From branded platforms and digital communities to open AI creation tech, hype around the metaverse reached a fever pitch in the last year. But, without the capacity to co-operate between spaces, creators are limited in what they can produce, share and experience in the meta realm.

One company is working to change that with a platform for next gen digital spaces. The 0RB System, a new digital platform for an interoperable open metaverse, is offering immersive, high-fidelity, and art-forward experiences that encourage limitless imagination and cocreative participation from its community of users.

We caught up with 0RB System cofounders Krista Kim and Peter Martin about how virtual environments are supercharging storytelling, the importance of creativity in the dawning digital era, and how brands can best capitalize on emerging virtual spaces.

What is 0RB, and how will it raise the bar for digital engagement?

Peter: The 0RB object itself is a GLB file that you can download and upload into different platforms. It's also an 0RB system, which is essentially the content management system where you can playback these stories. Think of the 0RB as the iPod or the Xbox: it's the player, the delivery of the stories and the games.

[The metaverse is] essentially a better way of telling a story. It's bringing in human-centric experiences. Right now, there isn't really a way to express yourself in metaverse platforms other than flexing, connecting a wallet and attaching your 2D art to the wall, or potentially dressing your avatar. It's extremely limited in scope.

Using these new AI tools, which we're integrating, users will have a lot of tools at their disposal to actually interact and co-create in the 0RB for their community. It's limitless, and that's where the inspiration for the 0RB system came from: we wanted to bring that type of storytelling into the metaverse.

Krista: We used to be passive consumers, but now we have become conscious co-creators. These tools, which will eventually be powered with AI, are really going to change the way that we communicate with one another. We want to focus on the content and the user-generated capabilities for people to experience incredible, engaging education at the highest level and for people to be able to express themselves and create immersive experiences. It’s going to be a complete shift from being an observer to being immersed.

The metaverse is the imagination realized.

Why is the creativity in the metaverse so important?  

Krista: The metaverse is the imagination realized. It is the greatest art project of human history, which will herald the greatest creative renaissance of human history, especially when you consider that there will be a direct convergence between AI, 3D rendering, and metaverse creation.

When you're bringing people into the metaverse, you really have to ask: what value you bring to people's lives as you activate immersive experiences and storytelling in the metaverse? It's all about inspiring people and giving them an impetus: the interest, the inspiration, the willingness to come back.

When we go into the metaverse as an immersive experience, whether it's in virtual reality or eventually in augmented reality, people are going to be immersed in an experience and their psychology and physiology will be directly impacted by the environments that they are in. Brands and builders of the metaverse have a huge responsibility to realize that they are directly influencing people's consciousness and the evolution of the future of human civilization, because you are demonstrating to people what is possible.

How would you advise creators and brands to think about the continuum of the virtual versus the physical metaverse spaces in which they want to collaborate?   

Krista: The virtual world will be a place for virtual digital twinning. It’s an archiving of experiences and capturing them in a moment of time. I think that's very important. You can transport people into the future, you can transport people back into the past. Those possibilities are endless.

When you create a new engaging experience in the metaverse, consider what the purpose of it is. For a cosmetic brand or fashion brand, for example, if your primary demographic is female, then you have to really understand: what do women want in the metaverse? People are hungry to inform and better themselves, to learn new skills and knowledge. So why not expand education into the experiences of these brand activations as part of the community experience and the ethos?

Collaboration is going to be really a huge thing going forward. And I already see that across the board with a lot of brands reaching out to artists to tune into new inspiring ways to communicate; their new way of existing in the world. You should think of a brand as a person. How am I actually developing as a person, or as a brand? Who am I and what value can I bring to my community as a leader?

In order to have a connection to the metaverse, there has to be a connection through meaningful stories that connect us.

What will 0RB change for the future of the metaverse? 

Peter: The 0RB system was really developed using open metaverse source code for the community, so it can essentially be interoperable and used anywhere. It's really just an extension of the idea of creating this metaverse in an open, non-corporate owned incarnation. 0RB [as a tool] really puts [power] in the hands of artists to create stories and share them with their community in an immersive way rather than being trapped in a 2D frame in a 3D environment.

Krista: I can't emphasize strongly enough how important it is that storytelling become one of the central focuses of the metaverse going forward. In order to have a connection to the metaverse, there has to be a connection through meaningful stories that connect us. They have to be beautiful; art should be at the helm of creating the metaverse so that it is beautiful and meaningful and inspiring. When these components add quality-curated content that is educational for health and wellness and arts and entertainment, then we are on the right path and the metaverse will be a destination where people want to be.

I think that the shared experience and the freedom of interoperability is definitely going to be a major component – the X Factor. The one thing that people will want are these collective experiences that are social and shared in real life and also in the metaverse: immersive. Having access to all of that seamlessly is key.

Why is it important, in your opinion, to have an open metaverse?

Peter: The open metaverse concept is just a cycle. Web3 is a direct descendant of web1, which was initially intended by its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, to be an open source code. Then all of these brands piled in and tried to patent and copyright it and own it. They were the initial attempts at building the Internet, with those paywalled [spaces].

Of course, all the walls collapsed. It became one free Internet and it's technically open source again. Right now, we're having the same issues with the metaverse. Everyone built these old platforms and charged you an access fee, or told you to buy land at insane prices. I believe all of those platforms will fall and they'll become one open metaverse.

We’re partnered with Neal Stephenson's company, Lamina1, who is pioneering this idea that we all have to collaborate. We all have to work together, and it's all going to be one space, and no one's going to own it.

Krista: I think that the keyword when looking into the distant future of the metaverse is freedom. People want the freedom to own digital assets and roam freely, visit other realms and have their assets be recognized everywhere. People will ultimately live in a digital layer of immersive experiences or overlaid experiences in their real world experiences, so there will be digital interaction at all times in your line of sight.

I think that the shared experience and the freedom of interoperability is definitely going to be a major component – the X Factor. The one thing that people will want are these collective experiences that are social and shared in real life and also in the metaverse: immersive. Having access to all of that seamlessly is key.

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