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Meta-Versed – EP01: Exploring & Explaining the Metaverse


Hello? Hello, Michele. Hi. How are you? Great. How are you? Excellent. I’m, I’m very excited about what you’re putting on here today. I think it’s gonna, it’s a whole new area and a whole new area of opportunity startups. And the more I listen to you, Carrie, the more I learned, uh, it to me, a lot of fun.

Yeah. We’re pretty excited. Um, and Steve and Jamie have a whole wealth of information to share. Oh, there’s Jamie. I’m just gonna add him up on the stage here. Fantastic. So we have a lot of members from startup club already starting to join. Um, thank you so much for joining. Uh, this is going to be the first of a monthly series led by Carrie, who you see up here on the top corner.

Carrie [00:01:00] Perel. Um, and she is amazing. She runs a very successful incubator that she can tell you more about. That is all founded on metaverse and AR technology specifically in the education route. So, Carrie, I think without further ado, I’m gonna hand the mic back over to you to tell us a little bit about yourself and your guests and get us started.

Thank you so much. Thanks so much, Michele. And hi everyone. Welcome to our monthly segment that we’re calling metaverse. Um, this is a monthly conversation where we’re, we’re gonna talk about everything to do with virtual worlds and experiences, XR web three, the multiverse, and I’m sure much more, um, as mentioned, I’m your host, Carrie for sale.

I’m here with the startup club team and my expert panel today to dig into what is the metaverse and is it here yet? [00:02:00] So I first became interested in immersive experiences and creating virtual environments when working in research and innovation in emerging technologies. Um, and it enabled me to, co-found a company where we build virtual worlds and we created a metaverse for education.

Um, and I now also lead, uh, digital and games at relish studios. So this is an area I spend a lot of time exploring, researching, thinking about. And when I get the chance talking about, and today we’re gonna have a, a great conversation with all of you and our panel on our panel. I have with me, Dr. Jamie Doran.

Jamie is the executive director of research innovation and entrepreneurship at Georgian college, um, which is a place that has been on the forefront of successfully applying immersive experiences to education. And I’m sure we’ll hear more about that. And Steve grubs, who is founder and CEO of victory XR, uh, a company building meta [00:03:00] universities and virtual environments with support from meta.

So Steve, Jamie, welcome to the show and thanks for joining us. Thank you, Carrie. Happy to be here. Yeah, we’re thrilled to have you and, and I gave a brief introduction, but let’s start with, uh, some introductions from yourselves. So Steve, I’d love to hear a little bit more about you, how you got into this space and please share a little bit about your companies as well.

Sure. So, uh, I am the, uh, co-founder and CEO of victory X. I have, uh, started other companies and, uh, I was ready to try something a little bit more interesting. And so, uh, formerly I was in the Iowa legislature and chair of the education committee and I wrote, uh, the state’s first technology bill. So it’s something that, uh, been important to me for, for a long time.

I, uh, founded this in 2016 with a couple of others and, you know, it’s been pushing [00:04:00] a, a Boulder up the hill, but today what we’re mostly known for are building digital twin. Replicas of actual universities and then the professors and the students meet in that space to attend class. And a lot of people ask, well, why, what is, what is the point of that?

And if here here’s the really the long term and the short term view remote learning is growing online, learning is growing and on campus. Enrollment is decline. And we expect that this decentralization will occur will continue for some time to come. If that’s the case, is, is it that the future of education is limited to zoom or whatever 2d webinar format is used?

Uh, you know, that’s, that’s somewhat depressing. And so what we wanted wanted to do was to create an environment where students can come in together, socialize, interact, can break into small groups and work on chemistry. Experiments can, [00:05:00] uh, stand on the great wall of China and learn about the, the history and the reasons that it exists and, and essentially recreate the experience that we’ve all had as humans learning together, but doing, do it in a metaverse world where you can join remotely.

So, uh, that’s, that’s the crux of what we’re doing. And, uh, we use a couple of different platforms, but, uh, so far it’s been. Very well received because universities know they have to do something better for their remote students. Yeah. That’s very, very cool. Thank you for that. Um, I know we’ll dig in more and, and it’s an area that I love talking about.

Um, one thing I do hope that we’ll get out of this conversation today is, you know, what are those real world applications for a metaverse environment and the metaverse broadly. Um, and this is absolutely one. It it’s an area that a lot of researchers and, um, and thinkers are talking about as a primary application being education, [00:06:00] but there are so many more and we’ll go broadly, uh, Jamie, over to you.

So a little bit about your background and also, how did you get involved with this metaverse space?

Um, Jamie, make sure you unmute yourself. It’s on the bottom right hand side of the screen, the little mic.

All I think you can. Yeah, go ahead, Carrie, do you want, yeah, Jamie, you might wanna leave and, and rejoin. Um, and then you should be able to see your mic in the bottom right hand corner. Uh, one, one area that I know, uh, Jamie can speak to and Steve is, um, the interesting, you know, Steve talked about like, when we go virtual, the idea of kind of a 2d, uh, room where we have a one way talk is not [00:07:00] particularly engaging to people.

It lacks a lot of community building motivation engagement, and we start to be able to build those out in 3d worlds. But another element that I, I love Jamie to talk about, and I know Steve will, too, is what virtual reality allows us to do, uh, that we wouldn’t otherwise. Have access to, or be able to do, and particularly for both of them in an educational environment, um, which Steve started to touch on in terms of what you can do with, uh, chemistry or, you know, uh, geography, right.

Being able to actually be places. Um, but I think we have Jamie and I’m gonna let him, uh, give an introduction. Hi there. Can you hear me now? Yeah, that’s great. Okay, perfect. There’s always technical difficulties with these sorts of things. So especially my first time in clubhouse, but lemme tell you about myself a little bit.

