Brought to you by MetaVRse

Alan is back in the podcasting saddle — alongside his partner in life and business Julie Smithson, plus colleague and marketing expert Alex Colgan — to take a look back at the last year of happenings in the XR metaverse.

2021 was quite a strange year, but there were several promising updates in the XR industry to make 2022 something to look forward to, and our panel discusses just a few; NFTs, Facebook, the Metaverse, and much more.

Alex: So, Alan, you know, just like getting back on the bicycle.

Alan: Amazing. Welcome to the XR for Business– wait a second, maybe we should call it the Metaverse for Business podcast. My name is Alan Smithson and I’m your host, and today we have a very special episode featuring two very amazing people: my wife and partner, Julie Smithson and our colleague Alex Colgan. We are going to have a year in review; what happened this year in virtual/augmented/mixed reality and the metaverse — obviously, the word of the year — and what our predictions are for 2022 and beyond. So I’m really excited to jump in here. Julie and Alex, welcome to the show.

Julie: Thanks so much. It’s great to be here and to recap all the amazing things in 2021, which I can’t believe we’re only a few weeks away from the end of the year already.

Alex: Absolutely. And glad to be back, Alan.

Alan: This year has been a transformative one where we’ve seen virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies — collectively “XR technologies” — really start to power training, marketing, e-commerce, and we’re starting to see this shift of mindset to the metaverse. And before we get started, let’s just kind of define what the metaverse is and really what it is, is a virtual, persistent world that allows anybody to play and interact and conduct commerce and business in virtual worlds. Whether you’re on a 2D screen like a cell phone or a tablet or a computer, or you’re entering in through virtual reality glasses or in the future now augmented reality glasses. And I just got back from Augmented World Expo with Julie and one of the most amazing things, Julie was on stage with some incredible people from Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile and, of course, the WebXR Awards. And what they did was they presented using technology, which is unique. I know it’s crazy to think that we’re using this XR technology to present real time, but they had four Hololenses, plus on stage live real time. Plus they had somebody calling in from Germany using a Hololens, and then they were projecting all of these views onto the screen. Now this seems a little bit sci-fi and it is, but I can really start to see where this is going in a very near future. The technology’s all here now, it’s just a matter of overcoming those social challenges and also overcoming the miniaturization of the technologies. But for now, what we’re seeing is a massive growth in the metaverse as a word, but also as a concept for the future of the internet. So Julie, what are your thoughts on where we’ve come in the last 12 months?

Julie: Yeah, sure. So many learning experiences from multiple different perspectives. I think we’ve learned a lot of new terminologies. We’ve learned a lot of new processes and procedures and things to do to create some of these experiences. In the work that I’m doing, understanding 3D modeling and the size of how many polygons are in an asset and what it takes to publish that out into the web as a fluid experience has been kind of the conversation starter and consistent in every single project that we’ve been working on. Everything from understanding what a better shopping experience is like to a new training experience. There’s brand new processes and things that need to be thought about, from translating hard 2D documents into an immersive experience. So the challenges that lay ahead for businesses to be able to use these different applications in their processes and how they’re selling things or how their employees are being trained. There’s a lot of taking that step back and really looking at how spatial design will change the end experience for that user. So from my perspective, I feel like it’s just been one long classroom in 2021, trying to build out what the best way of producing something is, or translating a particular bit of content, or showcasing something in a spatial design. So the learning journey definitely continues, from multiple different perspectives

Alan: To put things in a little bit perspective for the listeners. The work you’re doing is quite revolutionary. You’re actually one of the clients we’re working with as a medical device manufacturer, and they’re revolutionizing and changing their entire training methodology. So they went from in-person three day courses where they had the physical product there — where you could learn on, you could get your screwdriver out, learn how to unscrew everything and fix it — to fully digital and virtualized environments. And this has a number of major benefits, including, obviously, travel; during COVID that wasn’t possible, but even now, traveling to train somebody just seems a little bit excessive. So being able to train people remotely from whatever device they happen to have is a massive advantage, and we’re already seeing that company that we’re working with really expand this program to all of their products. And we’re also seeing this with a consumer electronics brand that is using 3D technology on the MetaVRse engine to really bolster sales, because they’re using it to train sales reps from all over the world on the new features of the new phones and devices. So we’re starting to see this renaissance of the 3D world, but also it’s bridging into the NFT world. And if you don’t know what an NFT is, well, you’ve been living under a rock. NFTs are non-fungible tokens, and they are revolutionizing how we transact in virtual worlds and giving value to digital goods. And Alex, I know you have a strong background in this whole blockchain world. So what are you seeing in 2021, that has been kind of the mainstay of this technology?

