Futurist Logo

Digital Fashion is Booming


Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl provides strategic insight about virtual fashion to major brands Nike, Louis Vuitton, Clinique, Walmart and more. She tells The Futurists about the latest trends in spatial computing, immersive 3D entertainment, virtual worlds and the digital style preferences of Gen Alpha. Digital fashion is way, way bigger than buying skins on Fortnite.

Analysis complete. No addtional information is required for context. Proceed with transcript display ...

View Transcript

document button

0:01this week on the futurists Kathy Hackle that moment was powerful because

0:06it taught me for these kids it's not about it's about World building and using these Technologies to express

0:13themselves something as grief something as complicated as death and understanding something like that he took those feelings and expressed

0:20himself in a way where he took the technology to create something that was a value to

0:27[Music] him

0:32hey hey welcome back to the futurist I'm Rob tersk your host of the show I'm thrilled to be back uh it's been a while

0:38I'm very excited to be recording episodes again in the in my absence uh Brett King and others have stepped up to

0:43the plate today we have someone I'm delighted to bring on to the show someone I've known for a while who is

0:49was at the very Forefront of immersive media and the metaverse and has been following every transition and

0:55transformation in that field she is Kathy Hackle Kathy Hackle Welcome to the the show it's great to see you here I'm

1:01thrilled to be here good to have you on the futurist here on this show what we like to do is talk to people who are designing building and inventing the

1:07future and the whole point is to teach people how to think about the future we want to know from you like how do you do

1:13that now you happen to be someone who's been doing this for quite some time uh we crossed paths a couple years ago with

1:19unity which is a really important company when it comes to Virtual Worlds um and at the time the buzz was all

1:26about the metaverse and of course Facebook was making a big splash they just changed their name to meta uh had

1:32invested tens of billions in this uh this metaverse concept called Horizon worlds which ended up being kind of a

1:38flop at least that version um and so the whole world took that to say like oh

1:44well I guess that's over for the metaverse and they dusted their hands and they went on to the next thing which I guess now is artificial intelligence

1:51and I thought well hang on hang on that was a first iteration it was an expensive first try didn't work as they

1:57hoped on the other hand not all is lost and there's life in this space yet and

2:03uh I always am trying to find people who can talk to me a little bit about what they see happening right now in what was2:09formerly known as the metaverse uh you know this idea of immersive worlds where we can connect and communicate not

2:14necessarily a game games there's plenty of examples of that but but you know we might work together we might learn

2:20together and play together and communicate and socialize together and so forth and you are one of the leading

2:26voices you have always had a good Vision here uh you've been always been able to Zig when it was necessary to Zig and zag

2:32when the zag was called for and you seem to been doing that as well now you're working at Journey uh consultancy and

2:38you're focused on spatial Computing so can you tell me a little bit about what's happened in the last two years since we last spoke yeah so it's it's

2:45been a while um I actually sold my consultancy it was called Futures intelligence group uh so AC it got

2:51acquired in 10 months which was crazy I had my exit super quick um and it was

2:57acquired by Journey right so now I'm a co-founder at Journey um I run the virtual Studio there which in essence is

3:03you know a a gaming studio of sorts uh I always say now I'm a tech and gaming executive that's how I explain it to

3:10people um but yeah I've been working there it's been really exciting and yeah I mean I'm doing lots of really3:15interesting work um you know around Virtual Worlds and yes I guess you could call it the metaverse I mean obviously

3:22that's kind of like not in fashion right now to use the word people are like a little a lot of people have a reaction

3:28to the word it's so trendy isn't it man it's so I'm popularly known in tchas

3:34circles as the Godmother of the metaverse like like I still like I still Embrace that in the sense that like I

3:40take pride in it um I will say something it was interesting that you mentioned Horizon worlds and the billions of

3:46dollars invested by meta I think it's important to mention here um that the billions of dollars invested weren't

3:52only in Horizon worlds right it was reality reality reality Labs which has been doing amazing R&D work from

3:59everything from from the glasses you know from Project Arya to rayb band's glasses and I'm sure we're going to talk about that to Oculus and all the work

4:06they've do in M VR and and the you know control labs and the acquisition of that and like the things they're doing with neural interfaces um so so yeah so it's

4:14billions of dollars but not just on Horizon World um that's a good clarification too because there's a

4:20whole big Tech stack including Hardware that's necessary to make these things work well and and Facebook frankly

4:26deserves credit and Zuckerberg deserves credit for being f about embracing that challenge it's a really hard thing to do

4:32and there's tons of Skeptics so he's also you know he's fighting Upstream in a sense uh it's not an easy thing to do

4:38uh tell us about all the different components that are necessary to make a virtual world happen yeah I think it

4:43depends on where you're building um a lot of the work that I've done with the brands hasn't been going into like a

4:49triaa game that's very complicated it's a lot harder right uh usually takes you know if you're a brand and you want to

4:54go into a AAA game it usually takes a year a year and a half even two years uh for something that to materialize it

4:59might have sped up lately but um most of the work I've done with the companies has been in for example fortnite

5:05creative or Roblox which is massive massive massive um you know virtual world um so so yeah like I've been doing

5:13a lot of work with these companies trying to enter trying to enter these spaces um so early on um uh I was tapped

5:20by Walmart uh to be their metaverse adviser in Residence and kind of worked with them as a consultant for for almost

5:26a year um you know and that actually led to my teamate journey myself helping

5:33build Walmart land which was their first entrance into Roblox was a virtual world

5:39um that also led to me this is crazy I always pinch myself this also led to me

5:44uh producing a virtual concert inside Walmart land called electric Fest cool so I actually produced that concert I

5:50can say I produced virtual concerts which is exciting um and worked with it was three three three stars it was uh

