Jun 13, 2024

Mona founder and CEO Justin Melilo joins CoinDesk Live at Consensus 2024 to discuss the future of the metaverse and how immersive technologies can enhance user experiences in the metaverse.

Video transcript

We're coming to you from the Coin Desk podcast studio presented by Bito found in 2013 with the first institutional grade Bitcoin wallet. Bit Go is the gold standard in custody staking and settlement today. Bito supports over 800 coins and processes 20% of all Bitcoin transactions by value. Check them out at Bit go.com. Let's get to our next guest. We're gonna continue you talking about gaming and the Metaverse. Welcome. Now to Mona founder and Ceo Justin Melio. Justin is already in the metaverse. It looks like we're in the metaverse right now, but I can still see you. Do you want to try this out? I do want to try it out. It is the Apple Vision pro if I'm correct. All right, you look a little bit like a cyborg, but let's try it out. All right, let me, let me give you a look. Ok? Oh, no, Danny is afraid I am afraid the future is here. Everyone. The future is here on the set. It's black, you may have to enter my passcode. OK. How do I do that? Ok. So do you see the uh so you want to take your hands off here. Let me, let me help you here. OK. Got it. Tighten this a little bit. It's a little blurry. Do I have to be able to see? There you go. Yeah, if you remove your hands. Ok. Do you see anything? I see like a mask that looks like this and I have to pull this down, pull it down a little bit. Just adjust. Ok? I still see nothing. OK? It says I have to go to apple.com/support. Hold on. Maybe let's try pressing this. And Danny, how do I look? You look ridiculous. Yeah. Right. This is the future. Are you seeing anything right now? Just the mass Jen might not be able to see the future but can you tell us about yours? Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So basically what we're doing here, uh you know, at mona we're building the open metaverse. We're dedicated to uh building tool systems and two tool systems and protocols uh that help developers and creators build the open immersive internet. And so what we have here is just an early demonstration of our first app for the Apple Vision Pro which essentially allows you to immerse yourself inside of NFTS. And so on the Mona platform, we have uh over 20,000 immersive worlds that have been tokenized as NFTS all sorted on IP FS all decentralized. Uh And now for the first time, you can actually experience immersing yourself inside of an NFT. I think what we saw there is, it doesn't always work. We're still so early is what people in the space say. When do you think that this is gonna be something that's mainstream that people are doing every day? It's not gonna be as clunky. Maybe it's gonna be in Danny's glasses. He's gonna be seeing something that is not here in our physical reality. When is that gonna happen? Yeah. Well, I think one thing to recognize with the Apple Vision Pro Apple's designed the headset to actually like the process of getting one of these actually uh requires you to measure your face. Um And so they have different sizes that basically match different head shapes, different eye shapes. And so this technology has actually come such a long way. I've been in the space um since basically 2015 when I joined Magic Leap, um which is another, you know, a spatial computing start up. Um And so now with Apple entering into the field, with their Apple Vision Pro, um we now have the high quality pass through that you can get, uh it's an entire new paradigm for the way that we're interacting with a computer with an operating system. And yes, it is still very early. But uh we've come such a long way with this that uh once you do get to try it and you get to experience the pass through and you get to experience interacting with digital content that blends seamlessly with the world around you, it really gives you a glimpse into what the future holds. And so, um, you know, over time, the form factor of the device is gonna get lower, it's gonna get smaller, it will eventually become something akin to a pair of glasses. And then once we get even further into the future, we're talking probably 5 to 10 years out. You have BC I, which is brain computer interface where we'll actually be able to be controlling it. Um You know, without having an actual wearable, which would be really exciting. So we'll have our neuralink connected to our uh to our uh Apple Vision Pros, something like that. Yeah. Now, I think I got AAA little glimpse of the of this future. I was at the uh Mountain Dow uh hacker Space in Salt Lake City over the winter. Shout out to Mountain Dow. And uh all those guys, I just got a lot of money from different salon of Air Drops and they all went to the Apple store and bought Vision Pros. So I had this weird experience of it being in a co working space where 10 or 15 different people were in like semi pass through mode, working on their virtual lap, uh desktops. Uh, but also just turning around and continuing a conversation with me. Is this the future that you're betting