#766: Open AR Cloud: Interoperable Spatial Computing for All

jan-erik-vinjeThe Open AR Cloud is a volunteer organization whose mission statement is to “drive the development of open and interoperable spatial computing technology, data, and standards to connect the physical and digital worlds for the benefit of all.” They’re going to be holding a 2019 State of The AR Cloud Symposium and Showcase on May 28th, which is the day before Augmented World Expo (AWE) begins.

Open AR Cloud recently launched 11 different working groups that are focusing on the following areas:

  1. Spatial Indexing & GeoPose
  2. Reality Modeling/Mapping (Spatial Data Creation)
  3. Content Delivery, Browsing & Ownership
  4. Privacy
  5. Edge-Computing, IoT, and 5G for AR-Cloud
  6. Security
  7. Compliance, Regulations, and Legal
  8. User Experience, Accessibility, and Safety
  9. Open Source, Open Data and Open R&D
  10. Organization and Community
  11. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and decentralized apps for AR-Cloud

alina-kadlubskyI had a chance to catch up with the managing director of Open AR Cloud Jan Erik Vinje, as well as with one of the active founding members of the Open AR Cloud Alina Kadlubsky at Laval Virtual in France. We talked about the Open AR Cloud, some of the problems that they’re trying to solve, and their vision of what it will mean to have an open and interoperable spatial web.


This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.412] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye and welcome to the Voices of VR podcast. So on this podcast, I've been covering a lot about this dialectic and tension between closed and open, these walled gardens that are able to provide a very consistent user experience, but you don't have a lot of control or a lot of freedom. And so you end up having to pay a certain amount of money to whoever's owning that platform in order to sustain it. On the other hand, there's the open protocols, much like the open web, where it's much more democratized, but the user experience across all those sites is a little inconsistent. It can be hard to find things. But there's just a lot more diversity, inclusiveness, and ability for anybody to participate. And so there's always this tension between a closed approach and an open approach. And usually the closed proprietary models happen first, just because they have a much stronger business model to be able to provide these services to people. On the other hand, there's always people that are on the other side trying to think about how to make things more open and interoperable and thinking about the protocols, all the different standards groups. And so there's an organization that was announced last year at the Augmented World Expo called the OpenAR Cloud. And when I was at Laval Virtual, the OpenAR Cloud had a booth there. And I had a chance to talk to the managing director, Jean-Éric Vinge, as well as one of the active founding members of the OpenAR Cloud, Alina Kablutsky. And we talked a little bit about their initiative. Right now, they're a volunteer organization with a lot of people that are looking at 11 different working groups, everything from privacy and security, compliance and regulations, edge computing, IoT, 5G. It's quite a robust initiative and vision, and they're actually going to be having a 2019 State of the AR Cloud Symposium the day before AWE begins on the morning of May 28th at the Ericsson Experience Center in Santa Clara, California. So we're covering all that and more on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with John and Alina happened on Friday, March 22nd, 2019 at the Laval Virtual Expo in Laval, France. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:02:18.361] Jan Erik: I'm Jan-Erik Kvinci from Norway. I'm the Managing Director of OpenAI Cloud. It's a newly started global non-profit organization and we have a mission to drive the development of open, interoperable, real-world spatial computing. We want to drive the technology, the data, the standards. And we do this to really connect the physical and the digital world. We want to bring our digital lives into physical reality. So you can imagine a world where there are spatial apps, content, services in the physical world. And you interact with it in a very natural way. You just look around and you see all that is available. But it's tuned to your preferences. I think that's the future. You have your own AI assistant that you control. It's not some big corporation or government who's controlling this AI assistant. It's 100% controlled by you. It's acting on your behalf and it's interfacing with this thing that I call the superverse. and in the super verse all these things are available and it's machine readable and the AI assistant knows your preferences so it will only when it sees something is really interesting for you it will maybe notify you in a discreet way oh there's this thing across the street look in that direction it's a camera shop it's a great offer from that camera shop and what happened is Your AI assistant didn't tell anything about your age, gender, income, your personality, nothing. It only told the camera shop about your interest for certain camera equipments. There's no middleman other than your own AI assistant. And this camera shop, maybe it has an automatic response, it can tell you, we got good deals for this equipment. So you see this notification, oh there's the Hasselblad from the 1970s. You go and check that out. You walk across the street, there's no Facebook or Google or anyone between that. This is a boost for local economies. So now we want to make this, what we start to call the superverse, really open and interoperable. It should be like the web. You should be able to, wherever you go in the world, whatever device you're using, whatever visual browser you're using, it's based on standards just like the web. Just like today, one person can make a website and it's viewable on all devices for everyone across the planet. 4 billion people almost now can do that, access that webpage. So I think the web is a very good template for the next generation of spatial computing. So we want to take the best, but we really need to be careful to not repeat the mistakes we have made in our online lives regarding privacy and security and safety. So we really try to bring in the best people in the world to work with us. We have set up 10 working groups. We just started a few weeks ago. 21st of February we had our inaugural working groups. So we're getting the first working groups operational now. And we got really great people and we need more. We need more people to join in on the effort. There's years of work to make this happen and be really great. We got Alina standing here next to me, she's really contributing, she's been an awesome help. She knows so much, she has so many contacts, she's so knowledgeable about AR and also VR, and introduces me to so many people, and she's made this awesome video. So we have these dedicated people, you should have a few words with Alina.

