Feb 29, 2024

ALTAVA CMO Oh Thongsrinoon joins "First Mover" to discuss the launch of its open beta for fashion enthusiasts and designers, and how the group aims to bridge the gap between fashion and technology with AI and blockchain.

Video transcript

This next company is at the forefront of fashion and tech and recently debuted its open beta for fashion enthusiasts and designers. Joining us now is Ultiva CMO O Tong Shr Oh, welcome. Thanks for having me. Nice job on the name. Thank you. It's always great when I can pronounce our guests names correctly. So thank you for helping me before this show. Uh But let's talk all about TIVA. We're mixing fashion with technology and you've just debuted a platform that makes it a lot easier to create digitized version of fashionable items. Talk to me about Ultiva. Yeah. Um Well, where do we start? Um Because Otava itself, you know, we have three version. I, I like to say so in our short history of five years, we went through three iteration. So we could talk about the current one, which is A I centric or we can start from the beginning. Uh which version like let's start from the beginning. Talk to me about the different versions and how you ended up where we are here today. Well, um if you can entertain me, I, I would compress the five years into, you know, maybe a couple of minutes. So we start out as a fashion tech, you know, in a fashion tech incubator program under LV. Mh, let me song this start up. Um I think most people know LV. Mh as one of the biggest luxury goods conglomerate in the world. And most part, you have no idea that they actually have a fashion tech start up incubator and, and actually we came from that, right? And the company started out focusing on avatar system and virtual try on system. So that's actually where we came from. And I would say like late 2021 um we at the height or in the midst of the bulls second crypto bull run, right? Um I think we started to take a look at the web three space seriously. And we decided to dive into it because when we look at the metaverse, a lot of the foundational piece that was being developed for it. We are already doing that a couple of years ago, you know, when we started that. So we see that it's such a natural like evolution of where we were to where we should be at that time, which is the metaverse. So um we uh become a metaverse company and we build our own fashion uh luxury fashion metaverse, you know, using our avatar system, using our virtual try on system, right? And because of our relationship with uh we and h and our co founders uh tight relationship with that group. We were able to get, you know, a lot of big brands like Prada Bama Burberry Armani just to name a few and digitize their catalogs into 3D assets so that, you know, people can play around with the avatar and try different hairstyle, different outfits. So that's kind of where we were and the meta versus itself is called World View and it's actually still available today on Apple Play Store and sorry, Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Um Fast forward to 2023 April of last year. Um We start to get a lot of requests from other virtual worlds to because um sometimes I take for granted um our connection to the lux luxury fashion uh industry, but it's actually uh uh quite in a kind of almost, yeah, like a clique, you know, so you're either in or you're not in. And fortunately our co-founder, Elizabeth, um she's actually in the click. So, um you know, so we kind of then people start to come and say, hey, look, we like for you guys to also help to bring some of those luxury fashion items into our world, right? Because we try to contact product, uh we try to contact these different brands and with no luck. So, um you know, we thought, oh, that's an interesting, you know, opportunity, right? So, and we started to get a lot of bills. Um but we are also a start up too. So, you know, we have limited resource and we start to build our own in-house tools and, you know, which is actually based on generated A I which we customized, right? So that's kind of, that was like the genesis of ALTA A I platform today. And you know, so we, and then at one point, we realized that hey, this pain point that a lot of these virtual worlds have, you know, if we create something at the platform level that not only them, but you know, just any designer can utilize, you know, we can democratize the process. And that's kind of where how, how our A I platform came to be. I want to talk about the democratization of the process. You know, you mentioned that the luxury fashion world is very much a click and no matter how great your ideas are, I think that some designers find themselves outside of that click. Talk to me about how technology can help democratize fashion. And is there a way to break these clicks down with platforms like this? Um uh II, I would partially say yes. So let me take a stab at it because again, right? Um because our co-founder, she's in that click. So we basically have that instant credibility when we talk to them. So right away, there's a trust factor, right? They kind of know they kind of know we know what they want. So basically, they already have that trust from the beginning, right? So it's just a matter of figuring out the solution for them and when I say them, I need the luxury fashion brands. So I, you know, what we hope to do is that um we use our platform to basically bring these brands into it and then try to use the same platform to connect the brands to, you know, these independent designers, you know, and, and we could kind of start, you know, perhaps with different kind of campaign and you know, type things to kind of get that side used to how these things work and hopefully they'll see the benefits and perhaps that will become the bridge for them to, you know, use do uh more engagement with the community moving forward. So, so we, we hope we can do our part in that sense. Talk to me about the users of this platform, you mentioned some pretty big names, Burberry Prada Balmain and creating digital uh versions of some of the items. How much do people actually want these items? What kind of user base are you seeing um interested in this? Actually, you know, what's interesting is that when you look at virtual world, it has been around a long time, right? Well, before metaverse, I would say like 2030 plus years, um and surprisingly, virtual world that focus on women audience actually have a pretty large audience