Dave Erickson, Botond Seres, Ely Santos
Dave Erickson 00:32
Welcome to the ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. I'm your host, Dave Erickson and with me as my co-host, Botond Seres and today we have Ely Santos from Metavertising as our guest. In this podcast. We're looking to Ely to help us understand just what is the Metaverse, how it works, what are the technologies and business opportunities that it offers? Ely has an extensive IT background and a very impressive marketing background. and he has worked for some big companies such as Johnson and Johnson, and the Mars group. He currently heads Metavertising; helping brands create experiences and navigate the web three in the Metaverse. Today, he's going to help us wrap our arms around the Metaverse and to go into all the tech and business that is currently swirling around it. All right, do you lie? Hopefully I got that correct there.
Ely Santos 01:23
That is correct, Dave and it's a pleasure to be here.
Dave Erickson 01:27
The question that is on most people's minds, if they don't already have the answer, and even if they have the answer, they may have an answer that may not actually be an answer that has evolved into. But let's kind of have the conversation. What exactly is the Metaverse?
Ely Santos 01:43
Right. So that's actually a good question, because I agree with you. That has been, that there has been a lot of, let's say confusion, a lot of you know people that think they understand what the Metaverse means and people who don't have any idea what the Metaverse means. So, I think it's important to break it down into two different things. Right. So first of all, we have web three, which is also like a term that has been very widely used lately and we have also the Metaverse, right. So web three, I like to define web three as the tech stack or maybe all of the tools that we're going to be using in this new stage of the internet. Right. So right now we're living in web two, which is all the tools that we already use to interact with the rest of the world, right? When it comes to web three, we're going to be using new technologies in order to perform the same or maybe new tasks and that could be NFT's, that could be blockchain, that could be smart contracts and it also includes the Metaverse, right. So that is virtual reality, augmented reality and whatnot. So we're talking about, when we talk about web three, we're talking about the new stage of the internet and all of it’s all of the tech stack, right? and when it comes to the word Metaverse, what the word means is an enhanced universe, right? So an extension of the universe. So that's what the word means. and and when we say Metaverse, typically we're talking about either, you know, a virtual reality space or an augmented reality space. But if you take a look at the definition of the word, and if you combine it with, you know, virtual reality, and augmented reality, we're talking about really an extension of our existing universe, right? So when we say Metaverse, Metaverse space, for example, we can be a space in virtual reality. It can be something happening in augmented reality, or perhaps a combination of all of those things with the physical world, which some people are calling it an extended reality. So that's what the Metaverse means.
Dave Erickson 03:50
So I do kind of have an observation or a question. So web two and web three. so this is kind of where the evolution part is. It gets, I think people are a little confused, because VR, and AR actually was kind of started in the web two realm and was utilized in web two and currently is still utilizing web two. But now it's kind of moved into the definition of web three. and so I guess the question in some people's mind is, well, is it two or is it three? and and who decides what's two? and what's three? And you know,
Ely Santos 04:29
That's, that's also a good question. I think we can break it down into several different technologies, or maybe the combination of all of these technologies, right, when it comes to web three, because web two currently, like, think about the way that we interact with technology nowadays. So we have social media. We have, I don't know, like LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, all of the social media that we use and the way that we interact with the websites we do, basically the way we interact with information right now, right? So that will be smartphones and the way we consume news, the way we read emails and whatnot. And so when it comes to web three we have, even though, you know, VR and they are, they have been, let's say they have been the invented way before web two, actually and some people say it's a web two thing, even though it is like I'm not I don't disagree with that. It's going to be more widely used in web three and the technologies that are going to be present in web three are going to be compatible with VR and AR and there's going to be a much bigger interaction with all of those things.. And you know, between also VR and AR and whatnot. And also, as I was saying, like, web three is not just you know, the Metaverse is not just, you know, virtual reality or augmented reality. It is a mix of all of those things and more. So that could be, you know, computing power for example, that's something that is really going to change when it comes to web three so that we're capable of have devices that can process this new, new realm, let's say, because it's going to require more processing power. So that could be cloud, edge computing and whatnot and also networks, right, connectivity. So we're talking about 5G, 6G and maybe something even more advanced on that. AI, machine learning is going to be more present than ever, in our routines. Even though we already have most of the apps, most of the applications that we use already have AI and machine learning, but it's going to be even more present than ever and also more advanced than what we know nowadays, right? So it's going to be absolutely required, especially when we talk about Metaverse, spaces like virtual reality spaces, we're gonna probably have a lot of, you know, AI sales bots, AI, you know, NPCs, which is basically like these characters that live in the Metaverse that we can interact with and have a conversation as if they were real humans, but they're actually AI, you know, but it's gonna be so advanced that the perception might be a little seamless, you know? You're not going to realize that you're going to talk, you're going to be talking to a bot right? Also, volumetric scanning and 3D modeling. Those are also things that are going to be very, very present in our daily lives as we enter web three. Also blockchain you know, it's undeniable, the growth of the blockchain and how important it is becoming for our lives in the future, especially for Fintech and so blockchain, cryptocurrency, NTFs, smart contract, you know, all of those, relatively new technologies are also going to be present in this context, internet of things is, so it's all of these new technologies are going to be very present and combined and also configured to combine together as well. So they're going to be this whole mix or intersection of all of these new technologies working together to deliver a seamless experience, which we call the Metaverse, right, which we call an extended reality. And it's just you know, living in this physical realm where you have all of these virtual things going on in several different layers of reality and the technology is so good that it's almost a seamless experience. Right?
Dave Erickson 08:21
What I'm seeing on, I guess you could say consumer information channels is that the Metaverse is usually presented as some AR thing that you access through AR, that you put on the goggles and that's, that's your key to entering the Metaverse. But it seems to me that that and even though that's how it's being portrayed, it seems that that isn't necessarily the case. Is that correct? People can experience the Metaverse without having to do the AR goggles and all that. And maybe it's a disservice that it's being presented that way. Is that the case?