on? Oh, yeah, absolutely. Um Over the next 10 to 20 years, we are transitioning away from interacting with the internet, with computers from this two D interface, which are screens to a context that is much more immersive. Um and is much more conducive to how we as humans experience the world around us, which is in three dimensions. So yeah, this is absolutely the future. Um It may take, you know, a couple of decades to get there to a place where is really seamless and more commonplace for everyone. Um But we're already seeing really exciting things and what gets me excited uh is placing the emphasis on the importance of providing creators and developers with tools so that they can actually build a really great future for all of us to experience these 3d worlds in virtual spaces. Um And a way for us to actually prove our ownership uh of digital assets. One of our guests earlier said when we talk about metaverse, there, there shouldn't be multiple meta verses, there's one it's like talking about the internet. So with all of these different people and projects building their version of a metaverse, what does that look like in the future? Like do some of them go away? Does everybody work together? Is it an interoperable future? What do you think? I believe in an interoperable future? I believe the metaverse uh is very much like the internet. It is essentially just that next evolution of the internet one that is more immersive one that is decentralized. And I think what we're gonna start to see over time is a shift away from these walled gardens. You know, platforms like Roblox like Fortnite, um where developers really benefit from the lock in of keeping all their users on one platform. Um And eventually, what we'll do is find a way for there to be incentives for developers to work together, to encourage users to be able to bring their assets across to other platforms. That's why we're really dedicated to this mission and building an SDK that allows developers to tap into this giant library of user generated 3D assets to build interoperable experiences so that we as players can bring our avatars, our objects, our environments from one place to another and have true ownership over the things that we own in the digital realm. Now, what's the incentive for the metas and the apples and all these big giant companies of the world to actually work together to create these, the standards that will be necessary if the metaverse that I think you're speaking of is to be like the internet that we're all using today where everyone can use different devices to access it. Yeah, I mean, uh let me be clear, this is very disruptive. I mean, current platforms don't benefit from having their users uh be to freely exchange their assets from one platform to another. That's why if you're playing a game like valorant or Fortnite and you buy a skin in that game, you can only use it in that game because the platform, the incentive is only there for the platform to keep the user within that space. And so what it's gonna take is you many, many more experiences that prove the value to developers of having these assets become interoperable. And it's gonna take players basically demanding that they want to bring their assets from one space to another. Uh It's very similar to when the music shifted from, you know, physical C DS to streaming. It's because users were finding a way to share digital, digital mu music digitally and then the industry had to change because of the user demand. Tell me a little bit more about the users because right now the users are in Fortnite, they are in Roblox and in Danny's example, the users are on Instagram, they are on those web, two social platforms. And how like, how are you thinking about getting them away from that because they're very comfortable. It's gonna take a big behavior shift, a big desire to want change. And I think that people who are playing in Roblox and Fortnite as much as maybe it is extractive, they're still having fun there. Yeah, you're absolutely right. You know, Roblox has something upwards of 60 million daily active users, Fortnite on the same scale. And then of course, you have social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, et cetera, right? Um I think what it's gonna take is a really uh large amount of high quality IP. And I think um this is something that I'm really excited for, particularly for web three gaming because I think um to date most web three games have been really focused on the financialization of it and less on the value and the quality of the IP and content. If you look at it, you know, Roblox has been around for over a decade epic as well and they've built really incredible experiences and a really incredible game experience for their users. And so what I think is that the more experiences that are built that are of similar quality or even higher quality, that'll attract more users and will kind of encourage this shift. So we need more developers building really great games and experiences that are a lot of fun for people to try out and play.

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