Alex: So absolutely, I have been doing some interesting work on the enterprise blockchain space for the last several years. I think what we saw with NFTs in 2021 is really a microcosm of what we’ve seen with other transformative technologies. You see the trajectory of XR over the last… jeez, eight years now at this point. It’s been stretched out over a while, but we really have seen the Gartner hype cycle play out in terms of massive upfront investments, massive press coverage, lots of speculation around where things were going and of course, a lot of optimism. And some of that optimism wound up being maybe overly optimistic and we saw somewhat of a bottoming out. But we have been moving on the slope of enlightenment for several years now, and XR, I think, is very complicated in the respect that there are hardware aspects, there’s software aspects, there’s content aspects, there are all these different components that all have to come together in order to really attain that mainstream adoption that ultimately is the endpoint of the hype cycle. And we’re really seeing the rubber hit the road, especially over the past year. These enterprise use cases for XR are going to increasingly translate over into everyday experiences for consumers. So what did we see with NFTs? We saw massive speculation on essentially speculative art assets. We saw a crash. They lost about 90 percent of their value overall in the market back in the spring. But they’ve stuck around and they do appear to be here to stay. We’re seeing that NFTs are increasingly being used as an alternative method for fundraising. They’re being used as collaborative efforts for smaller trading communities, really part of this overall revolution that blockchain started, but really creating these sub communities and individual speculative assets that are not necessarily going to break the bank compared to the transaction fees and speculation that’s rife in altcoins and the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains.

Alan: I think we’re seeing something similar to the whole ICO/ITO craze in 2016-17, where–

Alex: Absolutely.

Alan: –there was a ton of money get pumped into the system. And of course, that can’t last. It seems like irrational exuberance right now, but I think there’s going to be a market correction and what we’re going to see is the values kind of skyrocket in NFTs, and we’re seeing that in art right now. We’re seeing bored apes. You can’t get a bored ape for less than $10,000 right now, you can’t get a CryptoPunk for less than $10,000. And these are digital assets that there’s thousands of them in the world. But by creating kind of this digital scarcity, they’ve created value out of it. And I think this is going to last. But there’s going to be some winners and a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money, because it happens with these hype cycles that a lot of money gets poured in. Everybody’s excited and then the bottom kind of falls out and it corrects itself and then real value starts to be built on top of that. And I think we’re seeing this irrational exuberance now that’s going to lead us into 2022, where we have real easy ways to mint NFTs.

And in fact, we’re making an announcement somewhere around the time this will air of a partnership with Hedera. And Hedera is a blockchain built on hashgraph technology and that allows you to mint NFTs without the necessary gas fees and all the fees associated with that. But also, more importantly, it has none of the environmental impacts. It’s fast, inexpensive and no environmental impacts, which is why MetaVRse and Hedera have decided to partner together, and we’re very excited to announce that very soon. Either it’ll be announced before or after this podcast, not sure when this is going to air. But the fact is, this technology is booming right now. There’s a voracious market. I had an opportunity to speak at a conference this morning on the fashion metaverse, and people are buying fashion items of digital goods. And what they’re doing is they’re dressing their avatars. And this is really important, because now if you can dress your avatar and you can flex using these digital means, you no longer have to create physical goods and ship them around the world. And fashion is one of the largest contributors to environmental downfalls. And so if we can move some people’s fashionista style into the metaverse, I think we’re going to have a really amazing time to do that.

