Hi there. In this video, we're going to explore interoperability, what it means, and how it will affect your experience in the metaverse. In the conversations we've had so far, we've talked about when the metaverse is fully realized, you'll be able to seamlessly move from space to space. You remember this is called continuity. But more than just being able to move around, you'll also be able to take things with you, like your avatar. That's interoperability. And it's one of the core attributes that differentiates the metaverse from the internet we know today. Right now, if you want to use social media, you need to log into an app or website with your user name and password. Then, to meet up with some friends in games like Fortnite or Roblox, you have to use your credentials for that. Attending a virtual book reading or theater performance? You might need to hop over to YouTube or sign into another streaming platform. For company meetings and events, you might find yourself logging into Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams. Interoperability is the standards, systems, and applications that will make it possible to take things with you as you move in and out of virtual spaces. Now, this doesn't mean that every part of the metaverse experience will be interoperable. But if the metaverse isn't built with interoperability in mind, then what we'll end up with is a bunch of fragmented and isolated experiences and spaces that are challenging to access and move between, and objects that disappear along the way. That's not the metaverse we want or need. A key concept of interoperability is persistance, or continued existence. We experienced persistance all the time in the physical world. If you take a trip to the Grand Canyon, hike the Camino de Santiago, or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, those places don't vanish when you leave. People don't stop existing when we aren't with them, and objects don't disappear when we aren't looking at them, although sometimes it can feel that way. I know my keys are around here somewhere... Imagine you attended a virtual Harry Styles concert and bought a limited-edition outfit for your avatar at that show. And now you're off to meet friends in a space like VRChat. The outfit is a persistent object, which means it will go with you when you leave the concert and be there in your VRChat room when you brag to your friends about how you got to meet Harry backstage. That's the future of interoperability in the Metaverse. If you buy or acquire something to modify your avatar, a jersey of your favorite basketball player, a new pair of funky sunglasses, even a virtual pet, those objects will travel with you on your digital adventures. Interoperability also means that you won't need a different avatar for every space you visit. You'll look like you, no matter where you go. Of course, as we talked about earlier, you will also have the ability to choose a different avatar or a different look for your avatar depending on your needs and comfort level. Now, you've heard me mention a couple of times the idea that you're going to be able to buy things in the metaverse, just like you do now on the internet. You're going to do that because one of the features of the metaverse will be a digital wallet. Coming up later, we have a whole module dedicated to money in the metaverse, where you'll get the opportunity to learn about how finances will work. For now, we're going to focus on the interoperability aspect of digital wallets. Picture yourself standing in the middle of a shopping mall. There are stores all around you that sell different things and offer a variety of experiences. Now, imagine how inconvenient it would be if you had to carry a different wallet in order to shop in each of these stores. And every time you bought something, it disappeared when you stepped out of the shop. Not very appealing, right? I don't know about you, but I'm tempted to go home, do all my shopping online, and have it delivered. In the metaverse, your digital wallet will be the easy way to handle money, helping you to pay for and sell things, and keeping track of what you own. You might already use a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or Venmo. Coinbase is a popular cryptocurrency platform that lets you use a credit or debit card to buy, sell and manage cryptocurrency, which we'll talk about more in another lesson. But digital wallets aren't just for holding onto things and showing proof of ownership. The interoperability of wallets in the fully realized metaverse will allow you to take your digital goods with you to different spaces. You wouldn't buy a song that you can only listen to in your car, or spend money on a sculpture that you have to keep hidden away in a specific room in your house. In the metaverse, you won't want your items locked into one space or platform. The more places you can use the things you own in the metaverse, the more value they have to you. And that opens up a host of opportunities for creators to make things for you. We'll talk more about creators and the creator economy later in this course. When we talk about the interoperability of digital wallets and items, it's important that we also discuss a key term that you'll see more of later in this course: blockchain. Essentially, blockchain is a technology that securely stores electronic information and provides proof of ownership. The information in blockchain can be shared but not copied. When you buy something in the metaverse that uses blockchain technology, a record of that transaction is written to the blockchain, providing you and the spaces you visit with proof of ownership. One type of item you might purchase in the metaverse is an NFT. You've probably heard about these on the news or social media, possibly described as digital art that people are buying and selling online. In truth, an NFT is not the object or asset itself, but a one-of-a-kind digital record that proves that the object or asset is what it says it is. NFT records are written to — you guessed it — the blockchain. Want to know more? Great. We're going to talk about both blockchain and NFTs in more detail later in this course. To sum up, interoperability is all about movement. Because a fully realized metaverse will be a series of interconnected digital spaces, we need to be able to move freely and seamlessly between those spaces, and to take our identity and items with us as we go. That's it for this lesson. Next, we're going to talk about how to access the metaverse and connect with others. Let's go.