Rene – Hi! Welcome back to season two of Meta Minutes, your bite-sized pieces of the metaverse. My name is Rene from Valorem Reply and today we're going to talk about the decentralized real-world metaverse. And for this, I'm honored to have a special expert guest today, Diego Di Tommaso Ciao Diego!
Diego – Ciao!
Rene – Awesome. Well first of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as it relates to the metaverse, 3D all things related here?
Diego - Yeah absolutely. It's a pleasure. So yeah, I mean, I would say that I'm kind of new in the space so. I came into this specific vertical space about AR and VR back in 2018 when we launched the company and basically, we are a team of very different background people. So I come more from the business side and from the blockchain part while my other co-founder Davide Cuttini has been working on VR and AR for the last 10 years I would say and so basically we joined our passions and competencies to build over.
Rene – So I heard great things about Over. In fact also Simone Amico gave me a demo the other day and I, you know, joined him with my Android phone. He was I think on an iPhone or whatever it was and it was super nice and but to make sure our audience listening and watching this is also on the same page with us here so please tell us a little bit about Over. What can you do and why do you actually think the approach that Over is taking, which is quite unique I think is different or better than the pure virtual metaverse place you see all over the Earth.
Diego – Right. No absolutely. So yeah as you mentioned most of the metaverse I would say the big incumbents right now like at least in the open metaverse world like the Central and the sandbox and specifically Buar metaverses and most of metaverse that we see are VR and so our first difference between us and this metaverse is the fact that we have a stronger focus on AR even if it we actually also support VR but our main goal is actually to edit the physical world to create this mixed reality world where we merge physical and virtual with your localized experiences in the dominant reality. So the reason why I mean we are so focused on that direction is because we believe that in the next future, of course VR will continue to be big and will be even bigger than now but at the end of the day we are physical beings so we live in the physical space and we will not spend most of our time with an occlusive googles on our face and so that's why we see so much potential in augmented reality. So the opportunity especially when we will have a smart glasses and this looks like it's closer and closer look like also Apple gave us some breadcrumbs on the last presentation so as soon as smart glasses will be out there and will be widespread really the augmented reality will be new means we will start interacting with information. So you will wake up in the morning you will watch at your wall and maybe you will see all the information that you need to have in the morning or maybe you will have some company you can talk with, you will have your friends projected you know mental reality in your in your room. So we believe that it will be very strange in five years, ten years time to see somebody looking staring at a smartphone. And this is and this is also if you think about something very positive because right now we spend 6.5 hours on average just staring down at our phone and so in the future we will add heads up again with the some smart glasses and seeing an augmented world. So what we are building with over is building an open infrastructure so an infrastructure that is based on web3 to create this layer that connects geographic locations to information that in this case is augmented reality VR information and so really at the very level that that's what we're building and why we are building.
Rene - All right so what Over does also a component related to the real world metaverse the kind of, let's say, the digital twin of our physical world where it can localize the real world very precisely and can put virtual objects and so on right, so the real world metaverse in the end and like I said there's a component in Over where you can actually have real world land plots that are I think like if I look at your background it's perfectly seen they're like yeah right and you can you can even buy this kind of digital overlay on top of the real world with cryptocurrency, is that correct?
