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In the last episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with John Gaeta, a creator, inventor and an Academy Award-winning designer best known for his work on the Matrix Trilogy, where he pioneered form-bending innovations such as "Bullet Time", “Virtual Cinema” and "Volumetric Capture" to envision human, hero and god-like moments.In 2015, John co-founded Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division: ILMxLAB. “ILMxLAB seeks to “Develop, Produce and Release premium, story-based Immersive Entertainment Experiences for Star Wars and other imaginative universes”.He served as its Executive Creative Director, overseeing content strategy and multi-platform portfolio development. John and I discussed how important AR and VR are, especially regarding hyper-realistic content. We discussed the role of user-generated content in the metaverse and the infrastructure challenges of creating a hyper-realistic metaverse. Please tune in for more of our value-packed 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 Tiffany Xingyu Wang, the Chief Marketing Officer at OpenWeb, a premium community engagement platform that serves 1000+ publishers and advertisers with 100M+ monthly active users. She was named a Forbes Most Entrepreneurial CMO, and the Most Innovative CMO by the CMO Club. She was previously the Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Spectrum Labs, a contextual AI platform set to build a safer internet and keep over 1 billion users safe online. Tiffany also co-founded Oasis Consortium, a think tank to advance digital sustainability through ethical standards and technologies for Web3.0, which launched the first comprehensive User Safety Standards for Web3. She is the host of Brand Safety Exchange, a destination of thought leadership for Trust and Safety leaders. She has been published and featured for her work in digital trust and safety on TIME, Harvard Business Review, MIT Technology Review, Forbes, VentureBeat, Digiday, Protocol, etc. Tiffany shared her expertise regarding sustainability in the metaverse, the dangers of the metaverse and the need for ethical standards in the immersive internet. We also discussed the Oasis Consortium that she founded and its important role in creating an open metaverse. Stay tuned for more and enjoy!
In this episode of The Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I interviewed the Co-Founder/Producer of Big Rock Creative (BRCvr), Athena Demos. BRCvr is an award-winning XR experience company creating groundbreaking experiences for global clients. Big Rock Creative won the Producer’s Guild Award for Innovation, the Aurea Award for creativity, the No Proscenium award for Best VR experience of 2020, and the Hermes' Platinum Award.She founded the LA League of Arts, a 501c3 organization created to foster community by facilitating the creative process through public art, education and events. She spent 8+ years as the Production Manager of the two-time Academy Award Winning documentary film company Moriah Films. Don’t miss out on our conversation as we discuss how brands can contribute to the metaverse and how governments should embrace the metaverse to develop public virtual spaces for everyone to enjoy.
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Benjamin Bertram Goldman. He is a producer, filmmaker, and media entrepreneur featured in The NY Times, CNN, WIRED, MSNBC, HBO, TechCrunch, BBC, FUJI TV, and Metavision. He has been exploring the metaverse creatively and professionally for over 10 years, with a particular focus on the intersection of the metaverse and the emerging world of virtual production. Benjamin studied virtual production at NYU and CG Spectrum, built and moderated several online communities, and today leads the creation of a virtual production studio at the sustainable investing firm Ethic, in addition to serving as a metaverse advisor to multiple companies. During the interview, we talked about avatars, identity in the metaverse, and how people interact with avatars. We also talked about how to deal with impostor avatars, some of the ethical challenges of the metaverse, and the role of NFTs in creating a rich and vibrant metaverse economy. 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 Bayan Towfiq, the Founder and CEO at Subspace, which is building a global private network for real-time applications and the new working-from-home reality as well as the metaverse. Subspace routes traffic over the world’s most highly available, ultra-low latency, global private network with a simple configuration change. During the interview, we discussed the technical challenges of building an open metaverse and what we need to bring hyper-realistic volumetric data to VR and AR devices all around the world. We also covered in-network applications and why they are crucial for the metaverse, as well as the role of blockchain. 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 Alec Lazarescu, the Vice President of Software Engineering at Savvas Learning Company. He also founded VerseTech Metaverse, an educational organization committed to growing conversations and thought leadership on applying emerging technologies, including AI, XR, VR, and AR, as well as blockchain, to the evolving concept of the metaverse. In addition, he runs the largest AI, chatbot, and voice community in New York City. Alec has expertise in defining and executing the technical strategy and architecture for innovative solutions leveraging the latest in NLP research, voice, machine learning frameworks, and distributed cloud infrastructure best practices. A hands-on leader focused on working alongside C-level executives and founders from enterprise companies, SMBs, and startups to bring products from concept to market while building and empowering high-performing engineering teams. Tune in to our conversation as we discuss the role of blockchain in the metaverse, the danger of the metaverse, and the role of digital fashion in the immersive internet. Enjoy!
