In 2016, tech entrepreneur Anand Agarawala and award-winning design innovator Jinha Lee got together to conceptualize the ‘infinite desktop:’ one that would allow colleagues to collaborate using AR, with lifelike avatars, and seamless access into apps such as Google Drive.
“When you put on Spatial, [colleagues] are in the room with you… it feels like they’re all sitting at the table, and they feel like they’ve been teleported into the space with you” cited Agarawala back in 2018.
Then came the COVID pandemic that changed everything - and Spatial adapted.
Jacob Loewenstein, VP of Strategy at Spatial, remembers “We had these unexpected growth use cases: galleries for art, social meetups, universities using our free version to teach courses…”
Now, Spatial envisions becoming the go-to metaverse for culture. Here’s the high-level overview.
What Makes Spatial significant?
In a world of burgeoning metaverses, Spatial wants to be different. The platform allows users to create beautiful, ‘shareable’ 3D spaces to which one can invite users to collaborate remotely, brainstorm, or share content, as if they were physically in the same ‘workplace.'
If you’re thinking that other metaverse platforms, say Decentraland or Sandbox, also offer this – you’d be right – but you’d need to buy or rent ‘land’ first. In Spatial, well designed ‘spaces’ can be downloaded as free turn-key templates - no land, coding, or crypto funds needed.
Here’s an example of a recent community space template any ‘Spatian’ can download.
In the world of web3, creators take authentic expression seriously – and Spatial knows it. Users can customize full-body avatars or import those they created on Ready Player Me.
Rapidly gaining traction as a metaverse for artists and creators, Spatial is a 3D, social way to experience NFTs. It has featured creators such as Hermitage, NBA, !llmind, Krista Kim, Federico Clapis, and Jarlan Perez among others. Notable partnerships include Exclusible’s Penthouses and luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot’s 2022 World Cup Metaverse Stadium.
Expansion and Adaptation
Over the years, Spatial’s founders observed user preferences carefully: More people were using its ‘conference rooms’ for social gatherings, or to display art, rather than to discuss work.
Accordingly, Spatial pivoted from being a VR app for workplace collaboration to a full-fledged metaverse project.
It began to offer customizable environments, versatile tools, and a ‘user-generated’ approach to help people create, interact, and host in different contexts. It added important functions:
o Artists could sell NFTs directly,
o Collectors could display NFTs by connecting their MetaMask wallets, and
o Curators could import, mint, and sell or rent 3D spaces as NFTs.
While ~80% of the users initially wore VR headsets, ~80% now access it through the web or mobile.
Spatial’s most recent fundraise was in December 2021. Investors included Balaji Srinivasan, Korea Investment Partners, Maven Capital Partners, and Mirae Asset Global Investments among others. The $25 million Series B round will help the metaverse expand.
This metaverse envisions making it as easy for all creators, anywhere, to invite people to their metaverse spaces as it might be to host Zoom calls. At Everyrealm, we recommend keeping an eye out as this brave new world is built.
Getting Started with Spatial
For the metaverse enthusiast who wants a taste of the virtual web3 world but doesn’t know where to begin, Spatial is perfect. Here’s how to get started:
o Visit the Spatial.io website and create account or log in to your existing account
o Upload your selfie or profile picture to generate your 3D avatar
o Begin exploring spaces created by others, or
o Create and customize your own space – you can use your NFTs (just drag and drop them as prompted).
o Integrate your Metamask Wallet, Microsoft Office, or Google Drive, if you’d like to, and
o Share your workspace link to invite others
Any user can access a public space to display artwork or host virtual meetups, accommodating up to fifty people in a room. Users can screen share into their space, or use virtual ‘stickies’ to chat.
Spatial is an ambitious metaverse project with big potential. If it continues to grow and secure big partnerships, it could become one of the most popular virtual worlds for users and brands alike.