Bang & Olufsen brings its design DNA to the metaverse with its first NFTs

Perhaps it was thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Meta’s recent event that the Metaverse and its related but dissimilar buzzword Web 3.0 came back under the spotlight. After a long stretch of near silence, companies and brands are once again showing interest in this still ambiguous market, especially when it comes to controversial non-fungible tokens or NFTs. After all, NFTs that can sell for thousands of dollars apiece are perfect for limited edition collectibles that put the brand’s stake in future virtual worlds. Granted, most people still can’t make heads or tails of all these concepts, but there’s already a good number of collectors and believers that are willing to show their support with their money and other resources. It’s for this group of fans that Bang & Olufsen had decided to take the plunge into the world of Web 3 and the metaverse with an NFT collection designed to show off its creative chops more than its audio expertise.

Designer: Bang & Olufsen

Although the technologies and details swarming around NFTs are indeed complicated, the basic idea behind its pull is understandable from a human perspective. In essence, it is related to owning a unique and singular digital artifact, similar to the idea of physical property that can’t be cloned perfectly. In a digital world where it’s trivial to copy files and images, such a kind of ownership sounds radical and revolutionary. Of course, implementation has been far from perfect, leading to the rather contentious position of NFTs, especially among artists, designers, and other creatives.

That hasn’t stopped big brands from proving they can go with the flow and the times, and Bang & Olufsen’s “DNA Collection” NFTs are in the same vein. The company best known for its exquisite audio equipment has announced an upcoming collection of 1925 NFTs, a nod to the year the company was founded. Rather than just a simple NFT drop, as these events are usually called, B&O is putting a rather unique and fun twist that tries to share the spirit of creativity with its music-loving community.

The DNA collection revolves around some of its most elegant products, including the Beogram 4000 as well as the Beoplay A9 and Beolab 90 speakers. These have been distilled down to key parts like legs, frame, front cover, and back cover, which are then combined with a custom-made range of digital product materials. During the minting process, buyers will be able to get a random selection of products and product materials that will allow them to mix and match designs for a truly unique B&O product that they’ll be able to display in their future virtual home in the metaverse.

The DNA Collection is meant to showcase Bang & Olufsen’s design heritage over the decades, which is an admittedly surprising venture for the company. While the brand is definitely praised for its design chops, it is, at its heart, an audio company, something that won’t translate so smoothly to Web 3.0. NFTs are also still a divisive topic within the design community, especially because of their environmental repercussions. In that regard, B&O promises that it has chosen a blockchain that reduces its climate impact, even if that impact can still be quite significant.

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RIMOWA luggage jumps into the metaverse phygital market with RTFKT NFT collab

After a short period of relative silence, the metaverse became a hot topic again in no small part thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Meta’s most recent buzz, which, unsurprisingly, split people into camps again. Some say or are hoping that the metaverse is already dead and, along with it, the more controversial NFTs. If that were the case, it seems that nobody told luxury luggage maker RIMOWA about it because it seems that the marque will be diving right into this mess when others seem to be silently stepping out. RIMOWA has partnered with Nike-owned digital fashion brand RTFKT to bring its iconic luggage brand to the metaverse via two NFT drops, but RIMOWA fans can rest assured that they can still get this upcoming limited edition luggage in physical form as well.

Designer: RIMOWA x RTFKT

The metaverse will eventually happen and become our present, though many argue that we’re still ways off from making that a reality. Even more problematic are NFTs, which were supposed to bring the concept of unique ownership of goods from the physical world to the digital realm. Camps are still split on whether it’s a boon or a bane, but many companies have already put a stake down on those nascent ecosystems to appeal to early adopters, especially among designers and collectors.

While news about big brands embracing NFTs seems to have mellowed down a bit, RIMOWA is stirring things up again with a “phygital” campaign in partnership with RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”). The latter has been making a name for itself in bringing big brands into metaverse spaces, specifically via those highly-debated NFTs. “Phygital” is the new buzzword coined to describe products that are getting both a physical as well as a digital release, the latter usually through NFTs to ensure their uniqueness and exclusivity.

