Immersive experiences, infinite possibilities ft. Catherine D. Henry, Galit Ariel, and Alan Smithson
Play • 27 min

Have you ever played around with an Instagram or Zoom filter? Maybe you’re an experienced gamer who’s created and avatar to represent your online identity. That’s augmented reality (AR). And, unlike virtual reality, it launches the virtual world into our tangible, physical world. This unlocks infinite opportunities for real people to connect in unique ways. Listen in as our guests, Catherine D. Henry, Senior VP of Growth at Media.Monks, Alan Smithson, co-founder and CEO of MetaVRse, and Galit Ariel, author of Augmenting Alice: The Future of Identity, Experience, and Reality, discuss how brands should embrace the immersive experiences of AR to get ahead.


Key Takeaways:

[1:47] What is the metaverse? Catherine tells us that it is essentially a universe where the physical and digital worlds meet. We are already living in it, and AR, VR, and AI bring a multitude of opportunities for both businesses and consumers. It can sound complicated, but Catherine feels it can be truly and deeply magical.

[3:40] How do you help build a virtual economy when you don’t know the first thing about building a virtual experience? Alan explains how he needed to solve this at his company, MetaVRse. It was his job to make virtual reality experiences easier for anyone to build, which makes them more successful.

[4:46] Virtual reality puts us right into the virtual world, but augmented reality casts the virtual world onto the physical world: It brings the movie right onto our very real and tactile lives.

[5:20] Galit explains why she loves augmented reality, and how this technology is becoming an indigenous piece to our physical reality. She created a filter called “Being Galit Ariel”, where people could go into Snap and try on her look, full of funky glasses and bright lipstick. During COVID, she found this filter created an easy way for her to represent herself in the comfort of her own home.

[8:09] The metaverse can help democratize the internet because there could be less judgment when you don’t know who you are speaking with. This allows people to create an identity that they feel really reflects who they are.

[10:31] Alan walks us through a tutorial of his MetaVRse platform, and helps us imagine the strange new spaces we might be able to create, whether for art, fun, work, or socializing.

[14:01] Galit explains how the wonders of virtual reality might distract us from the beauty and joy that comes from living in our tactile world.

[15:30] How will branding and advertising work in these spaces? Brands should get ahead of the trend by being the ones to create their own space, hold events, and engage with fan-created branded experiences. Otherwise, you may have a chicken in Subway trying to sell you a foot-long sandwich.

[20:07] Galit explains the need for regulation, even if it slows things down. Companies and users must also be aware of the data that is collected from their extended reality experience, and how it’s being used. Not only could your unique digital signature be tracked, but your body language, physical information, and even inside your home.

[24:47] We need to make sure that everyone has access to the virtual internet or metaverse, and that people get an equal chance to build their skillsets in order to participate in the virtual economy.



[10:20] “I love the creative properties because people build worlds that conform to their wildest imagination.” - Catherine

[14:01] “We still have this inherent need to touch and experience things, and if we can add richer layers to this world, the beauty of augmented reality will create a deeper experience of our real world, without losing contact with it.” - Galit

[19:09] “Every surface is a potential media content platform. So, we need to think about the different ways in which people are engaging with media and meet them there.” - Catherine

[21:57] “I think we all need to kind of buckle up and be more responsible about what we're doing, how we're doing, and why.” - Galit

[24:24] “As the metaverse continues to become a more prominent part of our lives, privacy and regulation will become a more prominent part of the conversation. But who gets to participate in that conversation depends on who has access to the tech.” - James

[24:48] “We need to make sure that there are standards that allow for everyone to access this virtual internet or metaverse and get an equal chance to build their skillsets to participate in the virtual economy.” - Catherine


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