So I am the executive director research innovation entrepreneurship at Georgian college. We’re a Canadian college in, in the province of Ontario. Um, we’re sort of right at the edge of cottage country. So it puts us in a really neat spot. We’re [00:08:00] just north of Toronto. We have about 15,000 full-time students and seven campuses.

And we, our programs range from, you know, arts and jewelry, making all the way to nursing and engineering. And we have several post-grad programs, including in AI and big data. Um, so it’s, it’s kind of like, I, I think of our college as being on, on the edge, right. We’re on the edge of cottage country, but we’re also on the edge of exploring different technologies.

So we have, um, really embraced this idea of XR technology. I think everybody knows extended reality technology on here, and we’ve done a number of pilots, um, in various programs. So we’ve got probably 15 or 16 programs that are using VR in some way in their, in their program. Right now we’ve got about, I think we’re approaching close to 350 headsets that have been deployed out to mostly students.

Um, but some faculty and staff as. And then we’ve, [00:09:00] um, you know, we’ve launched a virtual campus, which we can talk about a little bit later and it’s not an immersive campus, uh, in most ways, but it’s been very useful. And then my background, I guess, is I’ve been in education for a real long time. I was actually a high school teacher many, many, many years ago, and had the opportunity to teach and everything from kindergarten to grade 13, back when grade 13 was around.

So I’ve been kind of following education for a really long time. So once I got to Georgia and realized that there’s a lot of work going on in, in XR, I thought this is the future because I always thought about, you know, the best education would be pretty much self guided, where your interest would, you know, draw you through a, a curriculum of sorts and you could learn as you go.

And I kinda think this immersive world is the way to do it. So it’s kinda like combination of AI and XR and, and virtual reality. So then the future students can kind. Um, choose your own [00:10:00] adventure through education and learn everything from language to math, to science and such. So I won’t go too far into that, but that’s the area that really excites me and why I got involved in trying to help George and build a, a really big program around, um, XR and, and VR experiences.

Very cool. That’s awesome. Thank you. So I wanna start before, before taking questions and I, I know we already have an active chat, uh, happening. I wanna start by just broadly talking about, you know, the idea that the metaverse or metaverses or multiverses as a term have become a buzzword, like almost a, you know, a household word since Facebook rebranded as meta, but a lot of people still don’t know what the metaverse is.

Um, and many who do or who think they do debate the definition. So let’s really start with the basics. Um, Jamie, Steve, whoever wants to start, what is the metaverse.

I can start, [00:11:00] uh, you know, essentially, first of all, there are a lot of people get very uptight about how the metaverse is defined. And, and I, I just think that we don’t have to be that uptight about it. We can sort of let things advance as they advance, but a lot of people suggest that the metaverse will not be a true metaverse until everybody that’s in Aner immersive world is connected and can move seamlessly from one world to another world.

And then, uh, we, we are all there and, and essentially sort of taking a step back the metaverse is this place where we have presence, whether it’s, uh, a 2d presence or a 3d presence where we can move about and interact with others. And it’s persistent, meaning, you know, I’m gonna try to avoid too much jargon, but it’s persist.

In a sense that you put on a headset or you open up your computer or your device or your AR glasses, and it’s there. You don’t have to turn it [00:12:00] on. You don’t have to launch it. Anything like that much like the internet is persistent. Well, this world will be persistent. And, uh, and, and it’s interactive and it’s live.

So, so let the crux of the debate is whether you can have a true metaverse while it it’s disparate. So for example, you have alt space and you have horizon and you have engage and you have, uh, all these other worlds that, that are in one way or another. The start of the metaverse. What I like to say is that, you know, there was a time on earth when, when people lived on different continents and, and nobody knew that those other people existed, but the world existed.

And today. The, the various platforms that are out there are like their own continent. You can’t move from horizon to alt space. And then from alt space to, uh, you know, VR chat or any of those others. So, so they’re isolated to [00:13:00] themselves at some point in the near future. And meta has indicated that they are, uh, supportive of this transition.

People will be able to move seamlessly from world to world. And, and then maybe beyond that, it’ll all sort of aggregate into to one world. I, I I’d be surprised to see that, but perhaps, uh, and, and at that point, I think everybody will agree. We have achieved it a true metaverse and you know, that’s probably seven to 12 years away, but that’s, I think the best I can do on explaining what I think the metaverse is and where it’s going, Hey, Carrie, I, I’m not sort of as possible, but we have Jart in the audience there.

Uh, who’s also an expert and I don’t know if it’s possible. We can invite him up. Um, if you make, maybe if you want. Help with the modding. You could, um, set Michele up as a mod. She could help. Um, but it’d be great, Jared. I know you’re in the audience there and, uh, we’ve done shows with you with, uh, Jared before and he’s, he’s really got a good perspective on that as well.

If possible. You’ll comfort, Dave. Yeah. Okay, excellent. I’ve sent him an invite. [00:14:00] I’ve made Michele a moderator as well, so hopefully we can get that, uh, that sorted. Um, I thank you, Steve, for that description that, um, I, I have, I have thoughts. I have input, but I’m gonna hand it over to Jamie first and if we can get, uh, Jared on stage, I’d love his thoughts on it too.

So Jamie, what is the metaverse that’s great. Well, I think, I think Steve put it eloquently. Like I, I agree a hundred percent with everything that he said. And, um, but one thing I, I, I do think is important is, you know, when people define things like, like the metaverse or even in the early days of the internet, when you define them, What it, what it does is help help engineers and innovators think around, you know, that concept and develop technologies there.