That’s probably a good thing for RIMOWA loyals that have a few geeky inclinations because the limited edition “Meta Artisan” Original Cabin Luggage is quite a looker. Its surface is covered with a pixelated “Anti-FUD” pattern print that looks like a corrupted QR code spread across the luggage. Only 888 of these will be made available, both digitally and physically, as a nod to the triple-digit figure that has become synonymous with good luck in the crypto community.

The collaboration will also produce 2222 WorkerBots NFTs that will be like collectibles for this virtual world made by RIMOWA and RTFKT. These admittedly cute robots won’t have physical counterparts, unfortunately, and you’ll only be able to enjoy their existence on AR platforms or digital displays. The unique-looking luggage could spark a bit of interest as well as controversy, as you won’t be able to buy the physical luggage separately and will have to buy the NFT version first for around $3,000 at a “forging” (redemption) event later on.

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Ammunition designs a luxury digital display to create your own NFT art gallery at home

NFT art has taken on physical artwork in a way unanticipated five years ago. NFTs are now not just for the crypto maniacs; art collectors, artists and audiences are swimming the waters with equal intent. This is giving rise to “digital art renaissance”, Danvas, the creators of the first ‘luxury digital display’ for the innovative NFT art, notes.

NFT art is an impending cultural movement but this art form is not as convenient to display as the physical artwork that you can show off in a frame placed above the fireplace. Despite the unfathomable expansion of the domain, artist and collectors are struggling to warp their heads around delightful ways to show off the NFT art collections. The simplest way, for now, is printing still artwork and displaying it like usual art. The only difference here is that some artists/collectors would attach a QR code to the art so it can be easily scanned and verified online. On the other hand, NFT digital display frames are just catching up as an inventive way to show off NFTs in videos or GIF formats.

Designer: Danvas and Ammunition Design

Danvas in collaboration with Ammunition Group has taken a new approach to this idea of displaying NFTs within their compelling digital frame which invites audiences, artists, and collectors to interact with the digital artwork. The objective of this luxury digital display dubbed Series G is to “convert” individuals into “lifelong collectors”. Such collectors can have their own private gallery of digital artwork at home, watching their collectible NFTs rolling away in turns on this digital canvas.

The Series G display frame is like any traditional one, however, it embraces the ability to emit audio and also deliver subtle interactive lighting to convey the authenticity of the artwork. For this, the 48 x 48-inch display syncs with an NFT wallet and allows onlookers to behold an interactive gallery with bewildering information about the collection on exhibit.

The Series G display integrated with software to gather, organize, share and display NFT art comes in matte black, crisp white, or North American maple options to choose from. It is custom-made in the US but gives artists and collectors worldwide a digital canvas to display NFT art in their homes every day.

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This uber-luxury NFT collectibles furniture oscillates between reality and metaverse

Metaverse is presumably an indistinct concept. But, that’s only a fragment of individual imagination. 3D virtual spaces called the metaverse – after Zuckerberg’s Facebook rebranding to Meta – are now the virtual fashion in parts fuelled by the concept of Non-Fungible Tokens. NFTs permit the purchase of non-tangible items in the metaverse meant only for viewing not for use. Trimming that part for our little imagination, studio Monde Singulier is pre-empting the launch of ultra-luxe furniture for the virtual and the real worlds. So, you can then furnish the metaverse home and the physical living room with the same piece of collectibles furniture.

Playing with spatial design, 3D artistry, eye-catchy hues and materials, Sebastien Baert co-founder Monde Singulier enhances the excitement by putting the furniture in the natural environment where detaching elements of chairs, tables, and beds awe-inspire the spectator. The pretentious character conceived instantly seeps the heart – knocking back and forth in dwindling narratives – instigating the mind to get one right away.

Designer: Monde Singulier

Get one? How much would you pay for furniture NFTs is a question best left unanswered at least until “Rêveries” – the collection of collectibles furniture – invades the metaverse. Rêveries comprises four luxury furniture collections oscillating between reality and imagination. Spanning over eight exquisite concepts; the Le Champ, La Prairie, Le Lagon, and Le Desert collections are designed for both metaverse and the real world. If not all of them “a few furniture pieces” will be available in the real world while “every single piece will be auctioned in the metaverse” Monde Singulier substantiates through its webpage.

