good it’s not creating a metaverse. Just like when a website is created, it is not a new internet that is created. The metaverse, which some envision as the post-internet phase, will be the collection of a series of continuous virtual worlds.
While the Internet was created to consult one of the several billion pages present, tomorrow each metaverse will allow you to immerse yourself in one of the many experiences of virtual reality, with the same richness and diversity that we can know today.
Gaspard Giroud, founder of Mira, therefore remains very humble in his approach: “We’re often asked if we’re creating the metaverse… but no, we’re doing spatial computing and hoping to make our own small contribution to this world.” Therefore, Mira has ambitions to create a small part of the metaverse, and the video below is surely a clear demonstration of what this virtual world could look like.
It should be said that Mira has been building a project related to the metaverse for more than six years, long before the term metaverse left the world of fiction to enter that of new technologies. Indeed, the term comes from the mind of Neal Stephenson, an American science fiction author who had coined it in 1992 in his book. Virtual Samurai.
But to understand what Mira wants to offer, you have to go back to the career of Gaspard Giroud. At the end of his studies in architecture, he made the choice to move towards 3D visualization of unbuilt projects, to help his design in architectural reflection in context.
The climax will probably be achieved with the creation of a short film to unveil the plans for the new World Trade Center, two years before its inauguration, in an ultra-realistic projection of the completed project. The creation studio, called Piranha NYC, brought together teams at the forefront of 3D creation to meet the demands of clients such as Ferrari, Paramount, Marvel, Nike and many others.
During those years, Gaspard discovered the power of the Unreal Engine video game engine to create virtual reality tours. “I told myself that it was extraordinary and that it would change everythinghe recalls. Change everything in real estate of course, but also that it will change everything in all industries and practically all human activities. It seemed like a flash to us: we had a vision of a future of the digital world, which will build on its video game engines to offer more interactive experiences, with more depth, more collaboration, more social”.
With his teams, he then begins to create a demo to test how much it would change everything. They recreate a virtual Manhattan that you can navigate. “We wanted to show that it was going to change the automotive industry, so we made a Tesla dealership. We said it would change tourism, so we replicated the Brooklyn Bridge. It will change museums, so we added the Guggenheim. You have to imagine you’re a little crazy, because it’s a lot of work to recreate in 3D something that’s achievable in reality. »
Their inspiration is luxury brochures and so their 3D universes are hyper-realistic. A point that will allow them to attract many customers around the world to create 3D experiences and immersive worlds. So they work for Chanel, Viacom, Fujitsu, SNCF, France Télévisions, etc. and re-inject all their earnings into the creation of Mira.
Seen by Verizon and the Unreal Engine teams, they also benefit from grants that help them develop the project.
Mira, an extension of reality
“Mira is not a parallel world, but a mirror world that awaits experiences of extending reality.” Behind this somewhat enigmatic statement lies the peculiarity of Mira’s vision.
Instead of creating a new world with its geography and culture, Gaspard Giroud and his teams have chosen to anchor the project in reality by coming to build a digital twin of our world. Today, the cities of New York and Paris are modeled very realistically. “It can be unsettling to enter virtual reality. We are conditioned to recognize reality and have a stronger emotional connection to content that is familiar to us. Instead of being completely above ground in a new universe, we immediately have the sense of being present in a place where we can find our bearings… and this has more authority over our senses than having something completely abstract. .
Therefore Mira offers the discovery of Paris, its monuments and the visit of museums to admire the most beautiful parts: a demonstration that Mira imagines with these institutions to allow them to sell tickets for this virtual experience.
A group of friends can also privatize the Eiffel Tower for a unique experience that will end with a jetpack liftoff from the top. A great experience of freedom for users, which is also reflected in that of creators, who are invited to come and use the development kit made available to come and create whatever they can imagine.
Thus it is possible to buy a loft which will be positioned in AltaMira, the sky above the virtual world. Brands are also a cornerstone of Mira’s strategy, as they can come and set up a showroom, a virtual event or a training session for its employees.
The possibilities are endless according to the founders, now it remains to be explored.
Importance of building the metaverse
While some media are already predicting the death of the metaverse, Gaspard Giroud invites us to understand the size of the stakes of this new market. “We had a good laugh when Mark Zuckerberg posted his picture of the Eiffel Tower with his super ugly avatar. It became the joke of the internet. But France did not realize how much we saved her from something serious. If Meta had made a digital twin of the Eiffel Tower with the same level of quality as us, inviting everyone to visit, a part of the French heritage would have fallen to Facebook. That is why we continue to stand by the government to make people understand how serious the issues are. If we are not careful, French cultural heritage will be accessible on a platform that will not necessarily be French or European.”
Jérôme Chasques, the platform’s Chief Revenue Officer immediately responds to his remarks: “At Mira, we have a form of respect for reality, for its assets… there is a respect for heritage in our DNA. The approach of other American players will certainly not be as respectful.”. Therefore, the startup refuses to play with the legacy, twist it or resell it. An ethic that is hard to imagine in Meta’s actions so far.
“France has all the necessary talentsGaspard Giroud launches. Be it in the video game sector with Ubisoft, with the special effects companies that make Hollywood movies, even the director of artificial intelligence at Facebook is French (note: Yann Lecun). The talent is there and now we have to build it. We don’t have to wait to fix it then… by building it we all double down.”
It is also the ambition of Mira, which has chosen to step on the accelerator in 2021 by raising an initial fund of 5.5 million euros from business angels. A facelift which also saw the entrance to the capital of Mira, one of the largest luxury houses in the world. If Mira refuses to confirm it, it is easy to understand that it is Chanel, a company with which the startup has worked for a long time and which has already distinguished itself by carrying out a comprehensive fashion show last February.
A series A is also underway to allow Mira to finally secure the vision of a respectable and quality metaverse. “You have to participate in the construction of the metaverse, recalls Gaspard Giroud. Let’s be in construction because there is no better protection”.