Ready Player Me is trying to push the world forward towards a boundless virtual world.
With the rise of the Metaverse concept, new industries and projects about the Metaverse continue to emerge. However, each project is an independent virtual world. How should different virtual worlds be connected?
A unified identity system might be a good idea.
Imagine that you use a fixed virtual identity when you play, work or socialize in different virtual worlds. This will not only help the connection between virtual worlds, but also greatly enhance your sense of identity. And that’s where Ready Player Me comes in.
Ready Player Me aims to be a “passport to the Metaverse,” allowing users to maintain a consistent profile picture and identity across different virtual worlds . On the platform, users or developers can edit the system according to the identity provided by the platform, and use system materials or real photos to create avatars.
Up to now, Ready Player Me’s partners have spanned the fields of Web2 and Web3, and have won cooperation with more than 3,000 enterprises. In addition to emerging technology companies such as VRChat, Spatial, Sommium Space, RTFKT, Adidas, Dior, Pull&Bear, Warner Bros. and other fashion brands, helping them build assets across virtual worlds in the Metaverse.
Some people may be curious as to why an emerging technology company can get so much attention from companies, and even why an “avatar system” that is not optimistic in the eyes of the melon eaters has won so much capital affirmation, maybe we have found an answer…
How did Ready Player Me come about?
Ready Player Me is a project successfully incubated by Wolf3D, a 3D facial scanning technology service provider. Wolf3D, founded in 2014, was initially responsible for 3D scanning in public places such as airports and museums.
With years of data accumulation, Wolf3D has formed a patent database containing more than 20,000 facial scans.
The database is in turn used to build a deep learning-based platform that can generate real-time animated images, similar to Animoji on Apple’s iOS, and can also accurately predict and render real faces from a 2D photo. Customized 3D avatar system for Tencent, Huawei, HTC, Wargaming and other enterprises.
In 2020, Wolf3D officially launched Ready Player Me, a customized 3D avatar system based on its own database, which effectively shortens the time for developers to build avatars , enables them to enter the market faster, and also reduces the cost of avatars. With the complexity of the work, developers can focus on more important work content, such as the presence of games or applications.
In addition, Ready Player Me provides a one-stop cross-game avatar platform that supports multiple development systems such as Web, Unity, Unreal, React Native, Android, and iOS Native.
Since then, Wolf3D has evolved from a B2B hardware solutions provider of high-resolution 3D face scans to a consumer solutions provider utilizing AI technology to create virtual avatars from selfies.
Ready Player Me has grown quite rapidly over the past year, with more than 3,000 companies, including Somnium Space and Verizon, using the Ready Player Me avatar platform, according to the latest data .
Developers can integrate the Ready Player Me SDK or API interface into the application to obtain user-created avatars.
It is also possible to generate revenue by selling interoperable Ready Player Me avatar assets, which can be traded across the partner network and receive royalties from them.
For ordinary users, they can use Avatar Creator to create their own avatars on Ready Player Me or its partner applications.
Once created, players can share it on social media such as TikTok, Discord, and Twitter, as well as use it in Ready Player Me partnered games and other apps.
It is understood that Ready Player Me has currently processed about 5 million virtual avatars from about 3,000 partners, and this also highlights the core innovation of the project – interoperability.
Ready Player Me defines itself as a Metaverse interoperable identity protocol where players and developers alike are able to bring their identities and assets to any 3D experience .
Last year Ready Player Me announced the closing of a Series A funding round that raised $13 million. The investment was led by venture capital firm Taavet+Sten, with participation from GitHub co-founder Tom Preston Werner, Konvoy Ventures, Samsung Next Ventures and Khaled Helioui.
Not long ago, Ready Player Me announced the completion of a $56 million Series B financing, led by a16z, with Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, King Games co-founder Sebastian Knutsson and Riccardo Zacconi, etc. .
The financing will be used to enrich the performance of Ready Player Me avatar creation, providing more flexibility for various developers. In addition, the platform will also launch functions such as custom clothing based on body shape and more accurate face shape prediction.
Timmu Tõke, co-founder and CEO of Ready Player Me, said: “There may be big companies supporting the Metaverse project at the moment, but they will set all the rules. Our larger vision is to connect the Metaverse through avatars, developed by millions It’s built by people, no one controls the whole space, like the internet . We’re trying to push the world toward that virtual world.”
How to play Ready Player Me?
Now that we’ve talked about the playability of Ready Player Me, what’s so interesting about it?
First, the user can generate a virtual image similar to the photo by taking or uploading a photo, and can also modify the generated virtual image, including facial features, skin color, hairstyle and clothing, etc., and finally obtain a half-body or full-body virtual image.
1️⃣ We can enter the Ready Player Me official website and click “Create Avatar” to create an avatar.
2️⃣Choose the avatar type, Full-body (full body model) or Half-body (half-body model).
3️⃣ Select the body shape of the avatar, select Masculine (male); Feminine (female); Don’t specify (do not select)
4️⃣ Then use the camera to take a picture or click “pick a file” to choose a photo, or click “Continue without a photo” to choose a preset 3D character.