5:57Kane Brown Madison be and Young Blood um and actually worked with them one-on-one with their teams to create these virtual

6:05Couture looks so like virtual like virtual fashion that they wore for the for electric vest but it was custom made

6:10for that experience so we call it virtual Couture because it wasn't something that was like being sold okay

6:15let's back up for a second here because I'm talking about the people who are listening and I'm thinking some of them might be going wait how does all this

6:21fit together so for the folks listen a couple years ago Walmart launched a virtual world it was a destination on

6:27the web but it was a 3D immersive destination you go to did did you need a headset or could you look at it on a phone or I think you're referencing a

6:34video that was a video that was it was a prototype that was done for some some type of South by Southwest experience it

6:39was some agency that did that that is not my work my work is actually Walmart land uh in robloxs which had more than

6:46 18 I think it's 18 million visits I can't remember the number um it was actually inside of the inside the game

6:52 roblx like my work with them is post anything that you could have seen at that time um so yeah and it wasn't VR it

6:59was pretty well you could have I mean you could you could go to Walmart land in VR um but it you had to be like a

7:05beta tester like but a regular computer or even a phone would be yeah yeah so it's most more of a mobile gaming

7:12experience um think it's important for people it's important for people to understand that you don't need to wear a

7:19VR headset to experience Virtual Worlds that they're accessible on any digital device now um and then you you talked

7:25about fashion and before we skip over that because that's a pretty big piece to unpack as well uh tell me more about

7:31digital fashion because that's actually the very first time we connected that was your big focus and you were quite excited you had a lot to say about it

7:37and I know that in the world of uh you know of um digital items things on the

7:43transacted on the blockchain there was a lot of activity a couple of years ago in fashion in digital fashion most major

7:50fashion houses were experimenting with nfts and so forth by the way I thought it was very creative like that was a

7:55that was a very exciting time in the crypto space tell us a little bit about your work there with fashion yeah I mean that's still going

8:02on that's still for me fashion is my you know my creative Outlet of choice um

8:08that's where I express myself people some people paint some people sing for me it's fashion right so um I actually

8:14create fashion I've got a separate from Journey I have my own label called verse Lux it's part label part lab and we do

8:22different collections we have what capsule collection called the Frills um which is pretty much jewelry with NFC

8:29that meant as physical nfts or physical digital Collectibles uh we're going to be making some really interesting

8:34announcements pretty soon about that and yeah we've got other capsule collections coming and and doing some really fun

8:40stuff there that's more like my creative Outlet right um I will say I'll tell you

8:46a funny story so in 2020 I wrote an article uh Ryan Gil from

8:52Crucible um came to me and he said uh I've been thinking about this idea and concept of direct to Avatar this 2020

8:58mind and I said I love that term let's explore it together so we wrote together an article in Forbes in 2020 that said

