Robert Gryn, a serial entrepreneur, has created a high-tech Metaverse scanner that he hopes will act like a portal from our physical world into the Metaverse.
It’s no secret that the physical and digital worlds are merging. Blockchain is the primary arbiter of reality in many emerging metaverses. Gryn, the CEO of MetaHero is working to make this new reality as real and accurate as possible. He has created high-definition 3D scans for people, objects, and animals that will soon be encountered in virtual worlds, games, and NFTs.
After a decade of building Codewise, a European marketing company in Poland, Gryn moved to Dubai to start a new solution that he hopes will help the next billion people adopt the blockchain.
Gryn is excited to list the potential uses of his full-body Metaverse scans for digital fashion: He says, “You’ll have the ability to scan yourself in your underpants — it would be very easy not only to try on digital fashion but also real clothing.”
This raises serious concerns. What happens if a privacy box is not checked or the system is hacked? Do I then find my digital clone staring in an AI-created adult movie?
This is my eternal form. At the Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai last October, @Metahero_io scanned me into the metaverse. #Cointelegraph article soon! @wdw_io #metaverse #HERO pic.twitter.com/ItPEjnMNw5
Elias Ahonen.eth February 16, 2022
Gryn acknowledges the problem and admits that “if ultra-realistic scanners were leaked and someone manipulated the images to be in a pornographic scene that was intended for them, that could be the end of us.”
It is not an easy task to store and manage high-resolution 3D scans for thousands of people. There are many questions about the tech: Who has access to scans? How can they be used? What royalties should be established? There are no simple answers.
Gryn states that he will need to recruit small armies to cover all international jurisdictions in order to determine what is allowed and prohibited.
The rich list
Gryn, originally from Poland, started in an “eclectic type of course” while studying for a Master of Science degree in technology entrepreneurship at University of Surrey, England. From 2004 to 2008, Gryn invited a local entrepreneur to share their story and answer questions about the business. One of these presenters once said to the class that out of 100 people who wish to start their own business, only four succeed. Gryn recalled thinking about how he could escape the fate of a “wantrepreneur” at 96% and start a real business. He continued his studies at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, for a master’s degree in marketing.
During an internship at Orange mobile network company, he realized that he wasn’t cut out to work as a corporate drone. He was given an employee number and had access to the intranet the very first day. After scouring the corporate intranet for hours, he realized that he didn’t belong and that he doesn’t want to belong. He recalls laughing about his decision to quit and not allow himself to ever be part of such a corporate structure.
Gryn was only there for a two-day stint and an internship. His first job was one of his entrepreneurial endeavors. He was the CEO of Codewise, which he started in Krakow, Poland, in 2011. The firm, which uses technology to manage brand marketing for clients, has been ranked in Europe’s top-growing companies three years running.
He recalled browsing the Forbes magazine in Poland every year when they published an annual list listing the wealthiest people in the country. There he “always been looking for someone young” that had made it. Later, undue bureaucracy, and a postcommunist mentality that he believes is common in Eastern Europe, influenced his decision that he relocated to Dubai, which he considers more business-friendly.
He did it. He built the company into a “250-person IT firm in the advertising technology sector.” Forbes List of the Richest Poles, with an estimated fortune of $150 million.
However, Gryn wasn’t quite happy. He described feeling as if he was living in a “golden cage” and that the door was open. He also suffered from burnout.
He sold the company to start a new business in 2020.
Cryptocurrency: What is it?
Gryn decided to leave the company that he had built for a decade and move on to crypto.
I was always crypto-curious. But to really get down the rabbit hole, you need a lot of headspace.
He reached an interesting conclusion. He declared that Cryptoto was “probably the most important technology in modern man’s history that will equalize the playing field in all possible aspects — namely, financial freedom.”
He continued to explore the industry and found that most crypto projects were “very crypto-centric” and hard for anyone outside the industry to understand. It didn’t have to all be about DeFi or money, he said. Gryn believed that cryptocurrency was still too far-fetched for most people and felt that more could be done to bring it to them. He suggested that the entertainment and gaming sectors would be the best avenues to accomplish this goal.