Diego – Absolutely, so totally correct. So if we see, we think about our platform, the platform is made up of three main layers. So one is an ownership layer, then we have a mapping layer and then we have a builder a software to publish content. So starting from the first one, this ownership layer so we divided the world in hexagons of 300 square meters that we called OVR land and those lands for us we've think about those as special domains. So in the web you have a web domain you own. I don't know coca-cola.com and you publish content on that web page in 2D or maybe in 3D but on the web page. In our case you have geographic coordinates. So for example you buy the geographic coordinates of the Colosseum then you can edit that physical place or you can publish augmented reality content in that location and this comes to the second point and this of course the ownership of this of this plot is based on the blockchain. Those plots are NFTs. At the beginning we're on Ethereum blockchain. Now they are on polygon because of scalability and of gas fees and so on and this is a little bit technical thing but anyway those are the ownership of this is granted by the blockchain. So our NFTs and of course the way you buy and sell it, is through cryptocurrencies. So the second layer that we have is this mapping layer. So when you do geolocalizer augmented reality like us, when you want to augment the physical world you need a system to tell you where you are in space. So the easy thing to do that is using the GPS but GPS while is good for some use cases for example Pokemon go, a case of youth success based on GPS but in that case the reason why that has success because you don't really need to be precise, you don't care when you're collecting those Pokemons, exactly where you are but if you want to edit the physical world and specifically also if you want to add a physical world indoor GPS is not good at all because GPS doesn't work indoor, doesn't even work outdoors sometimes. If you're in New York and you try to use Google Maps, Google Maps will ask you to point to the buildings, we'll use another system an optical system to understand where they are in space. So we are building that same system the system that Google is using, Microsoft is trying to build and Niantic is trying to build but we are doing this based on web3. What does it mean? It means that these maps, this mapping allocations is actually a crowdsource activity. So our users, our community can go around the world take pictures of a location and one take these pictures we create two things after that, actually three things. So one thing we create a 3D Point Cloud out of these pictures so that if you want to publish content on the world you have a 3D map that tells you where are things in space. So you can actually edit space having a 3D representation of it. Second thing we train a neural network. So the next time the camera of your phones will see that location will understand where you are in space with 20 cm accuracy and finally another thing that we are working on right now, it's kind of found in our lab, but is already out there, it's a digital twin of the physical world so from these pictures there are neural networks now that can hallucinate what is the environment. So from few pictures of a location you can actually reconstruct a flight through on that physical place. So you can have not only a 3D representation but also I mean a compelling visual representation of you moving around the location.
Rene - Well this is really amazing. I actually love the neural rendering stuff like you mentioned like that you can have a fly-through like through these kind of real world sceneries. This is awesome and in general you know the computer vision stack and the localization with the visual positioning system you talked about your custom VPS basically this is also very much innovative and pretty amazing and so I was wondering actually how could people use this as well right so Over is actually not just for end users but it's also for creators. You have your own SDK but also a way of a low code or no code development actually where you can create these kind of custom worlds, custom experiences. So tell us a little bit about this how and how can people get started?
Diego – Absolutely. So we have two kind of publishers. So we have a one totally no-code publishing tool that is just a web tool, so you just drag and drop 3D assets or if you own NFTs for example, they will also be available over there. So you will be able to also to publish NFTs in space and so on and so this is just that web Builder the easiest way to publish and in fact most of the people use that. Right now we have a 18000 physical locations that have been edited through the system. And secondly, we have a more expressive Unity SDK and also in this case I would say that is a low code because you work with it with node programming. So you don't really need to write down code, of course, it takes some more skills, that's the nice thing is that it's so much more expressive and powerful so not only you can publish static things but you can code logics and you can be interactions, you can even build games uh with this kind of tool. So, right now these tools are just for publishing but what we're also coming out is also to actually publish not only a digital asset but a digital asset that is represented by NFT. So in the near future, those digital assets will be also will also become unique and tradable like any other NFTs. So I mean we have this vision that in the metaverse, at least in the open metaverse, the one that is based on web3, objects only exist if they are represented by NFTs. So that's why also we are going in that direction.
Rene – And makes a lot of sense, all in with web3 basically. Awesome! Well we're already at the end of the show but I think it's super exciting and the Over platform sounds really something to look into but thanks you so much Diego for joining us today and sharing your insights, that was very much appreciated.
Diego - My big pleasure, thank you very much.
Rene - Well and thanks everyone for joining us for meta minutes, your bite-sized pieces of the metaverse. Watch our blog, follow our social media channels, subscribe to our YouTube channel to hear all about the next episodes and of course you can visit our website at valoremreply.com to watch all the previous episodes where we also talked a little bit about real-world and other content before. Until then take care and see you soon in the metaverse!