9:05is direct to Avatar the next direct to Consumer we asked the question right and then explained what do we mean by that9:11what what do we see Brands like how do we see this playing out and that article9:16just lit something up in in in like the Fashion World I9:22started getting like messages from like SE suite at top maon and that led to me9:28working with Ralph Lauren led to me working with Louis Vuitton led to me working with Nike um you know with a lot9:34of these really amazing Brands to enter some of these spaces or try to understand you know how do they go into9:40these Virtual Worlds what is you know is a is is you know is virtual fashion something they should pursue right um so9:47the fashion space continues to be galvanized and continues to invest in this I mean you just had Gucci at New9:54York Gucci at um during Fashion Week uh with their new creative director at the9:59the same time as they were doing the physical catwalk they they kind of reskinned uh Gucci town in Roblox and um10:05you know you've got Louis Vuitton for example announcing via their collection of nfts very very exclusive and just10:13recently went into Discord so yeah like I don't I don't see the Fashion World slowing down whether it is virtual10:19fashion in gaming that is not connected to web 3 and they continue to do things in the web 3 space that is more the10:25crypto side um so I think one of the cool things you can do and like robots10:30the fashion brands are able to sell accessories you can actually accessorize your avatar um and I know I'm some sure10:38some of the folks that are listening are thinking wait a minute that just sounds ridiculous but it's really important for the people are listening to open your10:44mind to the possibility that there's a rising generation that spends so much time in Virtual Worlds that spend so much time10:51immersing themselves in alternate realities that they Place greater value in how they're represented there and how10:57they express themselves there and fashion has has an important role to play there as a signaling device to community to tell people which tribe11:03you're a part of the fashion brands realized this even before the pandemic uh they started experiment in this space11:09because footfall traffic into real estate into real shopping centers uh was falling down and particularly with the11:16demographics they were trying to reach but then when the pandemic hit this became like their primary channel to11:22connect with people so there was this tremendous surge of innovation at the time and as Kathy's sharing right now11:28this continues to this very day so if you haven't been paying attention to Roblox and by extension fortnite um as11:35uh you know kind of immersive worlds that are more than games where people meet and do lots of stuff including11:40concerts uh then you're missing out a really important chapter because this is a this is like an evolutionary cycle but11:47it covers a huge number of people hundreds of millions of people are participating Millions Robert one in11:53every three people there's three billion one in every three people is is labeling themselves a gamer that's massive the11:59gaming economy is worth more than Hollywood and music put together like I12:05think that's what doesn't click in people's brains like this is a massive very thriving economy um it is huge it12:12is growing um into your point you're talking about generationally the impact12:17right so um I actually got their medium right it's like really belongs to that group they really identify strongly and12:24there's a real generational divide you're right because there's a whole generation that doesn't even see that un right it's invisible to them yeah and12:31it's it's it's just they go in between both realities so I got a chance to uh to work with the harbard business12:36reviews analytic Service uh I commissioned them to work on a study on the business value of generation Alpha12:44um so for anyone listening they've probably heard Millennials of course genen z which are all on Tik Tok um and12:50then you've got Jen alfha who are 2010 and still being born right so any kid born between 2010 and still being born12:57those kids are gen Al um my three kids at home are J Alpa right so you have13:04your own focus group right there yes I have a focus group at home doing piano lessons right now she great and I've got13:10different ranges so it's been really interesting to see kind of like the different scope of of of the different13:16perspectives um but generation Alpha you know and in this in this Harbor Business Review briefing paper that that we13:23commissioned um and it's a free resource by the way I I'll give you the link so you can include in the show notes it's a free resource anyone can download it um13:30you can better understand who they are where they're spending their money what do they enjoy because in essence what13:36you're saying is true generationally it's the generation that will not know a world without AI they will not know a13:42world without streaming they will not know a world without augmented reality and they are the spatial Computing13:48generation that will eventually move from phones into glasses I mean I will and you will because we're you know13:53early adopters but they're really the ones that are going to be born like they're you know most of these kids are13:58using IP since they're born so um it's a really interesting generational shift14:04that's happening and how they view reality like I always contest and I tell anyone um for this younger generation14:11just because it happens in the virtual space doesn't make it less real for them it's not the real world and the virtual world it's physical and virtual but it's14:18just real they're all it's all real it's a Continuum yeah yeah yeah not one or14:24the other that's a really good framing because sometimes people do think of it that way um that's kind of like Legacy14:29thinking from the days when we were we would do online sessions you know we weren't always connected then there was14:35a real time where you're like I'm going online I'm going offline I'm gonna be back in the world but that just isn't the case anymore we're connected all the14:41time and you know we're uh it sort of permeates our existence constantly you know you're never far from a digital14:47screen anymore yeah and and their avatars are incredibly important to them and what they dress you know how they14:53dress them it's self-expression for them their their Virtual Homes like I'll sit with my kids and we'll be playing14:59something like adopt me and in Roblox and they'll be decorating their houses and tell me oh Mom look at my look at my15:04tiny house and look at my mansion and look at my this and that's where they'll spend their money um I shared this with15:10the media the other day and I said it's really interesting to me especially from a financial perspective the amount of15:15money these kids are spending right they're the their allowance is going into robu or v-bucks or whatever it is15:23and even my children like during Christmas they were like hey Mom what are we getting for Christmas from Auntie so and so and I said AE so and so is15:30sending you whatever $40 hypothetically um and they said they immediately immediately at that moment made the15:36conversion into Roo they literally said it's 100 what you know 800 whatever Roo it was yeah they can't do that with15:43Euros but they can immediately do a conversion in their heads into a virtual currency inside a virtual game so those15:50signals right those signals tell you like hm where is this going how do they view the world um you know because for a15:57lot of people that seems very foreign or weird like why would we spend something for an avat like why would spend money on something for an avatar for them this16:04is important like my kids will spend more money on Roblox or be more excited to spend money on Roblox than if I take him to you know to a store and say hey16:11we're buying clothes kit like they'll roll their eyes they'll be like that stuff the commodity it's true yeah let's16:16be frank the real world shopping experience