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Netgear‘s Meural digital art frames will now be able to show off nonfungible token (NFT) art that is becoming increasingly popular among blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
That’s because Netgear has integrated cryptocurrency wallets such as MetaMask into its Meural digital canvas platform.
Poppy Simpson, head of product and content for Netgear Meural, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the Meural digital art platform is getting a big update with the ability to view NFT art, which ignited a big boom in digital art in 2021.
NFTs can uniquely authenticate digital items using the power of the blockchain, and that enables artists to sell one-of-a-kind digital items.
“It’s not complex,” Simpson said. “It allows digital artists to sell an original work.”
Meural owners will have the ability to connect to their MetaMask crypto wallet directly from the Meural web platform. You connect to your wallet, select the NFTs you want to see on your wall, and they will be seamlessly uploaded to the platform, along with the verifiable QR code and associated metadata.
The NFT boom
Netgear unveiled the new tech at the tech trade show CES 2022 in Las Vegas. It showed how quickly even a hardware maker can jump on the NFT craze that rocketed into a big market in 2021. From virtually nothing in 2020, NFT art grew into an $11.7 billion industry in 2021.
Dapper Labs‘ NBA Top Shot has surpassed $780 million in sales in just a year. And an NFT digital collage by the artist Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million. The market for NFTs surged to new highs in the third quarter of 2021, with $13.2 billion in sales during the first nine months of the year, according to DappRadar. NFTs have exploded in other applications such as art, sports collectibles, and music.
Meural was founded in 2015 and Netgear acquired it in 2018. Netgear sells 21-inch and 27-inch digital picture frames that enable art fans to view Meural subscription art. More than 30,000 works of art are included in the subscription.
Last year, Netgear added a 15-inch digital photo frame for people who want to share photos and other art with family members over the internet, Simpson said.
“It’s doing what Meural has always wanted to do, which is foster communication and community around visual culture,” Simpson said. “This new feature is particularly aimed at those people who buy the frame to display their personal memories.”
How it works
And now it is adding NFT art viewing to the Meural devices. When you buy an NFT, you are essentially purchasing a blockchain-authenticated certificate of ownership, a ledger entry that is added to/tracked through all subsequent transactions. These tokens are held in digital wallets ( Metamask , for example) that are linked to blockchain marketplace apps.
NFTs allow digital artists to sell “original” (or serialized edition) digital works along the lines of the
traditional art market model, while still embracing the democratic nature of the web, Netgear said.
Now, Meural users will be able to take the NFT art that they buy with their crypto wallets and display that art on the Meural displays. Netgear is building various integrations to wallets (such as a Metamask wallet), and that will make it easy to transfer the art so that it is easier to view.
“It’s not complex, as authentication has already happened with the wallet, and you don’t have to download the file,” Simpson said.
The NFT art-viewing functionality will be available to all Meural owners and forms the basis of an enhanced set of features designed for the NFT space.
So far, you can’t buy NFT art using Meural just yet, Simpson said.