Web3 CMO Stories

Transforming Industries with Spatial Computing: Evelyn Mora's Vision for the Future | S3 E28 (At Web Summit)

December 15, 2023 Joeri Billast & Evelyn Mora Season 3
Web3 CMO Stories
Transforming Industries with Spatial Computing: Evelyn Mora's Vision for the Future | S3 E28 (At Web Summit)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Wondering how storytelling intertwines with technology to redefine our reality? Or perhaps you're curious about how spatial computing could revolutionize industries like fashion, education, and beauty? Join us as we engage in a riveting discussion with the founder and CEO of VLGE, Evelyn Mora, and unravel the vast potential of spatial computing in crafting immersive virtual worlds accessible to all.

Dive deeper as we explore the facets of sustainability and inclusivity in spatial computing. Elevate your understanding with Evelyn's invaluable insights into how to prioritize accessibility, build sustainable virtual spaces, and the upcoming Apple Vision Pro's role in shaping the future of spatial computing. Further the conversation transitions to the WebSummit, Evelyn shares her experiences and thoughts on spatial computing's transformative role in our interaction with technology and sustainability efforts. Be prepared for a thought-provoking conversation exploring the unlimited possibilities of spatial computing. Make sure to share this compelling episode and subscribe to our podcast for more such fascinating discussions.

This episode was recorded at the Web Summit official podcast booth on November 15, 2023. Read the blog article and show notes here: https://webdrie.net/transforming-industries-with-spatial-computing-evelyn-moras-vision-for-the-future-at-web-summit/

Unlock the Best of 'Web3 CMO Stories': Exclusive Season 2 Infographics!

Download your free copy now! 

Evelyn:

And if you look around, I mean everyone's telling stories here Advertising, politics, religion, like you know, basically our daily lives are filled with stories and if we think about spatial computing and you know how digital and physical keeps immersing to me, it's really important to kind of give everyone the opportunity to shape what that really looks like. And this is why you know I founded VLGE to really remove that technological barrier to enable everybody and anybody to build their virtual realities.

Joeri:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Web3 CMO Stories podcast. And we are today at the WebSummit, at the WebSummit booth, like every year, and today I'm really honored to be joined by Evelyn Mora. Hi, Evelyn. (Hey Joeri, how are you?) I'm good, always excited to be at the WebSummit and be able to meet people like you, Evelyn. But for people who don't know you, let me read the short introduction. And today, guys, it's easy, both because we have the WebSummit app and, of course, like today is the day with some technical difficulties, but not now. Actually, guys, Evelyn is the founder and CEO of VLGE and you spell that VLGE and is the first female founder to receive investments from L'Oreal Group. She works with clients such as the Caring Group and Tesla, and Evelyn shapes the future of digital spaces. So, Evelyn, I was at your talk not so long ago I think it was one hour ago and I want to ask you some takeaways for that, for our audience that were not able to be there. But first, explain a bit more. What are you exactly doing at VLGE?

Evelyn:

Yeah, thank you so much. Very excited to be here today. So basically, what we do at VLGE is we're building a no-code drag- and- drop world- building design tool, so we essentially enable anyone to build immersive worlds from vision to execution to deployment in minutes.

Joeri:

So a virtual world? Because you have like this concept, virtual world, spatial computing, Metaverse. Maybe it's interesting for our audience that you explain a bit about that. Are you doing the virtual world? Are you doing spatial or Metaverse? This is all the same.

Evelyn:

So no, it's not the same. I think you know, just as we have just basically sailed through the hype of the Metaverse and what it stands for. You know a lot of people have their own translations of what this word means. To me, Metaverse is essentially digital elements kind of blending into physical elements. I don't like to define things so strictly because I feel like the industry and this news, let's say revolution, is in a such an early stage that I feel like we're yet to discover what spatial computing is really going to look like, what immersive virtual worlds is really going to look like in our daily lives, and also what the definition of metaverse will shape to be.

Joeri:

Yeah, now Metaverse, virtual worlds, all of that it goes, of course, from the gaming world. It sounds interesting. When I talk to that about people, I always you know I'm also organizing myself events in the Metaverse, and then what people do is after that they put it on social media, they talk about, they tell stories.

Evelyn:

So I guess for me, as you know, my work really centers around sustainability, and sustainability is something so multi-dimensional it's social, it's environmental, it's economical. So for me, really, storytelling is about information sharing, sort of building our realities. So today's talk, I really talked about how storytelling is how cultures basically pass down their knowledge and the values onto us and how topics like education is so much more efficient when you use storytelling. And if you look around, I mean everyone's telling stories here advertising, politics, religion, like you know, basically our daily lives are filled with stories. And if we think about spatial computing and you know how digital and physical keeps immersing, to me it's really important to kind of give everyone the opportunity to shape what that really looks like. And this is why, you know, I founded VLGE to really remove that technological barrier, to enable everybody and anybody to build their virtual realities and hence, you know, co-create and shape what the immersive future will look like and what is the future of storytelling that the next generations will hear and live.