is no fun anymore it hasn't been fun since before the pandemic but16:21now it's really no fun so I get that there's like a lot more entertainment value in Virtual Worlds and they're16:26highly social you connect with people even friends who are far away now how do your kids if you don't mind let me ask16:31you a couple questions about your kids as a focus group do your children keep the stuff that they buy like do they16:37have collections of digital items or do they dispose them or do they trade them away or all they some of them they16:42collect some they trade like they'll there'll be like sometimes I'll give you an example there there was a16:48three-headed dog um you know whatever it's called of course there was whatever they're called um in in adopt me and I16:55was so attached to it and then I was watching to my son play he was like no I traded it I was like no don't trade it17:02and then he trade one of his rare chow chows in this game I'm like don't trade your chowchow um but he does all these17:08trades he changes it up because he wants something different or um so yeah they keep some things that they might be17:13attached to um but they do trade a lot or you know change it up so um yeah I17:19got it's not but it's not speculative like it's not like crypto where people are trying to like game the market or17:25Corner the market on something that that's not what it's about it's about the fun of exchanging and kind of the17:30Ecstasy of communication and trading a digital object is a kind of communication yeah or like they really17:36want that dinosaur but the dinosaur is a rare pet and they have to trade two Chow17:41Chows for you dinosaur so um like all that happens in these spaces and it's real like they'll they'll be that or my17:47son will come one time he came over and he was like I just got scammed he's like this guy told me to trade all these and17:53he never sent me the the whatever he was trying to get um so it does you know like it's interesting to watch these17:58sorts of things um I'll give you a really beautiful example away from my son getting scammed this was really18:05interesting for me to to to uh understand as well uh since we're talking about the kids and as a as a18:10them you know um so it was it was last year uh18:15there was a famous gamer uh for Minecraft called technoblade um who passed away at 26 from cancer and you18:23know very young my son was a fan and I remember him coming down and saying Mom I just heard technoblade died and his18:29dad had read this letter on YouTube like he just came down he was he was distraught he like he had a lot of questions you know at that time he was18:3510 and you know like Mom why did he have to die like there was a lot of really18:40heavy questions for a child to process um so I spoke to him a little bit and then he said mom I've got an idea and he18:46left he went back to he went to his like computer he's a Roblox developer um in18:51like 30 minutes or an hour or so later he comes into my office and he's like Mom I need to show you something so I head over to his um computer and he's18:58created in Roblox a memorial oh my gosh that moment was powerful because it19:04taught me for these kids it's not about it's about World building and using these Technologies to express themselves19:11something as grief something as complicated as death and understanding something like that he took those19:16feelings and expressed himself in a way where he took the technology to create19:21something those a value to him and that Memorial actually uh some some of his friends visited it he actually made like19:28100 um so it was a really she made um Asing19:33it was powerful to me I get I get what you're saying these are expressive tools right and and I think there's a new kind19:39of literacy that's being developed right now and again it's generational so some folks who are listening are definitely19:45going to have question marks floating above their head because they're going to be like wait I don't get it this stuff is totally virtual therefore it's19:52valueless but what what they're missing is a Valu is in the eye of the beholder qualiity in the eye of the beholder and19:57sometimes there's experiential value or even sentimental value that you can attach to a digital experience um yeah20:04sometimes it's commodified you can trade it you can sell it right sometimes but sometimes that's not the point sometimes it's the experiential value of making it20:10and sharing it and having Community around it that is uh that that is what people really truly Prize or where they20:16where they really Place their identity I think this is important uh I've been doing a study right now about the growth20:21of the Creator economy which is just astounding you know even outside of game games is definitely a major driver of it20:26things like fortnite and R Roblox Minecraft and so on but beyond that even20:32uh you know there there's a tremendous amount of activity whether it's Tik Tok the millions and millions of people on Tik Tok are creating video people on20:39YouTube Some of whom are doing extraordinarily well like they're building their own media businesses I20:44contrast that to traditional media yeah a field that I'm very familiar with and I know you are too uh where traditional20:50media seems stagnant and it seems even things like Netflix to me have become a lot less interesting in the last couple20:55of years um the formul the process seems very rigid it's a handful of people creators in those21:02fields who are allowed to create or have permission it's all permission based it's all budgeting based and finance-based um and in those in those21:10uh Industries there's an army of technicians now who evaluate your work even at the level of a script and21:17they're starting to put metrics against it uh the kind of the way that you know metric driven game design happened 10 or21:2215 years ago but now they're doing it with like Motion Pictures and I'm sure they're scoring music in the same way in fact I know they are21:28uh to try to evaluate whether or not this is going to succeed and I got news for you it's like that will never work21:34like you're never going to create a hit with metrics like that because what you're taking out of it is the magic and the magic is all human execution but21:41meanwhile on the other side you've got this group that we've just been talking about and they're building it they're21:47not necessarily consuming it they're making it and they're sharing it and they're getting empowered and they're21:52participant in this so while you've got this small and kind of like hard to get into Club of professional motion picture21:58people and professional music people and so on on the other side of the spectrum there's this large and ever expanding group of people who I think are in the22:04hundreds of millions and you're right it reaches billions of people this is quite an extraordinary Moment In Media it's22:10like the second century of electronic media and this time around it's for everybody to create and consume together22:16well and then you add degenerative AI tools that are coming to it democra democratizing I mean Runway just look at the powerful Runway is a generative AI22:24tool that does video right you can do you can pull a you can put a picture in it'll give you a video you can put you22:29know text it turn into a video like it's just a truly amazing tool and um we're going to take a break and come back hold22:35on to that thought because this is a great great segue into the next round but before we do that we always like to22:40get to know our guests a little bit so I'm going to ask you a couple quick fire questions just give us a quick22:45answer uh what's the earliest experience you had of Science Fiction could be a book or a movie or TV show I would say22:52the hunted Mansion at Disney eight years old seen uh that to me that's the first time I saw an augmented reality okay22:59very good very cool uh who is someone who has made a forecast or a prediction23:04that really impressed you that made an impression on you maybe made you make a career decision or some other choice23:10well I'll tell