Decorated in immaculate imagery of chairs and tables tossing and flipping in virtual environs, the website of the design studio – bent on designing “ultra-luxury spaces and collectible furniture for both worlds”- is worth a visit until the NFTs and online retail open for our interest.

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Minted NFT coins turn Ether cryptocurrency into a collectible art

As if cryptocurrencies weren’t confusing enough, here’s something that mixes it up with NFTs and the Metaverse, too.

The Metaverse might be the big buzzword right now, thanks to many companies like Meta, formerly Facebook, trying to push their vision to the masses, but there was a time not too long ago when there was a different tech craze gripping the world. Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, hit mainstream media hard to the point that even lawmakers were starting to scramble and struggle to make sense of it all. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, a cousin of these blockchain-based digital entities, also took the world by storm, particularly in art and design circles where this new kind of ownership still remains a bit controversial. Almost cooking up a perfect storm, a designer and artist duo are bringing all these together into an NFT that almost makes cryptocurrencies a bit more approachable or at least more visible.

Designers: Ben Vessey and Mark Jenkins of Minted

Although they are always associated with money, cryptocurrencies are difficult for most people to grasp, particularly because these aren’t exactly represented as anything but incomprehensible numbers and letters. When people think of money, they will at least think of figures separated by commas or dots. Most will even think of paper bills and coins to make the connection to something familiar that has been around, even going back to the ancient Greeks. Cryptocurrencies have thrown all preconceived notions out the window, but NFTs and the Metaverse present an opportunity to turn things around a bit.

An NFT is a form of blockchain, but unlike cryptocurrencies, each one is non-interchangeable. That means it can be sold and traded, like digital equivalents of physical goods, but they’re often associated more with supposedly rare digital artworks that sell for thousands to millions of real-world dollars. NFTs don’t always have to be artwork, though, and can actually be used for anything that has a digital representation, including, in this case, NFT coins.

Minted was conceptualized as an answer to the question of what Ether, the currency for the Ethereum platform, would look like if it were an actual coin. Just like an NFT, however, a Minted coin is going to be a one-of-a-kind digital artifact, though they would have fixed Ether values. The coins will be available in Ether denominations of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 5. Each coin, however, will be “handcrafted” and unique, so they still retain the unique value, even if they just look like digital coins. And, of course, these will only be circulated via Ethereum since that’s the only place where Ether will have any value.

 

Of course, Minted doesn’t exactly make “crypto,” as they are called, suddenly more approachable and more understandable. They do, at least, give them a more visible form that could help lead towards a better comprehension of these newfangled technologies and concepts. It is also an attempt to beat governments to the punch in creating NFTs that will be associated with blockchain currencies. After all, if cryptocurrencies are designed to decentralize the distribution of assets, it would be ironic if a single entity like a government would co-opt that to become the new centralized bottleneck of these new systems.

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Nike CryptoKicks NFT sneakers are for the metaverse fashion conscious

If you’re a sneakerhead in your real life, then you’ve got be ready for the coolest pair of sneakers in your virtual life too. That luxury comes courtesy of the Nike CryptoKicks for the metaverse worlds. And yes, don’t forget to lace them up while strolling in VR!

Nike had earlier filed seven metaverse-related trademark applications, clearly suggesting their affinity for the trending pop culture of virtual assets. In line with this future vision, the American multinational acquired RTFKT Studios, a digital fashion and 3D creation studio in December 2021. Now the first nectar of their creation is out for all to see. Yes, you know where this going, right?

Designer: RTFKT Studios

Nike and RTFKT’s first digital sneakers have been released and they call them the Nike CryptoKicks. It’s a design based on the Nike Dunk Genesis sneaker, and this is Nike’s foray into the world of NFTs, and eventually the metaverse. RTFKT labels this creation as the “Future of Sneakers” and we truly second that statement. Nike did hint at their interest in crafting digital sneakers and wearables back in November 2021, so after all this reveal isn’t a major surprise for keen followers.