Joeri:

Yeah, actually I'm also on to the second more about everything that's possible and it will be possible with spatial computing. I also like to play stories. Actually, the podcast is called Web3 CMO Stories, but yeah, when we think about virtual worlds, we think about spatial computing. I'm a marketer. You know there will be an impact on digital marketing or possibilities for digital marketing and for customer engagement. Can you talk a bit about that?

Evelyn:

Yeah, I think, in the end of the day, storytelling is used to generate particular emotions, whether that's empathy or FOMO. So I feel like I mean, as you know, my background is in fashion very heavily, so fashion brands are some of the best stories in the world. We buy into the stories, not into that t-shirt that we see in the advertisements. So ultimately, for me, digital experience really goes or circulates around the actual activities and co-creation when you are immersed in the space. So for VLGE, gamification is really important because that is a tool to entertain and educate people about certain topics, to really involve them, to participate in and really connect.

Joeri:

Yeah, I think it can be so broad. Everything else can be done. I am in more into B2B. I have to see you. You mentioned fashion, you mentioned education. How broad is it actually ?

Evelyn:

I think it's unlimited and for us, really, our niche is fashion, beauty and art. I feel like fashion is very, in beauty and art, very closely connected to our identities and how we define ourselves as individuals and how we want to communicate that, and we use these sectors, let's say, as tools to reflect to the outer world we are and what we stand for. So to me, when it comes to virtual worlds and spatial computing as well, it's really about identity. So that's going to be, for me, the first thing is that we will be sort of discovering and having the aha moments on. So, yeah, it's really really around those elements that we are building the tools for users.

Joeri:

Yeah, you mentioned that digital identity. It's also something I think it's important, and how you present yourself in those virtual world, but also making sure that it is really you, because there are so many things going on out there.

Evelyn:

And, if I may add, like I was talking in the talk about how advertising, religion, politics, it's all around storytelling, right. So, regardless of the fact that we are focused on our niche and I want that expansion to happen through fashion and through co-creation, when we expand into music and into film and other sectors but I definitely think that the spatial computing, immersive worlds and sort of how online and offline will be melting into one reality is going to touch every single people and every single industry.

Joeri:

Yeah, also, you talk about all these creative industries like, for instance, fashion or art or any area of course with technology. How can you find the right balance between the creative aspects and the death aspects of spatial computing?

Evelyn:

In VLGE we are a group of very diverse artists. I'm very happy and lucky to say that they're all very talented. Then we have this incredible bright group of technologists. It's really clear for us what our mission at VLGE is, which is not about telling our own stories but really kind of building those templates and tools to enable anyone to tell their stories and bring that into life. As I was showing the concept art that goes, a lot of hours go to creating those concept arts and really marrying that with technology. That's the first step. Where we apply sustainable thinking, design thinking, we put ourselves into a position where we really are very user-centric and we think about what somebody and how somebody would want to tell a story. That's essentially very key to find the balance between technology and storytelling because essentially we are on the browser, so we have a lot of technological challenges to reach a particular visual quality. We're also in a very low price point to be as accessible as possible, also from a financial perspective. We don't want to tie people into any platform or any device. We really just want to make sure that anyone who comes on VLGE has really easy access to self-expression.

Joeri:

Yes, I think there are a lot of challenges coming with that. You already mentioned sustainability. Sustainability is the core aspect of your work. How do you ensure that the advanced machine spatial computing and digital experiences align with sustainable practices?

Evelyn:

For me, the answer is really around accessibility. People first need to be able to come in and create co-create. We will see how they adapt to tools like VLGE. There are so many layers into digital sustainability, from mental health to inclusion from disability perspective, from diversity and inclusion perspective, from economical perspective. We really take all these elements into account and that's a lot of work, but we can't and we won't and we're not solving all these issues today because we have to solve them collectively. What we're doing is that we're taking these aspects into account and we're really building VLGE on top of these values to make sure that we contribute from technological and creative perspectives and enable people to essentially create that reality and shape the virtual immersion and spaces to be as sustainable as possible. Anything from social sustainability aspects, cybersecurity, everything has to be taken into consideration and not as a given. So what I urge every single person to think about is what type of platforms you engage in, what type of platforms you spend time in, where do you leave your digital footprints, let's say, and really reflect how those experiences and spaces really create impact and result into in your daily life? So it's definitely a process. I do believe that digital sustainability is still very underestimated. It's very under-regulated. But I think in the coming years, as we have a lot of activists in the field that are pushing for these values, we will see a lot of legislation. We will see awareness from the new generation, obviously Gen Z or Gen Alpha. So for me it really comes about first removing those technological barriers to enable people to create, and then we will see how that resonates with the people.

