Do you want to put an NFT on the wall? The firms want to make the must-have screen for showcasing your collection.
- Tech giants and startups are making displays for NFT artwork.
- According to DappRadar, the NFT market had $25 billion in trading volume in 2021.
Many NFT owners want to show off their digital collections to the world because they are proud of their digital collections. Digital artwork can be displayed on just about any type of screen, whether it’s your phone, laptop, computer, or TV.
There is a growing appetite for custom displays that are built for the look, dimensions and sometimes even interactivity of NFT artwork. It is possible to prove that the pricey digital piece on your wall is yours to claim with the help of a connected coin wallet.
Several startups have emerged to meet that demand. They are creating unique devices that serve as the missing link to bring digital artwork into the physical world, whether that’s in your home, at an art gallery, or another public space.
Lago builds displays that are designed for NFTs. The Lago Frame has a square aspect ratio along with sensors for gesture controls and voice commands, as well as an attached soundbar from Master & Dynamic. Pre-orders for the Frame are being taken, but there is no pricing or availability information.
“Lago was born out of listening to the pain points of the community,” co-founder Scott Gralnick told Decrypt. “We wanted to create a frame that was built exclusively for minted art, and offer an elevated display that would do these digital works justice.
It’s possible for owners to interact with the frame via a phone app, which will allow them to access their NFTs, manage their collections, and interact with a community of fellow collector. Statistics on how many people viewed and interacted with an NFT on the Frame can be used by gallery owners.
An optional subscription service that unlocks exclusive content from artists will also be offered by Lago. The Frame is being called a potential “game-changer” by OpenSea co-founder and CEO Devin Finzer, and the firm has recently collaborated with NFT artwork platform SuperRare.
“Minted art is very much in its infancy,” said Gralnick. “We’re helping shape a future where the metaverse can be enjoyed with ease in any physical space.”
“After being locked in for the past two years due to the pandemic, we believe demand for real-life experiences where minted work can be enjoyed together will become standard,” he continued. “Minted art will sit seamlessly with traditional art in every space.”
There is another startup called Danvas. Danvas was founded last year and raised $7 million from investors, including Gary Vaynerchuk’s fund. The NFT industry, which hit $25 billion in trading volume in 2021, has an enormous opportunity as it expands, according to the CEO and co-founder of the company.
The Danvas frame will have a square aspect ratio and allow some level of interactivity, but it hasn’t been revealed to the public. The company suggests that it won’t just look like a square-shaped TV, but will have museum-quality designs and feel.
Anderson paints Danvas as a high-end, luxurious product. She believes that enthusiasts will want a premium display designed just for their expensive artwork, and that artists will think it best represents their creative intentions.
“[It’s] really an extension of the artist’s palette,” she said, “that enables an artist to really show off their artwork fully, dimensionally in all the ways that they originally designed.”
Canvia launched its display in December, which is the first device to connect directly tocryptocurrencies to display artwork. There are more than 10,000 pieces of artwork from classic and contemporary artists.
Blockframe has a display that works with both ether and tezos, as well as being able to be used with other eth and tezos wallets.
Infinite objects is not as similar to its peers. Unlike the above startups that allow owners to plug in a wallet and display as many NFTs as they want, Infinite Objects sells what it calls “video prints” based on a single NFT, with no buttons or interactive onboard.
The device will only show the one it designed for, in partnership with the original artist. The NFTs will eventually be turned into single-edition physical twins, but only with the artist’s blessing.
“We are very unique in that our display is immutable. Just like the blockchain, you can never change what is on it,” explained Infinite Objects founder and CEO, Joseph Saavedra. “That’s a non-traditional approach to display technology, but one that really aligns with what NFTs mean.”
Digital artists were initially targeted as a way to monetize their artwork via physical representations when Infinite Objects was launched in 2019. Personal videos can be made out of it, for example. Infinite objects was ready to ride that wave when the NFT market began to take off.
Beeple, who sold a single NFT for a record $69.3 million in March 2021, had connected with Infinite Objects before he did. He worked with the firm to create video prints for buyers of his NFTs, and recently gifted Joe Rogan with one.
“We loved seeing how Mike just got it,” said Roxy Fata, Infinite Objects’ chief operating officer. “The floodgates just opened after that, because sometimes it takes that early adopter. He was very much an amazing use case that people understood right away.”
The NBA Top Shot video prints have been released by Infinite Objects in a partnership with Dapper Labs, an investor in the display startup. The Top Shot displays start at $129 and allow owners to showcase their favorite league highlights.
According to a recent interview with the co- founder and chief business officer at Dapper Labs, he sees a lot of potential for physical displays made for NFT collectibles.
“We gifted all of our partners Infinite Objects for Christmas, and the reaction was incredibly positive,” he said. “I think they’re very, very important to have that continued growth in our community. For a certain subset of people, it’s going to make NFTs feel much more real.”
Major tech firms are muscling into the space as well, while display startup are trying to meet demand from NFT enthusiasts. Netgear is adding MetaMask wallet support to its Meural video frame, after it was announced last month that it will include NFT support on an array of 2022 TVs.
The scale and reach of tech giants will propel them to the front of the pack. The startups that Decrypt spoke with were not very worried. It is possible for specialized options to stand out from an app on a TV, for example, in the case ofSamsung.
Gralnick thinks that most TVs won’t do fine pieces justice, but he believes that the NFT support helps educate everyone and increase mainstream awareness.
For a casual collector, an NFT viewer app on a TV or set-top box might be enough. NFT aficionados are willing to invest in something that is dedicated to tokenized digital artwork that is designed for its dimensions or features.
“There’s no reason not to install an Apple TV app that lets you authenticate with MetaMask and start to scroll through a gallery slideshow of your collection. That has a place, absolutely,” said Infinite Objects’ Saavedra. “But then you’re gonna put ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ or ‘Real Housewives’ on that same display.”
Dedicated NFT displays can bridge the gap between digital collectibles and physical environments, as well as help explain and validate NFT artwork to some people, by giving it real-world context and place.
The firms are all bullish on the future of the NFT artwork and collectibles market. Increased mainstream presence of NFTs via celebrity purchases and brand partnerships is a sign that the frenzy will only grow, and physical displays will be a part of that.
“I think it’s inevitable. I mean, you’re seeing freakin’ Paris Hilton on ‘The Tonight Show’ holding up a Bored Ape,” he said. “I think that there’s no question that everyone will be jumping in, and we’re very excited to help tell the story.”
Featured photo source picjumbo.com