In this episode of the Step into the Metaverse Podcast, I had a chat with Neil Trevett, the Vice President of Developer Ecosystems at NVIDIA, where he is responsible for enabling and encouraging advanced applications to use GPU acceleration. Neil is also serving as the elected President of the Khronos Group, where he created and chaired the OpenGL ES working group that defined the industry standard for 3D graphics on mobile devices. At Khronos, he also chairs the OpenCL working group for portable, parallel heterogeneous computing, helped initiate the WebGL standard that is bringing interactive 3D graphics to the web and is now working to help formulate standards for vision and neural network inferencing. Previously, as Vice President of 3Dlabs, Neil was at the forefront of the silicon revolution bringing interactive 3D to the PC, and he established the embedded graphics division of 3Dlabs to bring advanced visual processing to a wide range of non-PC platforms. Neil was elected President for eight consecutive years of the Web3D Consortium dedicated to creating open standards for communicating real-time 3D on the Internet. Neil will talk to us about a constellation of standards necessary to have a truly interconnected metaverse or an interoperable metaverse. We discussed the need for an open metaverse, what we need to do to achieve that, and how we can keep our data private in the metaverse. Don’t miss out on our super interesting 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 Richard Kerris, the Vice President of the Omniverse developer platform and the industry general manager for media and entertainment at NVIDIA. NVIDIA’s Omniverse is an easily extendible platform with 3D design collaboration and scalable multi-GPU real-time true-to-reality simulation. With a career spanning Apple, Lucasfilm and Amazon/AWS, Richard’s experience combine driving marketing and product development with a focus on bringing new ideas to life. At Apple, he directed developer relations and managed Final Cut Pro, Logic and Aperture. At Lucasfilm, he served as CTO, managing research and development, IT and information services. Richard has given keynote addresses at GTC, Asia Broadcast and China Joy Expo and delivered multiple Apple Worldwide Developers Conference presentations. He currently serves on the Bay Area Board of the Visual Effects Society and is an active member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Richard and I discussed the importance of interoperability and transferability of assets across the metaverse. We talked about digital twins, how the Omniverse platform can help enterprise organizations, and how important content will be for the metaverse. 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 interviewed Justin Hochberg, the Founder and CEO of the Virtual Brand Group (VBG), which strategizes, builds, and monetizes brands in fashion, entertainment, sports, retail and lifestyle across all of web3. Some of their most recognized successes include turning Forever 21 into one of the Metaverse’s “top 10 brands for 2022”, launching “The Voice” singing competition, which airs in 145 territories, into Decentraland and designing Barbie’s first-ever virtual fashion line, which was one this year’s most successful launches. Justin is an innovation, revenue, and partnership-focused senior executive with a multi-national career spanning the USA, the E.U., and Eastern Europe in technology and entertainment. He has a proven track record from Microsoft to Hollywood, creating 70+ multi-million-dollar deals, 40+ TV series, and over $500MM in new revenue. Join us as we discuss how the metaverse will completely change marketing, why brands need to take a different approach if they want to be successful in the immersive internet, some of the brands that are doing a good job already, and much more. See you on the inside! 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 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.
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