Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency project co-founded by Alex Blania, Sam Altman, and Max Novendstern, is set to launch a new and improved version of its Orb device. Blania, the CEO and co-founder of Tools for Humanity, shared during a fireside chat at a StrictlyVC event that the Orb will have a friendlier and more familiar appearance, inspired by “Apple products.”
It has been a little over 180 days since Worldcoin’s public launch, and the Orb is getting a major upgrade. Blania, who joined the company four years ago, revealed that the Orb’s initial design predated his career with the company.
The new Orb is expected to roll out in the first half of this year and will feature alternative colors and form factors. Blania shared that the company’s aim is for the device to have a “much more friendly” appearance, and overall, to look “way [more] tuned down” and resemble an “Apple product.”
Tools for Humanity has raised a total of $250 million from investors, including a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and others. The company is known for its Orb device, which scans individuals’ irises to assign them a “World ID.” This ID allows users to access Worldcoin’s application and a digital passport, serving as a means of verifying their identities and preventing multiple accounts.
Blania mentioned in a lighthearted manner that many people in the U.S. are “obsessed” with the design of the Orb. And it’s no surprise, as the flagship device is a five-pound chromatic bowling ball-sized device that looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie. It seems that people either “hate it or love it,” according to Blania.
Despite any criticism, the Orb’s unique design did not stop “a couple dozen” StrictlyVC event attendees from scanning their irises in exchange for a World ID, according to a Tools for Humanity employee. The employee also shared that field testing has been conducted for the new Orb.
During its beta testing phase, the project focused on adoption in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Nairobi, Kenya; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bangalore, India. However, this approach faced backlash from critics who claimed that it targeted developing economies. In an effort to expand its global presence, Worldcoin also went on a world tour last year, visiting major cities including Tokyo, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco.
According to data from its website, over the past seven days, Worldcoin has seen more than 190,000 new accounts created, with a total of 3.13 million people signed up for the project.
“The thesis is very simple. We race toward billions of users as fast as we possibly can,” Blania explained.
World ID: The Future of Identity Verification
With the Orb’s cutting-edge technology and Worldcoin’s ambitious mission to reach billions of users, it’s clear that the project is on a fast-paced journey to revolutionize identity verification. As the Orb evolves to look more like a familiar, mainstream device, it will be interesting to see how it will impact adoption and user experience. Only time will tell if the Orb and Worldcoin’s World IDs will become the new standard in identity verification. In the meantime, the Orb’s futuristic design will certainly continue to turn heads and spark conversation.