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In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Matthew Brewbaker, the Founder and CEO of VEU Inc., a metaverse development company focused on the future of virtual entertainment. Matthew started his career in entertainment development at companies including New Regency, The Donner's Company and Ithaka. He worked in production on Hollywood movies like Hancock and First Daughter. He previously worked first-hand at the intersection of technology and art, with Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis and his company, Imagemovers on 3D CGI films such as Beowulf and Disney's A Christmas Carol. With over 15 years of experience, Matthew is most recently known for his role as chief producer on Followed, which toured the festival circuit winning, before opening as the #1 new release in drive-ins and theatres in Summer 2020. Matthew will share his great wisdom on how the metaverse will change entertainment as we know it and how brands should embrace this new paradigm if they want to remain relevant in the coming decade. He also talked about the role of user-generated content and how we can have a rich and vibrant economy. Tune in, enjoy, and don’t forget to share. If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Kevin O'Donovan, the Founder of the boutique technology consultancy company, A Bit of This and That, which focused on the intersection of technology and the energy industry, delivering innovative technology consultations, sales advisory, speaker and B2B Influencer services. The company has been involved with new technologies and their potential in an economic and socio-cultural context for more than three decades. Being a bit of a storyteller, Kevin has been evangelizing how new technologies can transform the way we do things throughout his career. He advises international clients in the digital evolution process and real-life digitalisation implementation, primarily in the energy industry. Kevin has a proven track record of bridging the gap between new technology's capabilities and the practicalities of bringing that technology to market. He has held senior leadership technical sales and sales management roles at Compaq, HP and most recently at Intel, where he was Intel’s Worldwide Sales Director for the energy industry. He came on to share his wisdom on the Internet of things (IoT) and digital twins, how important they are for the metaverse, and how they will define the enterprise metaverse. He also talked about how governments can benefit from the immersive internet and how it could disrupt the energy sector. You won’t want to miss this episode. Enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here. 
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I chatted with Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, an Associate Professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information. Ratan received his Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, his M.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and his B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, also from Stanford University. Dr. Ratan’s research focuses primarily on the psychological experience and effects of media use, with an emphasis on avatars, video games, virtual worlds, and other interactive environments (e.g., the road, online education) that include mediated self-representations (e.g., avatars, automobiles, selfie videos). He is particularly interested in how different facets of mediated self-representations (e.g., self-concept) influence the psychological experience of media use and how different parts of this psychological experience (e.g., embodiment, identification) affect a variety of outcomes, including education behaviours (e.g., classroom performance), health-related behaviours (e.g., food choice), and prejudicial/prosocial attitudes (e.g., gender/race bias). His work also emphasizes the social implications of media use concerning gender and race-related disparities in meaningful contexts (e.g., STEM fields). In our in-depth conversation, we talked about the role of avatars, including what the requirements and characteristics of avatars will be. We discussed the risk of ending up in the Uncanny Valley, the risk of imposed avatars, and so much more. Tune in and enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
n this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Robert Rice, the Founder and CEO of Transmira, Inc., the developer of Omniscape, an XR platform seamlessly blending Augmented and Virtual Reality together, focusing on location and monetization. He is an experienced technology and startup executive and advisor with over 25+ years of experience. Noted as an Internet Gaming Pioneer by Advertising Age magazine in 1996, Robert was also called a “Founding Father of the Digital Nation” in 1998 by The Raleigh News & Observer. He is an authority on mobile augmented reality, persistent immersive environments, virtual reality and worlds, massively multi-user online games, and simulations. Robert coined the term “XR” in 2014 as an umbrella term for AR, MR, and VR together or in a seamless combination of each together. It is now an industry standard term. During the interview, we discussed how XR will change our society in the coming decade, the centralized versus decentralized metaverse, and how we move from one metaverse space to another. We also covered the role of digital twins and some of the dangers we can expect in the metaverse. Stay tuned for more. If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Michaela Larosse, a founding member of The Fabricant Team and the Head of Content and Strategy. The Fabricant is a digital fashion house creating unique fashion items for the metaverse. As a conceptual writer for global brands and a