So, you know, I’ve been in innovation a long time, and sometimes when you put parameters around, uh, you know, fancy ideas, it actually helps designers develop what’s required. So, you know, if we are thinking about having a metaverse in the future where I can move from [00:15:00] world to world, there’s a lot of innovation in the background there that would make that possible.

And so that’s why I think that kinda definitions are, are important for right now, because it helps frame this whole concept of what the metaverse is. Yeah. That’s great. Or could, do you have thoughts on that, that you wanna add? Yeah, no, they some did it pretty well, but, um, yeah, I just look at it as a way for, um, corporations and individuals just to accelerate globalization and the way that we saw, what 2.0, accelerate globalization, uh, where you can, you know, have more ownership over your IP through NFTs, whether it’s your clothing, whether it’s NFT real estate, uh, these meta mansions, um, I’m seeing all sorts of.

Use cases. And I think really for those in the audience, just feel special to be in a space with people like Steve and Jamie and Carrie, Colin, Michele, et cetera. Um, [00:16:00] because we are that, you know, one, 2% that are really brainstorming about how can we take real world use cases and turn them into value in the metaverse.

And, um, really, if you have like an advertising business in the real world, you can turn that into like billboards in the metaverse and high traffic areas, uh, near some of the top corporations or some of the top, um, you know, spaces that get traffic. So there’s just, I could go on and on, but, uh, really, I just look at the metaverse, it’s just a way to.

Increase globalization, you know, be able to connect with somebody from Tokyo or Russia or, you know, uh, Brazil, uh, video Oculus and really create commerce, create connection, uh, similar to what we’re doing on clubhouse, but in such a more immersive way. So, um, yeah, I really just came up to support. I’ll be listening more than talking, but, um, Colin, thanks for, uh, the shout out.

And, uh, I’m looking forward to hearing from Steve and, uh, Jamie. That’s [00:17:00] wonderful. Thank you for that. Um, I, yeah, I, a hundred percent agree with, what’s been said so far. I love how Steve started it with, you know, the, the idea that, um, people really are debating over a definition. Right. They wanna pin it down in time.

Um, but to Steve’s point, we’re probably quite a while away, a decade, a little bit more away from actualizing, uh, what that, you know, what that really truly, um, immersive and, and completely connected and completely globalized version of the metaverse is for a lot of reasons. Right? So there, there are technical limitations.

There are, um, these other sort of security, uh, considerations, political considerations and so on. Um, but let’s go, you know, if I can dig to it slightly more, I, I wanna ask your opinion on cuz this is a question that comes up when we talk about what is the metaverses, uh, you know, what does it actually mean?

How does. How does VR in, how does gaming in front of a computer fit in with VR in a headset, [00:18:00] fit in with the idea of augmented reality in the real world maybe using, uh, or the physical world maybe using, uh, you know, glasses? Um, so is, is the metaverse here yet? Like we have people here saying that we work in the metaverse space and we have real world applications, but also it might be 12 years out.

So what do you think about that? I argue that in the broad sense, the metaverse is here today and, and that’s a, that’s a very liberal definition of metaverse and I admit that, but I think instead of, you know, some people say, oh, let’s just call it web 3.0. Uh, and, and we could, we could certainly do that, but because we all understand that semantics are semantics.

I think that we should embrace what the world wants to embrace, which is a metaverse. We know that we’re going to work toward a, a more universal metaverse over time. Uh, but I, I don’t think there’s any reason to fight the term. Metaverse like so many people do and like say, oh, and just try to say web 3.0, [00:19:00] uh, you know, those are certainly the purest and I understand their arguments, but, uh, I believe the metaverse is here today.

I believe when you walk onto Morehouse college campus in Atlanta, Georgia from the metaverse, you can stand there. They can have students from all over the world now on their campus, they can walk to class together. They can sit in the chemistry lab and, and, you know, be educated by Dr. Morris. Uh, and then they can break into small groups.

And it just seems to me that even though this is more of a siloed world, it’s part of a growing world of, of metaverses that will someday become the metaverse. Great. And I have a question I’ve just given an invite to Kevin here to come up if he wants to speak a little bit more, but he has a, you know, like a really great question where does one start to learn and navigate into the metaverse?

So I know we’ll start to look [00:20:00] at these really practical applications, like the everyday uses that we have today and in the short term, uh, possibly versus those longer term ones, but like where do we start? I might, uh, give a couple points here if you want. Um, great. You know, this was my journey because it, in a couple of years ago, um, I knew nothing about, um, VR knew nothing about the metaverse and had to get up to speed pretty fast.

And, and as a person who kind of likes this sort of thing and the cutting edge, that was really fun to explore, but it was also hard in the beginning. And, you know, when I was doing some research on how many worlds are out there, this was a year ago. I searched, there was 150 different virtual worlds. And each of them is accessed in, in a different way.

But when Facebook put the Oculus quest too out, that kind of made it easier to find different things and for the regular person to sort of sign on and, and explore the world. So there are some, you know, obvious ones that people go to [00:21:00] first, like Altspace, uh, VR is one and VR chat might be another one to explore.

But I think like once you start getting into the community and interacting with people in the virtual worlds, then, you know, people are say, come on over and check this out and, and help you find new places to go and explore. So for, for me, it was it’s about community building and network building. When you, once you get in there, even your first world.

Great. Yeah, I think, I think, I think that’s good advice, you know, My recommendation is to get a, get a headset because that’s the most immersive way that you can engage. And then all of these worlds, I think almost all of them that I know of at least start out as free, whether it’s alt space or, um, horizon or engage, or we are chat or, and there’s like 30 major platforms out there.

