Agency executive director of audio Kristin Myers moderated a CES 2022 panel discussion on the topic with Clubhouse head of community and creators Stephanie Simon and Audio Collective co-founder Toni Thai Sterrett, who offered up the definition of social media as “live group audio,” adding, “the key is the sense of participation and interactivity.”
At the show, German R&D powerhouse Fraunhofer demonstrated a capability that consumers have craved for years, the ability to adjust the volume of dialog separately from music and background audio. The MPEG-H Audio technology will allow consumers to choose from presets or create their own settings for both broadcast and streaming audio. It is now possible, for example, to switch between different languages, adjust the volume of a sports commentator, enhance the dialogue, and choose from several audio description options.
CES held its first-ever panel discussion on NFTs — non-fungible tokens, for the uninitiated — with two experts who have grown up with the nascent industry sector. United Talent Agency head of digital assets Lesley Silverman noted that her company established the new division in March 2021. Her guest was Art Blocks founder and CEO Erick Calderon, who first got involved with NFTs in 2017 by following a thread on Reddit.
Both had advice for newbies: Don’t let the jargon intimidate you and store your seed phrase in a cold storage device.
“The moment you register that seed phrase, you enter a new phase of your life, and you have to treat it like the valuable asset you have,” warned Calderon. “And be careful with your private keys. This is still the Wild West.”
Calderon noted that, because a smart contract is operated by computer, “it’s also the most ruthless contract in the world.” He pointed out that it’s the secondary market for NFTs that allow artists to participate in their own success. “OpenSea is the largest market for the secondary market, with creator royalties built into their contracts,” he said. “We hope that as other marketplaces pop up, they also respect that.”
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- What Is the Metaverse and Why Should You Care?
- Avatar to Web3: An A-Z Compendium of the Metaverse
- The Metaverse is Coming To Get You. Is That a Bad Thing?
- Don’t Expect the Metaverse to Happen Overnight
- A Framework for the Metaverse from Hardware to Hollywood and Everything in Between
5G, the Metaverse and AI
Going into 2022, 5G will be the connective tissue, said Steve Koenig, VP of research at the Consumer Technology Association. He noted that standards group 3GPP will publish protocols and requirements for industrial IoT applications, which will open the floodgates to new case studies.
5G emerges as the “Edge of Everything” solution for smart device delivery, writes ETC correspondent Paula Parisi. She quotes Qualcomm CMO Don McGuire, who did tours at Intel, NBC Universal and Dell, as saying that 5G is “pervasive… this unifying connectivity fabric.”
Koenig pointed to the metaverse as another trend that is “closer than you think.”
“All the building blocks are already present and in play — cloud, 5G, haptics, volumetric video,” he said. “Now it’s about assembling them into an experience. The metaverse is the next generation Internet that will provide immersive digital experiences which will become inextricably linked with our physical reality. For now, it’s an evolving story.”
6G may already be on the horizon, but there’s still a lot to understand about the benefits — and limitations — of 5G, which is rolling out across the US but has yet to reach peak saturation. Dive into these selections from the NAB Amplify archives to learn what, exactly, 5G is, how it differs from 4G, and — most importantly — how 5G will bolster the Media & Entertainment industry on the road ahead:
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The framework for what ETC calls the Multiverse has been growing steadily for decades. While there is no single definition for the Multiverse, it encompasses the confluence of many formerly disconnected aspects of media and entertainment combined with advancing technologies and a cultural shift from passive consumption of entertainment to active participation and immersion.
VR and AR markets are expected to grow to nearly $600 billion by 2025, according to industry research quoted by ETC, and announcements of new products from big-name companies like Sony, Lenovo, HTC, Panasonic and others at CES suggest robust consumer demand for “reality-altering” products.
“Commercial applications have gained acceptance, eyewear is vastly improved, and several products suggested that eyeglass and contact lenses are around the corner,” ETC says.
Another “key ingredient technology” for 2022, said Koenig, will be AI. This will impact all sectors.
With nearly half of all media and media tech companies incorporating Artificial Intelligence into their operations or product lines, AI and machine learning tools are rapidly transforming content creation, delivery and consumption. Find out what you need to know with these essential insights curated from the NAB Amplify archives:
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- Learn How Data, AI and Automation Will Shape Your Future
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- How Creativity and Data Are a Match Made in Hollywood/Heaven
- How to Process the Difference Between AI and Machine Learning
Among consumer applications for AI is that of computational photography. The Cinematic mode on the new iPhone 13 series, for example, points to what might be possible if we rethink these ideas as automated camera mount systems did just a decade ago.
“For a creator or one-man band, these tools are getting close to a prosumer level solution that features a range of near professional capabilities of capture, cinematic art, instant production and delivery,” observes ETC.