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NVIDIA Vice President explains the Omniverse

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Richard Kerris, NVIDIA Vice President of Omniverse Platform discusses NVIDIA's plans for the Omniverse and how it will be used.

Video Transcript

- Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. We're roughly 45 minutes to the closing bell. A lot of attention right now on NVIDIA's GTC conference. And we want to get right to Julie Hyman and Dan Howley, our Yahoo Finance colleagues who are covering the conference. Julie.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, indeed, we are, thanks so much, Adam. We talked earlier to Jensen Huang, who is the founder and CEO of the company as well as Deepu Talla, who heads up the edge business for them. And now we want to dive into the Omniverse with Richard Kerris, he's NVIDIA vice president, of their Omniverse platform. Richard, it's great to catch up with you again as we are heading through this conference.

We've been hearing a lot about the metaverse, recently, of course, not just from you guys but from the community at large, from Facebook, of course, which renamed itself. So talk to us about the Omniverse at NVIDIA. And for our viewers, sort of, put it in the context of the metaverse and how it relates to it.

RICHARD KERRIS: Sure thing. So Omniverse is a platform first and foremost. It's a platform that allows for collaboration and simulation. And it allows for you to bring your existing workflows in to create virtual worlds and connect to those virtual worlds. And why we're seeing so much importance on this is because virtual worlds are going to help innervate the next era of compute.

Whether you're visualizing a building that's going to be built and how it's going to be in a city or you're making products and things like that, and, of course, there's all the entertainment aspects, which is what we've been hearing a lot about, but what's essential is to have a common foundation with which these worlds can be connected consistently with. So your experience in one world will be consistent to the experience in the other world. And that's what we're doing with Omniverse. We're building that plumbing to connect these virtual worlds.

DAN HOWLEY: Richard, this is Dan. You know, is the Omniverse part of the metaverse? Is the metaverse part of the Omniverse? I guess, can you just kind of give us an understanding of what the two mean in terms of each other?

RICHARD KERRIS: Yeah. Well, certainly, we've been hearing metaverse everywhere. And that's great, because metaverse is kind of just the description in the same way the universe is a description of planets, metaverse is a description of virtual worlds. Omniverse is a platform to connect those virtual worlds. So one is a description of the types of things, and the other is the description of the platform that connects those things.

JULIE HYMAN: And Richard, you know, we think of NVIDIA principally as a chip maker, of course. Although, it's also a software maker. So the Omniverse platform, does it incorporate both of those elements? How exactly do you guys manifest the Omniverse, if you will?

RICHARD KERRIS: Yes, great question. So Omniverse is a software platform based on our RTX hardware for real time ray tracing, photorealistic imagery, things like that. And it's also built on 20 years of NVIDIA technology. We built this platform because we use it ourselves. We simulate everything we build. We run visualizations of the things that we're going to build and we have different locations around the world that have to work together. So we kind of built this for ourselves.

We based it on USD, which is-- you can think of USD as the HTML of 3D or the universal scene description. And we saw that other companies were starting to do this as well. And so working with our partners, Autodesk, Adobe, and so many others, we're bringing their applications into Omniverse, and allowing them to build and visualize these virtual worlds with us.

DAN HOWLEY: Richard, I know during GTC, you know, there was discussion about Ericsson using the Omniverse technology to build a digital twin, basically, of a city. Essentially, making a virtual version of the city that they can then drive around in to figure out how to set up 5G signals or cell towers. There's also digital twins for figuring out how to make AI-powered cars drive on their own or how to predict the pathways for forest fires. And those are all incredible. But will I eventually be able to dive in to the Omniverse or some kind of program made in the Omniverse?

RICHARD KERRIS: I believe you will. And what you talked about there, digital twins is so important for the next generation of how things will be manufactured, visualized, or how the globe, you know, we announce the building of a digital twin of Earth, so we can understand climate change and things like that. So there's lots of variations for digital twins. And you'll see them use throughout different types of industries.

And we believe it's going to help spur the next innovation of industries that are using these things. We've shown things with BMW, Ericsson, as you said, Lockheed Martin with the fire simulation to be able to manage and contain wildfires. But it's going to continue on and on, right, because there's so much benefit that you get when you can make the decisions in the synthetic world before you commit to it in the physical world. And that's what companies like BMW and Ericsson have been really featuring in the way they're using digital Twins.

JULIE HYMAN: Richard, you've been in tech for a long time. So if you could talk, where are we in the stage of this? What would be an analogy for this? And how important is it eventually going to be to NVIDIA's business? Because it's still very early both for the technological development, but also in terms of how much of NVIDIA's business it makes up.

RICHARD KERRIS: Yeah, great, a great question. Because those of us that were around when the internet started can remember those early days of the dotcom boom. And depending on what browser you had or if you had this thing loaded and that thing loaded, you get an experience but they weren't consistent. Then the HTML came along. And HTML kind of unified that plumbing of the internet, so that no matter what platform, what browser, you always had a consistent experience with whichever website you went to.

We believe the same thing is going to happen with 3D. We believe that these 3D virtual worlds are the next generation of the web. And so you'll have consistent 3D experiences, whether you're in an entertainment aspect of one, or you're in an industrial one, or your designer, you're collaborating, or your health care and you're visualizing, things like that.

So in the history of technology, I think this is really one of those moments that we're going to look back on and remember when the web truly went 3D in a unified way, and everybody started to experience these virtual worlds. So it's huge.

JULIE HYMAN: And Richard, also, talking about your experience, among many other places, you spent some time at Apple. You spent some time at Lucasfilm. And that experience, I'm also wondering, if there's-- you know, I think it's hard for people to wrap their heads around this. And I think of also when CGI became much more popular. And, of course, Lucasfilm was one of the places that helped popularize that. Is there a way for normal people to sort of understand this better, drawing on your experience with that sort of digital storytelling?

RICHARD KERRIS: Yeah, when I first came to NVIDIA and saw what was being developed by Rev and his team, the start of Omniverse, it solved major problems that we had as we were making movies at Lucasfilm. So I was immediately excited, enthralled, and wanted in. From a-- you know, a standpoint, and how other people can experience or understand the experience. Remember the time when you just started going from website to website and didn't think about it. Probably don't, because it's just kind of become part of how you do things now. Whether you're ordering something, or experiencing something, or buying music and stuff like that.

I think we're going to get to that point where 3D environments are going to be just like that. Whether you're experiencing it on a screen, or a AR headset, or a VR headset, it's just going to become a commonplace. You want to go to a concert, you're going to go to it in a virtual environment. You want to see where you're going to take your next vacation, you might go walk around on the Beach in a virtual environment and experience it.

Your day-to-day work might be designing a product, a car, or something like that, and you're going to do it with people all around the world, but collectively in a 3D environment. So the true breaking point, I think, the inflection point will be when you don't even think about it, it just becomes part of what you do.

JULIE HYMAN: And so on a related note, you mentioned you're going to do it in different ways. Just in 30 seconds, so does that mean I'm not going to be wearing glasses, or a headset, or whatever every time I step into the Meta or Omniverse?

RICHARD KERRIS: Yeah, you don't have to. You can use your screen or you can use a tablet to peer into the world. There'll be all different types of ways. In much the same way I can experience the web on a mobile device, a desktop device, laptop, et cetera, you'll have many ways to experience these 3D worlds. Some will be peering into it, some will be immersed into it, all different things.

But in that same way, the experience has to be consistent. Colors have to look the same, experiences, dynamics, physics, and all those things. And that's what the underlying plumbing of that means and that's what we're doing with Omniverse, is building that plumbing.