Transcript – The Future of Storytelling: Creating Immersive Experiences with ’s Orb System Founded by Krista Kim
“KK: I was just at NFT Paris not too long ago and the general consensus is that everyone is ready to enter Metaverse in terms of the technology, in terms of the capabilities of enhancing experiences, in terms of a spatialized even retail e-commerce community experience that brings people together. I mean, this is the future, really, of retail, this is the future of commerce, this is the future of education, this is the future of human interaction.”
[0:00:34.0] MM: Welcome to Veritone’s Adventures in AI, a worldwide podcast that dives into the many ways technology and artificial intelligence is shaping our future for the better. I am your host, Magen Mintchev, and I am here with Krista Kim, who is an internationally acclaimed artist and speaker who has been featured in exhibitions in media outlets around the world. She was chosen by Louis Vuitton as a #Louis200 visionary in celebration of the fashion house’s 200th birthday.
Kim is also a contributing Metaverse editor for Singapore Vogue and has been named one of the top 30 most influential people of the Metaverse by Read and Write Magazine. Her goal is to build the company , which she recently founded and is the chief creative officer of, as an example of what the Metaverse can yield for humanity, as well as advice companies toward those longer-term visions.
Lastly, Krista’s also the creator of Mars House, the first digital home to be sold on the NFT marketplace which is absolutely beautiful by the way.
[0:01:45.1] MM: So thank you for joining the Adventures in AI podcast, Krista.
[0:01:49.0] KK: Thank you so much for having me today.
[0:01:50.7] MM: Absolutely. So of course, you are a very fascinating person with some amazing feats under your belt already and even more things that you’re working on at the moment. What led you to have your life’s work be in the Metaverse and what is the interest behind it all for you?
[0:02:07.6] KK: Well, I used to live in Japan between 2005 and 2008 and I lived in Tokyo and when I first encountered Kyoto in 2005, I took the fast train down. I was absolutely fascinated and I experienced an artistic breakthrough. My epiphany came when I was at the Ryoan-ji temple garden, which is one of the most revered Japanese Zen gardens in the world, and when I sat at this garden, at the temple overlooking the garden, I was admiring the simplicity of it.
It’s so minimalist, so clean, and yet when you sit there, you became a meditator just by default. What happens is, it’s an immersive experience. The experience of Zen overcomes you because you are there in the presence of the art and so the monks that created the space over a thousand years ago, they knew that the space becomes a mirror of the mind and indeed, our environments are a mirror of the mind.
And with that, that lesson that I learned, I began an experiment of creating digital Zen for our screens and I began that process in 2012 but then it was 2020, during the height of the COVID crisis, when I daydreamed about creating my dream home in virtual reality so I could visit it even though we’re under global lockdowns.
So I created the Mars House as an ode to Kyoto but really looking toward the future as the future home of Zen and wellness that I visit in the metaverse and what really influences me and what really impacts me about this project is how powerful the metaverse will be and yet in this moment, how mindful we must be as creators to create spaces like Zen, spaces that are good for humanity, that elevates human consciousness because we can easily create a Kyoto versus a Las Vegas.
[0:04:20.9] MM: I love that and this place sounds exactly like a place I need to be visiting. It sounds so serene and like you said, very Zen, so I need that in my life for sure. I’m curious with the metaverse. Right now the trending big topic is generative AI, ChatGPT, those types of terms, that type of you know, AI. So do you think metaverse has sort of taken a seat back to generative AI, ChatGPT, or do you think metaverse is still very much in the forefront?
[0:04:54.7] KK: Well, I was just sat NFT Paris not too long ago and the general consensus is that everyone is ready to enter metaverse, in terms of the technology, in terms of the capabilities of enhancing experiences, in terms of a spatialized even retail e-commerce community experience that brings people together.
The whole concept of Web3 using the blockchain to create robust communities and then activating those communities in a 3D spatialized environment and providing interesting and engaging experiences for your community. I mean, this is the future really of retail, this is the future of commerce, this is the future of education. This is the future of human interaction because you know, we have 5G.
6G is also a new technology that will be unleashed into the world and of course, we have the acceleration of hardware technologies such as AR glasses. Apple will be launching very soon, the AR Glasses and within the next 10 years, that technology is only going to accelerate and give us the capability of experiencing a digital layer of immersive experience on top of our physical reality, and of course, VR, bringing people into an alternate dimension of reality through the Metaverse.
So I believe that AI is only going to add to this experience because there’s going to be a convergence of all of these technologies and AI will basically infiltrate all aspects of our lives. So the Metaverse will just become another extension of AR capabilities for people to co-create. So when we’re talking about AI, we’re really talking about the ability of people to enhance their individual creativity and create whatever they wish to create.
