Web3 CMO Stories

Pioneering the Business Metaverse with Architect-Turned-Tech-Entrepreneur, Alex Smaga: Insight into AI Applications and the Future of Digital Spaces | S3 E18

October 06, 2023 Joeri Billast & Alex Smaga Season 3
Pioneering the Business Metaverse with Architect-Turned-Tech-Entrepreneur, Alex Smaga: Insight into AI Applications and the Future of Digital Spaces | S3 E18
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Web3 CMO Stories
Pioneering the Business Metaverse with Architect-Turned-Tech-Entrepreneur, Alex Smaga: Insight into AI Applications and the Future of Digital Spaces | S3 E18
Oct 06, 2023 Season 3
Joeri Billast & Alex Smaga

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how an architect can bring a fresh perspective to the digital space? Join us as we engage in a vibrant conversation with Alex Smaga, an innovative architect turned tech entrepreneur, who's now the CEO of W3rlds. The unique Metaverse platform he's spearheading is a game-changer, enhancing both external and internal communication needs for businesses in the emerging metaverse. Alex shares his fascinating journey from crafting physical spaces to pioneering digital ones, and how security and support form the bedrock of his creation.

Venture further with us into the captivating crossroads of Artificial Intelligence and the metaverse. Are AR glasses the key to helping those with hearing impairments? Can AI be used to create NPCs in this virtual world? Alex gives us his insights on these potential applications and more. We discuss the crucial role of data, the prospects of personalized 3D assets, and how AI can be a game-changer in sales and awareness creation, all within the expansive realm of the Metaverse. Tune in for an enlightening episode packed with insights on the future of business and technology. Feel free to reach out with your questions and thoughts – we'd love to hear from you!

This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on August 22, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/pioneering-the-business-metaverse-with-architect-turned-tech-entrepreneur-alex-smaga-insight-into-ai-applications-and-the-future-of-digital-spaces/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how an architect can bring a fresh perspective to the digital space? Join us as we engage in a vibrant conversation with Alex Smaga, an innovative architect turned tech entrepreneur, who's now the CEO of W3rlds. The unique Metaverse platform he's spearheading is a game-changer, enhancing both external and internal communication needs for businesses in the emerging metaverse. Alex shares his fascinating journey from crafting physical spaces to pioneering digital ones, and how security and support form the bedrock of his creation.

Venture further with us into the captivating crossroads of Artificial Intelligence and the metaverse. Are AR glasses the key to helping those with hearing impairments? Can AI be used to create NPCs in this virtual world? Alex gives us his insights on these potential applications and more. We discuss the crucial role of data, the prospects of personalized 3D assets, and how AI can be a game-changer in sales and awareness creation, all within the expansive realm of the Metaverse. Tune in for an enlightening episode packed with insights on the future of business and technology. Feel free to reach out with your questions and thoughts – we'd love to hear from you!

This episode was recorded through a StreamYard call on August 22, 2023. Read the blog article here: https://webdrie.net/pioneering-the-business-metaverse-with-architect-turned-tech-entrepreneur-alex-smaga-insight-into-ai-applications-and-the-future-of-digital-spaces/

Alex:

And after that, I lose everything money, and people around and I sit and think, okay, what I can do next? I can go to work or I could try to imagine something and I remember my dream.

Joeri:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Web3 CMO Stories Podcast, season 3, episode 18. My name is Joeri Billast and I'm your podcast host, and today I have a guest I already wanted to invite long time on my podcast and that is Alex Smaga. Alex, welcome.

Alex:

Hi Joeri, how are you? Everything is good.

Joeri:

I'm good. Yeah, every time we can record a podcast and meet two people, I'm really happy about it. So, Alex, if people don't know you, I had a look at your LinkedIn profile and what you're mentioning. You're an entrepreneur with an architect's background and, of course, I know you are the CEO of W3RLDS, which is a Metaverse platform for businesses. But, yeah, maybe for our listeners, can you explain a bit more about your background and actually what is W3RLDS?

Alex:

Yeah, for sure. Thanks for this short introduction and I think it's super clear. That's true. In my background, I'm an architect, a physical architect, not a tech architect. I'm building IT and, yeah, I build houses, cities, all my small companies, small architecture companies. But at the same moment, anytime, I'm thinking about the future and how my background and architectural background could help many people, most of them people.

Alex:

As I'm a serial entrepreneur, my first company was a floor plan generation system for office spaces. It was five years ago. It was a startup as well. We did it with my partner, co-founder Arthur, in New York, and it was a fun story because, with zero knowledge, we were going to New York to the Ceration program like a classic startup and started building our company before the pandemic time. It was AI with the algorithms, with the narrow nets for the office spaces. But the pandemic time killed all the office spaces and killed our idea.

