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This milestone was unveiled during the recent Google Cloud Next event in San Francisco, showcasing the result of a collaboration between Hiber, Datatonic, and Google Cloud. The integration of generative AI with Hiber3D empowers creators to use natural language prompts to enhance the crafting of 3D worlds.
Gotherburg, Sweden-based Hiber wants to break down barriers and make participation in the 3D web more accessible. Its existing creator tools, the Hiber3D Development Kit, and a no-code tool for consumers, have already resulted in the creation of over five million 3D worlds on the user-generated content (UGC) hub HiberWorld, said Michael Yngfors, CEO of Hiber, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“It’s a pretty major milestone for us as a company,” Yngfors said. “There’s a lot of AI all over the web these days. But this is actually a topic that we’ve been working on from when we started building Hiber.”
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Yngfors’ cofounder, Mattias Johansson, was inspired by futuristic books like Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near. The notion of rapidly advancing AI inspired him to think about opportunities to use the technology in self expressions and creativity.
“When we started in 2017, this was always with us from the start,” Yngfors said. “Our vision was to build this platform that will make the creation of these 3D worlds and experiences in games as easy and accessible and fun for as many people as possible.”
These tools are supported by the Hiber3D engine, which can target any device with a web browser and provides a comprehensive set of services for creators.
“Along with our Hiber3D engine, we have a set of services that support creators, including multiplayer, chat, identity, payment rails, and commerce connections,” said Yngfors. “And now we are going further. By uniting generative AI with these services, we’re set to evolve our offering into a living creation platform.”
The technical process behind this integration leverages Google Cloud services and newly introduced AI algorithms. Yngfors said that means that some of the costs associated with generative AI — which requires a lot of computing power to delve through large language models (LLMs) — is lower.
Hiber’s vast collection of 3D world creation data has been utilized in collaboration with Datatonic and Google Cloud to deliver a unique solution that allows users to generate 3D worlds using natural language prompts. This approach opens up new possibilities for creators and streamlines the creative process.
“It was always our our hypothesis that if we could introduce the natural language into the equation, so users could express what they want to see, then we would unleash that creativity,” Yngfors said. “We can show how users can express themselves in natural language and create a 3D world. You can really go down a rabbit hole.”
Players can progressively add things to the world using natural language, like adding a tower, adding a moat, adding some fields and so on.
Will it meet the quality experience for the users, and will the costs be contained?
“We’re not going to put a cap or a limit on things anytime in the near term,” said Kauppinen. “We want people to actually build the quality with us. And we get that by the users saying they will work on this longer or add more features. Then we find out if they are happy with what they have created.”
Kauppinen said that by working with Google the company is able to deal with the costs. And over time, you need to create the right business model, he said. The company isn’t using 3D assets from other companies. Rather, it’s using its own 3D assets as the results for the queries from users.
“We’re exploring the business model,” he said. “We will build a model that’s going to be supportive of our business and enable people to continue to do this for years and years.”
Looking ahead, Hiber’s long-term roadmap includes a co-pilot, where users will be supported by an AI assistant that offers live suggestions and facilitates the creation process. The co-pilot will not only generate content on prompt but also provide informed recommendations, further enhancing the user experience.
Hiber3D has already garnered attention from brands aiming to expand their virtual presence and invest in innovative experiences. Luxury fashion label Tommy Hilfiger recently chose Hiber3D to create Tommy Parallel, an interoperable virtual universe for its community.
The Tommy Parallel experience, hosted on HiberWorld, offers users the opportunity to explore the space with Ready Player Me avatars wearing Tommy Hilfiger fashion. Within the first month of the campaign, over 1.2 million Tommy Parallel digital wearables were spawned by visitors for the experience on HiberWorld.
Founded in 2017, Hiber has investors including EQT Ventures, Luminar Ventures, and Sybo.The company has 35 people and it raised $20 million to date.
The company can generate revenue with 3D shops where players can buy Ready Player Me avatars.
The neat thing about having five million worlds is players can put portals within those worlds and link to other worlds, enabling players to endlessly hop from one place to another.
“It’s a massive network of interconnected 3D worlds,” Kauppinen said.
Of course, this notion of the metaverse that comes with 3D world creation is out of fashion at the moment.
“The metaverse has something becomes a hype cycle and it’s really changing how things are going to be done,” said Sean Kauppinen, chief strategy officer and marketing head at Hiber, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s the hottest thing now. But the reality is it’s where we should focus.”
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