Ely Santos 09:02
Yes, that is correct. We have nowadays for example, decentral and or maybe spatial, which are two of let's say, the biggest matter, versus right now which have and when I say the biggest, I mean in terms of daily amount of users right, so daily traffic and decentral andand spatial words, like two of the top ones and these two Metaverses, you can access from your browser. So you don't need a VR, you know, VR goggles or you don't need any type of extended reality devices in order to access it right? So you can just access it from a browser andand the experience is pretty you know, it's pretty cool actually, Like I think we're very far out from a reality where everyone is going to be using just like nowadays right? We have the smartphone and like, if you Take a look at it like 10, or maybe 20 years ago, especially 20 years ago, if you take a look at like 20 years ago, like, if you told someone 20 years ago that in the future, everyone is going to have a small device that they're going to carry with them and it's going to be able to access all of the information known by mankind and like anyone can communicate with, with, like, pretty much anyone in the planet and you can do, like, complex calculations, you can, like, there's so all sorts of things that you can, can use for entertainment purposes, you can, you know, communicate with your family and whatnot People would have told you that you were crazy, right? But, I think that's the scenario right now in comparison to VR and AR except that we're not that far out from having, you know, VR and AR devices in our daily lives. You know, we're using, let's say, for example, you and I are wearing glasses, like these glasses can be enhanced in a way that we can see a different reality of virtual reality, right? And so, I don't think we're that far out of having that. But it's going to be, you know, eventually it's going to happen. But right now, I think, you know, most of the platforms are making an effort to bring people from web two into web three. So I think that's why we see a lot of platforms are, are compatible with browsers, just regular browsers or maybe just using your cell phone?
Dave Erickson 11:23
Do you think that they're going to have to come up with either an updated browser or a new type of browser to allow people to experience Web 3.0 more fully? Is that something that’s needed? Or?
Ely Santos 11:38
I think so, yes. Because especially if you think about the whole concept of like, decentralization and also blockchain and cryptocurrency, like one of the interesting concepts of this, this, this web three future that we're getting ourselves into that I think is extremely interesting, is the fact that many spaces that you're going to be in in the future are going to require you to have a wallet, right? So a decentralized Wallet. So that can be Metamask. That can be I don't know, like Phantom, that can be either, there's all sorts of digital wallets out there, that basically these wallets are used to prove that, first of all, you're a person and you're that person, like, You're that specific person, you're not someone else, you know, and also like having all of your assets in the same place, right, and you can carry those assets throughout, you know, different spaces. and so I think when you think about that, then obviously, like the browser's of the future, let's say they're going to need to have some sort of capability, some sort of feature to support those new those new technologies, right. and as I said, like, decentralized wallets, blockchain and whatnot cryptocurrency. So you're going to have, you're going to need to have a browser that is going to support all of those new features, right? You're gonna have smart contract transactions in the future. and if you don't have a browser that is capable of processing a smart contract, right, working with a smart contract, then you're not going to be able to do transactions in the future. And I'm not talking just about financial transactions, I'm talking about me and you exchanging some type of asset, you know, like an NFTs, or maybe, I don't know, like, whatever else that we're going to be exchanging in the future, you're going to need a browser that is capable to do that, right? You're going to need to be able to work with all of those new things, right? So I think, I'm not sure if, for example, like Google Chrome is going to have like, I don't know, plugins, or maybe, you know, new features that are going to allow us to process all of those things. Or if you're going to, we're going to end up seeing like a competitor that takes over the market, right? Especially because when it comes to web three, when it comes to Metaverse and whatnot, there's this whole talk about decentralization, right? So we're talking about, you know, me being the owner of my information, like, and having access to privacy matters and being able to control all of those things and we know for a fact that companies like Google and Facebook and you know, other companies that are very popular nowadays, they have a history of not necessarily, I'm not sure if respecting is the right word, but like we have seen some infractions in that sense throughout the years. And so web three is all about decentralization, of being the owner of your assets and all of those things. And so I'm not sure if you know that Chrome is going to be the browser. Also, because of these other concerns, you know, we're going to have to wait and see but definitely some changes are going to be needed for sure.
Botond Seres 14:55
One of the things I've been noticing is that as Ely has said, being a blockchain developer is becoming a prerequisite to getting these sorts of jobs in the web 3.0 space. That's one of the things but another thing is something that mostly everyone in my bubble has neglected is, it's kind of 3D modeling, because if I get go into a physical store, it's kind of simple. I go to, let's say, row 20. That's where I can buy my soaps. But in a digital environment, that's quite different, because you're not going to be walking through these digital stores or buying NFTs or buying actual products or buying ringtones or whatever. The entire design, the entire layout has to be, has to be adaptive to the way that different users are willing to move throughout the space. So locomotion is a big thing in VR, XR and AR. So in all of these spaces, that's something that we haven't really solved yet. There are insanely expensive options that I guess probably NASA or the Navy has access to, which is only an omnidirectional treadmill as we could see in Ready Player One. We have the cheapest in the biggest quotes ever, a cheap couple 1,000 dollars. And the consumer space that Cat VR produces. That's more of a slide mill. And then we have, don't say normal, I want to say more available locomotion methods is just teleporting all around the space and you might instinctively realize that teleporting through space is very different from walking from row to row in the supermarkets. So the way we signpost locations has to be completely different than what it is now. But beyond that interoperability of the spaces has a huge question mark right now. So what we have seen, and what I'm really happy about is that MATA is founding, I believe some committee sort of like we have Vesa for mounting TVs and monitors to the walls. It's kind of an interoperability standard just for the Metaverse. Really happy about that, however, I have no idea what they're doing at the moment or what direction they plan to go in, and so that is the question?