And you’re already starting to see fashion move into things like Fortnite and Roblox. And Nike just opened a Roblox store in the Roblox world, you can go around. It’s called Nike World. Vans did the same, they built a skate park so you can go and skateboard around in that. And you’re going to see these virtual worlds really become games, as well as social areas where you can hang out, but as well commerce platforms. So one of the things that we’re working on here at MetaVRse is allowing brands and individuals to be able to build the future of the technology together without having to code. And Julie, you are responsible, your head of operations for MetaVRse, and you are literally building the future of all this technology. And I’m really excited for the work that you are doing. So maybe take a step back and explain why having a platform that makes it easy to build and distribute this content without having to build an experience for iOS, and experience for desktop, experience for game consoles. One experience, when you click “publish” it goes to all devices instantly and equally. And I think this is really important. Maybe you can articulate why it’s so important that we simplify this process and reduce the amount of code necessary to make it available to all people.

Julie: Sure. I think that it comes down to that demand of experience that I want it here and now. There’s so many things in our world that we’re needing to be connected. We need to move on to the next thing. It’s the attention economy, simply. But when you’re creating things now, you don’t have– you don’t want to have that time to push it up to an app, and wait for permissions, and then load it onto the native app, and then share it out again. People are looking for those immediate experiences, and they’re also looking for easiness. Easiness of being able to create that. I think one thing that we’ve all learned in this last year is more about efficiencies and putting together processes that make things easier for us to deploy, and experience, and show, and activate, and things like that. And that’s what the MetaVRse platform actually allows you to do, because we make it easy through the drag-and-drop process of design and having that be replaced by coding, it opens the doors for so many people to be able to think creatively and create these spatial experiences through computing, that they may not have thought they had the the ability to do. But we’ve built that toolset to to change that. And with that comes a lot of new– again, new terminology, new design instructions. And the creativity of everyone, but mostly our next generation is so important. So if we can lend these tools to be able to allow them to create and publish something right to the web, the imagination is limitless from there.

Alan: Julie, the imagination of the collective is really, really interesting. And we– you and I have been making creator tools; previously Emulator, a tool for allowing you to connect music software to touchscreens. And one of the things that I really am interested in and it intrigues me, is that when you create tools that make it easy for people to create these experiences on, the community really starts to build things that you really had no idea. They start to build worlds, they start to build avatars. One of the things that’s most important to the future of the metaverse is the ability to take communities and bring them online, but also allow them to all contribute to the metaverse. Alex, you have been involved in developer relations for many years — previously with Leap Motion, now Ultra Leap — and now you’re doing developer relations with us. What are you seeing around the community aspect of this, and how do you see the future, I guess 2022, starting to work out with regards to the community and how their involvement is?

Alex: It sort of is a best of times, worst of times situation. The community is obviously not quite as energized as it would have been a few years ago. That’s just the nature of the beast, as far as new and emerging technologies versus technologies that are more stable, more mature, where a lot of the initial exploration has been done and it is more about production readiness than about the latest fun thing. We are seeing a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, though, around some of the new technologies that are coming out, the higher degree of performance, the confluence of a number of different technologies. 5G, different forms of interactive technologies, and obviously the latest generation of haptic gloves made a big splash at CES and AE over the past year. A growing frustration, I think, with some of the tools that are available to devs. Some of the fragmentation that they’re continuing to see on the hardware side, although there are also movements and open source projects at hand to try to reconcile some of these things. It’s never been a really great experience when you’re trying to deploy into all these different environments and all these different areas and having to parallelize a lot of your development if you want to be able to support more than one piece of hardware. Some of the speculative funding, of course, has dried up as the technology has matured. So a lot of devs are now wearing multiple hats and end up doing somewhat of a hybrid between the paid business projects versus the sort of more experimental work that they may be more passionate about. And I think one of the reasons why I continue to be excited to work with you guys and with the rest of the MetaVRse team is that we really do aim to make it easy both to be able to deploy universally and really to allow people to create whatever their skill level happens to be.