business journalist specialising in media trends, Michaela is the creator of The Fabricant's brand narrative and philosophy. Her writing is influential across the creative industries. It gives insight into The Fabricant's work splicing the worlds of fashion, tech, gaming and blockchain, where it wastes nothing but data and exploits nothing but imagination. Michaela and I will dive into digital fashion, its role in the metaverse, and how The Fabricant is embracing the future in a unique way. Tune in and enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Doug Jacobson, the Co-founder of Big Rock Creative, an XR company producing large-scale events in VR. Big Rock’s first large project, BRCvr, created a fully immersive Burning Man festival in social VR starting in 2020, which generated much positive PR, including an article in Wired Magazine. He has since worked on projects ranging from directing an XR music video featuring Pitbull to throwing an event-packed 3-day New Year's Eve event to facilitating a Hollywood red carpet premiere in VR. Doug’s background is in the film industry; he graduated from USC film school in the 90s with honours. Throughout his career, Doug has written, directed, produced, and edited several festival award-winning narratives and documentaries. His most notorious documentary features the Burning Man festival, "Journey to the Flames, " which has been screened nationally and internationally. His last documentary project was co-edited by the award-winning doc “Selling Lies”. He’s also had a long career as an award-winning editor in TV and film. Doug is also one of the founders of the “Black Rock Yearbook”, one of the most significant and longest-running photography projects in Burning Man history. Every year, he produces the Yearbook – a photo book filled with thousands of individual Black Rock City Participants, group camp photos and art. A lover of technology and new ways of storytelling, Doug has been spending time in VR – shooting 3D video, building worlds, and guiding new users through Alternative realities in digital space.He joined me to talk about Burning Man and later showed me around the Virtual Plier. We discussed the future of massive interactive live events, digital real estate in the metaverse, and its ethical challenges. Enjoy the conversation! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Christian Ulstrup, the Co-Founder and CEO of Virgilis, which focuses on building bridges back to reality by helping parents and kids get control of family screen time. With his work, he aims to help psychiatrists understand virtual reality and coach them on how to use these digital tools for the benefit of patients. During the interview, we discuss the mental health issues related to the metaverse and how it will change people’s behaviour. We covered how virtual reality can help people with mental issues and what ethical issues we can expect in the metaverse. Stay tuned for that and more! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I chatted with Jason Cassidy, the Co-Founder of the Metaverse Group, the first virtual real estate company in the world offering exposure to the industry of virtual land via the metaverse. They facilitate virtual real estate buying, selling, renting, and investing. Jason founded Non-Fungible, an NFT luxury art curator and NFT artist incubator. He is also the Co-Founder of Not Fungible, Co-Founder of Digitible, and Owner and CEO of Game Credits. He has over twenty years of financial and technical experience, including seven years managing various software technologies at BlackBerry. From working in concert with numerous Fortune 500 companies and governmental bodies to travelling the world to gain a global perspective, he has an eclectic background that spans the gamut. Tune in as Jason, and I discuss the pros and cons of real estate in the metaverse. That will be especially interesting because our chat took place just a few days after the Metaverse Group had purchased 160 parcels of land in Decentraland for what was then $2.4 Million. We will also cover the role of NFTs for the next iteration of the internet and much more. If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Cai Felip, the Founder and CEO of Union Avatars, a company blurring the lines between the virtual world and reality. Union leads the production of realistic 3D avatars for virtual worlds. Their mission is to help the future of virtual identity in the metaverse. They provide avatar solutions so you can realistically represent yourself in video games, social media, virtual reality worlds, or gamification.Cai and I will talk about all things avatars, digital identities and online repetition. We’ll also dive into the threat of imposed avatars and how brands should approach Gen Zs and Gen Alphas, also known as the “Metaverse Natives”. It’s going to be a super interesting conversation, so don’t miss it.If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Lindsey McInerney, the Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Wall, a new venture exploring the intersection of web3 and entertainment and the digital arm of Mila Kunis' Orchard Farm Productions. Lindsey calls herself an early internet nerd and tech futurist. She is consumed by the metaverse's emergence and excited about how crypto, blockchain, gaming, NFTs and XR will change our current digital and physical landscape.As a former global head of technology and innovation at AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, she learned to brand into the metaverse. Tune in as we discuss the important role that NFTs will play in the metaverse, what brands need to do if they want to become successful in the metaverse, how the metaverse will change the future of work, as well as the ethical challenges of the metaverse. Enjoy!If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Ryan