And so my question is, at this very key moment of time when these technologies are just at the beginning stages of development and adoption, individual mental health is crucial because the power that we are giving people on an individual level to create, to express themselves, to see what they want to see, what they create should be beautiful, what they create should elevate humanity.
I believe that mental health is important so that we really, you know, contribute to a collective of positive creation not depraved or depressed or negative creation. So I believe that with the power of this technology in our hands, we have a greater responsibility to be healthy.
[0:07:49.7] MM: And I think that’s actually a really excellent segue into one of my next questions, which is let’s talk about 0 and the ORB system. So it’s currently what you’re working on, it’s what you recently lodged, and of which, like I mentioned before, you're a co-founder and the chief creator of. So can you talk a little bit more about this? I know you said elevating humanity and I believe that’s one of your visions, one of your goals for this. So can you talk a little bit about that?
[0:08:17.0] KK: Yes, of course, thank you. So at 0, we have created the Orb System and what it is, is a player and it’s an open Metaverse player, which will play across all platforms. We are really working on making it interoperable across all Metaverse platforms so that all Metaverse creators have the ability to play 360 VR content, immersive content in the metaverse as a group experience.
So for example, if you’re on a platform such as Spatial, you're with your – a group and you want to conduct a seminar and so you can actually click on and experience, and the entire group is now immersed in the same storytelling content that is basically a 360 video. So we created this as a story-telling medium because, in the Metaverse, the greatest challenge we have in the Metaverse is that there’s simply nothing to do, right?
You have beautiful spaces, great, but if you're not actually participating in a live activation. For example, Metaverse fashion week, people drop off and they don’t come back. There’s no reason to come back but if you build spaces with journeys and immersive experiences that are on demand that people can click on and experience and consume or you know, or license, there are all these different models and ways that people can experience the metaverse as a storytelling journey, not just an empty space and that’s why we decided to create this technology so that we as storytellers can actually contribute to that next enhancement of the metaverse experience for communities.
[0:10:10.2] MM: I love that and in a way, it’s sort of even like a form of art, would you say?
[0:10:15.4] KK: Absolutely. We can also say that art is you know, now transitioning and now expanding into AI but also 3D spatialized experiences. Whereas you know in the past, you know, in our homes, in our physical reality, we are hanging pictures on our walls. We were actually doing the same thing in the Metaverse during you know, Metaverse 1.0. We were building spaces, galleries but hanging art truly as a 2D artwork on the metaverse, you know, architectural space but now, we want to break free of that.
We want to break free of those 2D dimensions, go into 3D immersive experiences. So yes, this is definitely a transition here now, we’re going to also see the AI convergence, which we are also integrating into the Orb System. AI experiences that are on-demand, either by voice to prompt or to text to prompt. So these are all new technologies in a new sort of artistic experience that we will be able to deliver to people very soon.
[0:11:22.4] MM: Wow, that’s very cool. I love it and now, why is the Orb System or 0, is something companies and brands should be caring about?
[0:11:31.4] KK: Well, it basically – it is an invisible feature that all creators should have in their toolbox. It’s a tool for storytelling and I believe that every brand, every artist, everyone when you’re in the Metaverse, you want to establish a storytelling context why people are there, and activities for people to participate in.
For example, in our Metaverse, we are building right now, our zero gravity space, which is a hub, a community hub of activation, and in that space, we’re going to focus on wellness. So, I will have a series of meditative experiences for people to go in there and experience. If you’re feeling that you – you know, you want to do your morning meditation after your morning coffee, you could go in there and you can have this beautiful experience or you can even have a wellness program, you know?
You can have workshops in succession that people follow a journey through and it could be a program that you offer, educational modules. I mean, when you really think about the context of why people go into a space, the beauty of it is that you can really bring people together as their avatars to experience them together and to create dialog and to create, you know, just a forum, as discussion, a place to share.
So that’s the difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is that you can really engage people as groups together and have that human connection in the Metaverse, where people can actually speak and create those human connections.
[0:13:13.7] MM: Wow, that’s really exciting and I’m definitely going to need to know when that meditative portion launches.
[0:13:19.7] KK: I will let you know.
[0:13:20.7] MM: All right, awesome, I love it. So what are some hurdles that you face while creating this?
[0:13:27.0] KK: We are very early. So I would say the greatest hurdle are the limitations of technology. So when you really think about the open Metaverse for example, there are all kinds of limitations in terms of scalability.
So we want to bring the maximum number of participants to an event or a program as we can but on many platforms, you have limitations of up to 2,000 people or even 50,000 per space, per instance, you call it at you know, the actual presence of the avatars. You can only have 50 because of the limitations of the data and processing.