So there’s a lot. And, um, and I would say you should, [00:22:00] uh, just start jumping around and, and learning what’s available and, and enjoying it, or maybe sign up for a class at a college in a, on a university campus, but it’s not very expensive to get started. And you, you learn pretty quickly. And I, I can remember how awkward it was for me the first time.

The first time I came in was via PC instead of a headset. And, um, that was very awkward moving around and I had to speak to a group of people in the audience and. A couple of them walked up on stage and stood right next to me. And there were no tools to prevent that. Uh, it was disconcerting. It was difficult for me to keep speaking.

Um, but you know, over time, you know, I’ve learned to become very comfortable. In, in these worlds. Yeah. That’s, I’m gonna touch on a couple points and then open it for some more questions here. Um, so we, uh, you know, we, we think about, uh, broadly about the metaverse fitting into different areas. So work, social education play, um, maybe [00:23:00] some others, but those are pretty broad categories.

And as Steve said, um, you know, the, the, a full immersive environment with a headset is, um, a really special experience, but it can be disorienting. Um, and it can have time limitations on it in terms of, uh, people feeling motion sickness, or I think we call it cyber sickness. Um, so there are other ways to access it as well.

I mean, you, you can build up your endurance. Absolutely. You can get more comfortable and as, uh, people and companies like Steve’s and, and like my background, um, learn how to design the spaces. The most effective way. You start to realize that, you know, a stage, you really don’t want people jumping up on a stage with you.

Um, when P when avatars come too close to you, it actually feels real. It feels like they’re invading your personal space. Uh, even though you’re an avatar, it really has such a, um, a genuine emotional connection to the way that we interact in the physical world, that you feel those same, uh, emotions and [00:24:00] experiences in a virtual space.

And, and that’s part of the power. That’s really cool behind it. Um, but I wanna speak to, uh, things that are really relevant to our audience, and we have a lot of entrepreneurs and startups listening. Colin has an awesome question and he’s, and he is on the stage. So he had asked, um, he’s curious, what kind of startups entrepreneurs could launch today to make money?

There are so many, and, but having said. Uh, I would also say you have to be prepared to make it through the early days. And so, you know, we launched our in 2016, we raised a million dollars in angel, uh, funding that, that carried us for six years until, you know, finally this year when we have, uh, I can’t speak publicly about it yet, but if secured, um, some VC funding and, uh, the bottom line is if you can’t, if you can’t figure out a way to bootstrap it for a period of time, Uh, then make sure [00:25:00] you’ve got a good investor behind you from the beginning, because you know, when, when you talk to venture capital or others, they’re gonna want to know that you’ve got some traction.

They’re going to want to know that you’ve got, um, a fairly sizable space to grow into and that you’re, you’re nimble enough and agile enough to succeed in those spaces. So some ideas out there, uh, there are the first thing, the biggest mistake people make are use cases. You have to find practical use cases that make sense that are better to do it in an immersive environment than to do it in over zoom.

Right? Because zoom is easy. If there’s less friction to get into zoom, It’s inexpensive it’s free or, or, or whatever other tool, you know, like Google meet or Microsoft teams or whatever the case might be. So it has to be a good use case, you know, for us, education has turned out to be a great use case because college students really don’t like, uh, taking chemistry class over zoom.

So we’ve seen, you know, pretty rapid adoption from colleges around the world for our platform. Uh, but [00:26:00] think in terms of one of the one, one of those that gets filled a lot, but there’s a lot of places to go is workplace training. If you find workplace training opportunities that especially cater to younger employees, Where there’s a lot of turnover or where you have to train a lot of younger employees quickly, the fortnight generation is moving into college, which benefits us, but they’re also moving into the workplace, which benefits those with workplace training companies.

So for example, think about training for summer camp, right? You, you have all these camp counselors and maybe the camp counselors are coming in from all over the United States. And so these camp counselors have to go through training first aid, uh, some, some scenario training on how to deal with, you know, maybe campers who become a problem.

Much of that’s done through reading or videos, uh, before they arrive. And then they get some onsite [00:27:00] training at, at camp. But imagine if you built that camp in a metaverse situation and you were able to do scenario training for first. You were able to provide, uh, training on how to use the equipment, the safety features of it all.

You know, nobody’s asking to build this, but this is the type of use case that would make sense because your, your incoming employees all have to be trained in a short period of time. And it’s going to be, there’s gonna be a high turnover because a year later they’re all gonna have to be trained again.

So that’s the type of use case to look for are, are things that are actually kinesthetic or hands on in nature for learning. And we’re working together with others is, is the best part of training. That’s great. Other thoughts on that? Yeah. I’d love to jump in on this one. So my first, if somebody was thinking about starting a business in this space, and Steve, I [00:28:00] agree with you training is, is probably number one right now, because a lot.

You know, bigger companies and organizations are having the same questions. All of we are, and they, they want their people, um, to understand what these technologies are and what they can do for the business. So they need that education around just even awareness of what is possible, then how they would use it like the training.

But whenever it comes to like a new area of technology and when, if we have young people on the call and you’re thinking I wanna start a company in this area, one piece of advice I always love to give is, you know, maybe, you know, you could go ahead and start your company now, but maybe a better move for you is to join a startup company that is already going in this space.

It helps you get up to speed really fast, and it might help you validate some of your ideas before you rush off and start, start your own company. But that’s just a, a side note. And, um, when we went to augmented world expo, um, down in Santa Clara, just past June, Um, we, we [00:29:00] walked around and I was trying to take stock of what kinds of startups were there and what people were doing and areas that were big that I thought, um, were there were, you know, volume metrics.