Dave Erickson 18:19
You know I think you brought up a very interesting concept, in the Metaverse in the experience of what you're doing in I think the way people are going to shop or buy or get things is one of the promises I think the Metaverse is saying is, in experiencing the Metaverse, you'll be able to buy or get things in a different way. And one of the examples I've seen most used is you're in a game, you're playing a game; one of the characters in the game has a T-shirt and you like that T-shirt. In the middle of the game, you can somehow reach out and grab that T-shirt and it's the same as buying it. You basically bought it. And during your playing of the game, it'll put it in your shopping cart. And when you get a break, you can basically buy whatever it is that you found. That's one of the promises of the Metaverse I've seen as an example. That kind of relates a little bit to what you're saying, is how are people going to find things or buy things? And I don't know Ely, maybe you can kind of give us a sense of this is at the kind of, the thought that the Metaverse is going to, your experiences of the Metaverse will allow you to do your shopping in an untraditional way.
Ely Santos 19:43
I think there are several things that are important to talk about in that, towards that specific question to answer that specific question. First of all, what Botond said about, you know, the interoperability that's one of the biggest issues of the Metaverse right now, and there is as Botond said, the Metaverse Standards Forum, which is a place where people gather in order to discuss, you know, how is the interoperability going to happen? Yeah. I'm actually a member of the Metaverse Standards Forum. and so, they gather every Wednesday to discuss really, like, what, how are we going to address this challenge, right? Because it is really a challenge, because think about it, like, for example, the example that you just gave, you, the character in the T-shirt. Like, I'm not sure if you guys are into games, but there's this very popular game Fortnite right, which is one of the most like popular games right now. And like, you know, many other users are like Gen Z. and you know, there's also Millennials so, there's all sorts of people in there but there's one thing in there which is a, which is a very big challenge like,Fortnight is like one of the platforms or maybe one of the companies right, that was able to to do something that was like, it was never seen before which was actually like you get to see a fight between I don't know, like Superman and The Ironman in the same game and they don't own the rights they don't know the the rights for a neither of them right so they don't know don't own the rights for like Batman and DC and like, and they don't own the rights for Marvel and they like, but you can get to see like you know, many characters in there like Naruto and like I don't know, like there's all sorts of characters in there and you can buy the skins. Like you can buy you know, you can look like these characters, your favorite characters and you can fight like you know, as I said, you can fight, get you know, Superman to fight. I don't know, Naruto or like an anime character, you know, that doesn't have anything to do one or the other. And so you and you can get to fight you know, these two characters that have never seen each other from completely different universes. But the thing is like, okay, so I bought this avatar, I bought the skin, what do I do with it outside of Fortnight? So that's one of the biggest questions. It completely relates to what you're talking about, of the T-shirt like, oh, okay, so I bought the T-shirt. Alright, it looks really good on my character but like, I bought it, it's mine. Like, can I take out of the game? Like can I can Can I take it anywhere else? And so how do you address this challenge, right? Because in one environment, let's say if I'm comparing, I don't know, like Fortnight with Roblox, and Roblox has a completely different aesthetic, right? It's like these kind of, you know, very pixelated characters and like, they're very square, you know, and they have their own aesthetic, right. And so if I buy something on Fortnight, how do I take it into Roblox? Right? So that's a big question that remains unanswered. And that's one of the purposes of the Metaverse standards forum. And so interoperable, interoperability, right, and there is also one other thing that I think it's important to talk about, to address that specific question, which is like, okay, so I'm in my place, and I want to go shopping, but I don't want to leave my house. Like I want to go shopping in a matter of hours, right? So okay, so you go to a clothing store in the Metaverse, the brand that you like, and then you pick, like, you pick a T-shirt that you think looks really good, and you want to see if it looks good on you, and also I want to see like, okay, but up close, you know, I want to take a look at the details I want to take a look at assuming I want to take a look at the, I'm not sure if you're gonna be able to in the future. But yeah, I want to be able to take a look at the fabric, you know, I want to feel the fabric. So those are also other challenges that need to be addressed, right? Because for you to be able to make a fabric look as real as real life, you know, you're gonna need an immense amount of processing power and computing power. And so there's this other part of the challenge, which is like making a fabric in the Metaverse look realistic. And also in the sense of like, not only the details, visually realistic, but also maybe in the future, like making you feel realistic, right? So there's all of these challenges. I believe that in the future, we're gonna be able to do shopping in the Metaverse for sure. But, it's just so many challenges that we have to overcome until then but anyway, that's the goal right for you to be able to, you're in your place you want to buy a T-shirt, you, you not only you get to see how like the details of that T shirt, but also like you can see up close and also try it on and see how it looks on your like not only on your body but also on your virtual avatar, right. So you can use, for example, augmented reality to see that, you know that T-shirt, kind of, you know, X over pose I think it's the right word like, kind of, no, I think it's, juxt a pose, I think the right word, but you kind of get to see how that T-shirt will look like in your real body using some kind of AR capability. And then you also get to see how you would look in your avatar throughout several different Metaverses, right? So it looks like this in this universe, but in this other universe it might look slightly different. Or maybe in this avatar that I have, which is like a realistic version of me that I use to go to virtual meetings, it looks like this. But if I use the my dinosaur avatars that I look to play with my kids in Fortnight, it looks like this, you know? And so it's all of these challenges that we need to overcome. But I'm pretty confident that we're gonna get there for sure.
