TIME100 companies pioneers. The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world, would be regularly watching the progress of these pioneer master companies.

1.- REC ROOM - ' A Virtual Playground ' : With nearly every tech executive suddenly talking about the metaverse, Rec Room has been thrust into the limelight.

Thirty-seven million players use the company's social virtual reality app to create and share a huge variety of games and other digital experiences., making it one of the biggest, most varied, and earliest examples of what's possible in the metaverse.

'' The platform has become a place where people can come together to form meaningful connections, build communities, and share their creativity,'' says CEO and co-founder Nick Fajt. [ -J.L.]

2.- TOGETHER LABS - Meta Verse Money : Social platform IMVU has long been a big player in the metaverse game, with 7 million monthly users.

Last year, parent company Together Labs took things a step further with the launch of VCOIN, a blockchain based cryptocurrency that users can spend with IMVU or convert to real-world money.

VCOIN, the only active cryptocurrency for which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a no-action letter [ giving it legal stability ], creates the ''building blocks'' for other metaverses to establish their own future cryptocurrencies, says Together Labs CEO Daren Tsui. [ - J.Z.]

3.- THE SANDBOX - ' A Digital Land Grab ' : Real estate is always a hot investment - even, it seems, in the metaverse of the Sandbox, a blockchain based virtual world that has sold at least $2 billion of  ''digital land.''

Of the Sandbox's 2.1 million users, 19,000 - a number that's up 375% year-over-year - ''own a piece of that new world and are contributing to building it,'' says co-founder Sebastien Borget.

Big brands and celebs are getting in on the action too : In February, Gucci bought Sandbox land for an undisclosed sum to build an interactive shopping experience, while Snoop Dogg sold thousands of playable avatars for about $475 a pop. [ Simmone Shah ]

4.- OXFORD NANAPORE TECHNOLOGIES - ' Taking Genetics Mobile ' : Genomic Sequencing -the process of identifying the genetic makeup of a given organism - traditionally requires bulky, expensive lab equipment.

Not so with Oxford Nanopore Technologies' sequencers, some of which cost as little as $1,000 [ affordable, as these things go] and are small enough to slip into a pocket.

The devices allow for fast results in nearly all settings, making them a key tool in the fight to identify and stop the spread of Covid-19 variants.

They may be especially impactful in the developing world, where sequencing efforts are often hamstrung by limited access to technology and other resources. [ Jamie Ducharme ]

5.- IONQ - ' Going Quantum' : Quantum computing stands to revolutionize industries from medicine to energy and beyond, but setting up such systems can be complicated and costly.

IonQ is addressing that problem by offering clients access to quantum computing as a service, compatible with existing cloud providers.

It's currently working on research with partners like Goldman Sachs and GE Research, and in October the company under CEO Pater Chapman, became the world's first publicly traded quantum-computing form via a $2 billion IPO.


The World Students Society thanks authors at the Time Magazine's  [ Double Issue ]


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