Joeri:

Yeah, I love it. But for our listeners who are maybe, who have not yet experienced spatial computing, but they want to look into and they want to be innovators, but on the other side, they also have got sustainability, of course what advice would you give those people?

Evelyn:

So I would say, to think long term. So, whether it's an experience or it's a company, I would say, or a user, just to approach the space from a longevity perspective, where you build experiences, you build spaces that actually someone can really utilize on everyday basis. So, as much as I love games and one-time events and things like that, I think that really finding that sustainable balance of longevity when it comes to virtual spaces is key, because if you think about how immersed and online we are today and how wildly we are underestimating how much technology has already taken over our lives and our social interactions, our jobs, everything, I think having that longevity mindset is going to be a good place to start from, rather than just going for a one-time wonder or one hit, if you will.

Joeri:

Yeah right, because most of the things actually possible myself that I've been organizing are event-based, like one event in a Metaverse or maybe a yearly event, and not something like which is there forever or sustainable. So yeah, that's really interesting. I think it's an interesting strategy to look at that.

Evelyn:

And I just want to add to that that you do podcasts, so you obviously live through this particular moment, but you also share this moment with other people, obviously by recording these experiences, and for me, it's really about accessibility. The whole big answer to me lies in accessibility. Like, how do people have access to these spaces? Do they have the hardware? Do they have the Wi-Fi? We are talking like we are so advanced with technology and we are so ahead, but in reality, as you just saw, we had technical issues in the most simple settings of giving a talk and as well as we are completely ignoring the developing countries and majority of people in the world who don't have hardware and access to these tools. So obviously there is an adaption curve to these new tools and hardware and platforms. So, again, if we think long-term and we really think about accessibility, I think we will get pretty far.

Joeri:

Yeah, accessibility. There you say that I'm going to organize myself these events. A lot of people are interested, but not everyone is so tech savvy or does know how to access. Even when COVID came, it seems so logical to look in. There are people having troubles with that too. We talk about accessibility. I have been thinking about it for my own podcast, because now you have the audio podcast but it's on a website so people can access it even if they don't have Apple Podcasts they don't have access to Spotify, for instance they can access. There is also a blog article. There are infographics for people that want to consume it in a certain way. By the way, if you are now listening to this episode, normally I say it at the end, but there are show notes. There is a blog article where you can find everything and read everything and call the links and things that Evelyn will mention. So, yeah, you talked already a bit about predictions. You mentioned fashion. Think about fashion, think about marketing. Think maybe about community building. How do you see spatial computing evolve more specifically, if you can, in the Web3 space?

Evelyn:

From spatial computing perspective. We know that the Apple Vision Pro is coming out early next week. I said sorry, early next year. It's going to be limited to, I guess, around 1 million units. It's going to be limited to North America. It's going to have a pretty high price point. So I guess the first early users of Apple Vision Pro will very far like very deeply determine sort of the best or the most how can I put this? Like the use case is essential and I don't know if that's a good thing, if that makes sense. So I guess it's too early to say how it will impact. But I just want to be aware of the fact that if we limit and don't take accessibility into account, we can't really involve everybody in shaping what the spatial computing will look like in our daily lives in the future. So I want it to be as accessible and as diverse as possible and I hope that it will be led by people and not platforms, and really sort of reach a moment and level where these technologies can contribute positively into our today's lifestyles, if you will. And also I've also always thought about how can we build something that actually solves bigger problems? How can spatial computing solve overconsumption? How can immersive computing, spatial computing, solve mental health issues? So I think that if we really kind of take the real life problems and we use the technology for good in solving those, I think that's going to be a very strong start. And that's basically where my head's at and at VLGE, we're really thinking about what kind of value and impact our tools actually will create on users' lives, rather than sort of us defining what that will look like, because nobody really knows and we can try to control it. I can tell you what I think, but that just doesn't mean that's the right thing.

Joeri:

Yeah, I think it's nice like you said, it's not that this will be per-term and by platforms, but by people. And yeah, that is always the danger, of course.

Evelyn:

Yeah, exactly, I mean everyone's talking about democracy and no one's actually. I mean no one. I know that a lot of people are trying their best to really create democratic platforms and sort of systems. However, it's still not there, you know. But I hope to see that evolve and really sort of give that autonomy to the user, give them freedom, let them own their content, sort of forcing them on platforms, forcing them on hardwares and limiting them and limiting accessibility due to technology. Technology should be the answer and not the barrier, right?