Dave Erickson 25:57
Yeah, well, you know, developers, if you give them a challenge, they'll figure it out. At some point, somebody's going to work on it because they want it. I mean, it sounds to me a central area of the Metaverse is surrounding this concept of Avatar, right? And it sounds like Avatar can be quite complex. So you might, a person may own several avatars, there may be a real life avatar, which is an exact replica of how you physically look in real life that would be needed for say, shopping for clothing, right? If you wanted to try on a shirt, you don't want to use your avatar from Fortnight, which you know, could be a different sex or a different body size or anything like that, right? And then you'll want to have avatars like you said, a dinosaur avatar that you use for playing a game with your kids or so. So avatar management may be a concept of the Metaverse. That isn't something that has been so important for web two, but like you said, how do these avatars travel? Right? How do you get an avatar to travel for one thing, and if you buy a virtual object, right, and there's obviously an opportunity, you buy a T-shirt in a virtual world and you can have one shipped to you in the real world, but it would have to fit, you know, the real world avatar versus fitting another one. So I think that complexity, although when you are learning something, and the advantage goes to somebody like Gen Z, and maybe some millennials. They'll learn how to manage avatars, easier than somebody who comes in to, you know, after it's been developed, and you have five or six avatars and which one do you use where and all that. I think there's going to be a social component to that. Right. and that may be a big challenge, as well to avatars and using avatars. But it sounds like there's a really big opportunity as well.
Ely Santos 28:08
For sure. That's, that's for sure and I think you mentioned the social component. I think that's extremely important. Because you guys, like, for those of you who are listening, like, we have to keep in mind that we're also not only we're entering this web three realm, like this new realm of technology, but at the same time, there's this whole discussion about genders and this whole discussion about like, who do you identify as, you know, in real life? So there's this whole thing happening. This, I guess I can call it like, social/political thing going on and I think you know, that the Metaverse wants to adapt to that reality, right? So you can, I don't know, like you can dress up or maybe you can look like someone that makes you feel more comfortable than what you are in real life. So I think there's this whole thing and I don't want to get into any sort of political discussion here, I'm just saying that there's, there's this whole movement happening. And that the Metaverse wants to adapt to that, and maybe even take, take a little advantage of that, in the sense of like, now you get to be whoever you always want it to be and like you know, making yourself look like as someone that you know, makes you feel comfortable, makes you feel like it's more like yourself, you know, like, and so I think there's this whole thing as well going on and it's definitely a huge opportunity not only for, you know, developers that want to work with, let's say the wallet for example, where you have all of your avatars and all of your NFT's which are clothing, but also like for 3D designers is both on set for fashion designers and especially regarding fashion. There's something really interesting that I think it's worth observing that now we're going to have this new niche I'd say which is like fashion in the Metaverse, right, which is 3D clothing that you only get to dress your avatar with and maybe you can get a replica in the real world. But if you think about it, like, 3D fashion is something not only interesting, but also needed. Because for you to come up with a 3D piece of clothing, it's a completely different process; rather than if you want to come up with an actual real piece of clothing. Like you don't have to pay retailers, you don't have to pay factories, you don't have to generate waste, you don't have you say, you know, like, all of these problems suddenly solved, because like, now, it's 3D. So the process is completely different. You have other challenges, sure. But, but it's, it's different. It's a different set of challenges that I think are less harmful for especially the environment and for society. So you know, like, there's, there's all sorts of possibilities, not only for, you know, developers, not only for, I don't know, like 3D designers, but also for fashion people and for I don't know, like gender specialists or something, you know, like, so there's this whole new realm that is happening, this whole new movement.
Botond Seres 31:10
Seriously, and that's gonna be huge for the environment. If we just replace fast fashion with fast Meta-fashion, that would already be, like, amazing, because we generate so much waste, just producing the same T-shirts periodically, every year, every month of every year, every week of every month of every year again and again and all of them just go to landfill after a couple of months. So that is huge. But there is a challenge. As you say Ely, that it is difficult to make a T-shirt fit you, Dave, me, but also a T Rex, and Velociraptor. So that's definitely a challenge there. As far as I know, our sales are already huge. So even in the original Metaverses, so let's just say Word of Warcraft or I’m out of touch with MMOs these days, but I'm sure it's still very much a pay to play thing if you want to buy custom designed avatars. What I know of, which is more close to our current definition of the Metaverse is, well, the OG is Second Life, of course. That's a huge money making machine for digital outlets. A more current one is VR checks and there it's just exploded over the past couple of years. And there is even a two tiered system for avatars, you can get a kind of a wireframe avatar, which is usually free; sometimes we can pay for it to customize it and then the more detailed the more physical, more pieces of it that have physics or the more detailed the bone structure is usually the more expensive they can get. So I don't think spending 1000s of dollars on digital artists is something of science fiction, that I think that's part of our presence.
Ely Santos 33:14
I think also, from my perspective, Fortnight's makes a huge amount of money from avatars, especially because they have characters as I say, like Superman and Batman, Naruto, you know, and all of these beloved, you know, science fiction characters, and you can just be them, you know, and so, so, yeah, like, I couldn't agree more.
Dave Erickson 33:37
Just out of curiosity, you know, this avatar aspect, making avatars, you know, we have in the, quote, “real world”, fashion designers and people who are famous for creating fashion that people buy and where I assume the same thing is happening in the quote Metaverse, there are 3D artists and people who are creating avatars and clothing for avatars who are considered the fashion trend. People pay more to have their stuff. If you were a person who was saying I want a new career, I want to be, you know, I like fashion, I want to go into the Metaverse. How, you know, how difficult is it for them to transition from sketching stuff on paper to building a 3D T-shirt in the Metaverse? Is it a big jump? Do they have to spend a lot of time learning? Are there technologies that are very easy to use that help them? Is there something like that currently?
