October 21, 2021
In the past, live streamers and their communities across the internet, interacted with their favorite sports teams, video game developers and music artists via often-faulty chat boxes, social media groups and blog sites.
Today, OZ is taking live streaming to a whole new level, by allowing creators and their communities to interact via digital avatars in real time during events where they participate in the construction of their favorite creator’s content. Known as "Participatory Streaming", the trend is catching on fast with creators and audiences alike.
An exciting new partnership between OZ and Wolf3D paves the way for this fresh and vibrant new era for live streaming, by enabling the integration of Ready Player Me avatars within the OZ experience, from a single selfie taken within OZ. The two companies have collaborated to offer users maximum customization in their participatory live streaming events.
The announcement highlights the drive to give creators and their communities the tools to engage and participate as never before. Elevating the traditional consumptive experience, OZ transports creators and their communities to destinations that set the tone for the future of live streaming. By integrating avatars, live voice and casual gamification in high-fidelity experiences, OZ is moving the game forward in an undoubtedly enhanced user experience.
Named on Fast Company's annual list of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2021, OZ truly puts participatory live streaming into the hands of creators. At the start of the year, OZ hosted the world's largest fully virtual New Year's Eve party, which saw attendees transform themselves into avatars as they danced the night away to the music of Sigur Rós and Kaleo.
In 2021, OZ launched its Founding Creators Program, building and testing its free-to-play model with creators from sports, gaming, music and other communities. OZ also recently launched the OZ Builder Kit for Unreal Engine to the developer marketplace, where 3D artists can transform any environment into a participatory experience.
Gudjon Gudjonsson, CEO & Founder of OZ: "Even today, most streams limit interactions between the creators and communities to a text box or reaction icons in a restrictive area of the video screen. We offer the audience a way of entering the experience as participants, including appearing within the broadcast as their own avatar and affecting what is happening in the live stream. With the inclusion of a selection of avatars to choose from, our users benefit from more choice and more freedom to customize and express themselves."
Timmu Toke, CEO & Founder of Ready Player Me: "We are excited to bring Ready Player Me avatars to OZ. The integration will enable creators to tailor their personal avatars with a selfie and use it to share engaging and interactive content for their communities. The avatars will also be compatible with the Ready Player Me platform, making them available in over 600 apps and games."
OZ is set for commercial release in the coming months. Sign up here if you're interested in joining the beta program! Let's Go!
Ranked as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2021 in Fast Company's annual list, OZ is at the intersection of live streaming and hyper-casual gaming, offering creators a vibrant and interactive marketplace to monetise their content and create memorable experiences together with their communities. OZ is the place for creators to turn their streams into games where the players are the audience.. Find out more by visiting oz.com.
OZ investors include veterans from the gaming community like Marc Merril and Thomas Wu (Riot Games), David Wallerstein (Tencent) and Hilmar Petursson (CCP).
Wolf3D was founded in 2014 by Timmu Tõke, Kaspar Tiri, Rainer Selvet, and Haver Järveoja, and has been developing selfie-based digital avatar technology for the past seven years with a mission to power the next generation of online identity creation. In 2020, Wolf3D launched the Ready Player Me avatar creator for developers, kick-starting the company’s track record in becoming the avatar identity standard for the metaverse.
Ready Player Me is one of the premier 3D personal avatar creators in the world. Its cross-game avatar platform for the metaverse is the avatar builder of choice on virtual reality social platform VRChat, in addition to over 600 games and apps currently using the platform.
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