Many companies have been jumping into Web3 and the Metaverse, and Disney is the latest big-name corporation to use its vast resources and expertise to bring the new internet frontier to life. As the convergence of 3D virtual worlds, AR, VR, and blockchain technologies, Web3 promises to bring new services and venues that will provide exciting experiences for the average consumer and tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors. However, in order for Web3 to really take off and achieve its potential, it needs compelling reasons for people to want to jump in, and Disney’s Accelerator Program could provide a boost.
Disney Accelerator is a yearly investment and advisory program that assists technologically innovative companies, and this year Disney is focused on Web3 and the Metaverse. The program takes place over the summer each year and ends with a demonstration event in October, focussing on entertainment technology, providing investment capital, access to space at Disney’s co-working campus in Los Angeles, and advice from Disney’s top executives and business leaders in entertainment and technology. Two notable companies that have participated in the Disney Accelerator program are Epic Games, the developers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite, and Hanson Robotics, specialists in human facial animatronics.
In an official press release, Disney announced six companies that have been chosen for this year’s Disney Accelerator, all of which have their hands in Web3, the internet and Metaverse in some way, and span the fields of AR, AI, gaming NFTs, virtual shopping, and blockchain. Disney has made great contributions to entertainment for nearly a century, and sees long-term value in Web3. This isn’t Disney’s first expression of interest in Web3 and the Metaverse, but until now it hasn’t made any major moves toward its development. The Disney Accelerator program is a powerful setting for any company to get ahead.
The six participants that were chosen for this year’s Disney Accelerator program are Flickplay, Inworld, Lockerverse, Obsess, Red6, and Polygon, all of which are technology companies spanning multiple niches across the Web3 and Metaverse frontier. They range from startups still in “growth-mode” to technology companies contracted by the United States Air Force, but all of them have their hands in technology related to Web3. None of the companies appear to have overlapping specialties, and are each focused on a particular element or experience of Web3.
Flickplay is a Web3 AR company that focuses on NFTs (called “Flicks“) that can be discovered or purchased by its users through augmented reality in the real-world. Inworld’s software allows users to create interactive AI-driven characters that generate their own dialogue for gaming, Metaverse, and business applications. Obsess is a B2B service that creates virtual retail stores for businesses, which provides a new-yet-familiar experience for shoppers. Polygon is a blockchain and Web3 scaling solution for the Ethereum network, offering faster transaction speeds and far lower cost than the Ethereum main-net. Lockerverse is described as “a Web3 platform that empowers creators and brands to tell culture-defining stories and deliver unique access and experiences” but no additional information (or even a website) can be found. Finally, Red6 is the developer of the Airbourne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), an advanced AR headset and interface designed for the United States Air Force for training new pilots.
With such a wide roster of technology companies participating in this year’s Disney Accelerator program, it can be assumed that Web3 is about to see even more innovation and advancement. If all goes well, retail stores in the Metaverse, AR/VR products, and Web3/NFT gaming could all become more interesting, immersive, and accessible, providing new experiences and entertainment geared toward a family-friendly audience. Nothing drives adoption quite like children annoying their parents to buy new things, and that is one thing Disney is better at than most entertainment companies.