Today, VR is almost always associated with the purchase of VR glasses or headsets, most of the time for gaming and entertainment purposes. This is quite unfortunate, since VR is a technology that has so much more to offer. This article explains how MARK.SPACE – a VR ecosystem for social and business interaction has managed to complement VR by powering it with a Blockchain.

As mentioned in the introduction, VR technologies can offer people much more than just their usual games and gadgets. Imagine a world where relatives, separated by thousands of miles, can still celebrate New Year’s eve together. Imagine a world, where paralyzed patients can swim with whales in the ocean while lying in their hospital bed. Imagine a world, where an old couple from a small Chinese village is able to visit Barcelona’s “Sagrada Familia” or Milan’s “La Scala”, without ever leaving their living room. Or one, where designers and artists have the technology to literally walk through their own sketches…

These are the opportunities where we soon will be able to apply virtual reality – and there’s much, much more to it. Based on IDC predictions, AR and VR revenue will jump from 11.4 billion USD in 2017, to 215 billion USD in 2021. In the not so distant future, we’ll be able to immerse ourselves in any world we can think of. A world so fantastically real that the only thing separating us from reality will be our own imagination. To achieve these amazing possibilities, however, these processes have to be monetized in one way or another and be of either commercial or practical benefit for the user. To put it simple: if people invest in an expensive VR-headset, they want it to have a practical purpose. If people use VR-technology, the only way it can continue to be a needed tool is if it opens up real-life application opportunities, or simply is able to somehow improve the quality of people’s lives.

To apply VR in practical or commercial cases

Blockchain is the technology that will help achieve this and will almost suddenly thrive much more in VR than it would ever have in real life. A Blockchain can support a wide range of applications and is already used for P2P payment services, supply chain tracking and the like. Today, transactions are verified by a central authority, like a government or a financial institution. Blockchain applications can replace these centralized systems with decentralized ones, where verification comes from the consensus of multiple users.

The distinction between games (as we now know them) against virtual worlds, is that users will soon demand decentralized alternatives, because they will be so important in everyday use. Think about it. Just like we already demand decentralized finance, which has become a large part of our lives, we will soon come to demand decentralized VR applications. The MARK.SPACE team has spent three years and millions of USD of personal funds to find a way to achieve this. The thing is, you’ve probably never heard of them, yet. The reason is that MARK.SPACE is (fortunately), not the only company that wants to bring VR-technologies to the next level.

Also foreseeing this trend, a leading social network and one famous VR-technology company have already developed and presented the world with their joint-project that uses applied VR capabilities. You’ve probably heard of it, since it’s among the hottest discussion topics in the field. Because of their brand recognition, they are already and understandably so, rising in popularity. But if taking into account the earlier notion of the beneficial options VR should be able to offer to stay afloat the market in the future, three major issues stand out with these well-known brands:

1. They divide the world into the rich and the poor, by making elite-club memberships and expensive subscription fees. “Ordinary” users may only take a peek through a “keyhole”, so to speak, to see a preview of a virtual world, which in reality was created for only the wealthiest of the users.

2. They don’t have practical real-life use cases. Users can set up avatars to create the illusion of being at a party, event or location, which is fun – no questions asked. The interface allows for vocal and visual communication and users are then able to make “selfies” within the platform, with the choice of posting the experience on the integrated social media. And that’s where the options stop. The platform, even if advertised differently, in reality is applicable for one thing- entertainment. Which, in itself, is a great achievement in the development in VR, but not so much for its future.

3. They don’t provide monetization opportunities. Trends and fads die off for the same reason: we get tired of them, because they don’t provide us with opportunities for personal benefit. VR-platforms offered to us by these big names will probably see the same fate, because, for regular users they:

a. don’t make them feel unique;

b. don’t provide a stream of income;

c. don’t productize processes created within the platform.

Now let’s get back to the project that deserves much more credit and attention. MARK.SPACE, a social interaction platform which uses VR and 3D technologies, has indeed managed to overcome all challenges that all other existing VR-platforms have not. MARK.SPACE not only incorporated a crypto economy in their VR-universe, but also powered it with a Blockchain – the technology that, for logical reasons, is crucially needed to make VR a popular tool in the not so distant future.

MARK.SPACE, unlike its competitors, is accessible to all social layers in full functionality. It does not divide by class and creates equal opportunities for all its users. One of the ways MARK.SPACE achieves this is by making it possible to visit the virtual spaces without pre-registering or paying any membership fees. The other way MARK.SPACE creates equal opportunities in this decentralized democracy is by setting transaction limitations to prohibit the wealthiest investors, or so called whales, to create a virtualized monopoly by simply buying out the virtual estates.

In contrast to other VR-platforms, MARK.SPACE not only offers a wide variety off, but already has real-life use cases to show. The platform’s demo, which is openly accessible online, invites the public to visit the currently four existing thematic districts: Shopping, Business, Residential and Community. The Districts let us visit virtualized copies of actual fashion boutiques, offices, apartments and fan-clubs, where people can use their avatars to fit a clothing item in a virtualized copy of an actual fashion store, sign a business contract (with the help of pre-designed smart-contracts, which means that knowing even the basics of coding is not needed!), create designs of apartments or visit existing residencies, or join a fan club community, based on their hobbies and interests.

In addition, MARK.SPACE offers its users many monetization opportunities, because it enables people to express their uniqueness, gives business-owners or freelancers commercial opportunities which create a stream of income, and can productize processes by turning virtual services into sold goods.

Of course, these are just simplified examples of the capabilities of MARK.SPACE, but the opportunities are indeed, limited only by our own imagination.

To conclude, the fact remains that virtual reality technology can and must be used for the benefit of the quality of people’s lives. However, it will be able to do so only if it provides the cover of several dimensions of real-life application processes. The Blockchain, as a technological foundation, has the ability to achieve this, and MARK.SPACE is truly the first platform that has managed to combine these progressive technologies, which are unhesitatingly erasing the thin line between the virtual and physical realities.