Julie: Yeah, people want to start connecting their worlds together. And this morning I received a request on “Can I create a business card, and can it link to my website, and can it link to my Shopify page, and can it do this?” And because there are so many metaverse worlds out there and ways to buy things or show things, people are trying to find a place to pull all of that stuff together. And right now there aren’t any platforms where you can drop in a link for one platform right next to the link for another platform that isn’t just 2D web based. And that’s what our platform offers, that interactivity of different worlds that are out there, and that’s kind of what’s coming together now. And that’s what we’re starting to see as a trend of pulling all of these different means of connection into one area.

Alan: You know, you mentioned something that really resonated with me, Julie. Everybody’s talking about the metaverse. But really, what the metaverse is, is the internet. It’s just an upgraded version of the internet, and it’s an internet that you can go into so you can use a 2D screen and go into walk around virtual worlds. But it’s also a 2D internet or the internet that comes out at you. So bringing three dimensional objects into your real world using those same devices. So the metaverse to me is really the internet, way better, in 3D that you can go into, or it comes out to you into the real world. And we’re already starting to see things like Snapchat filters being able to apply digital aspects to buildings and to people with face filters and with world filters. And of course, there’s the elephant in the room, a small company startup called Facebook, who is now–

Alex: Never heard of ’em.

Alan: Yeah, I mean, they’re a new startup, very rare to hear about them. But the fact that they set out and said, we are now Meta and we’re building the metaverse. It’s really an interesting time because when one of the biggest– well, *the* largest social media platform in the world puts a line in the sand and says, “We are building a metaverse and we want it to be interoperable with everybody else.” It makes me think, well, if that’s the case, then it *has* to be web-based. It *has* to be on the internet, because that’s how everything is interconnected. And if you have an app that you have to open and then you have to close that app and go to another app, it’s not going to be a seamless transition from world to world to world. And really, the metaverse is that, being able to take my avatar with my clothes and my bag kind of like walking around like Dora with your backpack full of things? You go from place to place to place and you can pull out your Sword of Damocles in one place and you can bring it over to Fortnite and play there, and you can bring it over to Roblox over there. But really, at the end of the day, if everything is built around the web, then we have this– we already have this infrastructure layer. So that lets us all communicate together. And I think that’s really exciting and that’s why we built MetaVRse, the platform as the communication layer on the web, because the web is really the unifier and it really democratizes access to this technology for everybody, you don’t have to have a supercomputer to start building and contributing and creating in the metaverse.

Alex: You might remember some years back, Facebook had initiated this effort to bring the internet to developing countries. Of course, what that really meant was that it was internet to developing companies mediated through Facebook. You asked me what the developer community at large is thinking about and what their pain points are. This is obviously one of the major pain points. I think anybody over the age of 30 probably remembers the earlier days of the internet when it was a lot more diverse than it is now. And there has been a sort of monolithization that we’ve seen through the late 2000s and through the 2010s. We’re now sort of at a point where we’re at a bit of a crossroads. Either we can go down a route where we have a lot of independent creators who are able to create unique, interesting spaces, building off of the back of platforms, but not necessarily being beholden to them. Or a metaverse that is by and large mediated by a few very powerful companies whose assumptions get baked so deep into the layer that it’s impossible to imagine another way that it could be done.

Julie: I think that the way that it’s going to play out is who who creates that immersion first and that interactability, because we’ve been working on this immersive technology for over 11 years, it’s that touch and feel, that pinch and zoom, that click and be ported into another world, and spinning around and whatever platforms, or marketing campaigns, or training experiences that introduces that touch and feel for that user is going to bring them more and more into that spatial internet, so to speak. And I think that that’s that next gateway is is how interactive a brand can be. We talk about selling experiences. While it’s not just about viewing experiences anymore, it’s about being part of that experience. Whether it’s adding an avatar and you’re in Justin Bieber’s concert the other day, with him as an avatar singing right in front of you, but also bringing in images of the concert goers into that world, where avatars also have a presence. So how do you make that interactive and start to hybrid[sic] those worlds together? Immersive is really, really the key to doing that.