Ely Santos 34:41
Well,that's a great question. I'm not sure if Botond wanted to reply to that. But okay, okay, all right. So I'm gonna do mine and then so, as far as I know, yes, it is becoming a huge industry like with 3D fashion thing. I think it's really interesting as Botond said, like and I had, I had a guest, I think it was on the second episode of my podcast Metavertising, if you guys want to check out on Spotify my, the second episode it was this guy, Diedrich Boyd. He's actually an expert on that and he said that, think about like, a fashion event, and then compare, like a fashion event in the real world with a fashion event in the Metaverse, right. So in a fashion event in the real world, you have all of these logistics, you have all of these challenges, and also all of the waste that you end up generating, because you're going to generate kind of like one time only clothing for that specific event. So you're going to display, you know, and you know, many of the fashion events that we see, are actually kind of like an art display. So it's not like you're gonna be able to purchase those clothes, you know. So it's just basically like, for that collection to show the world the trends, you know, of that specific season, or maybe that year. and so a lot of waste is generated, not only because it is closing, but also like, you know, all of the people that go in there, they generate waste. So there's all of these challenges when it comes to a virtual fashion event, you don't have any of these challenges, right. So it's a completely new environment. So I think it's important to consider that. and so talking specifically about pursuing a 3D fashion career, I believe. And now I'm going to be sharing a little bit of my personal perspective on that, because I'm not sure if there is like, I'm sure that there are, you know, fashion, 3D fashion careers out there right now. But not specifically, like, let's say, oh, I want to go to 3D Fashion College. I'm not sure if there's, there's such a thing already, you know, but I believe that if you already have some experience with fashion in the real world, then it's going to be a lot easier for you to transition. However, you're going to have to certainly learn how to create 3D fabric. You're going to learn, like, there's going to be these new challenges, which is like, as I said before, like making, like the details of the fabric, right? There's just something really important like making the fabric look like it's a real thing, like a real dress, or maybe real piece of clothing like. And so there's all these all of these other challenges that you're going to need to combine softwares in order to come up with, and I'm talking about, you know, Blender, Unreal Engine, Cinema 4d, my, you know, all of these softwares that you're going to have to combine. And in each software, you're going to, like, prepare a specific piece of that clothing in order to come up to the result that you're, that you envision, right. and so definitely, you're going to have to learn new tools, you're going to have to learn new skills, but you're going to be learning like, it's, it's a one time challenge that you're going to have to, you're going to have to face in order to set yourself for the future of 3D fashion, which is definitely going to be something huge, right?
Botond Seres 38:06
We're talking about how easy would it be? Or how viable it would be to transition from fashion to digital fashion? And I think that's, again, at least a three pronged question. So the first answer is, I think the skills of just sketching are extremely transferable. That's awesome, that's great. Software wise, it's a really good opportunity, since most of the software is free, you can get really extremely high quality, Designer software for free. And it's even very user friendly. So it's not like the developer space where we have to pay for every single tool. We have like 10 subscriptions for stuff that we barely even use to be able to operate in this capacity. For 3D design, it's much better landscape software wise. Hardware wise, I think it's really important to consider the hardware requirements as well. Since if you buy the best sewing machine that you can find, like an extremely good one. For this price, you can also get a 3D workstation that you can work on, possibly in the shape of a tablet, or a tablet and workstation. But I do think if we go into the more elite product stack, which is let's say we want an iMac studio and then we want an iPad with the latest pencil and all that it's, it's considerably more expensive, even if we would factor in a high quality materials for a designer workshop and really just the upfront cost. I think the real challenge is replacing that equipment every few years. So if you buy a sewing machine, it's good for 80 years. But digital workstations have to replace them.
Dave Erickson 40:16
I think that's kind of a moving target of the Metaverse because the Metaverse is going to be evolving. and part of its evolution, I think, is going to be based on the hardware that you use to generate everything. The better. and the more advanced the hardware becomes, the better the generation is. But then you're gonna have the aspect of it, that you're generating stuff that's of very high quality, but the people who are seeing it are seeing it through, say, lower quality or older technology. So say they're going to view it through some goggles, while they're viewing it from some goggles that were made three years ago and now they have higher resolution and you know, there's some sound effects that don't work in standard headphones when you buy this new headphone those sound effects work. And, I think that there's always going to be this kind of moving target with the Metaverse of how the hardware and the software are going to kind of stay in pace. And there's going to be aspects where the more well-to-do side of the users of the Metaverse are going to have the latest technology and can experience these things and the poor end of the universe will have older tech and they will not be able to experience it at the same level and that's an aspect that is going to be you know, that mimics society, right? Society is built almost exactly like that. Although it sounds to me that the Metaverse makes the playing field a little bit more even in the sense that, you know, a kid who has an education but is from a poor family could learn how to do 3D textures and even though he doesn't have the latest technology, he can make a name for himself because of his art and his creation, and eventually get fame and money to be able to use the advanced technologies. And although that's mimicking real life as well, it seems like in the Metaverse, it might be easier to do that, because the resources needed are much less as both of you have said.