[00:06:13.850] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: Yeah, hi guys, I'm Alina. I'm one of the active founding members of OpenAirCloud. So what's also we need to clarify is that we all have day jobs and this is like our passion baby that we do on the side, especially working towards our inocular launch. We've been working like coming from our jobs and jumping and working on this and get this done. So with also with the whole launch at AWE last year, we launched it with a privacy manifesto. So it's really important that we communicate how important privacy, security, and also data ownership is a core if we move forward to this spatial web or whatever like air cloud or whatever we will call this in the future and we have 10 working groups which are not just only meetups so we really want to excuse me for my language but we really want to get shit done and produce stuff and also really work close with the community so along the way if we come up some patent or some projects it's going to be open sourced and also we want to make sure that this thing is not going to be owned by one corporate company. Because it's really crucial, especially we want to make sure that while we are building this ecosystem, that privacy and security is really a core, and that we don't have the black mirror in 10 years. And we realize, oh my god, what about security? What about privacy? We need to solve these issues now while we are growing?

[00:08:07.273] Jan Erik: You know, it's no small issue to solve that issue because one of the really fundamental technology that is enabling this is machine learning and it's an amazing tool and it allows you to create really fantastic user experiences because you can have this machine that understands your context and it understands the physical space around you. What is there? Where is it? How can you interact with it? It can help the blind, it can help the disabled people to navigate a complex world. But the same kind of technology, if we allow it, it could be abused on a massive scale by governments or big corporations. It's commonplace today to just use an algorithm, you can look at the face, what sort of emotional state, you can look at a body posture. You do that in real time, you can see if someone is sick or healthy, how they are interacting with other people in the space. So you really have such an ability to have such an intrusive knowledge about people and the context around people. And that context needs to be protected and local. It's like when I look at you and you, we see each other, we understand each other's emotional states very well. That's no problem because our brains are local edge compute devices. They are not ratting to some corporation about how you are feeling. I'm not streaming a data stream from my brain up to some corporation. And that's why that's not a problem. And that's the way the neural network AI should be, it should be local. And it could be shared, you know, it's very beneficial if it's shared in a local space. Imagine for traffic, like you're riding your bike and you can actually, in a super space world, you will be able to see, are there any cars coming in full speed on the next exits? Do you need to brake or not? so you could have a better riding experience on your bike, just speed ahead or you know you have to brake. And that is like local data about a vehicle that is in your presence. This is valuable that we can share this kind of data so the automobile, it will know that somebody's riding a bike towards this section and you know that there's a bike. You're not seeing each other in reality yet, but you can see each other through the super space. And that's a real benefit. And there's like a million things like that. But as long as you keep that protected in a local edge environment, It's not a problem, but you need really make sure that people are not cheating on this. So you have maybe a system with third-party verification of edge compute algorithms and systems, so you know that there is no way they're gonna aggregate this. That's how I'm thinking about this.

[00:11:06.755] Kent Bye: Yeah, the privacy is an issue that, as I've been covering virtual reality for the last five years, is starting about over three years ago, coming and merging from the community. And Sarah Downey was talking about how VR and AR technologies could be the absolute worst surveillance technology we've ever seen, or it could be the last bastion of privacy, because you could actually have way more protection of your privacy in these virtual worlds when We're just sort of rating our biometric data and our facial data as we walk around. It could be that these public spaces that we have now are just these environments where you have less privacy than you do in these virtual worlds. But these virtual worlds could also potentially be even more intimate with all this access to the biometric data, that they're going to have all this deeper insight into our interstate. So it seems to me that there's these polarities between the amazing utopic futures of how this is going to transform society and the opposite dystopic Black Mirror scenarios where you have this Big Brother scenario and these worst surveillance states and the line between prediction and control gets completely erased.