you who I wasn't impressed with can I say that sure you want I love the pivot podcast I love23:17carara and Scott I just don't agree with Scott's vision of the Apple Vision Pro I think he's completely wrong and does not23:23understand where spatial Computing is going well sh share a little more there because I don't know what he said about that yeah he's been very negative I mean23:30he's he's an a AI Optimist but I think he's missing the connection between the spatial Computing side and AR and23:36artificial intelligence like we're going there after the break okay that's great stuff but now you're teasing we got to take our little break so let's do that23:43then uh folks you're listening to the futurists I'm Rob Turk and this is Kathy Hackle telling me all about immersive23:48Computing spatial Computing and the future of immersive worlds hang on tight we're going to take a short break we'll23:54be right [Music] back provoke media is proud to sponsor24:01produce and support the futurist podcast provoke FM is a global podcast Network24:07and content creation company with the world's leading fintech podcast and radio show Breaking Banks and of course24:14it's spin-off podcast breaking Banks Europe breaking Banks Asia Pacific and the fintech 5 but we also produce the24:21official finovate podcast Tech on regg emerge everywhere the podcast of the24:26Financial Health Network and NextGen Banker for information about all our podcasts go to provoke FM or check out24:33breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcast and radio24:40show hey there it's the futurist I'm Rob tersk your host and today I'm interviewing Kathy Hackle who has been a24:46leader at the very Forefront of the things that we call the metaverse or immersive Media or Virtual Worlds or now24:54spatial Computing the terminology changes but the concept is powerful it's about putting people in a world where25:00they're not just consumers or Watchers or observers but they're active participants and Kathy's got this great track record of working with major25:07fashion brands uh to activate their brands in these spaces Kathy let's talk a little bit about that let's talk about25:13your work with the fashion companies you talked a little bit before before the break um but I think a lot of folks AR25:18are not aware that uh you know Gucci and uh Louis Vuitton have actually made25:23games like they've been in the game business on their own and I thought that was a pretty bold move for a fashion25:29house to try to do but they're really trying to make a a genuine connection right like an experiential connection25:35with their with their future customers 100% And um we can definitely get into spatial Computing later because25:41my definition is completely different from the meterse but let me talk about fashion first um so definitely I feel25:47like the fashion world has definitely been a first mover when it comes to Virtual Worlds gaming metaverse whatever25:54you want to use um and and they've really you know they've been the ones testing the water here which is really26:00interesting to me um and and yeah like they I think the interesting thing here26:06is that they're going in into gaming right very very very in in very smart26:11ways some things go well some things don't go well but a lot of it but then what you're starting to see which is26:17even more interesting in my perspective you're starting to see gaming Impact Physical fashion right so it's this this26:23moment where you're starting to see this Loop right when it comes to culture because I always talk about like in gaming culture is being created like26:29there's street wear but there's also people people are wearing avatars and it's starting to impact things so you26:35had for example in February you had forel's um you know debut as a creative director of Louis Vuitton and a lot of26:41it was pixelated you had L had the pixelated collection you had you know at Fashion Week you had tons of stuff26:47happening you know during fashion months so you're starting to see this this kind of relationship that is symbiotic right26:52now between fashion and gaming right people will see them as two separate things but you're going to start to see more of that come together and um a lot26:59of these Brands like I said at the Forefront to me I'll be very very um very honest I feel like sometimes with27:06with Technologies it tends to be maybe different industries that are first movers like you know adult entertainment27:12tends to be one of the ones that uses a lot of these Technologies in this case fashion has been at the Forefront of27:18these gaming spaces and um you know I I was mentioning to you during the break27:24that um I have like a famous quote uh something that I said once um it was a couple years ago and I said the world's27:30next Coco Chanel is probably a 10-year-old girl designing skins in Roblox and that quote took on a life of27:36its own it's kind of well known you know in the Roblox space you're a big Advocate right you're you're a big27:43supporter of designers in fact you're supporting them in every way right yeah yeah like I you know I started to see27:49that like Parsons for example has a roadblox um fashion design class right now and you had the poly Moda Institute27:55in Italy as well changing some things you got different universities doing stuff and I love that but for me was28:00like okay but who's going to help these kids actually become the next the world's next Coco Chanel in Virtual28:05fashion um so I decided to partner with Florida International University um to28:11create the uh Kathy Hackle virtual fashion design endowed scholarship so28:16one of the world's first scholarships focused on Virtual fashion um I believe there's we're going to need to fund28:22these students these creatives that want to go that route and um and it's just been you know it's been really exciting28:28um from you know yeah it's it's interesting when you start to talk to all these like upand cominging creatives28:35and I know you do a lot of work with the creative Creator economy but there's this whole world of creators that are not necessarily developing games but28:42they're developing fashion um you know in these spaces so and some of them are making really great money some of them28:48are partnering with like for example Carly clth um to create you know fashion in these spaces so so yeah I was just I28:56was just talking to some folks the banking industry and I was telling them like look this virtual econom is growing really quickly it grows about twice the29:02rate as the real economy um and it's generationals say growth opportunities ahead and so forth and they were curious29:09they were really curious about it um and I said look there are transactions happening like this is a transactional29:16medium is a big deal you can buy and sell these things uh and and that means that there's an opportunity for Bankers29:22as well in the future I think you can actually say that you could do uh29:28almost anything that you can do in the real world there's an analog like there's a version of that it might not be identical in the virtual space uh up29:35to and including things like um Futures Trading and derivatives uh for digital items or for uh for virtual Goods as29:43crazy as that stuff sounds that's happening now like that's not hypothetical it's today's the world and and it's more than Roblox right so29:49there's also fortnite there's other worlds coming uh there's more than a thousand online worlds of various sorts29:55mostly focused on games but that makes sense because that answers the fundamental question of what do you do there right so the the game play is the30:02draw usually it's a game play that's so simple you can get it ad minutes might be hard to master but you don't have to30:07you don't have a steep learning curve but then once you're there and you got that habit and your friends are there then you start to figure out other30:13things in the old days online games we used to call that emergent Behavior you create the world and people would tell30:19you what they wanted to do with it they'd show up take it take it in in their own