But very soon, especially, you know, with the company called Lamina1 that Neal Stephenson, the founder of the Metaverse himself, he created this company, Lamina1 that is a layer one protocol that is the architecture for creator’s economy and for mass scalability in the open Metaverse on the blockchain.
So as a creator, we can create metaverse projects on top of Lamina1 so that we can invite, you know, the world in, right? And really organize scalable economies and creator’s economies, you know, because creator’s economies flourish when there are many people involved in that ecosystem.
So the more people that can jump into the Metaverse as a platform, the better and that is the number one hurdle right now and so that’s – but the solutions are actually being solved as we go and I would say within a year, we’re going to have incredible new capabilities across all metaverse platforms.
[0:15:16.1] MM: Okay, so I’m assuming then that this is one way, maybe that all of this is being future-proofed and what are some other ways that this is future-proofed?
[0:15:25.9] KK: Well, I think that you know, when you think about future-proofing, what you need to do is have a very robust economy that involves people from diverse fields. You want institutions as educational institutions. You want the world economic forum in there. You want, you know, major museums in there, you want galleries in there. You want Fortune 500 companies participating there.
It has to be, you know, the world basically coming into the Metaverse and having frictionless, you know, commerce and exchange, right? And having a creator’s economy built upon that. I think that is what we need to really future-proof the Metaverse is to really have everybody participate and you know, what would also really future-proof the Metaverse is to have more women because I find that – check this out.
Just in the recent history of PFPs, you’ve got World of Women, you’ve got Boss Beauties, Women Rise, all the female-led projects are thriving and so that proves that women in the Web3 community and also in the Metaverse create real foundations of community, right? We are the ones that create the beehive, that create that real structure for community to thrive. So I think that the more women come in that will definitely, which is 50% of the world population, that will definitely create the future-proofing of the space and we can’t be all about hype and about rapid commercialization.
We have to have long-term strategies of building community first. If you think about building community first and the technology and the architecture to support the communities and ecosystem that flourishes, that’s where you have long-term growth, instead of these land grabs or you know, pump and dumps. We can’t have that mentality in the Metaverse at all. Rome was not built in a day.
We have to have the same long-term thinking when it comes to building and strategizing in the Metaverse but let me tell you, every single brand, a consumer brand, a consumer-facing brand, wants to create in the Metaverse because you can really bring that brand experience to the next level and you could really bring your community because you’re thinking about your community first.
Bring them into the brand experience on an elevated level that not only, you know, has, gives them an impetus to purchase, you know, consumer goods or services but to really feel that they’re part of a community and to have that sense of membership, you know, a cocreation, immunity, built into that experience. So I think the whole idea of building in the metaverse is long-term strategy, community building and really offering quality storytelling and experiences to bring people back and bring people together.
[0:18:33.7] MM: Yup, agreed. Yeah. I mean, as that quote said, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So yeah, definitely.
[0:18:41.7] KK: And a lot of brands are now rethinking like, you know if you’re a beauty brand for example. Now, when you have a community, you're not only selling, you know, the next eyeliner color or lipstick. You’re now actually thinking about every individual customer as a human being and when you come into the Metaverse, I want to work on the inner beauty and I want to work on how this woman can actually add value to her life as a human being through education, health and wellness programs.
In the Metaverse, that is tied to our brand because those are our values. So truly it’s an expression of brand values and community.
[0:19:24.2] MM: Yeah, the whole experience.
[0:19:25.8] KK: Absolutely.
[0:19:27.1] MM: So what is one piece of advice that you would give to brands or even women, since you brought that up, looking to kick off their Metaverse initiatives?
[0:19:37.5] KK: You know what? I think that every single brand should really focus on the health and wellness of their communities and how to integrate that brand strategy and that sort of like that blend between art and brand and mental health in the Metaverse because whether you’re a fashion brand, whether you’re a beauty brand, every single brand has to look at the mental health and wellness of their community as a number one priority.
Safety, wellness, because that’s really going to keep your customers loyal because they know you care and we do have a mental health crisis around the world. So I think as part of our CSR, part of our social responsibility to look after each other. We’ve learned a lot since COVID. Why not offer this as part of the experiential offering for communities? You have guided meditations, you have artwork that can actually mitigate anxiety.
You have programs that you can – leadership programs even for females. All kinds of incredible, self-enhancement tools, whether it’s for wellness, for leadership, anything that really enhances your community’s life takes them not only into the metaverse but brings back skills and enhancements in their real life, that’s the key to doing the Metaverse the right way.
