Ana Constantino, Co-Founder/Managing Director at NOWHERE, shares her thoughts about the Metaverse, various concerns around the business models, and her vision about community building.
‘To The Verge’ had a delightful interaction with Ana Constantino on her astonishing platform called NOWHERE. She is the co-founder/managing director of this exceptional immersive space. The entrepreneur shared her vision behind building a better platform for the users to improve their interaction quality. She also explained her concerns about the ongoing issues and her vision for developing a healthy Metaverse space.
NOWHERE is the brainchild of Ana Constantino, and the vision is to create an intimate and real-life connection between the users in an ever-growing online world.
About NOWHERE and the vision
The NOWHERE team uses 3D technology to create real-life immersive experiences. It’s all about developing a genuine human connection and an excellent environment to host events.
“NOWHERE is a platform that allows people to experience something unexpected as a group and fosters serendipity. People can move around, talk to friends, watch entertainment shows, engage in chats while feeling that they are present there together.”
She emphasizes that NOWHERE aims to develop a healthy social space to develop meaningful and deeper connections within the communities. The focus is on building strong communities based on mutual respect & bonding.
A mix of 3D Technology with Video chat
Ana emphasizes 3D technology already existed before but what didn’t exist was the video chat movement associated with it.
“We are creating the best of both worlds- Both are different technologies, and we are working towards merging them and coming up with a unique product. Zoom and similar companies offer video chats, and then there are 3D Games, Robots, etc.; we are coming up with a mix.”
It’s all about events.
Ana shares that her team is working on a partnership with Music companies. They also plan to invite people to come and host events in their immersive space. She believes that the Platform becomes lively with these events.
“It’s a different feeling when you are in a meeting with 50 different people; you want to reach out to them and engage in a conversation”. ”You may be having some problems and looking for a solution, so you get cooperation from the community members.”
She plans to project NOWHERE as an improved and alternative option than other meeting platforms to people. She believes that people can meet their team in a more immersive sense, infuse proximity, do workshops and other activities naturally at her platform. This way, she wants NOWHERE to become a unique platform.
Simplicity is the key.
“Neither AR nor VR is a part of NOWHERE, and we are not working with the glasses. Initially, we created NOWHERE as a web browser so that it becomes an accessible tool for people.”
Ana emphasizes that her vision is to create an extremely user-friendly online space for people to meet their peers and work. She further states that it should be as simple as sharing a link in a group.
“When we began our journey to create NOWHERE, this was our idea from the start. We decided that we did not want an app for the people. We didn’t want to create hassles of downloading, creating space, and other barriers for the users.”
She shared, “We didn’t want to be like glasses. The reason is that would have separated the part of the people that want to experience because they are not well versed with the technology.” She says that her team has ensured that NOWHERE is as easy as going to a website for the users.
The inspiration behind creating a Metaverse
Ana reveals that her inspiration behind creating NOWHERE was really interesting as she really wanted to connect humans on a deeper level to excite them. She always envisioned creating a space where people could get together and have a good experience.
“The aim was to create a safe space for the public online, so every design we came up with was based on a specific aim.” “We wanted to provide an effective solution for the people so that they can meet in a better way online.”
She gives a reason that Pandemic triggered us to develop this idea into a reality because more and more people started to interact online.
“We started to focus our energies in this direction post Pandemic.”
The differentiating factor of NOWHERE
“What we provide is the intersection between the two worlds.”
She continues to talk about one of the popular mediums that people across the globe are using for the meetings.
“This tool can host a meeting of numerous people, but there is one person who can talk at a time, and others have to listen to them. You cannot personally go and meet some of your acquaintances in that meeting; it is not possible”.
“It is a platform that may be used for presentations, performances, speech, meetings, etc. The experience is more real, dynamic, and personal. People can move around and be flexible in choosing an avatar so that they can decide how they look.”