Direction U but now it's cool30:26the the game publishers have started to realize that they can open up their space to other people other brands other30:32kinds of experiences and then allow the users to mess around experiment play and30:37grow I think that's so powerful and this is like like you know kind of the old parent attitude is oh it's just a game30:44but I see this much more it's a pathway towards becoming a designer becoming a Creator becoming a game designer30:50becoming a coder like you know that's certainly a big part of roblox's appeal uh and you can actually Envision then30:56someone uh setting off on a career path or having a future uh in in these spaces31:02and that's kind of what you're trying to facilitate with the scholarship that's that's part you're trying to Foster have you had students graduate yet or is that31:08a very new project no we just announced it a couple months ago so it's it's really early in the process well we'll31:13have to have you back on the show to talk a bit more about that in the future okay so um you mentioned that there's a31:19different take on spatial Computing and so why don't you do that for us give us a little bit of um where things are now31:26and where you see it head in the future maybe the near future and take us out a little further yeah so um just for frame31:32of reference just for people to understand kind of why you know I have deep spatial Computing uh knowledge um I31:38worked for I worked at HTC Vive which is a VR develop like a VR headset company um and then went over to Magic leap31:45right when I worked at Magic leap it used to be the tech darling right the tech and VC world and pretty much what31:52we were building was a spatial computer we were doing spatial Computing uh we had you we had a definition that was you31:57know know drilled into my brain at that time but I've evolved I've evolved my definition in some ways at that time uh32:03the definition that magic leap had was spatial Computing is a new Computing platform that uses Ai and computer32:09vision to seamlessly blend virtual content in your reality um I've evolved my definition since then so for me when32:18we talk about the metaverse we're talking about the successor state to today's mobile internet when we're32:24talking about spatial Computing we're talking about something bigger much broader that encompasses both AR and VR32:30but encompasses AI iot 5G sensors like so many different Technologies it's like32:37it's so much broader than just metaverse and um and so I think to me it's important to mention that because okay32:43that's it's about this new Computing platform it's about the new hardware the new content new everything that's going to happen but it AI plays a critical32:50role in spatial Computing so I'll read something to you that I wrote the other day said spatial Computing is the next32:55shift in how humans interact with technology it involves a range of Technologies from AI XR iot sensors and33:01More in order to empower and create a new form of human computer interaction one that is more immersive and impactful33:08um it's basically the computer it's it's it's us engaging with technology in new33:13new ways technology kind of almost becoming invisible but the devices that we're going to use our computers are33:19going to see the world and understand the world around us which is a giant leap from what we've done I mean our33:25phones are rudimentary spatial computer is really really rudimentary because they have lter and they do a lot of fun stuff they're loaded with sensors that33:31GA gather a lot of contextual data around where we are what we're doing where we're going and so forth that's true yeah that's like the preliminary33:38here or once you use maybe depending on the device that you know I have there's a whole debate on whether it's screenless or you know it's something33:44like Humane or whether it's something like apple Vision Pro or you know um smart glasses that's that's a whole33:50debate but to me one of the distinctions one of the distinctions you're making is between a destination that you go to33:56which let's say um Facebook's Horizon world would be a good example of that right uh34:01you put on a certain set of gear and then you go to that world and you have a session in that world and then you come34:06back out to the real world that's virtual reality or immersive worlds or Virtual Worlds uh what you're describing34:13now though is I'm in the real world and I have this headset or maybe goggles or some other apparat glasses GL eventually34:20like Rands and it allows me to see an overlay of data on the real world so I'm not leaving the world I'm in my house or34:26I'm in the street or I'm in you know wherever I happen to be work or something and I can pull data overlays in and and those could be like lenses so34:33I could have an entertainment one or productivity one or if I'm a repairment I could see like the parts in the auto34:38you know that I'm trying to replace or something like that you know so there's a lot of different scenarios uh and that's Limitless I34:45agree with you like that's a gigantic space I call them layers like when I was in Magic we call them layers it's like layer zero is the physical world but34:52there's all this data that we're already putting out right with our phones and our devices it just happens that when we have that spatial computer we're able to34:58see that content right not in ones and zeros because we don't normally consume it like that um but we'll see in the form of annotations in the form of35:04holograms in the form of many different things um so yeah it's a completely different perspective and and I think35:10it's important to mention for a lot of people and I think one of the definitions that was given about the metaverse um it talks only about virtual35:17worlds like to me the physical world is part of the metaverse it just has hasn't been fully enabled it will be enabled35:23through spatial Computing right um and spatial Computing includes the physical world in the majority of it but with35:29spal Computing you're going to be able to dial between if you want fully immersive or if you want physical world and most of the time we'll be you know35:35physical world with data overlays accessing whether it's the entertainment layer the information layer the security35:40layer um so yeah it's it's a broader broader perspective and I think what35:47it's interesting when I hear people talk about this is like humans are spatial beings we're volumetric beings we live35:52in a 3D World so why wouldn't we want to see the like the right now where I'm talking to you on Zoom it's a flat35:58surface I agree with you I talk about the tyranny of the rectangle because we go from one rectangle to the next36:04rectangle even when you look at like you know Google it just turned 25 yesterday and uh and and um say you know uh Amazon36:13the interfaces haven't changed in 20 years there's still flat rectangles like YouTube is this amazing space filled36:19with video but it's just a bunch of rectangles so yeah we're dominated by rectangles we we look at rectangles we36:25carry a rectangle in our pocket or we stare at them all day at work and then inside of that rectangle is another36:30series of rectangles where what you're describing is dimensional and you can go through it into it and be inside of it36:37and look around and look up and look down that's always the big aha moment for people when they put on a VR set for the first time head they look up and36:44they're like holy cow or they look down oh my gosh you know so that that's a an emotional feeling right you sense that36:51um and that's powerful because it engages more of the human cortex you're using more of your brain power uh those36:57are and it uses your natural we're natural spatial beings natural volumetric and I think the advances37:02you're starting to see in spatial Computing are in incredibly interesting um I'll give you an example so I was at37:08Co at the code conference and um Google had project Starlight uh which is their kind of37:14like it's like these booths that they use where you go in and you're in front of a