Ely Santos 42:37
I think wow. Regarding that specific comment that you made, Dave, I think there's a few things that I think are really important for us to highlight, right? So first of all, I think the inclusion, I believe it's going to be a lot bigger now in the Metaverse especially because we're going to have technologies that allow the inclusion. So for example, let's say my kid wants to talk to a kid in Japan and then we're going to have some type of real time translation AI that allows this conversation to happen in real time. and you don't have to, you know, you don't have to, you know, copy the text and paste it into Google translator in order to figure out what this kid is saying, like, you can just have a seamless conversation. So I think that's also one of the things we're going to be seeing. I think this is also an amazing opportunity for cloud computing, because we're seeing more and more. You know, for example, one of the things when I'm working with a brand for example, one of the things that I have to ask them if they want to create an experience in the Metaverse. Okay, so what is the kind of technology that you want to use? Do you want to use pixel streaming, WebGL, web 3D? So all of these things represent different ways for you to deal with the information that is going to be displayed to the user. And pixel streaming is basically, you know, another computer in the cloud is doing the processing, and you're just streaming the pixels, right? And so, it's another opportunity for cloud computing, for example, which I think it's really interesting and so I think we're going to see, you know, a huge growth in terms of cloud computing in the upcoming years, because not everyone, as you said, is going to be able to experience the Metaverse in a very high fidelity and a very high level of quality. However, it is important that everyone has the opportunity to at least participate in it. Right? And then one other thing that I wanted to say is, I think the concept of like as you said nowadays, society is not that even in terms of technology. So I believe it might, it might be a little more even than ever in the Metaverse because we're going to see companies that are going to realize that if they want to have more daily active users, more monthly active users, or like more traffic in there platforms, they're gonna have to create something that is more accessible in terms of processing, right? So I think one great example, one recent example that I've seen of that is the game Valorant. Not sure if Bolton has played it, but it's a shooting, it's an FPS shooting game. and I really liked it. and I thought one thing that they did that was really clever, when they launched the game, the configuration and the specs to run the game was very low. So pretty much any computer like any modern computer, you know, like any, any, it didn't have to be like an amazing computer like you could run Valorant, right. So this allowed them to have like a lot more people than the regular game that will launch nowadays in their platform, because you see a lot of these new games launching and you have to, you need to have the latest G-Force graphics card in order to run it, the latest processor. So to have a game or maybe to have an application that doesn't require as much processing for you to run it, it means an opportunity means you're going to have more users, right? So I think the Metaverse is going to have a lot of that as well.
Dave Erickson 46:02
You know, there's the technology challenge in which people have to learn new technologies and get better at technologies or change technologies to be able to play in the Metaverse and to create and to take advantage of the Metaverse. But then there's the business side, and companies are having to struggle. What is the Metaverse? How do they take what they currently do and move it into the Metaverse? And even a company who's dealing in digital goods or digital services, a lot of them really have big questions about, well, how do I take advantage of the Metaverse? Maybe we could talk a little bit about you know what you kind of do and helping companies figure out how they can take advantage of the Metaverse. What are some of the examples or what are some of the questions that you hear the most from, from businesses who are saying, well, how do I do something in the Metaverse?
Ely Santos 46:58
These are great questions. And to answer that question, I would like to take us back as I did before, like 10, 20 years ago, right at the beginning of social media, right? So you remember when social media came out and brands and companies started to realize that all of the consumers were moving there, or maybe all of the consumers were congregating there. And so companies and brands, they started to ask themselves first of all, do we need to have, do we need to be on social media? Do we need to have a social media profile? So that was the first question. And then the second question for those brands that decided that, yes, they needed to be there, then the second question will be okay, how, like, how do we? What are we going to be doing there? Right? So if you remember, in the early 2000s, when you know, brands started to move into social media, and you would start to see the first few movements of brands. And in social media, there were a lot of mistakes, right. So there were a lot of brands that you clearly could see that, they had no idea what they were doing in social media. So you would see a lot of you know, bloopers, let's say a lot of mistakes in social media. And there's even this book by this famous marketer called Gary Vaynerchuk, which I'm a huge fan of, and he has this book called “Jab Jab Hook”, which is content media strategy. But throughout the book, he displays and there's literally like screenshots in the book of like, both hits and misses of companies and social media, right? So you would see, like all of these companies that were really winning in social media and all of these companies that were really losing. So I think the scenario is exactly the same thing happening right now. Some companies are asking themselves, should we be on the Metaverse? and then for the companies that decide that they do? What should we do in the Metaverse? Right? And so to answer that question, I think, first of all, it's important to have this concept in mind, right? That, yes, companies should be in the Metaverse and the earlier that you get there, the better. I think that you know, differently if you compare it to social media 20 years ago, for example, like back then everyone had a computer or maybe almost everyone had a computer and many people already have had some sort of smartphone, like some sort of device like mobile device to connect to the internet. And so not everyone was on social media, but people were moving there. And so I think right now, it's almost the same thing as in like, not everyone is in the Metaverse, but people are moving there. But I think it's going to take a while because he requires as we were just talking about, like maybe a little bit more processing power than you would need in order to access Facebook, for example, back in the day. So I think it's a slightly different scenario, but the concept is the same right? Companies should be on the Metaverse and and now like getting to the part where what they should do on the Metaverse, right. So when I'm approached by a brand or when I'm approached by a company that wants to get into the Metaverse, first of all, the first question that I ask is okay, so maybe you understood that you need to be in the Metaverse, maybe you didn't. But if not, I'm here to explain to you why you should be there. But I think most of all, like, why do you want to be there? I think that's the most important question because the answer to that is going to give you the insights to come up with the stuff that you're going to be doing in the Metaverse, right? So what I tell brands and people and everyone that asked me this question is, what is the utility, right? What is the purpose of you being in the Metaverse, right? So for example, the other day we had the famous supermarket brands Carrefour, which is like, you know, they're they're big, I think almost in the entire world here in Brazil. They're pretty big. I know that they're pretty big in Europe, for example, they're a French brand if I'm not mistaken. But they did a Metaverse campaign just the other day and it was a huge