 

People who own the RTFKT’s mysterious MNLTH digital box NFT which was airdropped for free to ones who have the Clone-X. There was some mystery around as to what the MNLTH cube actually holds, and now after almost three months we know one of its hidden gifts. The digital wearables can be shown off in the metaverse worlds as their look can be toggled via the collectible Skin Vials for different styles. For starters, the EVO X collection will kick off with eight different skins which can be beefed up with drip upgrades and special powers.

This virtual dunk silhouette gets an uber-futuristic bump-up with the metallic parts, a noticeably modified sole unit, and the paneling to match the swapping around of the screens for customization. CryptoKicks sneaker is going to be one of the many future releases in the pipeline and we can expect the skins library to grow exponentially too.

As Nike said at the launch of the CryptoKicks, “Nike is focused on potential ways to use blockchain technology to serve our consumers in the athletic footwear, apparel and equipment space. The MNLTH is just the start to a future of serving athletes in this space.”

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Alphabet Project will make you want to buy all the letters to add to your NFT collection

NFT is a term loosely used these days. You have probably heard of it but don’t fully understand. Some of you may have already invested money on a few NFT designs. Expect more will be introduced. So what is NFT? It’s a non-fungible token used to own digital objects on a blockchain. Digital objects are any creation online that may cost something. An NFT could be digital drawings, art, or music.

Designer: Marius Longo

Yanko Design Marius Visual Arts

Sample Marius Visual Arts

At the moment, digital artists and creatives are going crazy over this trend. Just like cryptocurrency, NFTs will still be questioned and doubted but the system will still continue. A number of other products, services, and platforms are also being developed for NFTs and we can expect more will be introduced.

Several designs have been presented to the public and since last year especially, many people have sold and purchased digital products. The latest interesting collection is from Marius Longo, the person behind Marius Visual Arts.

Marius is a freelance motion designer and 3D artist based in France. He has recently come up with his first NFT collection named the ‘Alphabet Project’. His visual creations are mainly digital product designs. Each product is patterned after a letter from the alphabet.

The Alphabet Project shows the different letters in different forms. Starting with an astronaut, we see one formed like the letter A. A coffee machine is shaped like a C coffee-themed color.

A D-shaped bass drum is followed by an elephant-shaped like an E. The G-Game Boy will remind you of your childhood. A double hydrant looks ready shaped like an H.

Leaning Tower of Pisa is the choice of symbol for I while a J-shaped bottle is filled with jellybeans. THE upside-down K-shaped tomato ketchup is obviously after a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup. Mario’s signature blue overalls with red shirt combo are the inspiration for the letter M.

N is nicely rendered with ninja accessories. The O shape looks more like a donut. The Q-shaped quartz looks unique while the R radio is something we want to see become an actual product.

An S-shaped Nintendo Switch is possible. The T telephone may remain a novelty because nobody ever really uses a landline phone. The U unicorn doesn’t have eyes or maybe they’re just hidden. We can’t quite figure out how a V videotape will work. The watermelon and xylophone are obvious designs.

A Yoda saber can be blinding. The Z Zippo lighter must be used responsibly. Some letters of the alphabet are not posted on OpenSea yet but we recognize the L lego, P PlayStation, B Basketball, and F football. Each letter has a corresponding cost. Starting price is $0.01 while the most expensive we see is at $0.4 for the Nintendo S Switch.

Yanko Design Marius Visual Arts 2

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This holographic display could be how you do video calls in the Metaverse




Not everyone will be keen on wearing even glasses to experience this metaverse thing. Fortunately, you might not have to, especially if this hologram-in-a-box can deliver the next best thing.

The metaverse is being hyped as the logical evolution of virtual reality, blending the physical and the digital in a single space. Most of the discussions and implementations, however, involve placing ourselves in a virtual space, often with the use of mixed reality equipment like headsets. The metaverse can also work the other way around and bring the digital into our physical realm, most likely through holograms. We’re still ways off from the holograms of sci-fi, but this new holographic display is trying to bridge the gap until that perfect time.

Designer: PORTL

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Imagine trying to keep in touch with family members in a future where the metaverse has become our world. You’d expect that we’d don glasses or headgear that would seemingly teleport us to a common space, maybe in a virtual house bought with your NFTs, but that can be cumbersome to set up for a brief call. What if you could just bring that person virtually into your house instead? That’s where holograms come in, but we’re not quite there yet when it comes to simply project people in just about any physical space.