Alan: It’s a whole new world. We started this podcast thinking about what are the top five takeaways of 2021 as a review. And now we’re going to look into 2022, but I just want to kind of articulate my personal five takeaways from 2021. Metaverse is the word of the year. It’s been cited in over 25,000 articles in the last three months, so metaverse is the word of the year. NFTs are driving insane amounts of investment. a16z, a very popular– Andreessen Horowitz, very popular investment firm, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the NFT blockchain crypto space and the Web 3.0/metaverse space, so that’s continuing to happen. XR, virtual/augmented/mixed reality is growing at exponential rates right now. Brands are starting to realize the power of this technology, not just because it’s cool and they have to have it, but because it actually drives value. And it drives value for consumers, for employees, and it’s really growing fast. The fourth thing is content creators are at the center of all of this. Without the content creators, without the community, we really have nothing. And the last thing, low code and no code platforms and creation tools will be prevalent. They will really unlock the power of the metaverse for everyone. And in fact, our mission at MetaVRse is to do that, exactly.

So looking into 2022 and beyond. What are some of the things we can think of here? And I actually came up with my five predictions for 2022 and I’ll listen now. And maybe, Julie, you can start to think of what do you think is going to come in 2022? But the first thing I predict is that the NFT market, as it stands today — November 29th, 2021 — will implode. I think we’re going to see a market correction where the value of a bored ape is going to bottom out, hopefully. I mean, I want to buy one, but I can’t afford a $10,000 ape. But there’s going to be things, some things. There’s a lot of people minting NFTs, and a lot of it is not going to be popular. So there’s going to be a bottoming out of the NFT market, in my opinion. I think there’s going to be a metaverse strategy created by every major corporation. We’re already seeing it with Nike. Nike has a head of metaverse now. We’re seeing it with Vans creating virtual worlds with Adidas. Shoe companies are on board. We’re seeing it with Gucci, Prada. All of these companies are building a metaverse strategy. So I think in 2022 we’re going to see every company in the world start to develop a metaverse strategy. And I think Meta/Facebook will continue to build their technology stack, but also lose consumer confidence. You know, I did a post on my LinkedIn, I did a poll and less than 20 percent of people still trust Facebook/Meta. And I think that will continue unless they have a radical redefine of what they’re doing with people’s data. And the last thing, MetaVRse — the platform, our MetaVRse — will become a dominant force in 2022, because we are building in a way that allows you to have a one click publish to billions of devices instantly, without having to code.

So this is going to open it up and we’re going to be launching MetaVRse 2.0 in the New Year. I can’t speak to the features right now, but I can tell you the new build has been completely rethought from the ground up to support all the needs of enterprise applications, and by doing that we’ll make it secure, we’ll make it robust and we’ll make it available to everybody in the world, thus pushing our mission forward to make the metaverse accessible to everyone. So, Julie, what are your predictions for 2022?

Julie: First of all, my lessons from this year, again, were a huge learning experience for both education and enterprise. Enterprise had to take a look at their teams and what skillsets they had. What teams do they need to create to even begin building immersive experiences if they’ve never been in this world before, and any kind of virtual presence of their products, or training applications, or retail applications? So the lesson of figuring stuff out in 2021 will now accelerate and put into plan for 2022 new teams who will have skillsets of being able to understand spatial computing and the execution of that for training applications, retail applications, and that sort of thing. I think businesses need to take a real look at who is on their team and how they can contribute towards that 3D world of interaction, interactability and what those interaction points are going to be to be able to apply them to the different things within the companies. As for education, same thing, it was another year of just learning how to teach kids, whether it be in school with all of these COVID restrictions, or online in a virtual space, and how kids overlap between the hybrid of learning there. So for 2022 in the education space, I feel like the teachers will have a lot more locked down on which kids do better in the different worlds and how they best learn. I feel parents will understand their kids in that respect as well and hopefully drive their learning towards the best methods for them to realize the content. I’ve seen, even through our own kids, changes of school curriculum being done differently because of the kids’ access to digital; certain math questions that are asked a certain way that they can’t use their calculators to make sure that they understand and comprehend quantifying things.