fail, you know, from my perspective, because they didn't, they didn't try to bring utility to their, you know, Metaverse thing, the Metaverse play that they were trying to pull, right? They basically just Yeah, okay, so we everyone is going to the Metaverse. Alright, so now we're Metaverse too guys. Okay, so you can chill now because we're now on the Metaverse. So Generation Z, you can come purchase with us. And so that's what a lot of brands are doing and that's not the right way to do it, because what Carrefour did, and to talk a little bit about their campaign, basically you would access this Metaverse where you would have like these small you know, virtual reality games of like brands that are, you can find and care for. And then there was this campaign by ScotchBrite inside Carrefour Metaverse and, and then when you get into the ScotchBrite game, basically what would happen is you would get reduced to the size of like a very small toy and then you would jump onto a sponge and you would clean the counter of the kitchen with that sponge and you will kind of serve on the sponge being the small man and clean the kitchen. And I was like so I got into the Metaverse to clean my kitchen, right? Like, it makes no sense whatsoever. And so I think you know, that's the biggest mistake that is happening right now like brands, they recognize they should be there but they don't have any utility. They don't have any actual reason to be there. Right? And so I think that's what we need to ask ourselves and like, we need to come up with the answers to it, and work through these answers, right? What is the utility? What is the reason why I'm getting into the Metaverse, right? So also take a look at what your consumers are doing right, and offer value to them; offer something valuable to them, even if it's just an experience, but like, offer them something that is really valuable. Right? So I think, you know, typically that's…
Dave Erickson 53:03
I mean, it sounded like for them, they had some marketing agency who said, Okay, we'll find a way to market your product in the Metaverse and not a single person in that ad agencies spent a lot of time in the Metaverse so they said, oh, let's just make a surfing game and use a sponge. They obviously were not thinking about who was actually going to be visiting the store and visiting the game and would they find it fun and enjoyable. I don't know anybody who really finds cleaning a kitchen that enjoyable. I get it from a business standpoint. They're trying to connect their product to something interesting or fun, but they missed the boat on that one. I think that brands and companies are going to have to really think about, when they go into the Metaverse, they're going to have to have somebody guiding them who spends a lot of time in it, and has an understanding of their target market. Clearly they put in a product in the Metaverse and they didn't think about their target market. They did not think about who's going to come and visit this game, who'd be attracted to the game. They probably didn't even think about how to set up and describe the game to attract the type that wants that. They just said here his game.
Ely Santos 54:25
You know, when you asked, how am I helping brands to have a Metaverse positioning? That's the real like, that's what I'm asking them. Okay, so you want to be in the Metaverse. Good. So what do you want to do in the Metaverse? Like, how is that exactly looking like inside your head? Like what is the value they want to provide to your audience? So there's a few examples of both unsuccessful and successful campaigns that happen in the Metaverse. One unsuccessful one is like Carrefour as I said. Chevrolet surprisingly also did a very huge fail in the Metaverse. They released an NFT of a car and nobody bought it, you know, and they came with an actual Corvette 06 in the real world, but nobody bought it, you know? And so yeah, so so like, yeah, exactly like why? That's the question like, why would I buy an NFT? And like, he's just an NFT, it's just a picture of a car. And you know, like, what am I going to do with it?
Dave Erickson 55:30
Hot Wheels and Mattel did an NFT campaign where they made a series of cars as NFTs current package. and you know, you could buy this NFT and you would have it. It was special for, I guess, Hot Wheel club members, and they can buy it and they kind of in the background said something like, we will randomly pick some of these NFTs and actually send you the physical car, like in a package and a lot of the Hot Wheels collectors just ignored it. A lot of the Hot Wheels collectors are over 50, right, baby boomers, that type of stuff. A lot of them ignored it and Mattel didn't do a very good job of explaining it or talking about it. And so they missed the boat and a lot of the NFTs didn't get purchased. Finally, the ones that did, the cars actually started arriving in the mail and they only made like 300 of these cars for I don't know 30,000 NFT's that they made. Now those cars, if you want to buy one, it's $2,000 to buy a physical car. Nobody's interested in the NFT; they're only interested in the physical car. So Mattel tried to do something, but I think it was one of those situations where they tried to do something, but they didn't really understand their, what they're trying to do or attract the market and they ended up with kind of a I guess you would call an albatross or, you know, the the cars or something with the NFTs are not worth anything, right? And so I think they could have done a better job.
Ely Santos 57:04
Ok so I’m getting this NFT and it comes with a little car and whatnot. Okay, what am I going to do with that NFT? Like, it doesn't do anything, I don't have any special access into anything. I don't have, like anything whatsoever, you know, I just have a picture, a digital picture.
Botond Seres 57:22
It's so common, everyone's doing this one NFTs. Like use it once and it's, there's no point anymore. Like, why?
Ely Santos 57:32
Yeah, I think at the beginning of the NFT craze and the NFT hype, you know, people were buying them because you know, it was new, and there was this whole hype, and everyone is buying it. But then people started to realize that these NFTs actually didn't serve any purpose. and eventually, like, you would see that, you know, nowadays, if you want to launch an NFT collection is like a lot harder than it used to be a year ago, because people are now a lot more aware that, you know, like, you're gonna buy just basically a picture that doesn't do anything. And like, you know, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a digital picture that just sits there, you know. And so I think, you know, one great example of a brand that did an amazing job with Web3, and I just talked about that during my, I have a weekly LinkedIn audio event every Thursday, and I talked about like, we talked about, like hits and misses of the Metaverse of brands and Etihad the airline company, they did an amazing job with their NFT. Their Web3 marketing campaign, which was basically like they created these NFTs of Like their, their airplane fleet. So, like there was this several different, you know, NFTs of their airplanes. However, the fact that you had these NFTs will give you special access and special benefits, that not even the oldest Etihad members had you know. So, you would get , first of all, you would get instant Silver Guest Access status on Etihad flights. And you will also get exclusive, exclusive access to lounges around the world in airports; you will get access to this club where like it was only the holders of the NFTs of these Etihad NFTs so you get access to that.You will get access to special events and you will be able to participate in Dao which is a decentralized autonomous organization. Inside of that you had to decide like, Okay, so what are the next perks that we're going to be receiving by holding these NFTs? right? So that's really cool because if you think about it, like if I'm that diehard fan let's say, I only fly Etihad like, I love these guys. I'm gonna want to have them not only because he grants me special accesses, but because it grants me special benefits for life, you know that not only gets me closer to the brand and strengthens my relationship with the brand but also; so at the same time, it gives me something special that nobody else has. You know? So I think that was a successful campaign, a successful Web 3.0 campaign.