Gryn believes mass adoption of crypto is about creating “a more equitable tomorrow” for the next generation. This is evident when he mentions that he has his son as an inspiration to help create a better future. He came up with the idea for MetaHero, which allows anyone to create a 3D avatar in the Metaverse.
Gryn, unlike many entrepreneurs who boast of their endless hustle, describes himself as having a natural laziness that is common to all people. Codewise was a unique business model that Gryn used to grow the company. He rented office space he couldn’t afford to rent to help him do so. After signing the lease, he looked at his company balances and said, “holy crap! If we don’t double the revenue and profit, there is no way we can afford this office.” He tells me.
“I am a kind of entrepreneur that just goes after it — puts on my blinders, blocks out all fear and just goes for the ride.”
He also suggests conference-driven development as a way to achieve success. “You book a very expensive conference or trade fair a few months out in the future and then you promise that you will deliver X,Y, and Z. Even if it seems impossible, it is possible.” I was there when Gryn, with my witness, launched his scanner to much fanfare after months of development.
He says, “I realized quite early that I can only succeed if I place myself in a position where there is no other choice but to succeed,” with infectious confidence.
Mariusz Krol from Wolf Digital World, the CEO of 3D printing company Wolf Digital World, called him up and suggested that they form a partnership to scan our world into the Metaverse. Krol’s company “works on 3D photogrammetric tech for eight years,” so the entrepreneurs decided to create a scanner using 200 Sony cameras, 1,500m of wiring and 20 computers. Gryn recalls that the team was amazed at their scanners which can produce 150,000 scans per annum to Sony.
This is how it works: Place the scanned item (either a cow, human or object) in the middle of the scanner. The hundreds of cameras simultaneously capture images from all angles and the lights from all directions shine evenly. The images are then combined using high-powered imaging software to create a 3D image that can easily be embedded into any digital space. This could be an ideal way for performers to create a virtual avatar to perform at the Animal Concert in Metaverse.
Gryn says that his vision is to create the world’s largest 3D-scanned database of people and objects. This is an important step in the creation of the Metaverse. Gryn also explains that it was difficult and costly to create an “in-game character” that looks like a human with all the imperfections and all the details. He exclaims, “Once your database has hundreds of thousands scan items and people, there are so many use-cases that it sometimes boggles the mind.”
Over the course of four days at @dxbontheblock we scanned more than 300 people and transferred them to the metaverse. To share their thoughts and impressions about the unique experience with others who were unable to attend, we have also captured their opinions. pic.twitter.com/ydYqs3aRks
Wolf Digital World (@wdw_io October 27, 2021
He believes that no 3D scanner is comparable to the one he has seen, unless there’s “maybe a more sophisticated one somewhere in Hollywood.” Gryn says that the scanner’s speed means that “we can do scans so fast that we’re capable of capturing practically any animal, and then import it into Metaverse — like your dog.”
The Metahero scanners will eventually be accessible around the globe. Scans can be paid in Hero tokens, which were launched in July. Due to the high fees charged by Ethereum, tokens are available on BNB Chain. Some have been given to investors. However, some are earmarked for incentives to people from all walks of life. This includes the possibility of royalties that they might earn through the use of their images.
Gryn claims that 1% of the total supply, or hero token, is used to pay the first 100,000 people $1,000 to scan their bodies.
Although Gryn sees a future in which mass adoption of Metaverse could lead to people making their “livelihoods solely based on their 3D avatars, which they can monetize in many ways,” he acknowledges that realistic Metaverse avatars are still a long way off.
Because Metaverse today does not support Wolf Digital World’s high-definition scanner, this is why Metaverse applications aren’t compatible with it. He explains that the technology is being developed to enable you to reduce quality since 16k will not be supported in the next 5-10 years.
“10 year down the road, it will likely be almost impossible to distinguish the Metaverse from our everyday reality — something you log on and have your space there, NFTs, artwork, and your apartment.”