So, you know, if every business in the world is gonna have a 3d website of some kind or all our products in 3d form, there’s gotta be an easy way for them to create them. But right now they really just need to be, you know, scanned and uploaded and put onto the website. So there’s a whole kind of web building, um, a startups that could, that could be there around volume metrics.

And what was driven home in one of the keynote talks, there was that AI is gonna play a major role in the construction of the 3d web, you know, because you can’t, you can imagine now if you went to say Walmart in the metaverse, you know, every single product, every shelf, everything in there would have to be scanned and, and put in.

So what’s the easier way to do it. It’s to do it with AI. So you have these, uh, major AI [00:30:00] systems that can take photographs from, um, anywhere and then create 3d, you know, perfect 3d models of them. So there’s companies like startup ideas around helping people use those AI engines to, to build their 3d web.

So those are just two, two ideas there. Um, but you know, there’s things like being a tour guide. So people wanna go and explore the metaverse. Maybe you can be a guide, you could be a real estate agent in there. Um, so I would say, just do a scan of what kinds of jobs are out there with metaverse as a keyword and see what’s popping up.

And that might give you some ideas. I think, uh, this is Michele. That’s really interesting. Um, what you’re saying J that’s great advice. Um, for folks like to maybe join, you know, a startup, right. That’s working on it. Um, we here at startups club have a lot of members and probably many in the audience here.

That are interested in starting these kind of [00:31:00] companies are working for them. Um, you know, I I’d be interested, you know, for people in the audience to raise their hand and come up while we have, um, these very knowledgeable folks on the stage that are actually working in the field. But you mentioned AI.

Um, what other kind of jobs do you think there are? Because I think in, in that there lies opportunities, right? Like you just mentioned AI in modeling people. I think that’s what you said or, or Lance product. Yeah. Or product what? Okay, thank you. Uh, you know, what are other kind of opportunities that people could do it doesn’t just have to be like, oh, I’m starting my own, you know, motivate metaverse or world.

What are the other kind of, um, you know, um, startups that they could do. Well, I, I would think of this more of from, you know, you can either do it from a product or service perspective. And on the [00:32:00] service side, you, you have to think that the majority of the world like we somebody, well, we mentioned before, only 2% of us are kind of on the forefront of this now.

So 98% of the world is not not doing this yet. So that that’s a huge market. You know, it’s like Nintendo, when they made the weed, they were like, well, let’s aim at the 80% of people not playing video games. So those people out there want to learn, um, about the metaverse. They wanna, they want to understand its potential and they need help to do that.

And who better to do that than experts using it already and, and know what to do. So they need technology advice. They need to know how to do marketing and advertising. In this sense, they need to, we we’ve been talking about immersive technologies like a VR, but, you know, AR and AR technologies are just as important and apps that work on your smartphone, um, that companies could use.

So, you know, they could explore that. And I, and I think there’s lots to do there. You know, I mentioned [00:33:00] the, the tourism, um, idea. So if you had to build a little tourism company where you can, people can walk around with their cell phones and point at buildings and maybe see an image of the building in the past, or get some information, historical information or entertainment information, you know, an app that has arrows, that when you look through your phone, you can see arrows in the ground that direct you, right.

To the some point of interest or a restaurant that you want to go to, something like that. So it’s kinda, sky’s the limit. It’s just a matter of using your creativity and think about it as probably start in the service area first. Before you start to think about going out and maybe making a, a new software product or something like that.

That’s great. I see, we have a few people joining us on stage. So as mentioned, you know, please raise your hand, keep putting questions in the chat and join us for the conversation. Um, but Kevin, Jose, are there others on stage that have that wanna join the conversation? What questions do you have? [00:34:00] Um, yes.

Yes. Uh, so I have a few questions on the metaverse and the questions are about really the fundamentals, meaning what are the physical tools someone has to equip themselves with? I have seen VR headsets, but I’m not sure if the they’re the only things you have to have. Like, I, I need a, I need to understand a roadmap for entering into the me.

Metaverse the physical tools and the platforms. Thank you.

That’s great. Who wants to, who wants to take that one?

I’m happy to answer. I just don’t the chatting talking there. Go ahead. So is where we go back to that definition of what the metaverse [00:35:00] really is? And, and to me, the metaverse is actually all the data in the background and that could be software applications. It could be actual just data that’s there that we want to access.

So we can access that with a variety of different, uh, tools. So, and the easiest way is probably your smartphone. So like right now you, you can call up Google maps and you can use street view and you can do all that. So that is sort. A very primitive version of, of the metaverse because I can walk down my street on Google street view and I can see all the houses there, you know?

And so I can access that with my smartphone. I could use, um, AR glasses, so augmented reality glasses or, or, um, lenses. So that way that an image is gonna be projected in front of me on my lens. So it’s kind of super imposed over the world that I’m seeing through my glasses. So it’s a mixture of reality that you can see all around you and a digital image or [00:36:00] digital data that is superimposed in front of you.

And then sort of the next step beyond that would be an immersive VR experience where I take a, uh, VR headset, like the Oculus quest two or any of the other ones that are out there. And I put that on and I’m blocking out all of reality around me. And then I’m just seeing what the, the headset is, is displaying in front of me.

And it’s building a sort of 3d world around me, so I can see everything in there. And it’s entirely fabricated, you know, the, um, the, the next level beyond that would be, you know, if we have AR glasses, which aren’t quite available yet, but we’ll be soon where you can have a, a mixture of that fantasy immersive world and the reality together.

So this an example that might be, if I had a headset on or glasses on I’m walking down the street, looking at the buildings around me and it looks normal. [00:37:00] So, um, and then I can sort of switch into a half reality sort of sense. And I can maybe replace all the buildings to make them look different. Maybe the road is now a river, right.