[00:12:07.394] Jan Erik: I think we're at this existential crossroads because when you look at China now with their social credit system, they're starting to roll that out on a national level. They've started in some cities and everybody has a score. And if your score, if you do something that either the government don't like, which is, well, it could be bad behavior, you be like jaywalking or doing some stuff that is not pro-social behavior, okay, but maybe you're young, you're not thinking, and your score is low, and maybe you don't get into the university, maybe you do not get a job, you may not be able to ride the bus, So you exclude people from all sorts of opportunities. And that is happening in the real world, in a country that is a major important country in the world today. So it's not just theoretical. We need to really get our shit together to solve this, figure out how we really know that we create a positive future. So we're going to put all our efforts into making sure that what we are creating is not the black mirror, but it becomes a fresh start, becomes a digital renaissance. That's what we're aiming for. The Superverse is like the new era for humanity where we can flourish. coming out of a dark era, we're starting to flourish and you see an explosion of art and culture, economy and in a globally connected world and we are able much better to solve our problems. That's the dream, that's the vision and it's such a It's such an inspirational thing to drive towards and we really think we can do that. When we are having in our working group some of the top people in the world already, we have the best legal like Brian Watson, we got someone in GDPR privacy expert. just recently joined and like I understood like he's skilled definitely yeah when I was talking to him but then he says yesterday I was talking to the United Nations about privacy issues so well I'm just really amazed by the skills that some of the people involved are bringing and it's like it's a wide range Just yesterday I was talking with this amazing artist from South Korea. She's doing awesome things. She's thinking about data and humanity and the interplay between AI and robots and all those kind of things. She was really inspired. I was really inspired by her talk and she was inspired by our project. So I think we're gonna have really awesome art projects. So it's a range of things, it's not the really hardcore technical stuff, it's the hardcore legal regulation stuff. the usability, accessibility, inclusiveness of like we want to have bring the entire world. We got four billion people online today and that's a humongous achievement for humanity that we are able to connect across the globe. But for this new era, when we bring the rest of humanity online, we must ensure that they're not brought into like a digital prison. They must be brought into digital renaissance instead.

[00:15:28.635] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: So yeah, for me, it's also core that with this new blank space, that it's crucial to be inclusive. And what I mean inclusive, not just only tackling this challenge on a global scale. That's why we work remotely all over the globe. We already have partners and members from Pakistan, India, with their different cultural background. They have so much more to add as well from a different cultural background. They add different insights from a different point of view, which you as maybe I'm from Europe, I never actually thought about. And this is one point as well as being inclusive when it comes to sexuality like women and male. but also being inclusive to include people who are deaf, blind. There's a challenge from a UX point of view and I think it's really crucial that we have every human on this planet being included in this new medium, in this new whatever we will call it. This is really crucial and this is like hardcore for me. to be inclusive. And also from a UX, UI point of view, it's a challenge. But if we really dig deep and work together, I think we can really make this happen. And I don't know if we solve this issue. Even, I don't know if we can, but at least we can come back and say we tried.

[00:16:57.292] Jan Erik: We're gonna try our very best. We're full, what we call it in poker, we're all in. We're really all in on this. We're not giving up. If we are facing struggles, if people are trying to undo what we are trying to do, we're not giving up. We're really dedicated. I'm in this for life, okay? I'm not gonna let anyone dissuade me from trying to build the digital renaissance.

[00:17:26.187] Kent Bye: Well, so I was one of the co-organizers of the VR Privacy Summit that happened at Stanford with Jeremy Bailenson and Philip Rosedale, Jessica Outlaw. We brought together like 50 of the top companies in VR and had this whole discussion. And one of the things that came out of that was that there is this tension between the economic business models of surveillance capitalism and privacy. where until the economic foundations for these companies changes, then you have some of the biggest players of Google and Facebook wanting to continue this existing model of surveillance capitalism into these experiential technologies. For me, it seems like that is a really dangerous road to go down, to bootstrap this whole new immersive web on mortgaging our privacy. And so when I was at the Decentralized Web Summit and had a chance to talk to Vint Cerf, one of the co-founders of the internet, I said, hey, Vint, maybe Google should stop doing the surveillance capitalism thing. And his response was, like, well, if you have a better way to give universal access to all human knowledge to everyone around the world for free, then let me know. But with centralized systems, there's economies of scale that, you know, you can't get with decentralized systems, at least right now, where there's not a scalable architecture to be able to mimic and mirror what we already have with centralized systems. I do see that there's a pendulum that swings back and forth between centralization and decentralization. But I also see that there's a big open question around how is this going to be economically sustainable and what is the decentralized architecture that's going to become this mirror world that's going to mimic for what you can do with 5G centralized fiber optic networks that kind of requires everybody to become an active participant in the servicing of the mesh networks of the decentralized web, kind of requires everybody to participate and everybody has to become assisted men to help manage their own local network, essentially. That's what I imagine, at least, and that's the alternative vision, but there seems to be both an economic issue, but also a scalability issue with decentralized networks.

