With so many metaverse platforms popping up almost daily, a project really needs to stand out. Not only that, but it has to feel achievable and accessible to everyone. That’s exactly what RIFT-AR will be, according to founders Adam Wavy, Lofi Michael and Karo Kaylani. To be accessible, RIFT-AR will be built using the AR technology already used in your mobile phones, just like when playing games like Pokemon Go.
When the app becomes available, it will allow users to see an augmented reality metavers laid over our reality. Users will be able to purchase locations worldwide and upload digital assets from crypto wallets. This may mean that companies will be able to apply AR features to their store signage, creating a sci-fi world seen only through the screen of your phone, but hopefully through AR glasses in the future.
We sat down with co-founder Adam Wavy to explore RIFT-AR in more detail.
GMW3 – Can you tell us a little about how RIFT-AR came to you and why you are so passionate about integrating the meta-verse with our reality?
Adam Wavy – Michael and I both grew up in small towns – we are both curious people and our surroundings never really met our need to experience new things. There was no way to change our surroundings at such a young age. Augmented reality is a missing link that gives access to anyone with a vision to start building a world they dream of living in.
We examined the current state of the Internet and how we interact with it. The idea of building yet another marketplace seemed boring. We started researching areas that all the big technology companies are building and were most fascinated by VR / AR.
GMW3 – What is the ultimate goal of RIFT-AR? Where do you start with a project like this?
Adam Wavy – Michael has experience working in an experimental technology lab that gave him access to many of these tools – we both agreed that VR is really cool, but it seems like a short-term game. To participate in VR, you must wear a headset that isolates you from reality. We had been living in isolation for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and humanity needs technology to support the connection with each other and their communities; a seamless bond between reality and digital worlds is RIFT’s ethos, we do not give up on reality – we want to improve it digitally.
GMW3 – It seems that AR is a natural development from QR codes …
Adam Wavy – I used to work with big brands that produced experiential activations – we started to connect QR codes to our events and saw a great attraction for exclusive experience through technology – while we build RIFT, which takes advantage of your phone’s capabilities to access augmented reality – I am reminded of the early stages of onboarding people to use their camera to scan QR codes.
GMW3 – Since RIFT-AR is not yet publicly available, can you tell us a little about what to expect?
Adam Wavy – Our beta is an augmented reality app that allows you to view, buy and build a digital layer of reality through the lens of your phone, just like Pokémon Go. Our platform will use Polygon’s blockchain to trade and store information.
We wanted to create a level playing field and considered ways to make this platform as accessible as possible – high price levels seem to hold Gen Z back from participating in web3 and metaverse projects. Taking advantage of Polygon’s low transaction fees and utilization opportunities that your phone already possesses is our approach to making the metaverse available to new and younger generations.
RIFT will serve more as a foundation for Metaverset and open up opportunities for collaboration – more than a preconstructed world for you to play in. We want builders, artists, dreamers, etc. to focus on creating their “big idea” – they can put their vision into the world. The idea is, creators keep creating – RIFT can handle the technology part.
GMW3 – Have there been major challenges or pitfalls in development?
Adam Wavy – The biggest piece of the puzzle that has taken the most time to develop is how to map the world accurately in a decentralized way. Our CTO Lofi Michael found the perfect solution – we use “geohashes” – a public spatial data structure that assigns country coordinates and areas a unique code.
By using geohashes, RIFT’s persistent land reference can be extremely accurate when mapping the world, while leveraging a developed system that is not dependent on changeable data (such as street names).
Another note, we are very early and building publicly – which opened the door to grow our founding team with Karo Kaylani. She organically helped boost our rift and sell off our whitelist within 24 hours. It’s hard to see bigger projects using influencers to brag about big numbers while we stay on track to build organically and slowly for long-term play.
GMW3 – Can you describe how you see this metavers develop? How is aesthetics created?
Adam Wavy – Initially, we drew a lot of inspiration from the early 80’s graffiti movements in New York – thinking artists can show their art all over cities and be competitive about “inventing” cool art placements in their city in a legal way.
However, we found that property developers flocked to our project faster than artists. We open the whole world to be sold at a low price and build on. We will put a lot of effort into connecting creators with developers to begin building a beautiful digital layer that is not dominated by advertising.
As an example, we launch our “Creative Hubs program” around the world and work with creatives to build community spaces to inspire attachment and creativity. We model a lot of the Creative Hubs program similar to the early stages of Wynwood Miami’s development.
GMW3 – Do you feel that the public will be more attracted to augmented reality as opposed to virtual reality?
Adam Wavy – AR is definitely the long-term game. It is imperative that we build Metaverset in direct relation to our surroundings. With the rapid decline in climate change, it seems that a VR Metaverse is that humanity is throwing in the towel in the ring on our planet. We build RIFT, which utilizes AR to help improve the way we build cities and supports meaningful interaction with communities, as well as being a platform that connects to the new entities that will be released in the next 2-5 years .
GMW3 – How does RIFT-AR stand out among the many other metaverse projects coming soon?
Adam Wavy – There are some beautiful metaverse projects that exist at the moment, some of which I personally want to invest in. Competition is natural and helps the whole movement to develop. We are the only project I have seen that shares a vision that digital expansion is hassle-free with urban development. Which is the most important part of the building in this room, in my opinion. The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1855, which forever changed the landscape of how we build cities and improve citizen interaction with our cities. We build RIFT-AR with the same ethos.
RIFT-AR seems very promising even in these early stages. Many companies, including Niantic Labs, creators of Pokemon Go, believe that AR is the way to go. It’s much more affordable for consumers, as they mostly already have a smartphone, and companies have started exploring unique ways to capture users’ attention through AR games. This metaverse concept may be more appealing to the larger community due to its limited impact on everyday life plus the lack of a potentially bulky VR headset.
RIFT-AR is currently attracting investors for launch very soon.