But it’s all kind of connected together. So that a physical object in my fake reality corresponds to an object in reality. So a light post is still there, but maybe in the virtual version, it looks like a. You know, so that’s, so that’s kind of the full extent of, of what we’re talking about here. And so the devices to access, it can range from something simple, like a, a smartphone all the way up to an immersive VR device.

Excellent. Jose, did you, Kevin, Jose Yasin. Yeah. Wants to jump in. Thank you. Yeah.

I just have a second part of, [00:38:00] um, Kevin’s question. I haven’t been to the bed verse either other than going, like you said, on Google maps, which is primitive, but like where would I go? Like, I’m not sure even like, so I, I buy the device now. Like what are some suggestions of some places that I can go and just experience it that are not a game because I’m not interested in gaming.

Where would I go?

Who wants to take this one? Jamie, go ahead, Steve, go ahead, Steve, where would you go?

I know Michele. If they had a virtual Napa, you’d be there checking out all the wines and absolutely that would be phenomenal. So many. Yeah. So a, a few things I would say, and then, and then feel free to, [00:39:00] uh, add to this is, you know, thinking about how you wanna use it. So I, I mentioned earlier the idea that, um, there are environments created to, uh, encourage remote work in a more immersive way.

Um, there are environments that are very much focused on social activities. There are, as we’ve talked about already environments focused on education, um, and different, different virtual experiences and augmented experiences, and then there’s play, um, Michele’s not interested in play. That’s cool. but, um, but I think it’s kind of isolat.

How do you wanna think about using it to start with, uh, and you know, coming from that educational background where we wanna reach a broad audience globally, but excessively meaning we also wanna consider what hardware is available to people and what bandwidth is available. Um, you wanna think about what equipment you have?

So, absolutely. It’s super fun to go. And, um, Use a [00:40:00] headset. So to go to a, there are these really cool kind of immersive gaming VR experiences, where you can go and play games with your friends, um, and you can use their headsets. You can, you know, go to places like Georgian college and access their headsets.

You could purchase your own if that’s available to you. Um, but if it’s not start in front of your computer and start in front of your phone. So looking at one of those areas that you’re most interested in there are going to be a metaverse, uh, type experiences, um, immersive virtual experiences that you can access directly from your computer and directly from your phone where you’re gonna set up a, a profile, or you’re gonna set up a, an avatar.

You’re usually gonna have a, a fair amount of ability to customize it to either, uh, a very realistic version of who you are and what you look like, or, uh, you know, the way that you would like to represent yourself. And sometimes your use case will dictate that as well. And, um, in work and in education, we’re often trying to represent ourselves in social, in [00:41:00] play.

Sometimes we’re, we’re, we’re looking at an alternate reality, right? Where we look at who we wanna be, who we feel we are inside, and that’s how we wanted depict ourselves. Um, and from there, uh, you’re gonna kind of narrow down like, this is, this is the area I’m interested in exploring. This is the hardware I have available to me.

Um, and you’re gonna start to narrow down what makes sense to try just as a taster. Uh, any other thoughts on that? Carrie, you made me laugh when you were talking there, because when you said, like who you are inside and you’re building your avatar reminded me of. When I first got my quest to headset and turned it on, right.

I didn’t know what I was doing other than I turned it on. You’re when you look inside, you’re in this room and it’s a really lovely room, right. And then you can call up the apps, but it first makes you make an avatar of yourself. And I had no idea what I was doing there. So I just made like the craziest avatar I could think of, it looked like kinda like a fluorescent space pirate.

And, and then [00:42:00] I went on and you know, about a year later, I, I tried so many different apps and been in lots of different worlds, tried as much as possible. And then at some point I had to do an upgrade to my profile. So then I clicked on the profile and realized that I had made this really crazy avatar that I had completely forgotten.

But that was me for a year. And so I thought that was hilarious. Just this weird expression of myself that was created on day one that I completely forgot about. Yeah, that’s awesome. And that, you know, a lot of the environments will have, uh, like a randomizer. So it’ll just, it’ll just make you something and that it’s on you to go and spend some time to play around with it.

Uh, so I’ve seen that before Janie I’ve, didn’t

gonna I’ve people do relatively formal presentations, keynotes without ever changing their avatar. And I’ll just say they weren’t particularly professional. That’s funny.[00:43:00] 

Uh, so we have some other people up here that haven’t had a chance to talk Yasin and Jose, did you have some questions? You’ve both been up here for a little, little.

I just wanted to thank everybody for inviting me up to this room and, uh, great room, great information, especially within the worlds that are coming to play now, uh, I’ve been using, uh, Ray band realities. I don’t know if anybody’s ever heard of those. They’re really great AR glasses that are part of the meta.

Um, it’s really neat. When you go to a restaurant, you look at the barcode. Uh, if the barcode is an integrated true bar, a true QR code, it will display on your lens. If it’s not a true, uh, QR code, it will merge it to your phone. Um, but it’s pretty neat. If you wanna have that AR um, experience, um, you can use [00:44:00] your, uh, Ray band reality glasses, uh, connected to your meta.

And you literally could go to restaurants and bars and wherever there’s a QR code and wherever they are displayed within the Google maps and all these, you will be, you will have directions, um, uh, commercialized, uh, popups will come up. You could turn those off if you don’t want, if you don’t want ’em to pop up, but it’s really neat.

Has anybody had that experience yet?