Startup PORTL, not to be confused by Meta’s Portal video conferencing device, envisions installing cabinet-sized holographic displays in places where they might be of use, like in stores, meeting rooms, or even classrooms. Not everyone will be able to afford these PORTL EPIC boxes, though, which is why the company revealed its desktop, the PORTL M. Again, not to be confused with Facebook Portal, but the associations are really hard to avoid, especially given the design.

PORTL M is what the very first Facebook Portal would be if it were extruded into a box form to accommodate a holographic display inside. The box can be set up in either landscape or portrait orientation, depending on the content you want to display. The device itself lacks some charm, looking like a nondescript plastic box with rounded corners and a curved back. The magic, of course, is in how it will try to make people and things really look like the three-dimensional objects that they are. Or at least that’s the idea.

The PORTL M is intended to be used for full-body video chats, browsing and examining products before you buy, or even for serious work in industrial and medical fields. And, of course, you can also use these boxes to display your NFTs, at least if you have around $2,000 to spare for one.

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This holographic display concept makes your NFT art buy look more interesting

If you are diving into NFTs and the digital media that comes along with them, you might as well have something that proudly displays that piece of NFT art you just bought.

If you thought cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum were already controversial, try throwing the word “NFT” around and see the debates explode like a long-dormant volcano. While discussions for and against the use of NFTs in the digital art industry continue to rage, there are already people that have accepted them as part of the future, especially with the Metaverse being pushed by companies and media. When that day comes, you’ll probably want a way to show off those NFT purchases, and this holographic cube definitely fits the theme.

Designer: ChenKai Zhang

Although NFTs can be used for anything digital, the biggest conversations revolve around their use in digital art. For some people, NFT-purchased art or videos have become something like a bragging right, not that different from the feeling you get when owning a piece from the great Masters of the trade. You can’t hang an NFT on a wall, of course, but the Holocube gives you a way to display these digital artworks in a way that matches the almost futuristic nature of NFTs.

Nothing says “the future” like holograms, and the Holocube makes it even more futuristic by having the hologram displayed inside a glass cube that rises from the box when activated. LEDs in the eight corners light up to add to this futuristic motif, though it doesn’t seem to be configurable to match the art being displayed. The idea behind the concept is to allow NFT owners to upload their purchases from their phones and have as many of these on display at home or in the office.

It’s definitely a visually interesting way to proudly proclaim being an NFT owner, though it might not work for all kinds of digital art or videos. Then again, holograms might have sufficiently advanced by then as well, presuming NFTs are still a thing. As forward-looking as these decentralized digital ledgers might be, NFTs, in particular, are also heavily criticized for their impact on the environment, making at least the current implementation controversial from a sustainability perspective. That said, there is also the possibility of blockchains like NFTs and bitcoin to advance in a way that retains their advantages while also reducing their carbon footprint.

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Love Hultén’s latest synth comes with a 15-inch display that serves as a music-based NFT Visualizer





Collaborating with digital artist Lirona over his latest synth creation, Love Hultén’s latest synth is an audiovisual treat. The MIDI Synth, handcrafted by Hultén, is paired with a 15-inch display that showcases Lirona’s digital work, titled #synthboi. Limited to 10 synths, each digital work is, in fact, an interactive NFT that the buyers get to own when they purchase the synthesizer.

Synthboi falls perfectly into Hultén’s portfolio of quirky, bizarre synths, with its odd human-shaped visualization that lights up as you play the tunes. The collaboration bridges the worlds of bespoke electronic instruments and NFTs, allowing music enthusiasts and collectors to also own their own one-of-a-kind non-fungible digital artworks along with their music instruments!

The synth features a 25-key MIDI keyboard that plugs via USB into an Intel NUC i5 computer that’s also connected to the circular 15-inch display on top. The electronics sit within handcrafted cabinets that boast of an alternative 90s Apple-esque design with terrazzo and matte metal materials. Each Synthboi ships in a wooden crate to its 10 owners, and comes marked on the back with a QR code linking to Dissrup’s website, which powers the NFT experience.

Designers: Love Hultén & Lirona

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