But coming back to tools of creativity, where I see these worlds enterprise and education coming together is supporting enterprise in trying to expand their use of this technology and utilizing the school systems and the creativity of the school systems to start to have hackathons of ideation of the best ways to create these experiences. And I think it’s really important moving forward that education and enterprise do work together and create the sustainability of jobs in a community, as well as help the skillsets that need to be emphasized or reskilled labor to introduce them to new methods or processes. And I think the hackathon method of even using MetaVRse engine being a tool for everyone that is easy to publish could be the great creator tool used to design and develop some of these new things that we’re going to see in 2022, because it’s only going to go faster from here. And if we can all work together, then we set the next generation up with the right jobs, being able to implement them into enterprise, as well as new processes and new ideas to digitally transform their worlds. Alex, what about you? Your predictions? You go for it. [laughs]

Alan: This is going on the public record, so act accordingly.

Alex: That’s right. I think over the coming year, we’re probably going to see a continuation of many of the same trends that we’ve seen for quite some time. It’s very easy to be bullish about adoption of XR. And I think every day we see this continual drumbeat of new releases, new launches, new content, new projects, new ways that the technology is being used in business and enterprise and gaming context. I think in 2022, we’re going to see the resurgence of LBEs. Location based entertainment took a massive, massive, massive hit during the COVID pandemic. A lot of really great studios and a lot of really great content disappeared. I think we’re going to see a resurgence of that. And I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: LBEs are quite honestly one of the best ways that we can bridge XR to regular everyday people, in terms of being able to experience something that they are unable to experience at home, which does require a fair amount of upfront technology investment. The way that XR is ultimately going to get to this breaking point where it hits mainstream adoption is honestly when the technology gets to a point that people can see themselves using it in their everyday lives. And that was the kind of the magic moment with the iPhone. It had a few core utilities. It launched on day one with no games whatsoever. Games were released for it, but it was something that hooked into your life and provided you with utility over and above anything that you could do without it. It augmented you as a human being. You had a calculator, a calendar, your email, everything at your fingertips. And of course, all these technologies existed for a long time before that. I owned a BlackBerry. There were plenty of generations of phones that came before, but the iPhone was really the first one to pull all these things together in a specific and unique way. We’re not quite at that point yet. I don’t know that we’re going to be at that point, even in 2022.

We are seeing a lot of these technologies coming together, but on the margins, we always see development moves at different rates. The future — I think it was William Gibson who said — is already here, but somewhat unevenly applied. 5G is going to continue to spread. We’re going to, as Alan suggested, see another crash in NFTs. Blockchain is in a bit of the same type of situation in terms of gaining a lot of adoption among people who are interested in speculation, but not necessarily in folks who want to be able to use it to buy coffee. You might remember that a lot of the early narrative around bitcoin was around it as an a form of alternative currency, but it has been so unstable and swinging mostly up but sometimes down that it’s really more a medium of speculation rather than a medium of exchange. And I think once we get to that point, we’re going to see more and more of a sea change like we did with digital banking, like we did with lots of other use cases where it faded into the background. On the enterprise side, we are seeing that blockchain is already kind of fading into the background. It’s less that exciting new technology that everybody is talking about, and it’s more just a new, better way for your folks in the IT department to be able to secure and manage data and credentials. We might see a move from Apple in 2022. If we do on the XR front, I think that will be possibly the big game changer that everybody’s been waiting for. We have been waiting for a while. I’m not making any predictions as far as what Apple will do.

Alan: The Apple rumor mill has been churning for years.

Alex: Of course. It’s years and years and years! But the second that they dip– well, Apple never dips their toe in anything.

Alan: They don’t dip. They are all in.

Alex: When they’re ready to move, they move. They move fast and then they transform entire industries in their wake. And that’s going to be one area to obviously watch very closely, because every industry that Apple moves into, they massively disrupt. And Facebook/Meta is obviously shoring their bets as best as they can. But Apple never moves until they’re ready, and when they’re ready, they’re ready.