[00:19:22.512] Jan Erik: Those are very great issues that you bring up. There's a reason why I started with this business owner and the people, the guy who was buying this camera equipment. because that's local business and they have vested interest in being able to get to their customers and if they can like get those really great matches with their customers mediated through the super verse and that's a huge opportunity like it's not that we do not pay for stuff I pay for like my iPhone it costs a lot of money I paid for that with my own like hard-earned money and people are paying for their 5G. No, not yet, but like in the future people will be paying for their 5G connections. They will be paying for also access like people buy access to Netflix. In the future people will buy content in the superverse. If I was the creator of something in the superverse, I made some awesome experience that you can have in this particular park or whatever. then I would like it to be easy for people to just pay for that, so I can get my money. And I think if it's a great experience, then people are going to pay for that. So we're not saying like OpenAI Cloud, we are for pro-business. We have a huge number of actual businesses who are partners with OpenAI Cloud, and they are all there to make profits. I can dream of the Star Trek future, like Captain Picard, that kind of style where we're way beyond money now, we don't use that. That's what people did in the old days, they didn't know better. I could think that that's a great future, but we're not there yet, so for the next decades at least, we're gonna... have to earn a living, and we're going to have to pay for our house, for the stuff we eat, for our transportation, for our devices, and for the content that we consume. So it's really crucial that we have a working group on the content delivery side, on the data ownership side, so that people can actually earn a living in super space. And it's really important.

[00:21:31.805] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: I also think there's a huge potential also when you have a virtual object interacting with our physical world. There's a huge potential if you build something that it really interacts with its location and in a way that it's unique to this spot. So there's a difference if you have something in Laval which is interacting with this medieval, this is also like we have a tech conference in this like medieval town which is with castles and this is so bizarre and we were walking around and we were thinking like okay how cool would it be if you can like bring back the future here and like see knights shooting with their armors and this could also be from a point of view especially if as a... The local tourist industry, yeah.

[00:22:24.554] Jan Erik: So they commission this, so people would know that in Laval there's like this, you really got to see that, you got to go to Laval and experience this super-verse medieval thing they got there. It's really mind-blowing. So then they like bring in people to Laval. and some of the stuff could be like free so they just like freemium kind of thinking okay so you lure the people in but you have like additional content that's like even more awesome and so like local business could make a humongous amount of money on that through the superverse. That's how we should think about it. And there's no company in another country interfering with that and just spying on people and figuring out their emotional states to push their buttons and manipulate them. There's none of that anymore.

[00:23:13.927] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: And also I think which is important like for now we don't have universal basic income. We will have this. We need to solve this because as well as robots taking over we need to solve this. I mean on the AI side SingularityNet is doing a great job on that point of view. So I also think the lines are blurring. For sure we need to incorporate people from the AI side and also blockchain as well and we need to open up this discussion and start it because the lines are blurring and if we move forward we need to solve those things as well as privacy now and not in 10 years or 20 years when we have this and people are scared. People are scared about it because the media is they're hyping this up. There's also a core that we really need to communicate this and start a discussion with the whole popularity of humankind and not to have like, okay I'm scared that robots take over my job and what do I do with all this free time and those are core issues now.

[00:24:20.994] Jan Erik: We think one thing is we should work hard with dedicated people, we should also try to raise awareness among the business people, among the general population, in governments. So people in all levels of society are starting to think about this. So actually my idea is that we actually can bring some sort of hope that they think this is a workable approach. This is something that could make our digital lives better instead of just like being confused. What are we going to do? This is getting worse. That's the sort of like mood we're in with fake news and we have these bubbles. We're in the search bubble, we search for the stuff we're interested in. We're not exposed to other views and other contents and groups are more polarized and angry towards each other. Like the youth, there's an epidemic of anxiety and depression and loneliness. On a scale that is sort of surprising, but when you look at the technology, what it is doing, maybe it's not that surprising, so we need to get a fresh start, get out of this and be optimistic about the future again, be optimistic about technology, what it can do for us if we are a little bit more conscious and we work hard to do that.

