Jan 16, 2024

Futureverse co-founder Shara Senderoff joins "First Mover" to discuss Readyverse, a metaverse project inspired by the legendary novel and film.

Video transcript

Time for our beyond Bitcoin segment. On this segment, we talk about everything outside of the Bitcoin universe. But I have to mention, I think we're all in agreeance that Bitcoin paved the way for so many of the innovations we talk about on this segment. But this segment is for the innovation and creativity happening in the broader crypto sphere. One of those innovations is a new partnership between Future Verse and ready player. One to build the ready verse. Joining me now to tell us what that is is Future Verse co-founder, Shera Senderoff. Shea, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here. I'm excited to talk to you about this because if you talk to anyone building a metaverse or a web three game ready player, one always comes out. So tell me about the partnership. Uh how did this come to be? So for that exact reason, we also believe that Ready Player one was one of the most mainstream properties to showcase truly what an open interoperable metaverse can be and the foundations and themes that Ernie Klein envisioned and were of course, then showcased in Steven Spielberg's Blockbuster film showed the world where, where we're headed obviously to a bright future that allows for a lot more control and individual so over their assets and their finances and, and the promise of Blockchain as we all know. So this came to be a couple of years ago, we got together with Ernie Klein and we realized that his vision in the books was exactly what future Verse had set out to build. And we put together the metaverse infrastructure that is needed to actually bring a lot of the themes in the books in the movie to life. And so we started talking to Ernie and ended up approaching Warner Brothers. And through a lot of conversations, we all realized how aligned with were in the opportunities for the future and taking what is in this property and bringing it to life in the metaverse. And it, it led us to launch what we announced last week, Ready Verse Studios, which is the promise of the open metaverse, but not only using Ready Player one IP, it's a multiworld, multi ip interoperable metaverse where multiple iconic IP S will come to life and, and web three properties and NFT collections that we've come to know over the last couple of years will all be interoperable and, and experienced in their own ways. But then collectively wove it in together. Did you approach Ernie or did Ernie approach you? It was both of us kind of going out at the same time. So Ernie and, and his producing partner Dan Farrow, who produced the movie, they had been talking to all the big usual suspects in Tech. And Ernie truly has a very specific vision from his heart on what would make him want to do that and it had to be done the right way. And when we sat down with him, Ernie and, and he said this in a bunch of media and he'll continue to say it again. We were the only people that had the technology he was looking for to bring it together now, but also shared in alignment of the values that we want to bring to this. So that it's done the right way was his mind was his mind almost like blown that this thing that he dreamt up and created so long ago could actually become a reality. He was, in fact, he said that he thought it would take 10 to 30 more years to come to life. And so he's been in a lot of shock when we lifted up the hood and showed him a lot of the components of the technology under the future Verse platform. He couldn't believe it. He was like the fact that this can happen in 2024 was not what I thought would be, but here we go, let's let's make it a reality. And he wanted to be a part of it, which is a huge part of what makes this really special is the creators are a part of what we're doing. And him being a founder of this company showcases not only a signal to Hollywood that we're approaching this from the creator first perspective, but he's it completely involved with working on narrative game loops, quest loops of what the experience will become. And he's one of the greatest storytellers in the world. So I think people don't realize that these experiences that we'll see develop over the next few years, not only in what we're building, but the interconnectivity of what everyone's building will will and can be built on incredible stories. What part was he most shocked about when he saw the technology, when he saw what could be built. What was the part that was most shocking to him? I think for him, it was around digital ownership. It was the fact that and the true interoperability of finances and assets because the way he outlined his vision in Ready Player, one, he showcased the ability for an avatar to become anything they wanted to be for you as an individual to choose who and how you wanted to show up in the metaverse and then effectively take in your wallet. All of the things that you own and move through different experiences pay in real time and interchanging currencies. And for you not to think about how that worked. And that was the beauty of the movie. When you follow pars, all he goes through games and experiences and he doesn't like take out his wallet and think. Oh, I just moved worlds now. I have to switch my currencies. It all operates invisibly and seamlessly. So the