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It’s not just a game. It’s not just an escape. This is real commerce | ticker VIEWS

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Vans’ collaboration with Roblox highlights the endless commercial possibilities of the metaverse

The Virtual experience inside the video game creation platform Roblox will allow people to create a custom avatar and visit a Vans store, where they can purchase virtual items.

Players will be able to purchase virtual items with in game currency – Roblox – and skate around in virtual recreations of famous skate parks.

The move is an example of commercial businesses exploring the metaverse, which combines virtual and augmented reality.

Mat Cole, from ACT Capital Partners, told Ticker News the experience was another step towards commerce embracing the metaverse.

“The metaverse is essentially a convergence between your physical world and the digital world where you can actually sort of simultaneously in real time connect with people through avatars or shared experiences.” he said.

Cole believes the experience will allow Vans the ability to reach a new audience, through giving people the ability to engage with the brand through the metaverse.

“It allows people to build a really emotional attachment to the Vans brand inside the inside the metaverse.”

According to Cole the metaverse can create an inclusive experience for customers to engage with the world’s biggest brands.

“If I speak French, Italian, German Mandarin, I can log on in my own portal and have a metaverse experience and talk to someone inside the Nike flagship store in my own language and purchase something that is then sent to my house,” Cole said.

“So we know we’ve got this frictionless E-commerce now, where things are delivered in 24 hours, 48 hours.”

Cole does however highlight the potential ethical issues in marketing through a platform geared towards children in Roblox.

“The challenge with Roblox is because it’s got a younger audience. How do you how do you monetize it?” he said.

“It’s an ethical issue of how you start monetizing and getting kids to pay for consumers and consumer goods.”

The metaverse term was first coined by writer Neal Stephenson in his 1993 sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In the book, the metaverse was the successor to the internet, and was used as an escape by people from the dystopian earth.

People in the metaverse would express their status through the appearance of their digital avatars. In recent years payable skins have become common in video games.

Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) have allowed people to have ownership of digital assets in recent times, and can contribute to the E-commerce that is beginning to boom within the digital world.



Business

EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones

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EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Facebook CTO resigns as Zuckerburg announces replacement

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Facebook is about to close an important chapter in its history

In some major news, the social network’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer is stepping down from his role after a total 13 years at the company.

He’ll move to a part-time position as Facebook’s first Senior Fellow at some point in 2022.

CEO Mark Zuckerburg has now appointed hardware lead Andrew Bosworth to be the new CTO.

Schroepfer first joined Facebook in 2008 as a vice president of engineering. He took the CTO position in 2013.

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Business

American plane maker to open major factory in Australia

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Major US-based aircraft maker, Boeing is heading for Australia’s sunshine state

The new Boeing manufacturing facility is planned to be built at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in an Australian first.

The facility would be involved in manufacturing the Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft for the Royal Australia Air Force.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that the Boeing project would bring more than 300 jobs to the area, and was ‘very welcome’

The Queensland Government also confirmed that the interior of the aircraft manufactured at the new site would be painted maroon and stamped with “Made In Queensland”.

The Loyal Wingman is an unmanned aircraft but works alongside crewed aircraft, with Defence currently examining how it will be deployed once it’s put into use.

The new facility isn’t the first to be opened and operated by Boeing, with the plane maker also operating sites across Australia’s east coast, including in major cities; Melbourne and Sydney.

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