Alex:

After that, I lost everything money, and people around and I said to them okay, what I can do next? I can go to work or I could try to imagine something. And I remember my dream it was many years ago that the environment around us as a city is a physical building, physical art objects, et cetera, et cetera. To build it it's super hard, it's super expensive and all the time I think that technology could help us to change the environment around us faster, at a cheaper, and only one technology could help us in this case I think augmented reality. A t those moments I found my third partner, Ivan, who had the experience more than 11 years in augmented reality. You can imagine, 11 years. He did his first augmented reality with a web camera on the big screen. It's fun, yeah. And we start building, we start trying to build something only with augmented reality, and after that, step by step, we grow in our platform and right now it's a full metaverse, an immersive experience. Blah, blah, blah does matter. Platform for business, it's been that yeah, we provide in that technology.

Joeri:

Yeah, I also like that it is for businesses, because most metaverses you think about gaming, you think about other stuff, but you have built this really for businesses. And then I'm thinking, if you build something like that, you have your architect background. Do you see parallels or maybe differences between how you design in a physical world and in the metaverse?

Alex:

We did a lot of experiments in this case and what understood? That the rules are the same. Yeah, for sure. We have no physics in the metaverse, but the rules are the same because people associate themselves with the avatar.

Alex:

And our tour. He's half the size and area around him and the rules same, a little bit, a little bit different, but in general, it's the same story and I could give you one example Right now is we're working with metaverse architecture. First, metaverse architectural, being early with the professional architects and they built in their metaverse spaces, but all of them are architecture companies and when I saw their projects it was a surprise for me because I'm feeling, oh, this is architecture, this is metaverse architecture, that's what I want to feel inside, but from the metaverse side, on the real side, it's a gamification. It's what I need to do inside the space, not only the walls and some stuff inside. It's a gamification stuff. That's the difference between physical and digital.

Joeri:

But of course, as I mentioned, your focus is on B2B. So if you talk to businesses, you need to explain why they should go to the metaverse and what can be there, I would say, their value proposition in the Metaverse. Can you talk about that?

Alex:

Yeah, for sure, and the most important thing for business is security. It's not fun, it's not about the game. They don't care. They're focused on the quality of the metaverse only, or gamification only if they want to use it, and they want to use the 3D immersive experience from a different angle for their business because it's not only for marketing. Or immersive commerce yeah, commerce for human resources, for education, for I mean onboarding, etc.

Alex:

Digital to all of this. It's a Metaverse as well and when we talk about the entire in the W3RLDS we try to separate all this area and B2B from the two things. It's external communication and internal communication. Most uses and exciting projects we see on the Internet. It's about the external communication, about the marketing can sell something, but the big part of why it's internal communication as well.

Alex:

And for internal communication, for sure, it's super important to secure it. And this is the first question that the business asking us. The second one is supporting, because when your metaverse platform focuses on the B2C gamification communication, all this, you don't care about companies, because you need people and I don't want to say the brands, because I love all the platforms, but we have the clients who come to us with the question guys, we love this or this platform, but we didn't hear feedback and support from their side. For sure, because they're B2C and so this is what they need.

Alex:

And the part of security, what we provide and it's to think it's white label and on-premise deployment. The white- label solution it's important. It's like a website yeah, you can use a different platform, but you need to add your website and so you need to Google it because, yes, we have all the Web3 stuff and AI, blah, blah, blah, but Google is still with us. Yes, yes, and I tried that we could. In the near future, we will Google not the 2D websites but 3D websites as well, and this is one of the important parts. And then on-premise deployment in the simple words, we could move our platform to the client's server and this is important for the big client, for the long-term communication with the client.

Joeri:

Yeah, something that I'm thinking now about I didn't tell you this before and Apple is coming with their VR headset. What are your thoughts on Apple's initiatives and what will be the impact for you, for W3RLDS?

Alex:

no-transcript. I'm super happy about that. Super happy because, as I said, we started with the argument reality and augmented reality. It's an important part of our platform and from the DNA of worlds, we put USD, USDZ, and glTF files. It's the two most important standards. It's like a jpeg for the metaverse and it's been that from day one. When Apple gives us the headset, we will be on this headset, and what I love about it? They show a totally different experience. It's a personal, virtual experience. It's not about the communication. It's more about watching TV, shopping, yeah, feeling with myself in the different worlds. This is something because Meta, for example, told a lot about communication with other people. But Apple I think Apple went the right way. They go into step one, step two, and step three, and I hope they will do the same as they did with the iPhone mass adoption. That's all we need mass adoption.

Joeri:

Yeah, and that's also what I'm looking for when we talk about the metaverse, that people are excited to be there and that it's. We always make the comparison with the wave. As a server, you want to catch the wave before it starts, and now you are before the big wave. But once the wave starts, it's good now, if people are listening, to take action now and to discover the metaverse and see what it can do for your business. You mention personalization, so I think it's important for brands, for businesses, to personalize the experience, to have any thoughts, any tips for that. Our businesses or brands can make sure that they have this personalized for the audience.