in, in that regard. And, and when just like Real World every time we put out new collections from brands versus, you know, the stuff that we create ourselves. For example, we always see that the usage skew toward unknown brands, right? Because I guess for some of these people, they realize that, hey, you know, in a real real world, let's say a product back may cost him 1000 $2000 and then dress may cost him a couple of 1000 but at least in this world, they can kind of try it on, you know, without, uh paying a lot less than they would in the real world, for example. So I, I surprisingly, uh, you know, I think the the the the usage pattern does reflect the real world or to a certain degree, what platforms can we look to, to kind of inform what the metaverse might look like in the future? And I ask that because whenever I think the ideas that I hear on this show are, are far fetched, I think about platforms like Roblox and Fortnite. And I see that the things we're talking about, the foundation is already being laid. So I'm curious, uh what platforms you look to as you build towards this future where we're spending more of our lives online. Um So I think Roblox and Fortnite are definitely the right answer. But in addition to those I would say, um, the platforms that we actually really looked at, it would be things like VR Chat. Uh tiktok and Snap. So actually with our platform, um people can create something as great as items for, you know, platforms like let's say Fortnite. But of course, that requires more skill sets. But at the lower level of the spectrum, they can create, let's say a VR filter, you know, for use on Snapchat or tiktok or objects inside VR Chat and eventually Apple Vision Pro because there's a common network there. So, so those, I think those actually are something that is even more a telltale sign because that's a consumer level, you know, where people just really engage with each other kind of constantly, right? So, so I, I would say that the first two I mentioned was those three. In addition, you know, we talk about creators and I look at some of the creators that come from the traditional art world, the digital art world and a big conversation that we have here is one around um a lot of creators who come from different backgrounds and cultures being locked out of the more established traditional um aspects of art and fashion. Do you think that technology like A I and Blockchain uh open a door, create a pathway for those who have previously not been able to participate in these worlds to get their toes wet and create a name for themselves. It's not a an all be all solution because at the end of the day A I and Blockchain are still tools So I think what's perhaps it is more important is platform, let's say like ours. And hopefully we're not the only one right that understand that ecosystem composed of creators, brands um and platforms like, you know, other platforms and other virtual worlds where they can create their goods and distribute and sell to those uh worlds or get their goods that they create and show that to the brands. So ideally, there'll be a platform that can connect these key stakeholders. And I think that's probably even more important than A I in the Blockchain itself because otherwise, if you are just A I and Blockchain, you create a 3d assets. What's next? Right? Because I, I think we are trying to be that last mile for them. You could say Metaverse became popular during the last bull market during the bear. Uh The conversations around Metaverse became a little bit more muted than some of the conversations we were having about other technologies, but it looks like we're heading into another bull cycle. What do you think the narrative around the metaverse is going to be as we head into the next bull market, there's always two extremes, right? So when things are great, you know, it is the best thing since sliced bread, when things are bad, it's just disastrous. But I think the truth is somewhere in between and same for the cycle. Iii I think, but I think we can perhaps have to move away from metaverse in a sense that because when you say Metaverse is very Webre, right? But we could probably agree that the biggest audience are still on the web two side of things. So I think the the the best product would be something where users who comes in from web two or web three, they would know when transaction or something happened on Blockchain or outside of Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain, right? Because for them that should be seen as from the Uiux standpoint. And I think same thing with virtual worlds in an ideal situation, right? Um They play virtual world and there are certain parts of the Blockchain thing happen, let's say it to organization of certain things or on chain transaction. Hopefully that can be so seamless that they don't feel that right? And I think that would be a really ideal situation. So um so I think that the next iteration of a metaverse, at least in my opinion would be something of that nature. OK? I want to talk about some of the features now in ultiva, uh two of them are text to 3d and image to 3d features. Tell me a little bit more about how folks can use the platform to create cool digital fashion items. First of all, easy, just go to Al tala.com and right there and then you see uh you see uh imagery 3D and you see text three prom, right? So keep in mind that this is still very much an open offer we like to call it. So it's still work in progress. But the most mature function that we offer today would be image to 3D. So we image to 3D as the name imply, right? You upload any image that you have and within a certain amount of time, the A I will then create like a 3d iteration of that the difference. You know the the question that may arise like, how's that, let's say different from other generative A I like mature, right? Or cha T, right? Because those guys and you can also generate maybe some kind of image output. But I think in our case, uh we emphasize the term 3D real 3D, meaning that the 3D object is generated from the image, you can actually then upload that into a 3D program and actually work on that asset immediately. So I think that's what makes it, you know, really? Uh I, I, we were one of the first out of the gate as far as I know. So that's something that we're quite proud of. Oh, thank you so much for joining the show today. It's been a pleasure.

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