I haven’t, but I’ve never heard this and I love that. It’s so simple and it’s something that’s so practical. So I, I kind of wanna try it. Thank you. Yes. I got mine, um, prescribed with prescription, um, and mine has the, the, where it tints up when I’m out in the. Very comfortable glasses by made by RayBan. And, uh, they put the, the actual, um, [00:45:00] AR integration into it where it merges directly to your meta account.

And it gives you the opportunity to, to, to, to look at it’s. It’s another way of looking at social media, kind of in a way where social media, uh, using the QR codes and, and, and, uh, global positioning allows the AR to work, you know, um, it, it’s not fully perfected yet, but, but as I’ve been using them for about almost a year, And believe it or not, they’re really inexpensive.

Still. They’re still around $200. If you get ’em prescribed, obviously they’re more expensive, but it’s nothing but another $180. Um, and that way you can have your own prescription and they will send them out to you, Ray Bandwell with the prescription, with the AR integration that you could integrate easily with your meta and be able to enjoy the AR world everywhere you go.

Like if you go to [00:46:00] Hollywood, if you go to Venice beach, I mean, it is packed with information. It’s so neat. Uh, specific museums have it. Um, it’s really neat, uh, how they try to integrate this out here in Cali. Um, but yeah, uh, uh, Ray band reality, um, try ’em out. They’re inexpensive. Um, and like I said, you can get ’em ed.

That’s very, very cool. Uh, I know a lot of people who have been waiting for, um, smart glasses for AR glasses and, you know, they haven’t quite found what they’re looking for. It sounds like that’s pretty advanced technology. That’s uh, that’s a very cool experience. Yeah. RayBan released these two years ago.

Uh, it took me about it took me some time to kind of get into it and kind of say, huh, is it worth the 200 bucks? Should I invest myself into some Oculus or something like that? Um, that I do have the as or VR goggles. Really great [00:47:00] inexpensive, especially if you wanna try, uh, the VR goggles, you can buy an Acer, a C E R unit, uh, buy the first version of it.

That’s wired. You can get it under like 50 bucks, 60 bucks on eBay and on Amazon for the older versions, you could still connect them. They’re still allowed to go in the VR. Microsoft has an integrated metaverse that you can experience. That’s amazing. And, and it’s all free right now. There’s no charge to it.

Um, by buying the glasses that give you games that you could play with, like I got, uh, Ghostbusters that I’m able to play in the VR world. Um, but it’s really neat. It’s very inexpensive. If you wanna start and then you can, after you get that experience, then you can say, all right, I’m gonna spend 600 bucks on some true VR goggles by Oculus or by all these other corporations that are creating them.

Yeah, very cool. I love that advice. Um, I’m excited. [00:48:00] So we have some others up on the stage who haven’t had a chance to talk yet. I just wanna open it up. Uh, I don’t know if you has had a chance to talk yet, uh, Marra and have just joined us. So what questions or comments do you have?

Hi everyone. Can you hear me? We can. Hi, Carrie. Uh, well, I just wanted to share what my experience is right now. I am setting up, uh, a conference room for 12 people in, in a mentor. Right. I, I like to teach, but I like to experience a new environment. I’ve been testing different. Um, metaverses one is lobster. I had a meeting with them.

Lobster is a very interesting, very powerful metaverse I share that in the, in the chat. I am not selling anyone. I just wanna make sure that I, I [00:49:00] make that clear. I’m not promoting any metaverse I’m just sharing what I, I am testing lobster is a great environment, but they want to target, um, uh, universities, institutes, um, you know, companies that are, are, are, are focused on training people, right on science.

That’s lobster. Another one that I I’ve been trying is V events. Um, I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing it right, but video events actually allows you to have multiple environments. Um, you know, like a, a conference room. Business fair. Wow. A huge conferences, you know, for a lot of, a lot of different companies, universities that are, are lacking there, you know, to, to, to expose, you know, their products and services Accenture is doing it [00:50:00] is amazing.

I just wanna give you an advice because I think most of us are, are consultants, trainers, coaches, and the metaverse is really opening new opportunities to create this environments, to, to offer a different experience, you know, to, to your followers, to your students. And, um, but I, what I find is that if you have inflated expectations that you’re gonna get, let’s say 200, 300 people in a, in a, in a huge conference hall.

Um, I think you have to just. Come down and actually open a small conference room for 12 people, you know, and if you wanna monetize, you can do so, but bring it to a level that you can actually manage. You know, you can actually sell a, let’s say a training program for 12 people for a month or two or three.

[00:51:00] Uh, but don’t get into. Eh, in this expectation that a lot of people have say, well, if I can sell this to companies and then I can set up, uh, their booth, you know, their stands in a huge conference, eh, center, you are really opening a Pandora box because who’s gonna help you to actually customize, you know, the, the, there stands for these clients.

You have to have a huge, not a huge, but I would say a good, good designing team, you know? So I think a lot of people are jumping into that wagon myself. I, I have to say, I was thinking about doing that. No, the best part. For us to teach in the metaverse is just to handle a small conference room and give the experience a different experience to our students.

I think they’re gonna love it. It’s amazing. Um, you know, look for metaverses that allow you to do just that first and if you [00:52:00] want to grow your business and scale it up, you can do so because they’re conference rooms, they are theaters bigger spaces, right. But begin just. With, with a small conference room, 12 people sell, you know, sell you tickets for your training programs, give a different experience to, to the subscribers that you, that you attract, you know, based on the res that they have with what you have to teach.

But that’s the way I, I, I wouldn’t wait really, because it’s coming, this metaverses are popping up everywhere and you have to start doing some benchmarking. I would suggest you do. So be curious, don’t be afraid. You’re gonna enjoy it. Thank you for letting me share Carrie. That’s wonderful. Thank you for that.