screen and you're talking to37:19someone but I can see you in 3D if you almost hand me an Apple I could almost touch it like I could see the person's37:26pores it was beautiful like I wasn't wearing a device it was done through you know through spatial mapping and37:31volumetric and like all in AI of course there's a big component of AI but it was beautiful so we're going to see spatial37:38is going to be not only the spatial computer that we wear on our faces but it's also going to be different devices where we're able to engage in these 3D37:44worlds um in these 3D forms so let's let's talk a little bit about that so you mentioned AI several times and I37:51think I want to make the connection a little more explicit for people lately the focus has been generative AI so using large language model often using37:58text as an input you write a description and then the system will generate maybe it's a video maybe it's a picture maybe38:04it's a voice maybe it's something else a song um that's generative AI it's important it's growing fast it's been an38:09area of big focus and lots of investment it's not the only kind of AI so what you're also talking about is the38:15analytic AI that can analyze a space uh and and do procedures on top of that or procedural rendering of spaces this is a38:21different kind of AI actually precedes the generative stuff it's been around for quite some time a lot of people don't realize uh for instance I'm38:28holding up an iPhone here when you take a picture with your iPhone um well that camera half the camera is AI half the38:35camera uh is neural processing and that camera the minute you point it at something it starts taking pictures and38:41yes there's the one picture that you take when you tap on that um that button um but Apple's neural processing has38:47already taken eight other pictures and then the system itself selects the best picture which might not be the one that you took but it shows you that as if38:53it's the one you took this I find quite amazing because you go wait who's actually making the picture is it me or38:58is it the AI well it's collaborative right and it's collaborative it's collab positive view I think of artificial39:04people are very threaten yeah and that's where you know you mentioned whose prediction I didn't like is because I think that for for for you know for Prof39:12G for K Galloway his perspective is like this is a VR device I'm like no no no this is Apple's this is as much an AI39:19play for apple as it is in XR play Let's talk about Vision Pro Vision Pro is an39:25Exquisite ACH a m it's a technological Milestone there's so much advance in Computing in that one device now I don't39:33have one I don't think if you have one if you do tell me you do but from what I've gathered it's an astonishing thing39:388K in both eyes so that's incredible uh it's measuring you it's watching you while you're watching through it it can39:45show you the world around you it can process all that information and keep exact XYZ coordinates even as you move39:51your head around the room and so forth the refresh rate is really great it's kind of a step above I would say an order of magnitude improvement over39:57previous head mounted displays is that your take on it as well I think it's quite an achievement oh yeah I mean I40:03always say this it's the most technologically advanced piece of consumer technology out there and I mean I love the Met 3 I think it's fantastic40:10and I love the their new rayan um smart glasses but yeah I mean the Apple Vision Pro is life in a category of its own and40:17I think you're going to start to see more and more these you know this raise what I call the Post smartphone future like what replaces our phone right it's40:24a some level of spatial computer it's a computer right um so you'll see you'll see that but yeah the the tech I don't40:31think people during the keynote I don't think people you and I did but most people didn't grasp the level of40:39technology that went into this device the amount of time they worked and there sensors like it's tracking XYZ you're in40:46space it's tracking your hands and so forth and I know for full credit Oculus meta uh you know they they actually did40:53a lot of the groundwork here they paved the way to this device but Apple's really kicked it up and not yeah and the40:58meta 3 is pretty Exquisite too they're just you know you've got the The Vision Pro which is obviously on a league of41:05its own and then you got the meta Quest three which even during the keynote um boss said this is the best value spatial41:11Computing device out there um so yeah these are two different perspectives and that's where I think it gets interesting41:17because if you look at Apple what does Apple sell Apple sells phones watches41:22computers right so they're going to focus on selling what they're really good at selling that people pay them41:28hardware and yes they've got Apple TV and that's just going to be an added bonus but they're going to have tons of Partners whereas you look at a you know41:34Facebook Facebook Meta Meta is gonna go over the mass they're going to go after Mass Market they're gonna go after you41:40know these the broader base right yeah they have to in a way it's a little bit like Android and iOS you know there41:46there's a highend and then there's a mass Market opportunity as well they'll be different markets well you know what41:51it's interesting suckerberg I'll tell you this there were in an interview with uh with the ver suckerberg mentioned41:57that he didn't view it as I iOS in um in Android he views more as PC and mac oh42:04of course I thought that was a really interesting perspective I was like I kind of agree with him in that perspective it was a really interesting42:11perspective uh so so um I have a dumb question but I really am dying to ask so42:17you have the beautiful hairstyle by the way you look great than I want to know um would you ever wear a ski goggle42:24which is basically what the yes yes the Vision Pro is so you don't mind that42:29strap it's not going to mess with your hair I don't mind it no no like that to me is a fashion statement itself like oh42:35cool okay cool right no no no like okay good now that to me is like no it's like42:40having a Birkin bag like hell yeah a lot of folks who are not in the space don't are not familiar with the42:46technologies that are necessary to create the 3D experience and it's42:52important to note that Facebook doesn't build that technology and apple doesn't build that technology in both cases uh42:59those Virtual Worlds were built on Unity Unity is a software platform some people call middleware um mostly it's referred43:06to as a game engine which is not that helpful for people who don't know about games but means there's a series of libraries that you can call on they've43:12already been written that allow you to create effects like weather and atmospherics and so forth it allows you43:17to draw a window it allows you to place an object and so forth uh that's a lot of difficult code to write uh today most43:24game developers about 70% of game are written using Unity tools uh in some43:29form or another now unity and their arrival epic have both gone through a kind of a bumpy patch lately so even as43:36we're on this road to This brilliant 3D immersive future both companies hit a rough patch Unity had some L earlier43:42this year and then a couple weeks ago attempted to adjust their pricing and it kind of backfired huge backlash from the43:48gamer Community uh now they've kind of adjusted it or stepped down they said they were sorry today and today epic43:55announced uh that they just laid off 16% of their Workforce some 800 or more44:00people got fired and um you know in both cases it's kind of a bber they're really cool companies I think they're really44:06humble companies in the sense that they enable other people to make great experiences and they're really all about supporting creators uh what I think a44:13lot of folks don't know even Gamers do not know is both companies have basically been essentially subsidizing44:20the game industry Unity hasn't made money in 10 years uh