5️⃣Ready Player Me will generate an avatar from a photo, and there are a series of customization options in the lower toolbar that can be used to adjust the appearance of the avatar.
6️⃣ Finally, click “ENTER HUB” in the upper right corner to complete the avatar creation.
After completing the character creation, Ready Player Me will provide the user with a file in “.glb” format, which is the binary file format of the GLTF model. It can be opened through the 3D viewer that comes with Windows 10, and the 3D preview of the character can also be realized.
In the actual experience, we only need 6 steps to create our own avatar , which is why Ready Player Me has won the cooperation of more than 3,000 companies in a relatively short period of time, and has become a Metaverse avatar for many individual users. popular platform.
What is the value of Ready Player Me?
Ready Player Me is not just a free-to-use avatar platform for developers and users, but also helps users seamlessly span identities across multiple virtual platforms to build a network that connects thousands of virtual worlds. In short, the goal is to be a “passport to the Metaverse.”
In order to smooth out the differences between different platforms based on the underlying architecture, performance and algorithms, Ready Player Me chose to start from the outside and provide technical support for mainstream platforms to complete the cross-platform 3D avatar.
For example, developers of the Unity platform can build the Unity SDK officially provided by Ready Player M into the Unity editor to further transform 3D characters. Similarly, Ready Player Me also supports Web, Unreal, React Native, Android It is used on platforms such as iOS native.
It is worth mentioning that Ready Player Me is free for both developers and users, and all avatars built on its website are also protected by a Creative Commons license .
Therefore, although such a virtual avatar cannot be used as a personal digital asset, the SDK service provided by it allows developers and users to “re-create”, realizing the characteristics of digital identity exclusivity, and the virtual avatar is also endowed in this process. new value.
In addition, in addition to breaking the technical barriers between platforms, extensive cooperation is the key to cross-platform. For commercial use, they need to apply to become a partner, and the official website will also provide support for various resources including textures, hand models, and changing export poses.
In April 2022, Metaverse-focused AR/VR collaboration platform Spatial announced a Ready Player Me collaboration to bring full-body, customizable avatars to its new Metaverse platform that will allow people to express themselves more freely in the Metaverse And interact, as well as unlock wearable accessory assets that can be used as NFTs.
In July, user content generation platform HiberWorld partnered with Ready Player Me, allowing players to create virtual experiences using customizable 3D avatars from Ready Player Me in HiberWorld’s virtual world.
Since 2021, the use of the Ready Player Me avatar system has increased from 25 companies to 3,000 companies.
Ready Player Me connects different virtual worlds through avatars, providing new ideas for the integration of the Metaverse, and users can experience different platforms while having a consistent identity .
The company will also build a digital asset store in the future, where artists, brands and developers will be able to sell virtual assets such as custom avatars, while Ready Player Me gets a percentage of the revenue.
Timmu Toke, CEO of Ready Player Me, said what unlocks a true Metaverse experience is the interoperability between games, virtual worlds and applications, as well as a consistent identity for users across all experiences.
What does Ready Player Me look forward to in the future?
Following a recent $56 million funding round, Ready Player Me co-founder and CEO Timmu Tõke said the funds will allow the company to continue expanding its avatar system, making it ” more flexible for developers to create new Tools to help developers monetize avatar assets and build tools for individual creators to participate in the avatar marketplace across games .”
Compared with the statement after the completion of the last round of financing, this time Timmu emphasized the help of Ready Player Me to developers. After all, Ready Player Me cannot always play the role of “self-directing and self-acting”, they need to let more creative Players join Ready Player Me to complete more avatar creations, whether it is a well-known brand or some unknown individual developer.
In addition, as Timmu previously described, Ready Player Me will also create a digital asset store that can be bought, sold and traded, focusing on selling in-game assets and NFTs by allowing third-party developers to include wearables and virtual clothing.
From the current development, this market is indeed large enough. After all, there are still many game assets that cannot be transferred well. If Ready Player Me can realize the migration and trading of these assets, it will definitely bring a larger liquidity market.
In this way, Ready Player Me is very likely to become a “developer revenue source” based on blockchain, thereby enabling artists, brands and developers to sell various customization options of avatars in stores, realizing a true “private” Customized”, in short, the future Ready Player Me will have the opportunity to become the “Taobao of digital fashion/asset” in the Metaverse.
Of course, the vision of Ready Player Me is inseparable from the layout of the blockchain. After all, to realize the circulation of digital clothing, the NFT attribute is an indispensable part.
This also confirms what Timmu said in an interview at the beginning of the year, “So far, the game industry has been very closed, and I think the blockchain world helps to promote the Metaverse from a technical perspective and a philosophical perspective. The blockchain is a kind of A very unique way of creating scarcity, and we want it to be part of the Metaverse .”
As for whether Ready Player Me can achieve the ultimate goal, we don’t know yet, but from the development of Ready Player Me, they can successfully transition from 3D printing to the Metaverse and blockchain, which is very important for the development of the founding team. Full of all kinds of imaginations, maybe we can expect more from them in the future, after all, an innovative team will surely bring more surprises.
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