Alan: Yeah, you know, we saw that with the watch. People– all the analysts were saying, “Oh, the Apple Watch. The launch was not so successful.” But if you look now, the Apple Watch outsells all Swiss watches by something like a hundred to one. They don’t enter this lightly. Actually, I read an article yesterday with the CEO of VNTANA. So VNTANA was a a technology [firm] out of Montreal and Canada here, and they had figured out occlusion from a single camera and really, really amazing stuff. And Apple bought them years ago. So they’ve been planning this for for many, many years. They take the long approach and regardless of what the Apple rumor mill says, they are definitely working on glasses. And when those hit the market, they’re going to be awesome. They’re going to be something that you must have. And our system will work on them, because we will force that to work, because if you don’t work on everything, you work on nothing. So you may as well have a ubiquitous system. And that’s really in our ethos here at MetaVRse is that it should, with one click, work on all devices. So very, very excited about that. Whether it’s 2022, 2025, 2030, it doesn’t matter. Really, we’re taking the long view of this is that right now you can consume this content on any device — tablets, computers, smartphones — but in the future it will be glasses. And we know this to be true and it’s coming. But really moving into 2022., I think we’ve created as an industry motion that cannot be stopped, and I think this is really, really exciting. And I want to thank you, Julie, and I thank you, Alex, for joining me on this podcast: annual review of 2021 and looking into 2022. This is going to be a fantastic year, and what a time to be alive in human history.

Julie: Absolutely. And I just– I think I want to just before we kind of close off is really emphasize the interactivity piece in the 3D interactivity component of all of this technology that before you get glasses, before you put that headset on, before you jump into those worlds, you need to be able to touch and interact with these new– these assets in front of you and thinking spatially with different perspectives and that sort of thing. That’s what I strive for when I talk about education is, before you even put that headset on making sure that you understand about spatial computing and 3D design. So moving into 2022, I think that will be understood a lot more, as the gateway into all of these other hardware technologies that will show the content in different ways. So, yeah, definitely an interesting 2022 to come. More accelerated, I’m sure, than 2021, but with a few more stronger plans and statements of work that are understood by multiple different parties and knowing what that plan is; to immerse their procedures or marketing experiences or whatever it is. So definitely interested to see what’s to come. But thanks so much for having us. And yeah, back over to you, Alex, for final words.

Alex: Yeah, I’m honestly tired of having digital worlds kind of stuck behind a little tiny glass rectangle that I have to carry around with me all the time. I want all that stuff to be like in the world with me, and I want to be able to interact with it directly, and I want to be able to switch between different realities. And all of the things that I think all of us have been talking and thinking and dreaming and building for the last, jeez, much longer than eight or nine years at this point. But we’re getting closer and closer all the time, and it’s been a very long journey and I expect we’re going to be at it for quite a lot longer. But once it comes, it’s going to come fast and it’s going to be a sea change and then everybody will be standing around scratching their heads, wondering what the hell happened.

Alan: It’s funny. It reminds me of almost 30 years ago when people were saying, “Why do I need a website?” We’re at the time. “Why do I need a metaverse site? Why do I need to get involved?” Well, the idea is that you don’t. You can go and live in a forest by yourself and enjoy nature. You don’t need to be involved in this. But if you are going to be in society, this is where society will be. And I want to make sure that I punctuate and finish this conversation with one thing that has been a personal mission for Julie and I, and that’s to lead everybody. Our goal, our personal mission, is to inspire and educate you, the listeners and the public to think and act in a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable way. So I’ll leave you with that. Whatever you build in the MetaVRse, please do so in a socially responsible way, making sure you take care of everybody in humanity, not to leave anybody out. We also take care of the economy. We want to make sure we grow. And also we must take care of the environment, because without that, we have no place to live. So with that, thank you so much for listening. This has been the XR/Metaverse for Business podcast. My name is Alan, Julie and Alex here. Thank you for joining me, and I’m really looking forward to a successful 2022 and beyond.

Julie: Thanks, everyone. Happy New Year!

Alex: Thanks, Alan. Happy New Year! Cheers.

Looking for more insights on XR and the future of business? Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify. You can also follow us on Twitter @XRforBusiness and connect with Alan on LinkedIn.

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