McDonald’s Implements Metaverse, Files Trademark For Virtual Restaurant, Goods and Services

Virtual McRib anyone?

McDonald’s filed a trademark application for a virtual fast food restaurant, as well as virtual goods and services, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in February, jumping on the “metaverse” train.

The Metaverse is designed as an immersive online space where users can play games and interact with others as avatars in a computer-generated environment.

According to industry experts, people will be able to shop in the metaverse and attend virtual concerts and sporting events.

The giant fast food franchise hopes to operate virtual restaurants, “with real and virtual products” and “operate an online virtual restaurant with home delivery,” according to the trademark application.

On Feb. 4, McDonald’s also filed a trademark application in hopes of eventually providing entertainment services, “namely, offering real and virtual online concerts and other virtual events,” the filing said.

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FILE – In this photo illustration, a woman’s silhouette is holding a smartphone with the McDonald’s Corporation logo on the screen. (Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The idea of ​​buying an item you can’t touch or an event you don’t personally experience is fueling a frenzy among investors and artists looking to make money in the virtual marketplace.

Non-replaceable tokens, better known as NFTs, for example, inspire a bit of a “gold rush mentality,” Larry Cheng, managing partner of Volition Capital, a Boston-based growth capital firm, told FOX Business during a January interview.

Cheng, who focuses on investment opportunities in Internet applications, e-commerce and consumer products, Varney & Cie. said there has been a “massive explosion” of interest and investment in NFTs, “which are really the fiber of the metaverse.”

“They are what allows you to own real estate,” he explained, describing NFTs. “They allow you to own virtual goods in the metaverse and so on, and they’re skyrocketing right now.”

Cheng pointed to data highlighting NFT’s massive revenue growth.

The total value of all NFT sales that occurred in 2021 was $23 billion, compared to less than $100 million in 2020, according to data published by DappRadar and quoted by Cheng.

DappRadar noted in its 2021 Industry Report that “the NFT space has seen one of its most impressive expansions.”

“Intimately linked to the success of NFTs and blockchain games, the prospects for the metaverse and virtual worlds were already promising,” the report noted. Nevertheless, the prospects for the metaverse have skyrocketed following the announcement of Facebook’s rebranding.

What is an NFT?

In economic jargon, a fungible token is an asset that can be traded one-to-one. Think dollars or bitcoins – each has exactly the same value and can be traded freely. A non-functioning object, on the other hand, has its own value, such as an old house or a classic car.

Combine this idea with the cryptocurrency technology known as blockchain and you get NFTs. These are basically digital certificates of authenticity that can be attached to digital art or, well, pretty much anything in digital form – audio files, video clips, animated stickers, this article you’re reading.

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FILE – The Bored Ape Yacht Club Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection at the OpenSea Marketplace on a computer in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, USA on Friday, April 8, 2022. (Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Who sells NFTs?

William Shatner of “Star Trek” fame sold 90,000 virtual trading cards last year for $1 each. Electronic musician Grimes sold $6 million worth of his digital art last month, including a music video featuring winged cherubs floating in pastel dreamscapes for $389,000. Clips of NBA star LeBron James dunking sell for up to $225,000. Actress Lindsey Lohan has sold a picture of her face. You can also buy virtual land in video games and meme characters like Nyan Chat.

Digital artist Anne Spalter started out as an NFT skeptic but has now sold several artworks using the tokens. The latest was a video called “Dark Castles” – mysteriously twisted castles generated by artificial intelligence technology – which sold for $2,752.

“NFTs have made art accessible to a whole group of people who would never have gone to a New York gallery,” says Spalter, who pioneered digital fine art classes at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1990s. are investors, they are technology entrepreneurs, they are in this world.”

What is the Metaverse?

Think of it as the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described it as a “virtual environment” you can step into — instead of just staring at a screen. It is essentially a world of endless interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play using VR headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.

It will also include other aspects of online life, such as shopping and social media, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who tracks emerging technologies.

“It’s the next evolution of connectivity where all these things come together in a seamless, similar universe, so you live your virtual life the same way you live your physical life,” she said.

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FILE – A participant uses a virtual reality (VR) headset on the Metaverse Summit booth during the Paris NFT Day conference in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

More companies are joining the metaverse

In January, Walmart unveiled plans to offer cryptocurrencies and NFTs along with other companies.

The Dec. 30, 2021 filing, listed under the retailer’s digital advertising company “Walmart Connect,” describes a financial transaction service using cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain technology that will be used by members of a community online via a global computer network.

“Walmart is constantly exploring how emerging technologies can shape future shopping experiences,” a spokesperson told FOX Business.

The retailer also appears to be paving the way for entering the Metaverse.

Separate apps called ‘Verse to Store’, ‘Verse to Curb’ and ‘Verse to Home’ reveal plans for home shopping and online ordering services, while another directory searches for trademarks for the Walmart name and ‘fireworks’ logo for health services and education in virtual and augmented reality.

In December 2021, it was revealed that Ralph Lauren was rushing to settle in the Metaverse. The fashion brand opened its doors to the online world of Roblox, with 47 million daily active users, Forbes reported, noting that Ralph Lauren replenished its virtual stores “with virtual puffer jackets, plaid beanies and hats.” other retro ski wear for the winter season, under $5.”

More companies are entering the space and The Walt Disney Co. gets approval for a patent to project 3D images onto real objects in theme parks, the Los Angeles Times reported in January.

After announcing plans to buy Activision Blizzard Inc., maker of “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,” Microsoft noted that the nearly $68.7 billion deal was partially closed to also reach the metaverse. .

“Gaming is the fastest growing and most exciting entertainment category on any platform today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “We are investing heavily in world-class content, community and cloud to usher in a new era of gaming where players and creators come first and make gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”

Associated Press and FOX Business contributed to this report. This story was reported in Los Angeles.

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