[0:21:05.9] MM: I love that you’re so focused on that, especially the health and wellness part of it because you're right, it is so very important and something that we’ve been dealing with for obviously, many, many years but it’s most prominent ever since COVID has hit.
So now, on the other side of that though, I mean, you still have people out there who are fearful of the Metaverse, the fact that it’s taking people further away from reality, from the here and now. What type of advice would you say to those people?
[0:21:34.8] KK: Well, I basically always, always, I’m an advocate for people to live their best life in the real world. I see the Metaverse as a tool. I don’t see it as the be-all and end-all destination and I don’t want it to be either. I’m also a mother of two children. The last thing I want is for addiction and FOMO to take over the space. I’m not about that, I don’t want to create algorithms that create addiction that make you want to come back to the Metaverse like a casino, like an addiction.
That is not healthy. I want to do the opposite. I want the Metaverse to be a place where we can be educated. Let’s take a course, let’s do a guided meditation, let’s meet our friends and have – are from around the world, and let’s have a valuable discourse about leadership and ways that we can improve ourselves as leaders. I think that the Metaverse is a place where we plug in to download valuable information and valuable human connection with others and then we leave and we bring those values and those lessons into the real world.
Just as we go to school and just as children go into Roblox, we meet them there and then they come into the real world with lessons learned and as a mother, I think and all women I’m sure will agree around the world, we want this technology to enhance our children’s lives. We want it to add value to future generations, not to make us live in a matrix that we depend on. No, I think that it’s going to be an incredible tool.
[0:23:12.6] MM: I wholeheartedly agree with that, I am a mom as well of two kids. They’re actually very immersed into Roblox these days, they’re six and five right now and yeah, they’re all over Roblox. So I love that portion of it, what you just said with the whole education and I’m always for that too. You know, if I see that they’re on something specific on Roblox and I’m like, “What are you gaining from this? What does this mean?”
“Why don’t you do something that’s going to like, I don’t know, help you spell or read or something like that instead?” So very cool that you are all about that. As far as predictions go for the Web3 in 2023 or even beyond, what do you think about that?
[0:23:53.9] KK: AI convergence is top of mind. I believe that the convergence of you know, blockchain technology with AI and also in terms of the artwork, I think that is truly going to gain a lot of momentum and I think it’s going to actually accelerate the progress and you know, the enhancement of the hardware and the software. Everything is going to be accelerated because of AI.
So I believe that Web3, the Metaverse, and AI, and blockchain are going to converge into one and we’re all going to be using these converged tools in a very powerful way. So that is why I am an advocate for mental health because through blockchain, creating communities, Web3 communities, activating them through Metaverse experiences that mitigates anxiety or provides therapy to people who don’t have access that’s immediate.
I think a scalable solution is very important and we can use those same models for education and for all kinds of incredible projects that will provide solutions to the world’s problems. So I believe that the convergence is actually going to make us better. We just need to show the world and have those keystone projects that demonstrate that.
[0:25:18.0] MM: I love your predictions and I really hope that if I was a betting person, I would put all my money on that. So I am hoping that you are in fact right about that. Now is your turn to go ahead and plug 0 and the Orb System. So how can people learn more about that and about you?
[0:25:35.4] KK: Well, wonderful. My socials, I’m everywhere, I’m on Twitter @krista_kim, on Instagram I’m @krista.kim, Krista with a K and my website is also krista.kim. My company, 0, is 0.xyz, 0 then the digit, the number, and the reason why we chose zero is because zero is a portal, a Metaverse portal into multiple Metaverse multiverse experiences and we’re also ego-less. It is also very Zen.
We believe that we should be ego-less in the Metaverse and create for humanity’s future. 0, we have already launched the Orb System and we are expanding that with partners such as Spatial. We are going into other partners and we’re talking to Sandbox or all kinds of incredible projects that we’re working on and I’m also collaborating with Dr. Srini Pillay of reulay.com, to bring their expertise into the Metaverse and create this movement because the Metaverse is a solution for the mental health crisis.
[0:26:45.6] MM: Wow, amazing work. Krista, I am beyond floored and you’re clearly not busy at all.
[0:26:54.8] KK: Thank you.
[0:26:55.4] MM: So I do appreciate you taking the time out of your day to speak with me, speak with our audience and I wish you the best of luck on all of this and I’ll be watching.
[0:27:04.7] KK: Well, thank you for having me. I really appreciated this incredible conversation. Thank you.
[0:27:09.2] MM: Absolutely, thank you.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:27:11.7] MM: This has been another episode of Veritone’s Adventures in AI, a worldwide podcast that dives into the many ways technology and artificial intelligence is shaping our future for the better. Talk with you next time.
Founder & Chief Creative Officer,