epic loses money uh44:26they have been subsidizing it from their game fortnite which is famously profitable um but now it turns out as of44:32today Tim Sweeney the CEO at Epic said um they can't continue to subsidize it they're going to have to trim and they started to Jet is in some divisions and44:39trim back some staff and so forth doesn't mean they're going to stop the tools those two companies are yeah the tools remain we need them like we need44:45those tools but there has been turbulence in this Arena you know famously Facebook you know a year and a half ago they also fired a whole bunch44:51of people that were working on immersive world I think Microsoft shut down their industrial met team as well uh so it's44:58not all roses it's a it's a bumpy path to the future I guess that's always the case Hardware is hard it's a hard thing45:03hard's hard we've always said that right but I think this is the Silver Lining and I know people are really feeling it45:09right now like with the announcements I mean I went through a layoff at Magic Le where they laid off you know 700 people45:14like it was very painful I think everyone that's gone through a layoff you know my heart goes out to them I hope that they will find new roles but45:21that being said the fact that you have so many amazing and brilliant people45:26going into the workforce they're probably going to create amazing things that's exactly right this is a great45:32time to be hiring 3D developers very exciting time or for them to be launching their own things like I can't45:37even imagine the things like that are going to come from this so um you know that's a good point and in a way it's45:43like it's like cloud computing right it just knocks out development Cycles it means it's faster to start a company and45:48often it's less you need less Capital to start a business okay so in the remaining minutes that we have take us45:54out past this bumpy uh period that we're in the speed bumps and tell me about the brilliant future ahead what do you see46:00coming in the future in immersive media Virtual Worlds and spatial Computing uh I think the next decade is46:07going to be incredibly important and interesting in the way humans interact with technology it's it's going to be46:14it's going to continue to be fast-paced change that the fast-paced change that we're living through the last 12 months46:19it's going to continue it's it's not slowing down I mean AI is supercharging46:25everything and it's heading into that spatial Computing future so uh we're going to46:30interact with technology in a much more natural human- centered way and we're eventually going to lose our phones46:35we're gonna you leave our phones at home which sounds crazy to a lot of people are like I would never leave my phone at home um yeah and I think I think mer46:42physical and virtual will continue to converge it it'll be very interesting I'm excited my hope is that we also you46:48know find solutions for climate change because I always say people when people are like what makes you you know concerned I'm like well if we don't want46:55address crime CL climate change and that we're not going to have all the all these things and and all the uh you know all the the virtualization that we want47:01to see um so yeah I mean I'm excited I'm concerned I'm concerned47:08abouted some things in AI so tell me about the future of fashion so the fashion industry you know they're47:14they've been very bold I think more than most people expected and um you know ever since berbery went like digital47:21first right they were one of the first companies to do that but that was almost a decade ago um how do you see fashion47:26unfolding what's your vision of a fashion show in 10 years I think we're going to we're going to have a lot more47:32interactive fashion we're going to have um you know virtual Fabrics we're going to have more Frontier materials and47:40Technologies used in fashion um I mean I have some amazing things up my sleeve in the fashion world I can't really talk47:46about but um but yeah I think we're gonna see amazing things um let me read47:51to you this prediction that uh deby bazuki did at47:56um at RDC at their developers conference um let me see if I can pull it up well48:02basically he said in the next five years this is one of his predictions for the next five years a top fashion designer48:08will be discovered on Roblox without having any experience in physical fashion so I think that says it all48:13that's where we're going and um fashion will continue to be one of the first movers and yeah I mean from a fashion48:20perspective I'm extremely excited about the future fashion one of the cool things that's in48:25manufacturing now is that they do digital manufacturing so all the design happens on computers they can actually48:31simulate the usage of it they can simulate the manufacturing process and um what the the CEO of Nvidia said to me48:37he said Robert when we design a chip it exists on the computer and he said it's as real as it's ever going to be on the48:42computer and the the version on the computer is the parent the child is the physical part that we manufacture and48:50that's probably going to happen in a lot of fields almost certainly fashion is on that track already and that starts to48:55lead us to stuff like fashion on demand the ability for me to customize and print out maybe even 3D print my own49:02Fashions I know there's been experimentation in that but it hasn't really caught on my sense is that that's going to come in the future faster49:09fashion well maybe not fast I don't know if a faster fashion is something we need um but I do think we're going to49:14continue to see more you know Evolution there like I'm a big I'm a big believer in digital fashion virtual fashion49:20potentially being one of the solutions to fast fashion because it's something I can use ones and zeros to create people can see it their spatial computer and I49:27don't have to like you know buy a $9.99 shirt and just throw it you know oh so you're the distinction you're making49:32there is the fast fashion that is like destined for the landfill the stuff that's yeah like that concerns me right49:38so so I do see virtual Fashions potentially being in you know a way to kind of um great additive manufacturing49:45is extremely efficient and you're only making the one that you want as opposed to you know 30 that you don't get sold49:51all right well gosh Kathy it's been a great pleasure how can people find you on the web people are listening to the show might like to track you down so49:57what's the best way to do for them to hear your thoughts and read your thoughts folks can definitely find me on LinkedIn that's kind of where I share a50:03lot of great content uh c a t h y h a c KL they can also find me find my website50:09um you know and then I also have a WhatsApp group um where I share lots of news and things that I'm experiencing on50:16a daily basis with thousands of people uh it's kind of like a newsl but it's a group and yeah you know just across the50:23web um and yeah just thrill to thrilled to have been here super fun to have you on the show thank you Kathy Hackle great50:29joy to see you again I want to give a big shout out to the crew at provoke media that make the show possible uh so50:35Kevin hon our engineer Elizabeth Severance our producer thank you for making the futurist the top podcast on50:42the subject of the future and um every week we will be bringing you another person who is building the future that50:48they Envision and we will see you in the50:54future well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share51:01it with the people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five-star review that really helps other people51:07find the show and you can ping us anytime on Instagram and Twitter at51:12futurist podcast for the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions that you'd like us to ask51:18thanks for joining and as always we'll see you in the [Music]51:24futureEnglish (auto-generated)AllFrom The Futurists Podcast - Robert Tercek & Brett KingRelatedRecently uploadedWatched

Related Episodes