Dave Erickson 1:00:07
Right it because what they did is they took the NFT and they gave it value, right, and the value is you're guaranteed to get something with the NFT. What Mattel did is they created, and a lot of others that I've seen, they created a lottery, right? Get you by the NFT and if you get chosen in the lottery, maybe you'll get something and you don't even know if it'll be valuable or not. Right? And so that devalues the NFT. Who cares if it's an NFT that didn't win the lottery, its value is almost zero, right? Whereas an NFT that's tied to something that you get in is transferable, that could be that makes the NFT valuable and I think that companies are going to have to look at really putting value into the NFT if they want it to be successful, right? It seems like even though the Metaverse is virtual, and the basis of the Metaverse is virtual reality, the people who are in the Metaverse are real people and they want something from it that they can use in real life. If it's just in the Metaverse and the only thing they're gaining from it is the enjoyment of being in the Metaverse, that can be relatively simple and you can get that enjoyment from a game console or from Web2. I think if the Metaverse is going to succeed, it's going to have to be connected to the real world in some way, right? And I don't know if at this time it's been defined what that is. I think the concept is, let's create the Metaverse and let the participants in that creation of the Metaverse decide how to transfer what is in the Metaverse and connect it into the real world. And I think that what you said about these advertising campaigns, I think that's a very exciting opportunity. I think that what's interesting to me is that there's a potential there of companies saying well let's create a new way of doing business using the Metaverse. I think that's where success will come.
Ely Santos 1:02:27
Exactly. And as I often say, like we're approaching now what I like to call customer centric or perhaps a customer heroic culture, which back then like the brand was maybe the guide or maybe the hero that would take you to success but now the customer is the hero and then the brand is kind of like the what is it called, like the the backstage you know, helper that helps you go to to wherever you want to go into that success. But like it's the customer that 's at the center of everything and they're the ones making the decisions of whether they want to participate in your brand or not. Right? And so we're going to be seeing a lot of communities which is, already you know, happening a lot of you know, discord servers with fans and people that believe and whatever it is that your brand is doing. So they gather in those discord servers in order to share their opinion and also to vote towards like, okay, so I think this is what should be done, no, all right. So this is what should be done. and I think that the customer is going to have more power than ever, and I think it's about that, you know, it's about empowering the customer.
Botond Seres 1:03:39
What do you think? How far off is an interoperable Metaverse like ballpark? Are we talking decades, centuries, in your opinion?
Ely Santos 1:03:52
I think we're far off, being conservative, I think we're far off, 5 to 10 years from a completely, fully immersive, fully interoperable Metaverse. I think 5 to 10 years would be, you know, 10 years would be conservative if I want to be a little more aggressive, then 5 years, you know? Because there's so many challenges to overcome, not only in terms of interoperability, interoperability, but like in everything and every aspect of the Metaverse, right. So we're talking about, for example, nowadays, if you want to spend some time in VR, you're probably going to be able to spend like a couple of hours until you start getting nauseous, you know, and you start getting a little sick and a little dizzy. So that's another challenge that needs to be overcome, you know, and also, if I if I'm using VR, like, what is the level of detail what is the level of depth that I want to be able to visualize something that I'm staring at, you know, and so the current VR goggles that we have available nowadays, they don't provide that level of experience. So there's all of these, you know, challenges in all of the directions of the Metaverse happening. And so all of these need to be addressed and also the fact that you need to be able to make all of these things talk to each other. Right? So that would be interoperability. So yeah, I would say, my personal guess would be, you know, I think six or seven years. I think until we see something that works. And then 10 years until we see something that is actually seamless.
Dave Erickson 1:05:23
Things take time and I think that the Metaverse is going in a very interesting direction. I'm actually excited to see what the Metaverse will look like in 10 years. I think, Ely, maybe now's a good time to kind of talk a little bit, you know, you have a podcast, you have some other things. Do you want to kind of give some information about how people can access those and hear what you have to say.
Ely Santos 1:05:48
Definitely, so yeah, so I have a podcast called Matavertising on Spotify and actually, a new episode just came out today. And yeah, often like interviewing experts of the industry regarding the topics that they're experts in, and we've been talking about, like several different topics in the Metaverse, right. So we've had fashion experts, we've had events experts, we've had motion experts as well. So there's all sorts of conversations happening there. Definitely worth checking out if you guys want to learn more, not only from a technical perspective, but also from a marketing perspective, right? So Metavertising on Spotify and if you guys want to get in touch and maybe your company or your brand needs help to create experiences on the Metaverse, please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. So it's Ely Santos on LinkedIn, E L Y space Santos. So it's really easy to find me and also every Thursday on LinkedIn, I'm doing live audio events where I talk about the hits and the misses of brands in the Metaverse. Right? So the successful campaigns and the successful ones. I think it's really educational for those of you who are considering to entering the Metaverse and yeah, I think that's it, and also considering taking the Metadvertising podcast into YouTube as a 3D avatar. So that's the plan right now
Dave Erickson 1:07:19
Well, yeah, we put this podcast on YouTube, and obviously, on all the audio podcast platforms, and we'll put all that information of yours in the descriptions so that people can click the links and access it. Well, Ely, this has been wonderful. I really enjoyed this and learned a lot and we do our podcast once a month. And so for our listeners, look back and check us out in a month and for our next podcast. Thank you very much for listening to the ScreamingBox Business and Technology podcast. Till next time.
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