[00:25:43.105] Kent Bye: Well, in covering this issue, I know that there's this dialectic between closed proprietary systems, the walled gardens, where there's basically like the iPhones or the Facebook and Oculus Quest. I can imagine they want to own all that's happening on the platform. And then the decentralized open platforms, the open webs, all the protocols, going to the decentralized web summit, people from the blockchain community talking about the importance of those protocols and how protocols can cultivate ecosystems around them. We already have a lot of protocols with the open web. And then on top of that, the OpenXR standard that is there, the WebXR standard, and then the self-sovereign identity from the WC3. There seems to be a lot of foundational aspects of the immersive web, but there seems to be also potentially things like Mark Pesce suggesting the mixed reality service. So who owns different aspects of the virtual space that is the AR Cloud, like who owns the ability to be able to have content there? Is that a blockchain technology? He suggested some protocol, but I'm curious from your perspective, from AR Cloud, there's lots of existing protocols, but what are the new protocols that we don't have yet that you think we need in order to create this vision of the open superverse that you have?

[00:26:54.465] Jan Erik: One thing that is just very basic, we don't really have a shared frame of reference, so everybody's having this idea about this digital twin, this one-to-one representation of the real world, that you could anchor everything to. But if people use all kinds of different ways of doing that, with all kinds of different data formats, and they understand what is the altitude in 10 different ways, you're not interoperable. So that's why we are partnering with Open Geospatial Consortium on a data exchange format, to just convey the geographical position and orientation. So then you could use any sort of digital twin. If you know the digital twin, how it's oriented in the world, then you could build a service on top of that, where you find your geographical position and orientation. We call it Geoposts, to make it more succinct. So the chief operating officer in Open Geospatial Consortium is all in on this. and we're going to start as soon as possible to bring in different stakeholders from geospatial, from the like the web or developers. We want this standard to be developer ergonomic. It shouldn't have to take a degree in geodesy or something like that. They don't have to be rocket scientists to be able to use this data format. It should just be like on the browser or the smartphone that you just get the GPS location, it should be on that level, and you should be able to use that in your application so that you can display content that has geopost. So this virtual asset, this has geopost, this self-driving car has geopost, the other player you're playing with, the device he's either wearing or holding his hands, it has the geo pose. So that's like a fundamental piece of the shared frame of reference. We'll make it just so much more easier to be interoperable amongst apps, like between apps, between contents, between all sorts of ecosystems of technology.

[00:28:57.215] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: What I also think is really crucial is being an unproperable also means that even though we move forward and headsets and glasses get cheaper, that we don't exclude elderly people who still have their old devices. Because they're a different generation, I mean, my grandma would never get a HoloLens. So that's what I mean, that it really works on any device and also maybe on an old iPad, on an older device, on an older smartphone. And I think this is also part of inclusivity. And I think this is really crucial that that's an issue with the web now. I mean, my grandma don't own a computer. We barely forced her to get a smartphone. So we also need to talk about this stuff as well, that we don't exclude different generation.

[00:29:50.082] Kent Bye: Well it sounds like that a lot of the work that you're working on is you're trying to embody your own ethics and morality that you have that you want to see and create and that you had published this privacy manifesto and I feel like ethics is a huge topic in our culture and all dimensions of our society and technology and that we have all these transgressions of boundaries where we're seeing what happens when you go too far when it comes to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and you know all the security and privacy breaches, you know, the consolidation of data is a security threat, not only for national security, for having foreign states coming in and to get access to these psychographic profiles to do information warfare, but it's also just a personal security risk for all this integrity. Now, as we move forward into immersive technologies, there seem to be all sorts of new privacy risks that really make me afraid.

[00:30:41.900] Jan Erik: and security risk. I assume most of you have heard about this exercise app in Afghanistan. It was just GPS position and people were like running to exercise and they were revealing the structure of the military bases in enemy territory. So imagine if you don't think about these things and you just try to push this technology on the market and people are just bringing their consumer devices into military base and then suddenly the enemy, they know what sort of weapons are equipped on the vehicles, you know. That's a military security, national security disaster. So we want to avoid that as well as we want to avoid people accidentally revealing their innards of their bedrooms to the world. So on an individual level, on a community level, on the national level, we need to be mindful of the consequences. Because the technology now is becoming so much more powerful and it's really great in so many aspects, but we need to have this heightened ethical awareness because this double-edged sword is getting sharper and sharper each year.