user experience can allow for the wish fulfillment that we saw in the books in the movie. And that's truly what this will become. And that was the biggest part for him of saying, wow, this can come to life right now. You know, I've, I've dabbled in some of the metaverse platforms that are out there. I've tried to play some of the web three games that are out there. And the experience is quite rudimentary at the moment. I think to say the least there are still a lot of moving pieces, still a lot of problems to solve for folks who are building in this realm. What's different about Ready Verse? Do you see yourselves um at the very beginning of a long journey? And if so, how long do you think it's going to take to reach that ready player, one type of world? So I think that the beginning of this will roll out in experiences this year and will continue to roll them out over the next few years. I think there's going to be a lot of things that are going to change how the evolution of this works from things like the Apple Vision Pro that we're going to see come out in, I think a month now maybe three weeks, we're going to start to see different elements of technology that are going to accelerate different pieces. So this isn't uh we'll see you in 10 years type of situation. This is something that we've been building over the last we've as future verse, we've been building for 5 to 6 years. The pieces of technology that are needed for this and specifically for the ready verse we've been building for the last two years. So this is coming this calendar year and over the next few years, different components of it will roll out. But the hardest challenge in this space truly live and interoperability, the ability to move a particular asset from one place to another seamlessly. And that's what we've been building technologically for and solving for which are some of the hardest things out there. And that's why you haven't seen a truly defining experience for what the metaverse can be because the interoperability hasn't been there yet. Now, we're about to showcase all the components of what we built that will make that a reality. Let's talk about what interoperability means. Uh You know, I think we use the word so so often. But what does that actually mean? Does that mean I can go from universe to universe just like I can from country to country shop to shop in the physical world? I'm so glad you brought that up because I, I talk about it all the time and I I explained it to my mom like this if I and I did this this morning. So I'll take you through the interoperable existence that I had in the real world. I went to Starbucks and I used my Starbucks stars to get a coffee. Then I went and had a meeting and I used Apple Pay because the restaurant was an Apple Pay only. And then later I went to a store and bought a book and I used my credit card, I didn't think. And then I took that coffee with me to my meeting and then I took the book back into my house. So from that experience, we're living in an interoperable world. Yet, digitally, we're not, we have to have different logins for different systems. We can upload different assets on different platforms, but then we can't take them somewhere else, they're watermarked or they're simply not allowed to exit. So if you think about the fact that our real life is interoperable, just like you said, I can get on a plane and fly to see you in person, we can't do that easily online. And that's because of the structures and the systems and frankly, some of the control that has been built into a lot of the technology platforms that we use every day. So in order to change that we have to create interoperability assets, engines, smart contracts, I don't want to get too much in the weeds, but we have to create all the systems with which these things can move through and assets can move through. So for example, think about how you might have a digital asset in NFT that that's 3D game ready looking, but then you might have a flat two D JPEG style image. Well, that, that image shouldn't not be able to come to life. So how do you bring it through? How does it turn into a 3D asset? And then if it is a 3d asset, but one looks low poly or more pixelated and another form of creative looks totally 3d and photo real. How do you exchange the two? And that has to happen through a piece of technology we built called the asset register that allows those assets to, to evolve based on where they're going. So that just shows you the complication of this type of technology. It's not easy and it has to be built at every layer of how an asset can move, but eventually and and not too far out will be there. And that's how our existence digitally will start to take shape in a way that is much more similar to how we exist in the real world. She you brought up the aspect of control and we're dealing with intellectual property here. And my mind often goes, you know, when we're talking about interoperability online across different IP that has been governed by these ironclad contracts for so so long, how does interoperability actually work. Like let's, let's take two big IP S like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and Ready player. One, if I want to move between those three universes one day, uh Does it become difficult based on the different properties and, and the different contracts that were put in place years ago? No. So that's