Black women are taking over the metaverse

By Megan Sayles
AFRO Business Writer,
[email protected]

McKinsey and Company defines the “metaverse” as the emerging 3D-enabled digital space that uses virtual reality, augmented reality and other advanced internet and semiconductor technologies to enable lifelike personal and business experiences online.

The term’s roots go back to the 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash” written by Neal Stephenson, but in recent years it has gained popularity with Facebook changing its company name to “Meta” and others leading technology companies have invested billions in the concept.

The Metaverse enables people to interact with each other in digital worlds without leaving the couch, and innovators are racing to develop platforms that benefit from Metaverse technologies.

Two women at the forefront of this burgeoning digital space are Mary Spio, Founder and Chief Visionary and Product Architect of CEEK Virtual Reality (CEEK VR), and Bianca Jackson, Owner and Creative Experience Officer of BrickRose Exchange.

Mary Spio, shown here with an AI version of her likeness, is the chief visionary and product architect of CEEK Virtual Reality. She founded the Metaverse platform to help artists generate revenue streams for their music and connect them with their fans through immersive experiences.

Spio, who is from Ghana, started her career as a deep space engineer.

“I’ve always been interested in learning more about our world and how technology is affecting it,” Spio said. “I think I first fell in love with technology after wondering how radio could play music, and my curiosity to discover this and much more about our world led me to become a space engineer .”

READ :  VR/AR Headsets vs. Smart Glasses: What's the Difference?

Bianca Jackson is the owner and Creative Experience Officer of BrickRose Exchange. The Baltimore-based company was founded to enable people to host virtual events in digital neighborhoods.

Spio has developed content and technology for major companies such as Boeing Digital Cinema, Microsoft Xbox, Intelsat and Toyota.

At Boeing Digital Cinema, Spio pioneered four technology patents that transformed the film industry and enabled Lucas Films, 20th Century Fox and other major film studios to streamline film distribution.

In 2015, Spio founded Florida-based CEEK VR, a metaverse platform that allows developers and fans to come together in virtual worlds. Users can enter artists’ virtual houses and rooms and interact with them as avatars.

“I created CEEK to provide an opportunity for creators, particularly those affected by unfair practices by streaming platforms such as urban and global artists, to monetize their work directly with fans,” Spio said.

“Today, a handful of platforms control who can monetize their content, and that’s not fair. With CEEK, anyone can connect directly with their fans and get paid for their work.”

Currently, CEEK VR offers numerous immersive virtual reality experiences in “CEEK City”, which includes a theater, a concert arena, a sports complex and a lounge. The platform has also partnered with Universal Music Group to offer live performances with big artists like Bon Jovi, U2, Lady Gaga and Ziggy Marley.

Like CEEK VR, Jackson’s BrickRose Exchange company uses Metaverse technologies to create immersive virtual reality experiences. However, the Baltimore-based startup allows users to host events in digital neighborhoods through the Metaverse.

“It’s basically the future of events. It came to light with COVID-19 because people weren’t able to do live events in person, so we had to be creative in how to get people to meet, come together and connect with one another.” Jackson said. “We have found that holding these events in virtual worlds in digital neighborhoods allows people from all over the world to connect with each other.”

READ :  Best golf simulators 2022

Jackson has a technical background. She learned to code in high school and majored in business informatics in college. In her early career, she led USA Today’s burgeoning technology team and led the development of three virtual reality products.

In founding BrickRose Exchange, Jackson wanted to introduce entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives to the multiverse so they could bring their products to the virtual world. The platform allows users to host or attend networking events, listening parties, concerts, staff training, and more.

“With an emphasis on the workforce and economic development, our goal in Baltimore is to make as many new technologies available to residents as possible so they can start thinking about the future of their jobs and the future of their businesses,” said Jacksons .

Megan Sayles is a member of the Report for America Corps.