Carol Carpenter is the CMO of Unity, the world's leading platform for creating and growing interactive, real-time 3D content. Prior to joining Unity, she was the CMO of VMware, where she led the transformation of the company from licensed software to subscription and SaaS. Carol has led teams in large and small companies, including Google, Elastic Box (later sold to Central Link), Trent Micro, and Apple. She's a self-proclaimed geek with a passion for technology and solving customer problems. Her latest passion is Beat Saber, a VR game built on Unity.
Carol thinks Metaverse is the most overused, overhyped, and misunderstood term. Everyone seems to have a different definition of it. According to her, the Metaverse is the next generation of the internet. Unity believes Metaverse is the evolution of the current internet to the internet that is mostly real-time, 3D, interactive, social, and persistent. Right now, only 2 to 3% of the internet meets the definition but by 2030, almost 50% of the internet will offer these immersive experiences.
Avatars are super interesting to Carol. Her company is working with different companies who build and create avatars either using Unity technology or other technology. She believes avatars play an important role in the blended experience of the digital world to connect with each other. Carol believes that the Metaverse is so appealing to so many people because human beings want to share their experiences, engage in conversations, and interact with each other. Doing all this in today’s distributed world can only be possible with the help of technology. Metaverse is making this pretty easy for people to connect and interact with each other, have meetings, play games, and solve problems together from any part of the world.
Talking about digital identity, Carol stated that for most present-day consumers, digital identity is tied to a handful of large companies. For example, if you sign up for a health plan, your information like your email id needs to be stored in the service provider company’s database. This means, you do not own your identity but companies do. However, digital identity is not about that. It is about the ownership of your information or the content you created by you without the involvement of any third party. The concept of digital identity in Metaverse is emerging and Carol believes it’s going to become more important in the coming times. Carol further added that avatars are one aspect of the digital identity but they are not required for every Metaverse. So, linking the Metaverse to having an avatar is not right. Moreover, she mentioned it's important for people to learn how to navigate in multi reality experiences and the ethics around how to treat each other in the Metaverse.
According to Carol, from the business perspective, Metaverse opens up tremendous opportunities for blending the physical and the virtual world experiences. 3D and real-time 3D have transformed every industry. She mentioned Unity’s fastest-growing business area, the digital twin business. Digital twins in the Metaverse are digital representations that look, respond, behave, and predict just like their physical counterparts. You can have a digital twin for everything, from a luxury brand’s shoe or a handbag to large-scale airports to understand how it will look on you or its real-life simulation. These hyper-realistic, highly interactive, immersive real-time digital twins can run across many platforms. Unity work with many companies to take high-quality physical renders of an image and then share it to collaborate with people. Some of the companies they have worked with include Vancouver Airport, Mercedes-Benz, Boeing, Orlando, and Cito Wise. Vancouver Airport has built a digital twin of it for people to imagine all the real-time 3D simulations that they run, the weather, big storm coming, what will be the impact on arrivals and departures, etc. Mercedes-Benz has some real-time 3D interactive elements to help the user. Cito Wise is a company that's working with a city area to actually create smart and sustainable cities. They've created digital twins to run real-time simulations for smart cities. Apart from opportunities for industrial businesses in the Metaverse, there are AI and simulation, modeling and robotics, etc. that are making waves in Metaverse. On the consumer side, there’s entertainment, movies, games, concerts, sports, etc. for people to enjoy in the Metaverse. Carol further added that we’re close to achieving all this in the next few years as technology is already emerging rapidly.
Carol believes the Metaverse and real-time 3D experience play a huge role in bringing customers closer to the companies. She mentioned that companies that offer customers to immerse themselves into the experience of either a try-on product like jewelry or products like cars automatically attract people towards them. She gave the example of a jewelry company that Unity is working with to include a virtual try-on experience with their products for customers to understand what they are buying after looking at all the angles of the product just like the physical world. She also appreciated Amazon’s ‘see this in my environment’ feature to persuade and connect with customers in a better way.
Speaking about Unity's future as a Web3 and Metaverse company, Carol says she's in the industry because she thinks it's transformational for consumers and businesses alike. Unity believes that a lot of good can come from the Metaverse and in the coming years, it will increase to almost 50% of the internet. Carol added that she believes the Metaverse is not only about the web but about experiences that can come through many different kinds of hardware components like a headset, a PC, a laptop, or a mobile phone. Her company Unity is building a multi-layer experience where different worlds will interact. Moreover, Unity is helping its client build sustainable cities that will be very revolutionizing. They are also working on a number of projects to create social awareness about the role of Metaverse.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS (see clickable version on www.cmo-stories.com)
[00:47] Who is Carol Carpenter?
[01:49] What is the current state of the metaverse?
[03:54] How are looking at avatars or does Unity handle them?
[07:00] What are your thoughts on digital identity?
[12:34] What are some of the use cases in business that unity offers that you can show in the metaverse?
[21:00] Can you give us examples of how to bring our customers closer through the metaverse?
[24:58] Is there something that you see happening that you're excited about for Unity?
[27:51] where do you want to send people to connect with you?
“At Unity, we think of Metaverse as the next generation of the internet.”