Alex:

Yeah, the personalization answer is a difficult question because we could talk about the personalization of the view, how it looks, colors, quality of the experience, different gamification of the white label different aspects all on Primus deployment, but I think the real important thing that I see is to give the business of people option to be along like my own metaverse space or spaces under my domain, and that's it. Or I could connect with the different Metaverse is Metaverse spaces on one platform or on different platforms, and this is a freedom of open metaverse. And I think this is most important, because some of people love Roblox. I love Roblox as well, but the quality it's Roblox, it's Minecraft. At the same moment, we have a beautiful journey, special, etc. Etc. And I want to travel.

Alex:

I feel like myself, like a travel guy who won't go from the Roblox, jump into the worlds, jump into this intro, and feel myself. Different worlds and the open Metaverse this is the most important question for all, I think, and that's why, for example, Metaverse should be an ally. We are doing it with this in Decentraland this is one of our main partners in this case and people. We put the same architecture, the same spaces in two different systems, and two different styles of graphics, and I think this is important to show the people. This is metaverse. Metaverse is not a platform, it's one big thing.

Joeri:

Yeah, and that's. That's the big, as you say, open metaverse interoperability, the fact that you can, like you, go from one country to another country, from one continent or the other, if you can travel between metaverse. So I think I remember I did. I was once in spatial and I was on an event that I think was exclusive but organized it and I was from spatial entering into worlds and the other way around. Yeah, so that's already nice because you don't see this a lot. It's more like islands, and so it's really great that you have a vision and that you're working on that. You also mentioned avatars. Before we personalize, if people want to create an avatar, people identify themselves with an avatar. Do you have a vision about that? How are avatars being used? Do we will be using the same avatar in every Metaverse? Will it be different? Do we have different identities? Because people will see the avatar as a digital identity. I would say.

Alex:

Yeah, Ready Player Me is doing a great job and not only Ready Player Me On our platform.

Alex:

We have right now two options you can connect your RPM avatar plus it is an option for the creator and for business, and I love this option on the special, they have the same as you can upload the specific avatar for a specific space or avatars for your metaverse with I don't know brands, etc.

Alex:

But in the future, I think it's a Web3 part to connect yourself for the different platforms, not avatar platforms or metaverse platforms, and I love the concept that Vitalik Buterin explained last year about the soul bond and what the guys right now doing Forgot the name of the company with a big I to scan your eye. Yes, yes, yes, what people could? A little bit scared about it because it's your physical identity in the digital world, but we already give all the information about ourselves to the platforms and I don't know why we need to care about it. Yeah, and I think at this part it will be like a standard, this Web3 part, like a soul bond, and not only for digital platforms but for the physical world as well, like our digital pass with something like that and for this physical- digital passports, I could connect different platforms, different avatars and choose between them, something like that.

Alex:

And women avatar men avatar I don't know dog, cat or something like that. That's my life.

Joeri:

Yeah, interesting Also what I've been thinking about and probably what I will see in practice, because one of my clients I will set up stuff in the Meta first for them and they are a translation company and they are looking at, okay, doing events, but maybe through AI we could like, if I speak to you in my native language and you native language, we won't understand each other, but maybe there are all the translations or integrations that are possible. I don't know if this is already possible. Do you think things like that evolve in the future?

Alex:

Yes, I think it's near future. It's possible right now, but that's all. The solution that I saw is not brilliant and one of the perfect AR, specific AR glasses that I saw in Saudi Arabia last year. It's a startup and the goal for these glasses they have just one goal to translate because for the people who can't hear, translate what you say, wow, that's what I really love in case technology helps people, this is amazing, and sorry. Come back to your question. Yeah, it's possible and I think it's important for transparency worlds to be on the one page in the metaverse.

Joeri:

Yeah, so are there other evolutions that you see happening with AI and the metaverse that is already going on now or that you see for the future?

Alex:

Yeah, AI for sure. It's amazing. I think all of us started using AI from day one and we already use it a lot of time on our iPhones and different devices. We just didn't think about that. And you like this podcast about marketing as well, and this is great marketing, this hype wave, wow, and this is a massive adoption.

Alex:

And in the case of the Metaverse, I see the different important things, that we have right now from the business angle, one of the most important things it's NPC AI because we already doing something like that with our clients For example, your automotive company or real estate company, doesn't matter your sales person doing the same job each day and 70% of the question the same. And that's where this is the area where AI could help. But it's important in case of safety because they couldn't put all the information in chatGPT and they need to put all the information in, their cloud. And, yes, just imagine you go to the Metaverse and start talking with AI NPC learned by the company database. This is a first step. The second step and that's what changed the game, I think it's content generation, 3d content generation. It's not so easy right now because we are, we have a lot of things. We have to generate the images and videos. But 3d is a little bit difficult right now, but the speed of growth of AI is incredible. I think in the next year we will see something amazing.