[00:31:55.333] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: Yeah, and also, from this perspective, if you don't want to share your living room, I mean, sometimes it's messy. You can just use stage objects and have maybe a couch that you use from a library to have a stage setting. And those are things we need to think about. I mean, maybe I didn't clean up my kitchen and I don't want to show this. So I can just exchange it with staging objects.

[00:32:26.662] Jan Erik: In the super verse, you're never going to have to clean your room again.

[00:32:30.828] Kent Bye: Well, what are some of the biggest either open questions you're trying to answer or open problems you're trying to solve?

[00:32:39.721] Jan Erik: Well, oh there are so many, you know. We're just beginning, you know. There's going to be years of exploring opportunities. So even like the basics, how do you organize, how do you make sure this edge computing stuff is working in an optimal way? Like, how do you know that it's like some company just swamping out all the edge compute for some sort of their own use and nobody else is getting the edge compute? You need to like, have to have some sort of vendor neutrality or We need to tackle all the issues to make this work together as a whole. We kind of like solve just one problem. So we solve one problem with this geopose, then we can start to find out how we index contents. How can we have layers in like, how can we make sure that a transportation or mobility layer in the superverse is communicated and made accessible for the visual browser? We don't know that yet, but we get the best people in the world to get together to figure it out.

[00:33:43.597] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: Especially inside mapping is getting better and better. I mean, if you are a mall owner, you have a jewelry store. You maybe don't want to reel what sort of objects they have. So this is like something which we need to take into account for burglary, whatever. Also, the same thing with schools. It's an issue, especially in America. with like terrorists I don't know people want to admit suicide shooting I mean this is especially in America so you don't want your school to have like the whole map of the school so I think Libraries as well, government building, those are things we need to take into account. We don't have a solution yet for it, but I think we really need to work on this. This is crucial, so line us up from different perspectives, maybe also work together with some of those people and try to figure out a solution, as well when it comes to our 10 working groups, making sure that we work together, don't drift apart and have 10 different organizations, as well as making sure that we are not working on the same issues.

[00:34:59.818] Jan Erik: want to be like an efficient operation so just like Alina said we don't want to duplicate efforts in the working groups but we also need to synchronize so one working group is making this proposal that is in direct conflict with a proposal from another working group and it just doesn't work together so that's a major challenge so as actually we don't we're all volunteer right now we're hoping that will change within some months that we can start to hire staff. And the number one type of staff we will have is the organizer who synchronizes the efforts of the working group. That's the key kind of job we want to hire someone for. We want to have the best person available on that job.

[00:35:46.559] Kent Bye: And finally, what do you think the ultimate potential of immersive technologies are and what they might be able to enable?

[00:35:55.974] Jan Erik: Well, the sky is the limit. I just call it the digital renaissance. I'm really keen on the kind of art you're going to see because it's going to be so amazing. So much looking forward to see what the best artists of this age, what they're going to do with it. not just individual artists, but the kind of people who make movies today, or the most amazing computer games. What are they going to do in the superverse? I'm really, really excited about what they're going to figure out. When you have the technology today, you don't just have the ability to record the 3D, the volumetric video, you have the volumetric video, but you have AI, like in a game, You could have AI characters that are responding to you in an artwork. So what's the point of an immersive experience in VR when you cannot really interact with it? You have to be able to talk with the character and be part of the story. If you're not that, You can bring that out into the real world, so you are touching the art, you are feeling the texture of it, and it is responding to you as you're doing it. And you're doing it while other people are there, they are also interactive. So we are multiple people interacting with the artwork. And there could be like a story, there could be music, there could even be smells and tastes. That technology is there already, but I'm not sure if everybody's gonna wear something in their nose or on their tongue all the time. But maybe like occasionally you want to wear something to get this really out-of-the-world experience of tasting and smelling the digital world.

[00:37:34.949] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: I think I'm just so glad to be part of this because just having the opportunity to create the future together, I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And if I wouldn't have joined, I would sit maybe in 50 years and be like, why didn't I do this? So I think this is an opportunity for all of our millennial generation to create a better society, a better future together. This just only comes around once in your lifetime.

