The Mothership Technologies
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The Mothership Technologies is focused on creating, selling, renting and celebrating NFTs created through scanning real-world objects of value and making them viewable using Augmented Reality
Mothership Technologies is a Canadian company active in the NFT collectible market, augmented reality (AR) technologies and volumetric capture. The company is currently working with artists, cultural heritage and art organizations that are creating new value by converting their valuable physical objects into an AR digital collectible. These stakeholders use these AR NFTs to drive new revenue, as well as create new experiences for their patrons.
Artists that work in physical mediums are looking for new ways to leverage their work into the digital realms. Many museums and art galleries are struggling to remain relevant with changing generational perspectives on engaging experiences. Both stakeholders were looking for new ways to generate income in the face of droppin revenue due to Covid restrictions and changing public interest. (https://www.barrons.com/articles/museums-struggle-as-revenue-plummets-01587736656)
Museums, Art Galleries and Public Exhibitions. Mothership Technologies is developing NFT and AR technology that can be used to both attract visitors and create new digital merchandise for sale. There was already considerable interest in the augmentation of exhibits that would make them less static. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/travel-artificial-virtual-extended-reality/2021/07/08/ce2435d2-df29-11eb-b507-697762d090dd_story.html) This included the use of holograms of famous artists that would add presence and life to the exhibits. Mothership Technologies analyzed existing models of museum visitor consumer behaviour, mostly around the purchasing of collectibles and museum-quality reproductions of both art and artifacts in the gift shop, to develop new digital products. The current revenue model involves taking an existing physical asset from the art or museum collection and creating a copy that could be sold to visitors. Mothership developed a similar model where a digital copy or "twin" of an existing high-value object in the collection was created.
The company recognized that there was a requirement to also provide some guarantee of authenticity for the digital object. An original physical item can have detailed provenance that provides it with both authenticity and value. A copy of that physical object comes with a high production cost that can create a copy of that original, high-value object. Using volumetric capture technology Mothership created a high-quality digital copy of an object that would be able to display a high level of detail, colour and texture. There were a variety of display options available for the digital asset as an AR experience including smartphones, holographic displays and AR headsets or glasses.
In order to address the problem faced by all digital assets, the ease with which they can be copied, a technical blockchain solution was developed to provide provenance to the digital assets. Without a mechanism to control the digital twins, it would be impossible to stop the uncontrolled copying of the AR asset. Traditional DRM mechanisms would work but required a strong centralized mechanism to control the display, movements and financial transactions of the assets. The approach would limit the ability for the technology solution to scale as well as any chance of the digital AR asset moving into different marketplaces. Mothership Technologies did not see the future of digital assets, especially an entirely new asset class of AR-based content being successful if a controlled marketplace approach was adopted.
The company undertook a detailed technical and business review of possible solutions to the problem. The growing functionality of blockchain technologies, specifically the standards that were designed to create verifiable digital ownership and scarcity, provided a viable and scalable solution. Although there were many experiments in the space it wasn't until the success of Cryptokitties in 2017 that the technology seemed to be a feasible approach to developing a business model based on unique digital collectibles. (https://www.cryptokitties.co/)
In the traditional, physical collectible market a collectible only has value due to its uniqueness and rarity. For digital copies of physical items to have value, the company needed to have a technology that would prove the uniqueness of a digital collectible. The rapid growth of NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, Nifty Gateway and Super Rare, quickly validated both the technical and business model of using blockchain as a solution. (https://venturebeat.com/2021/07/20/opensea-raises-100m-at-1-5b-valuation-for-nft-marketplace/)
The NFT market continued to grow and there are instances where the digital copy of a physical item was able to grow in value faster. The most dramatic instance of this was the Banksy print "Morons", where the physical print was burned as part of a live performance art presentation. A digital print NFT was released following the event and sold for $380,000, much higher than the $85,000 of the original physical print.
Mothership technologies believes that both the technology and the business value of NFTs had proven themselves and began to develop both the business and technical infrastructure that would allow the digital copies of physical objects to be authenticated.
The Mothership ecosystem consists of a social platform that offers AR-based NFTs for sale, rent and auction. Individuals can create a profile and become a buyer, seller or renter. With that profile these individuals can connect with like-minded collectors and establish relationships. The blockchain wallet contains the AR-based NFT and all relevant ledger information. The wallet is not designed to be the display mechanism but there are several options available to view and share the AR experiences. These include web-based browser experiences, smart phone, custom applications and a variety of hardware devices. The NFTs are designed to be viewer agnostic and standalone but in certain cases, depending on the value of the NFT, we will also ship other viewing experience formats.
The team is comprised of 6 members with decades of experience in their respective fields: Software development Brand experiences Digital strategy Finance Film FX/animation Marketing
Scott Lawrence https://www.linkedin.com/in/wscottlawrence/ Chris Ewington https://www.linkedin.com/in/cewington/ Michael Magee https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljmagee/ Darren Bierman https://www.linkedin.com/in/darren-bierman-5823931/ Todd Rodgers https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddrodgerscpatririgaleaseaccounting/ Gary Ellis https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-ellis-8b902411/
- January 2021: Recruited our CTO
- February 2021:Established tech platform choice
- March 2021:Built working mobile AR prototype
- April 2021:Building NFT prototype on Flow
The land of NFTs is exploding. Large numbers of people are jumping into the space based on the hype generated by various platforms and selling success.
The majority of players in this space are focusing on digital-first content. Photos, videos, jpegs, 3D models. The current closest competitor to us is a platform called Anima, which focuses on 3D art created natively in a 3D program and viewable in AR.
In our discussion with two different parts of the business inside Dapper Labs (one of the largest developers and owners of the Flow development platform, they have yet to see anyone doing what we are specifically, but we can only imagine it’s a matter of time.
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Nifty Gateway  NBA TOP Shot  OpenSea  Rarible  SuperRare  Atomic Assets  Known Origin  Axie Marketplace  Decentraland Marketplace  Viv3  TreasureLand  NFT ShowRoom  Arkane Market  Foundation  Anima