Joeri:

Yeah, so accessibility is indeed a big challenge you really need to work on, and you have, of course, also, I guess, your own challenges in your journey that you have faced with VLGE or with special computing Is it? Can you maybe share one of those challenges or lessons that you learned from them?

Evelyn:

Oh, there is so many. I always, you know, in my career in the past decade, I've always preached about sustainability. I've always said it starts with a mindset. I guess the biggest challenge in growing the company to its today's size has been, you know, really finding the like-minded people. So I would say that hiring has been difficult, but not because there is no candidate, but because really kind of bringing the people onto the platform that can really selflessly build something for the greater good. And my biggest learning in the past few years have been how can I marry these values and obviously the commercial aspects that will fuel this evolution of VLGE in a sustainable way. So that's been my main focus and mission as a CEO and honestly, I think that I've managed to do that because, you know there is a lot of questions from. You know go-to-market strategies, timelines. You know competitors, users, what users want. You know what the team wants and then obviously we're venture-backed startups, so what the board wants. These are all really important questions and I have always said that several times and I keep saying it and I believe in it more than ever which is you can build a commercial and sustainable business. You know what I'm saying. You can build it without greenwashing. You can build it without over-promising. You can build it without, you know, giving up on the values and core ethical purpose of why you have built the company in the first place.

Joeri:

I love that and also that. I also do that. I love this message. Evelyn, if you look now at the months maybe a year to come what are you most excited about actually when it comes to special computing or the things that you are doing with your company?

Evelyn:

Well, I'm. You know we are listening to our users and that's how we evolve with the product. So I'm the most, I'm so excited to see what users will build on Village and I know in my heart and soul that it's going to be so diverse that it's just really excites me and the fact that we can we have achieved to build a profitable business in the price point that we have. That doesn't require you to, you know, let's say it's accessible to a majority of people. We will also make sure that it's accessible for everybody, with different programs and opportunities that we will provide. So the diversity of content, just to see people really seeing that. Hey, you know, the future is spatial, it's immersive. You know the internet is blending into my physical reality, but I can have control over it, I can decide what that looks like in my life, and that's just to me so empowering because the whole, you know, finding Village started from me thinking about. You know how helpless you are as a user on platforms where you actually can't change anything. You are there and you consume particular limited services and you just have to accept it, right. So, yeah, without going to further detail, I'm just going to leave it there.

Joeri:

Okay. So yeah, you know, you shared really some interesting stuff and you made me think, evelyn. I guess my audience also is now thinking about what's possible with special computing, or maybe they just want to learn more how, where would you like to send them or how can they maybe be in touch with you?

Evelyn:

So, VLGE. com, please head there. You can try the product now. You have a free trial and, yeah, tell us what you think and start building and start influencing how the spatial internet and our immersive life will look like in the future. And that's really the key. Participation is key, and I think participation will also be the answer to us really controlling how our you know digital lifestyles will look like in the future.

Joeri:

Great. You see, guys, we are recording here at the WebSummit. Maybe there was some background noise. So, yeah, been enjoying WebSummit too. Thanks, Evelyn, it was so great to have you on the podcast.

Evelyn:

Thank you so much for having me.

Joeri:

So, everyone, it was again an amazing episode. If you think that this episode around spatial computing, stuff about sustainability and how the future will look like, if you think this is useful for people around you, be sure to share this episode with them, to other marketers, entrepreneurs, people around you. If you are not yet subscribed to the show, this is a really good moment to do that and, of course, I would like to see you back next time. Bye.

What are you exactly doing at VLGE?
Are you working on the virtual world, spatial, or Metaverse at VLGE?
Can you elaborate on the takeaways from the discussions about gamey fight storytelling and your insights on storytelling at VLGE?
How do virtual worlds and spatial computing impact digital marketing and what possibilities do they present for customer engagement?
How expansive are the possibilities of spatial computing, especially considering its applications in fashion and education, as you mentioned?
How do you navigate and find the appropriate balance between the creative and technical aspects of spatial computing?
How do you guarantee that advanced machine spatial computing and digital experiences align with sustainable practices?
For listeners who are interested in exploring spatial computing but also prioritize sustainability, what advice would you offer to guide them as potential innovators in this space?
Considering fashion, marketing, and community building, how do you foresee spatial computing evolving, especially within the context of the Web3 space?
Could you share a specific challenge or lesson you've encountered in your journey with VLGE or spatial computing and the insights gained from overcoming it?
Looking ahead to the coming months or year, what aspect of spatial computing or the work with your company are you most excited about?