[00:38:05.926] Jan Erik: Exactly, you know, it's gonna be just like if you had like an uncle, he was like telling you, you know, when I was young, I was working at the Apollo space program, you know, and that's the people in the open air cloud now, like when they have grandchildren, they go and sit around and say, you know, when I was younger, you know, I was at this working group, we really developed this stuff for the superverse. It's mind blowing. We came up with the ideas. I was there.

[00:38:34.224] Kent Bye: Great. Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the immersive community?

[00:38:39.088] Vinje Alina Kadlubsky: Go to our website. Check out openaircloud.org. Join our working groups. We need you. We need every single developer who is on the edge of this. And just check out our website. There's everything. It's self-explainable. Share our teaser and spread the word.

[00:38:58.700] Jan Erik: Awesome, yeah. The rebels, the artists, the geniuses, the stupid people, everybody, come on. It's going to be great.

[00:39:09.126] Kent Bye: The super verse. Awesome, great. Well, thank you so much. So that was Jean-Eric Vinge. He's the managing director of OpenARCloud, as well as Alina Kieplutsky. She's one of the active founding members of the OpenARCloud. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that, first of all, Well, I'm just glad that this organization exists and even happier to know that there's this international consortium thinking about some of these different protocols that need to happen in many different layers in order to really create this open vision of the superverse or metaverse or mirror world, whatever you want to call overlaying digital objects over the real world. There's going to be a lot of different companies that are offering their own private version of the AR cloud, but eventually we are going to need something that has like more of an open protocol. And usually the open protocols are not going to be as advanced or in the beginning provide even a consistent experience as much as those proprietary competitors. The proprietary competitors usually always have the first mover advantage because they just have a lot more capital and resources that they're working with. something like the OpenAR Cloud. It's a volunteer group. It's a little bit more of like this open source initiative where they're trying to work out a lot of the different open protocols. But there is a lot of power in having these interoperability and having many people be able to collaborate with each other and to not have just one person have an ownership stake in things. And just looking through the different working groups, and they have lots of different really great initiatives. I'm just going to read through the different working groups that they have. Right now, at this point, they have around 11 working groups. First one's the spatial indexing and geopose. We talked about that during the conversation where they're collaborating with the Open Geospatial Consortium to be able to come up with the geographic and the positioning, or the sixth degree of freedom, being able to identify where things are at and having a shared frame of reference within those virtual spaces. There's the reality modeling and mapping, so the spatial data creation. There's the content delivery and browsing and ownership. There's privacy, which is of course a big issue that I've been covering a lot here on the Voices of VR podcast. There's the edge computing, IOT and 5G for AR Cloud. We have security, compliance regulations and legal considerations, the user experience, accessibility and safety. There's open source, open data, open research and development. There's organization and community. And then finally the distributed ledger technology and decentralized applications for the AR Cloud. So you're really bringing in a lot of these different insights from the cryptocurrency world, the Internet of Things, privacy, you know, the merging of artificial intelligence with AR and VR. I mean, all of these are exponential technologies, and they're all going to be colliding into each other. And I feel like the open air clouds trying to take this holistic look of seeing, you know, how do we actually decentralize some of this stuff so that it's not just a handful of companies who are having all this really intimate information about our lives? And can they create an alternative ecosystem where we'll still have some sort of revenue streams? So rather than having all of the power within these centralized companies, then can you start to decentralize things into these edge compute devices and have some sort of auditing within what's happening on those edge compute devices, but have these open protocols so that people can have access to their own data, have control over their data and be able to interact with the things that they want to interact with. Now, the thing that both Google and Facebook and these other companies that have a business model of surveillance capitalism, the advantage that they have is that they're able to get all sorts of implicit information about ourselves that we may not even know about ourselves. And the challenge, I think, is can you create like this robust system that is looking at all the behaviors and decisions and things that you're doing in your life and be able to actually like extrapolate information that's going to be able to be useful to Say that you want things that you don't know that you want because it's one thing to know that you want a camera and that You put like I'm looking for this camera, but it's a whole other things to kind of extrapolate and make these inductive inferences Based upon things that you don't even know that you want yet But you kind of fit into these different Categories and they're trying to match you up and that's the power of what Facebook and Google have been able to do by being able to gather all this behavioral data on us and to create these very robust psychographic profiles. But, you know, a lot of time those psychographic profiles aren't actually any better than if, you know, you have a good friend or you may know yourself more of what you want than what these algorithms are trying to infer on who you are based upon your behavior. And it may not even be the behavior that you want to be reinforced, because there could be things that you have unconscious behaviors that