Gill, the Founder of the Open Meta DAO, a community that supports the delivery of the products, experiences, services, best practices, and tools that will make the Open Metaverse a reality. Ryan is also the Founder of Crucible, a company that is working to create the universal open infrastructure that joins the worlds and economies of many talented game developers, web developers and artists so that can easily access new decentralized web technologies such as DeFi or NFTs, and networks of players and marketplaces where users are spending billions. He is also a venture partner at Outlier Ventures. Ryan Gill is an innovator who is constantly looking out for new trends. Being a neo-polymath, his knowledge and discipline cover many fields, from finance, and blockchain, to technology. Prior to starting Crucible, Ryan was in the Los Angeles Venture Capital and Startup world, where he built companies with high-profile partners and made a living translating between founders and investors. He comes on to talk to us about the open metaverse and what it will take to get there. He will also share his knowledgeable insights on the role of NFTs in decentralized finance, what kind of new business models we can expect in the metaverse, and so much more. Stay tuned! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Vincent Hunt, the Founder of Better Design Co., a United States-based Cross Reality (XR) experience design company that specializes in the convergence of XD, Web3 and the Metaverse. He’s an American entrepreneur, multidisciplinary creative, investor and advisor with over two decades of experience in the digital domain. His work weaves experience in design, Web3 and the rapidly emerging ideas, concepts and technologies collectively known as the metaverse to deliver moments of truth across multiple realities for visionary brands. Vincent envisions a future where brands and the experiences they deliver will live across multiple realities blurring the line between the physical and the virtual world. During the interview, we discussed how companies can build loyalty with Commerce, and the steps brands need to take if they want to enter the metaverse. We also covered how the metaverse will change education or marketing, and how the metaverse will change the future of work. Stay tuned for more! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Paul Hamilton, the Founder of vTogether, a consultancy and virtual space design and build team making good things happen in the real world across multiple VR platforms. He is also the Managing Director of MENA Ogilvy Consulting. Paul has been designing, building, and leading strategic innovation on the global growth agenda for over 30 years.​ ​ He combines creativity with top-level strategy, digital and innovation leadership using design thinking and human-centric approaches, traditional analytical strategy tools and techniques, and, more recently, applications of AR/VR.​ During the interview, we discuss the key characteristics of building an open metaverse, community role, and how we can create a diverse and inclusive metaverse. We also cover the role of identity, how avatars will help shape the metaverse and true identity, the dangers of the metaverse, how the enterprise can benefit from the metaverse, and so much more. Enjoy the conversation! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Jimi Daodu, the founder of Vault Hill, an extended reality (XR) blockchain-based metaverse designed to make you feel more you. Jimi has a strong focus on the open metaverse and is passionate about building a human-centric metaverse. Prior to Vault Hill, he ran a number of successful transformation and digital change programmes, including a divestment between Barclays Bank Plc and Absa. Jimi will graciously share his wealth of expertise around the open metaverse, the importance of blockchain for the immersive internet, self-sovereign identities, the importance of data ownership, and what role decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) will play in the metaverse. This is one episode you will not wanna miss. Enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of The Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Chris Matthieu, the Founder and CEO of XRPANET, a planet-scale digital twin platform with XR Cloud services for the outdoors that is lined up to become the world's first XR Spatial Web.Chris is a serial entrepreneur with five emerging tech startup exits to date, and he currently focuses on decentralization and metaverse technologies and strategies. He is an entrepreneur in residence for Intel and is a former senior director for Magic Leap.Join us as we discuss a wide range of metaverse topics ranging from the future of the metaverse, what we can expect from VR and AR in the years ahead, the role of communities in the metaverse, the business models of the metaverse and the role of digital twins. Enjoy the conversation!If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with David Francis, David is a creative technologist and strategy specialist in the complexities of working with augmented, assisted, virtual reality, IoT, and AI. He’s heavily involved in extending AR and VR into the industrial world, introducing various advanced wearable solutions that facilitate industrial 4.0 and the industrial internet of things plus AI. He has conceived, produced and launched AR and VR for many of the world’s biggest brands for more than a decade. During the interview, we discuss the technical challenges of building the metaverse, how big the metaverse will be, how important the metaverse will be for the enterprise, and the various new jobs the metaverse will create. If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Christiaan Eisberg, the Founder and CEO of Straight Fire, a Web3 start-up