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the Digital pet business said he was launching AI-driven 3D digital dogs as metaverse companions.
The dogs will be secured in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can be used to authenticate unique digital items. It’s the antidote to NFT chats, which another gaming startup, Tiny Rebel Games, announced in March with the aim of creating digital chats. Both companies are confident that the concept of Nintendogs will work well with NFTs.
To commercialize its technology, The Digital Pet Society raised pre-seed funding from Outlier Ventures, Hawk Digital, MaxStealth and angel investor Rafi Gidron, who launched Chromatis and sold it to Lucent for $4.8 billion. The startup is in talks with other potential investors.
Persistent state interoperable digital companions will allow owners to interact with them, in virtual reality, augmented reality, mobile device or web application worlds.
Combining artificial intelligence, extended reality (XR) and blockchain technologies, the company creates an ongoing two-way emotional relationship with a virtual being through virtual environments, apps and games. Each dog is unique in appearance and personality, powered by the startup’s proprietary PetOS technology.
The company’s mission is to create realistic interactions using voice, visual and tactile communication to allow people to interact with their digital dogs the same way they interact with their physical pets. They can name them, train them, and play with other people and their digital dogs when they meet.
All digital dogs, along with their visual and personality traits, are secured as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Each NFT will belong to a digital wallet belonging to a specific user. The startup’s unique blockchain implementation allows users to care for the Digital Dog and train it with other users, such as family members and friends.
As in real life, a digital dog can be a pet or an office dog. NFTs will be stored as ERC-721 tokens and hosted on the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Each NFT is connected through the proprietary PetOS to a real Digital Dog.
Digital Dogs will be used in various virtual environments in the Metaverse through the company’s proprietary software development kit (SDK). The Digital Pets Company will sell NFTs that will allow digital dog owners to get to know their dogs and train them through one-on-one digital interactions.
Owners will use tokens to help train digital dogs by providing positive incentives, much like real dogs. The startup will develop social interaction in digital playgrounds where people and dogs can socialize.
“Over the next decade, we’ll see more and more virtual spaces where people hang out and create new interactions,” Itay Hasid, CEO of The Digital Pets Company, said in a statement. “These spaces will be very empty and lonely without relevant content that connects people and builds meaningful social relationships. Dogs, who are man’s best friend, make us happier and help us connect with new people. I believe that artificial intelligence, animation and multi-sensory communications that combine voice, sight and touch will create real relationships, just like in the physical world, and meet social and emotional needs.
The Digital Pets Company was established in July 2021 and is led by dog-loving engineers and developers. The team is made up of experts in artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality. Itay Hasid, who co-founded the startup with Maciej Miarecki and Amit Yogev, is a 34-year-old serial entrepreneur who co-founded startups Mobeego (acquired by Life Clips), Kado, and Qase, among other ventures.
Digital identity is becoming more important than ever. Many people purchase avatars that will represent them in online social experiences, dress them in appropriate clothing and footwear, to express the owner’s unique digital identity. Giant companies like Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) even offer to create avatars that can accompany users through different virtual worlds, in order to establish a unified and long-lasting digital identity.
The Digital Pets Company has made available the demo of the Laika web application. Named after the first dog in space, Laika is the company’s first digital dog. As a proof of concept, Laika established a solid foundation for a living, self-taught new species, using voice AI, extended reality, and blockchain technologies in ways that have never been done before.
Beyond Laika, The Digital Pets Company is currently finalizing the construction of its digital laboratory. The lab is a unique 3D virtual space that currently contains the first generation embryos of the Digital Dogs. These are still growing in incubators. Owners will have access to the same space where they can see how the dogs are developing, as well as name them and train them soon.
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