“It would be more like a real-life experience”
Ana says that normal people understand social networking as Web2, but it is a complicated concept. The Platform NOWHERE gives an option to exchange cards with the users in a virtual event. This card may have the LinkedIn link, Email, etc. and this is the onset of social networking as this will be an opportunity for later.
She puts across her viewpoint, “Once the cards are exchanged, you can invite the people to your event and then start to build a social network.”
On a lighter note, she gives an example “You cannot mingle or party on a normal social media platform, but you can do so on a Web3 platform”.
Ana envisages a space for the community to meet, grow & connect online from the different parts of the globe. “People should feel that they are interacting locally with the people from across the globe.”
As per her, It’s all about the bond & trust that develops within a community when the people are together. “We want that over the period of time, it becomes a space where more communities are being welcomed”.
The next steps and vision
Ana points out that there were numerous problems with Web 2 and hence there is a need to develop a healthy connection between people.
She continues that people want such a space wherein they can interact by seeing others in an avatar. People in this space will not be aggressive, rude, or offensive. They will get a feeling that they are having a real conversation with others.
Ana is concerned that in Metaverse, big giants are focused on selling people’s attention & threats. She is skeptical if Metaverse is going to be a healthy space as the big companies may manipulate the business model to their advantage yet again.
She points out, “The social media channels sell people’s attention; this is mostly fear.” “They then tap into their algorithm and focus on giving more if it catches the attention of the users”.
She is concerned that such a situation may create chaos, separation, arguments and promotes negativity among the people.
She advises that the structure of an ideal Metaverse should be such that the participants are co-responsible for the existence of space. It should be different from the world where data is being sold, or users are influenced to behave in a certain manner.
She fears the business models that are turning social media into what is being transposed to Metaverse. She raises a concern that these companies are actually not concerned about this issue, and there will not be a place for democracy in their business model.
She hopes that Metaverse is going to become a decentralized place built by numerous companies that operate in a healthy environment.
“We will have to wait and watch how this space turns out to be,” She states.
We could make out from the conversation with Ana that there are problems with Web 2. Also, most of the social media channels are in the business of selling fear and attention. The place is controlled by the companies, and they dictate their terms to the users. Secondly, the users can interact but do not get a chance to meet each other in a real-life environment. The features of holding meetings, effectively communicating, and mingling with the people around are not available in the current platforms.
NOWHERE has been launched with a vision to provide a collaborative platform for the users where they can get a real immersive experience. This platform is a mix of 3D technology, and video chat, Variety of events can be hosted, and people can effectively meet, mingle, and feel the real-like environment. They can choose their avatars, move around and enjoy themselves.
This space is for the community wherein people feel safe develop and strengthen a bond. Over time, the space will welcome more communities.
Ana Constantino has 18 years of multifaceted experience in project management, marketing, Media & planning, business consulting, and related areas.
She pursued her Bachelors of Science in Advertising & Marketing from ESPM Escola Superior De Propaganda e-Marketing. She then went on to pursue courses on project management and Entrepreneurship as well to enhance her skills.
She has experience in coming up with innovative virtual solutions for art installations, large events & tours. In her career, Ana has developed projects for the big giants like Coindesk, HP, Google, Crush Music, Redbull, NYC Mayor’s Office for Media & Entertainment, and Gimlet & O Globo.
She has worked on an art installation project in various international festivals like Panorama music festival & Laneway.
In her current stint, she has come up with an innovative platform called “NOWHERE” for effective community development. It has been developed using a mix of video chat features and 3D technology with a vision to provide the users with a real-life experience.
Ana has been featured in prestigious media portals like Globo TV, Forbes, Vogue, etc. because of her contribution to the Metaverse industry.
Author: Nitisha Lal
Nitisha Lal is a writer enthusiastic and curious to learn new things. Currently, she writes about the latest developments in technology, particularly around Web3 and the Metaverse. She enjoys nature walks, capturing the world around her on the phone, or reading books when away from work.