bridging the real world with the metaverse, through building the first NFT Social dApp and unique NFT collections. He is a metaverse explorer, serial entrepreneur, and experienced operational and commercial executive, specialised in brand building, client management, digital commerce, and organisational transformation. He has a 20-year background in Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, in heavy industries and consumer brands, in the West and the East. After various executive roles in BP, he co-founded and grew menswear brand Martyn Bal into an international success, served as CEO of celebrity- favourite handbag brand Meli Melo and co-founded European fashionTech platform “A lovely thing”. Subsequently, Christiaan co founded FIVE group, a Sino-European advisory firm, is mentor of various start-ups and a frequent speaker on branding, digital commerce and NFTs. Now he and his team are shaping the future of NFTs and building an essential part of the NFT infrastructure through Straight Fire. Christiaan and I had a fascinating conversation about all things NFTs, the rise of iCommerce, how brands can build loyalty within the metaverse, the use of IP and copyright with NFTs, and so much more. Stay tuned and enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Jerry Heinz, the Executive Vice President, the Global Publishing Platform at Genvid Holdings Inc., a company that is delivering a brand new form of entertainment combining the best of traditional storytelling with the immersion and interaction of video games. Genvid calls that category Massively Interactive Live Events (MILEs). Jerry is a thought leader in cloud gaming, beginning his career in network protocol design for multimedia data transport over low-bandwidth networks. He brought GPUs to the cloud, launched the first cloud GPU-based servers in AWS, and holds multiple patents in the space.His desire to play any game on any screen, without the limits of hardware, led him to launch Amazon Test Drive, Amazon AppStream, and games on Fire TV. Because he believed that game streaming and related interactive experiences were fundamentally hardware problems, he moved to NVIDIA and built the infrastructure that supports their GeForce NOW service and their AI cloud data centres.He is the previous CTO of ActZero, where he led all engineering and drove the company's Research and Development efforts in its evolution as an AI-powered cybersecurity service provider. Join Jerry and me, as we discuss the technical requirements to make the metaverse possible, the companies building the hardware required for it, how to scale the hardware to make immersive events with hundreds of thousands of people in the room possible, and so much more. Enjoy! If you are interested in learning more about the metaverse, you can order my book Step into the Metaverse here.
In this episode of The Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed Hannah Glass, a senior associate in the leading financial markets team at King & Wood Mallesons, specialising in blockchain technology, fintech and payments. She advises a broad range of clients, from start-ups and crypto asset exchanges to ASX 50 companies and governments on current and emerging legal issues which arise from using innovative technologies in a complex regulatory environment.Hannah is at the forefront of the development of the legal framework for fintech in Australia. She has worked with industry bodies and government on issues ranging from central bank digital currencies, regulatory sandboxes, legislative treatment crypto-asset and assisting industry on their response to the Senate inquiry into Fintech and Regtech. She is regularly invited to participate in forums with the government to discuss policy issues.Hannah sits on the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee and is the chair of the Regtech Working Group, exploring the use of distributed ledger technology to assist in meeting legal, regulatory and compliance obligations. She is also a member of DISER’s RegTech Stakeholder Reference Group. She has been named “band 3” in Chambers and Partners FinTech Guide 2022, after 3 years as “up and coming”. Hannah is the only non-partner listed in this category. She is a fellow of Blockchain Australia, and a member of Global Blockchain Convergence and Wall Street Blockchain Alliance.Hannah and I discussed the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the metaverse, NFTs, and crypto. We talked about the challenges surrounding NFTs, for example, when it comes to copyright and intellectual property issues, but also how we can protect consumers when it comes to the massive amount of data extraction we can expect to happen in the metaverse. Enjoy the conversation.
In this episode of The Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Timmu Tõke, the Co-Founder and CEO of Ready Player Me!, a cross-game Metaverse Avatar platform that allows you to create a consistent virtual avatar to use to travel across virtual worlds or multiverses. Their goal is to become the default avatar system for the Metaverse. To achieve this, they work to facilitate avatar interoperability by providing developers a scalable avatar creation system to allow them to focus on creating games faster. They offer SDKs for Unity and Unreal Web, and many other platforms, as well as support. Timmu and I will dive into what it takes to create an avatar system, how avatars ensure self-sovereign identity, the important role digital fashion will play in the metaverse, what life in the metaverse will look like, why there needs to be a universal system for different worlds, identity validation in the metaverse, avatar interoperability (And why building open worlds over closed worlds is key), and so much more. Stay tuned and enjoy!
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