Joeri:

Yeah, AI is amazing. I'm really interested in AI too, like in the Metaverse and so on. My background, Alex, is I had a business analytics company before I went into marketing, so that I'm also curious because people will ask if it's certainly in the business if we have this event in the Metaverse, or if we have a presence in the Metaverse, but how can we measure what is happening, if it's successful, or do we have any suggestions or perhaps ways how you do this within W3RLDS? Yeah, data.

Alex:

Data is important. It's the most important part to sell better, to perform better. We provide them. For example, in W3RLDS we provide analytics on how many users, how many unique users, how many, and how much time they spend in the space with augmented reality. The same, how many times they augmented reality experience, and in the future, number of data in the metaverse will be much, much bigger than in their plus web. Three, like in web to internet, because using their headsets Apple headsets or meta headsets, doesn't matter. We could thread your eyes how many times you spend to see in this corner or this corner on this item. Okay, love this. For example, I'm going to the shopping mall in the metaverse and I spend one hour and 20 minutes I spent.

Alex:

Look at the new iPhone, for example, but I didn't pay for them and Apple could send me man, and we know that's a lot of blah, blah, blah, something like that, and advertisement in the metaverse is in the future. This is a really interesting topic. I think advertisement because right now it's not what we are looking for in the metaverse, because I think, and from my perspective as well, we need to be super careful with that and because, okay, if we start showing the advertising right now for all the early adopters, I personally hate advertisement and I think all the people hate in the Web2 internet, on the website, and if we start with the advertisement, it will be the wrong way.

Joeri:

But yeah, sorry just the last thing.

Alex:

But if we are going think about the five, 10 years and in the future, and about the glasses not like apple glasses right now, but the small glasses when we go through the streets, we'll see a lot of 3D assets, personalized 3D assets that AI could generate specifically for us, because they had a lot of data about what we love and, yeah, let's see how it will work.

Joeri:

Yeah, let's see. Yeah, we never the smartphones or mobile phones. The smartphones came out. Now everyone has a smartphone on them. Like in the future, we have those glasses that we are not realize yet that it will happen like that. And when you say about advertising, of course it should not feel like advertising If you have, with your business, presence in the metaverse. I think that's the way that you can create awareness without creating advertising. Well, alex, thank you so much. It was a pleasure to have you. But I guess people will maybe have questions, or they want to follow you, or they want to know more about W3RLDS. Where would you like to send them?

Alex:

The best way it's linked in. I love LinkedIn and I start building my personal brands and LinkedIn. And yeah, all the questions linked in. Or if you want sure email, it works as well. It's alexworldcom.

Joeri:

Okay, thanks, Alex. It was really a pleasure to talk to you. With all your insights about the metaverse, I really loved it.

Alex:

Yeah, thanks, Joeri. Thanks, thanks a lot and see you in the metaverse.

Joeri:

So, guys, if you are now listening to this special episode, I liked it a lot with Alex on my show on the factory. See you. Most of us podcast with people from all types, I would say, of Metaverse, but all types of Web3 if you want, all types of niches too. Today, we had Alex, and if you think that everything that Alex told can be useful or interesting for people around you, be sure to share this podcast episode with them. If you are not yet subscribed to the show, this is a really good moment to do this and, of course, I would like to see you back for the next episode. Bye. Web3 can take your miss to new heights and you're ready to harness its power, but feeling lost and overwhelmed. Therefore, join my W3X Web3 Mastermind. Send me a personal message for more info. You can find me everywhere on social media. There's only one person with my name, Joeri Billast. Talk soon.

Can you explain a bit more about your background and what W3RLDS is?
Do you notice any parallels or differences in the design process between the physical world and the Metaverse?
Can you discuss the value proposition for businesses in the metaverse and why they should consider it for their B2B operations?
What are your thoughts on Apple's upcoming VR headset and how do you anticipate it might impact your company, W3RLDS?
Do you have any tips or insights on how businesses and brands can effectively personalize the experience for their audience in the Metaverse?
What's your vision for the use of avatars in the metaverse? Will people use the same avatar across different Metaverse platforms, or will there be multiple digital identities and avatars for different purposes?
Do you think that in the future, with advancements in AI and translation technologies, it will be possible for people to communicate seamlessly in their native languages even in the metaverse, overcoming language barriers?
Are there any other ongoing or future developments you see in the intersection of AI and the metaverse that you'd like to discuss?
How do you measure the success of metaverse initiatives, and do you have any suggestions or methods, as used within W3RLDS, for evaluating their effectiveness?