the beauty of Blockchain. And that's where I think this buzzword soup as I like to call it, we're throwing out Blockchain metaverse A I all these different terms. The biggest and most important piece of that is the Blockchain because it authenticates and it tracks the copyright and the ownership back to the person who originated it, the creator or the rights holder or whatever it may be at that, that entry point of that IP. So if we create assets related to ready player, one, for example, those assets will originate on the Blockchain, you will always be able to track where they go, how they're traded, the revenue and micro transactions coming off of that particular IP and it will go back to the rights holder. That's the problem right now in, in the real world, we don't have the ability to track and, and identify and authenticate and, and properly funnel the right compensation back to the right creators. And so that's what Blockchain as the piece of this puzzle helps us do. I guess my question is when I think about this, it's like, let's say maybe I, I can create a different scenario, let's say there's a Disney metaverse and a Netflix Metaverse and, and for their own reasons, Disney doesn't want me going into the Netflix uh Metaverse. Is there a world in which a company could still have that kind of control over which, which universe I'd like to visit online or does the technology solve for that as well? So that's exactly what we've set out to do is create the open metaverse. And the reason for the focus on the open metaverse is because all of these things need to be interconnected. So that a consumer has a better experience. You brought up a really good point. We always like to really emphasize that it, there aren't, it isn't a metaverse, there aren't Disney's metaverse and this person's metaverse, it's the metaverse just like the internet. If I came to you and, and you were interviewing me now and I said I'm gonna build an internet, you'd be like an internet. Well, it's just the internet that there's just one internet and everyone builds on top of it the same as for the open metaverse. It's an interconnected foundation. It's the metaverse, everyone builds and everything is interoperable by way of all the technology underneath. So Disney might have an experience that is separate from Warner Warner Brothers. Their IP might exist in a particular way where they can focus entirely around a particular product, but someone could go in and buy an avatar or a car or a, a article of clothing and then they could leave and take it into another area or another world. And it simply serves as marketing just like it does in the real world. If I'm wearing a Disney sweatshirt and someone walks by me on the street, they're like, oh yeah, I wanted to watch Frozen because you were wearing a frozen sweatshirt if I was wearing a frozen sweatshirt. But so that's the example of the true promise that Ernie Klein outlined in Ready player. One is the open metaverse where you still have control over your IP. You still get to make creative decisions that respect the way you own that property, but it's all interconnected in a way that that adds value to everyone. So I think that's the thing that people are missing here is that this isn't going to jeopardize the opportunity and the revenue opportunities, especially for rights holders. It's only gonna elevate everyone together and Jared just quickly before we go. I think you're in a good position to answer this question. How is Hollywood? How are big brands looking at uh Blockchain technology, looking at crypto, looking at the metaverse. Um is there still that same momentum that we saw in late 2021? So there's a new form of momentum and it's faster and it's better. And now people understand that this is simply an extension of their ability to introduce their IP to their consumers and allow for further engagement and they don't have to build it in a complicated way. I'd say that the over the last two years, there was a bit of a false introduction to this technology because it was clunky. The user experience was not fluid and not seamless and brands and, and Hollywood IP looked at it and said, well, if it's this clunky, how are consumers going to understand it? The evolution over the last couple of years and we've certainly focused on this at future Verse is to make that much more, easier, to digest and easier to use. And so now I've seen a boom in Hollywood, especially since our announcement raising their hands to say what IP can I put in here? And we've obviously been in conversations with multiple studios for the last year around this IP and brands even we're only a week in to the new year and I've seen 10 times the number of brands calling saying, how do we dip our toe in the water? What does it look like for us to just start? We just want to get in, we just want to experiment and see where this goes because we know it's, it's here to stay, which is a bit of an alternative view based on a lot of the media saying the metaverse is dead. It's very, very much alive. Sure. Thanks so much for joining us on first mover. Anyone who watches the show knows I'm excited about the metaverse, so I look forward to following your journey and we'll welcome you back when you have a new update for us. Thank you so much. Appreciate it, Jen. That was Fr co-founder, Shea Senderoff.

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