And I think we have time for maybe one or two more questions. We’re getting close to the hour. Um, but thoughts or questions on that? I, I, and I love by the way, the really, uh, like the real world experience and the really practical way of setting [00:53:00] yourself up for success that, that, that you just shared.

Hi everyone. This is Dr. Messina Morris. I’m director of Morehouse in the metaverse our meta university campus. And I am here with Steve grubs, my educational partner and friend, uh, who is the CEO of victory. XON so, Carrie, sorry, I got cut off and I could not get back on no matter what I did. So I, uh, Dr.

Morrison, I have been at a retreat this week working with, uh, some corporate partners on, on our university plan. So, uh, I’m back if, and then apologies that I dropped off. Oh, that’s wonderful. Thanks for coming back on. Sorry, I didn’t, uh, defer to you. I just didn’t see you.

good. I think we have time for one or two more question. Or comments, um, experiences that people have had. I, uh, to give you a sense of where we’re going with this, [00:54:00] um, this is a really general conversation that we’re having today. Next month, we’re gonna focus on, uh, still a broad general conversation, but the idea will be the multiverse and multiverses.

Um, so looking at that connectivity between all of these different modes that we might call the metaverse or, or immersive experiences, um, and then we’re gonna have opportunities throughout the fall to talk about real estate in the metaverse to talk about NFTs, to talk about the edge averse, um, and a whole bunch of other topics like that.

So if those areas are particularly interesting to you, you know, feel free to join all of these, we, we wanna hear from you, we wanna share with you. Um, but we’re also gonna get kind of specific as we go. The hope during all of them is that we are still really understanding, like, why does this matter? Like, how does it apply to us?

Why are we talking about it? Um, and a big part of that is like, what are the use cases, right? Why, why would I, why would I try to use it? Michele, hasn’t done it yet. She’s interested, but like, what’s gonna convert her. Like, why should [00:55:00] she try any thoughts on that before we close? I might jump in there if I could.

Cause you know, one of the areas that our college that got started in the metaverse first might surprise you. It was our indigenous studies group and indigenous studies. Like we have, um, indigenous population around our colleges as quite sizeable. But what the leaders and elders for the indigenous communities realized was that building a virtual world where indigenous students could go in and interact with one another, no matter where they were, cuz they’re spread out across a region, which is quite large.

They could go to a common place, um, that was theirs and it had, um, cultural features that they could interact with. And then they can also learn the language in the space. So it was a way of preserving culture, learning the language, meeting others that they may never meet because they’re too far away. Um, and that has grown.

So they started it off with, um, indigenous language in the [00:56:00] home, and then they built another one that’s indigenous language in the community. And now they’ve built another one that’s indigenous languages in, uh, the natural environment. And those are connected together. So they’re kind of building their own little metaverse, but the goal there is to connect that outwards into the world.

So the other indigenous communities and others that who maybe aren’t indigenous can interact in those spaces and learn about the culture and build those bridges that we’re trying to build. So that as a use case is, is fairly unique, but that’s the one that started first at our college. And I think there’s a lesson in that.

That’s very cool. Um, Steve, did you wanna add anything?

Yes, . And I’m speaking to you as Mona, um, Dr. Morris. So in, in thinking about getting started and why one should get started, the bottom line is the world is going to change very fast. Decentralization is [00:57:00] real it’s taking hold and, and the concentration of people in, in large urban cities, I think over the next 25 years will decline.

And mid-size cities, not just in the United States, but around the world will grow. And that’s because people will have the option to live, where they want to live, not just where a job or an educational opportunity was. So if that is the world of our future, then those of us that are, are listening now must be the ones along with a lot of other good people around the world to build this.

It needs to happen. Now it needs to start now and people will embrace it. It’ll be the early adopters. And then, um, you know, the regular adopters and the laggards, but ultimately just like the internet, uh, people will come around to it. You know, my parents,

we lost you there, Steve. Sorry. It might just be needed. Yeah. So, uh, that, that’s the reason why, because ultimately it’s going to happen. We are the ones who must build it [00:58:00] and, uh, we’re the ones who know the future. Yeah, I love that. That’s to me, that’s inspiring. Um, I, I know there’s been this growing, uh, FOMO, this fear of missing out on, on what this is and why it’s happening.

And I, I absolutely love that. Um, I know we’re coming up to time, so I just wanna say a couple of thank yous, uh, particularly to Jamie, Steve, Colin, Michele, um, everybody who’s joining both on stage and in the audience for your questions, uh, today. So this was our first segment of the metaverse, but we’ll be doing this every month.

It’ll be the first Thursday of the month at 11. Uh, we record on clubhouse and then we, uh, we use the replay to post it as a podcast, which you’ll find anywhere that you can find podcasts as well as on Um, some little hints for what’s coming. So next month we have a guest speaker from. We have the offer of the metaverse a professional guide and we have a gaining enthusiast who has in the past planned anticipations around capturing obscure continent, specific [00:59:00] Pokemon.

I hope you’ll join us. Uh, and I, again, just a special, thank you for everybody who contributed to the conversation. Yeah. And just the next one to, um, I just wanna add on a little bit here, if you want notifications, um, on these very cool events, like the one that just happened. And as Carrie said, we’re gonna get deeper and deeper.

Um, just please go to and sign up for the email list. Um, and additionally, you can look at the transcripts as well as a blog post that will get posted in a couple of days. So thank you, um, Carrie and team and everyone for being part, the members for being a part of today’s first session and, um, hope you have a wonderful day and thank you again from the network.

Thank you so much. Awesome. Thank you. Can’t wait to talk about this more. Thank you.[01:00:00] 


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