you may actually want to get away from, but yet these algorithms are starting to detect these different patterns and then may actually create these feedback loops that are driving our behaviors in ways that, you know, we are not even necessarily consciously aware of. So just the fact that there is an entity that's out there trying to figure out a whole other system, I think the challenges are resources, getting enough financial money for people to actually dedicate into this, and to see if there is an underlying economic business model. Because it could be that there is no really sustainable ad-driven revenue model for this, that in order for this to really take off, it's just going to need people to subscribe to this alternative. And that there's a monthly subscription fee that is able to sustain this entire network. When I was at the Decentralized Web Summit, one of the things I really took away is that in order to really have the advantages of a decentralized mesh network or something that's alternative to like these centralized ways of distributing a network, there's a kind of a scale that happened with these huge internet service providers, with all these huge telephone companies that are going to be rolling out 5G. They're trying to create these networks and these platforms so that it's just easy for you to jump on and you don't have to worry about maintaining it. as soon as you start to go to a decentralized model, then the burden of maintenance of these networks falls onto the participants of that network. And so it's almost like you're signing up to be a sysadmin to be able to actually help maintain that network. And I think that is actually the paradigm shift that is needing to happen, that like, in order to create a whole decentralized web, it's actually participatory in a way where there's a burden of helping to maintain these infrastructures. and the archivability and the access of decentralized web, there's a lot of huge open problems. And I feel like the cryptocurrency world is on the front line of trying to solve a lot of those issues and all those problems. And the Internet Archive, you know, they have the Decentralized Web Summit where they bring the entire community together to be able to sort of see what the state is. And when I was there this past year, you know, there's still a long ways to go before we're actually at this place where there's even like a viable, scalable solution for all these issues. But I feel like the business model and being able to actually manage a lot of these decentralized divisions, I feel like the cryptocurrency is really trying to figure that out. The other thing that the cryptocurrency is on the front lines of is coming up with these open protocols and cultivating ecosystems, because in order to really prove that you're a viable competitor or player within these cryptocurrency worlds is that you not only have to create these open protocols that are useful but you have to get buy-in from a lot of other different companies who want to participate in this protocol and to make sure that it's actually actually going to be a thing. Because it's one thing to create these protocols, but they don't really mean anything unless there's lots of different people who are implementing them with a diverse set of perspectives. And that's what we've had in the internet world for a long time. Although more and more people are consolidating into like one of the three or four major different players, which is Chrome and Google, which Chromium, which is now being used by Microsoft, it's being used by Google obviously, but it's also being used by Facebook for the Oculus browser. I think the Samsung internet is actually built on Chromium as well. So you have like all these like big companies using Google's open source system. Then you have Apple. I think they're doing their own with Safari. And then you have like Firefox with their different, you know, Mozilla realities and other approaches that they're taking. And then you have other startups that are, you know, like super medium they're using not the latest and greatest Rust framework that is coming from. Mozilla reality labs that they're building their immersive web, but they're going back into like the gecko renderer and building the browser based on upon that. So there's at least like three major and four, maybe more emerging different browsers that are starting to implement these different web standards. And so I think we're going to need to have something similar in terms of like many different open air cloud implementers of these different protocols. But right now what I see is that everybody's kind of starting with their own proprietary solution So who are the ones that are really creating these open protocols? And so the augmented world Expo is a place where you're bringing the entire AR community together And I think that there's going to be these working groups that are meeting and having this whole symposium the day before So that's on May 28th. They're gonna be gathering people together. So if this is a topic that you're interested in then I show up a day early to the Augmented World Expo, and there's going to be people from around the world who are thinking about these different types of things, and all these various different working groups. So that's all that I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And, you know, the Voices of VR podcast is a bit of a volunteer effort as well. I rely upon the gracious donations from my listeners in order to go to these different places and to do these interviews and to try to facilitate a larger conversation about what's happening within the community of immersive technology, how it's evolving. It's a real-time oral history that I just feel compelled to show up and to be capturing these conversations and to help document the evolution of these immersive technologies that I believe are going to completely change the world. So if you believe in that and want to help support and sustain this venture and this project of both capturing and sharing all this knowledge about what's happening in the immersive community, then please do consider becoming a member of the Patreon. Just $5 or $10 a month makes a huge difference and allows me to continue to bring you this coverage. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.

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