- Hey, Will, thanks so much for joining us here at CES.

- Thank you. Happy new year.

- Happy new year. 2021 finally. Can you believe it?

- Yeah, I mean, yeah, I can believe it. It started out pretty... started out pretty bumpy.

- Yeah. So I was praying that we could stabilize, but yeah.

- Smooth sailing from here on out. Let's hope. Now, Will, I want to to talk about your role here at CES. Because you've been to many CESs before. You've had quite a record here at the convention. So why do you think you come back to CES year after year? What is the thing that attracts you most about the show?

- CES is like a snapshot of what tomorrow is, but not tomorrow, so far out like tomorrow, a couple of quarters away. You get to see like what big companies and tech are working on, the things that they're projecting and what's to come right around the corner. Like some companies are super brave and show you prototypes that they're working on in the back booths. And I just liked the futurism that CES is all about.

- Yeah, and you started going to CES around what time, do you remember?

- I started going to CES like 2007, 2005 ...

- Yeah, OK. Six, seven yeah.

- Quite a few years

- As a performer.

- As a performer.

- First we went there as a performer. Like I think it was for Intel or something like that in 2004 or five, five, six, and seven. One of those years. And then, I'm sorry, when Apple launched the iMac.

- Oh, yeah.

- We were at CES. It was like one of the only times that Apple participated at CES.

- Yeah, that's right.

- If I'm correct.

- Yeah, well that just goes to show kind of your success over the years, having come to so many CESs. And are there any stories that you could share about some of your partnerships or collaborations? You mentioned Intel and Apple, but were there others? Other investments, perhaps?

- One of the big things that I'm super proud of is how close I got to Qualcomm and how, you know, going to CES. I think it was 2014. I met the Qualcomm guys in a deeper way. I've always like worked with Paul Jacobs when he was the CEO at the time and Matt, but working closely with the Qualcomm guys, even since, you know Paul Jacobs left, it sparked up at CES. So, thank you, CES for the Qualcomm connect.

- Yeah, have you learned anything new during this pandemic? You know, especially when it comes to using technology now that we're all using technology practically every day because of this?

- Yeah, social tools of connecting and collaborating is the highlight of 2020. Companies that you probably never heard of. Now Zoom is zooming throughout all of our vocabularies from students to companies. It's the new work office space. And I don't think it's going to go away because now big companies know that you can make their fourth... They can make their quarters without having everybody in the office. So unfortunately COVID is going to have a lasting effect on the work environment forever.

- Right, right.

- And then, you know, what I thought was going to happen but I'm glad my team figured out how to innovate around facial technology.

- Oh, yeah.

- Like masks. So in COVID, my team just really innovated on, you know what the future of masks are because the masks that we are wearing now were never intended for the general public.

- Right.

- So we're really happy that we're going to be launching very shortly an amazing mask, without going into details about it, but I could not help but to announce what my team has been working on. It's called a super mask and it will be out shortly.

- Amazing. Well, thank you so much for announcing it here. Now, the biggest technological innovation in your mind, what is it real quick? Like what comes to mind first as like one of the things that's going to boom in the industry?

- VR.

- VR, yeah.

- I mean VR has always been around but I got the Oculus Quest 2, and that's some pretty amazing stuff.

- Seriously.

- AI, autonomous everything, like vehicles.

- Yeah.

- I think between now and 2030, you're going to see revolution around those three areas: the autonomous vehicle, drone technology, VR world-building and experience -- immersive experience building, and AI machines that, you know, we should be concerned about as far as the business model of the companies that are building these AI tools, these machine-learning tools. But other than that, those are the three fields that I think are really going to transform the world.

- Yeah and I'd imagine that plays a lot into what you do as a musician. You talked about like immersion, VR and everything like that. What do you see happening when it comes to you know, concert performances, sports in the future, after having a year like we did just recently?

- Well, people now know how fragile the world is and there's a race to build immersive deep virtual worlds.

- Right.

- Ones that, so concerts in VR have to be reimagined just by putting a 3D, you know virtual camera in front of you and then perform around it. I don't think that's a solution. But truly building immersive worlds, to reimagine music and the way the lovers of music experience those worlds. So videos and songs and albums and, you know, everything about music is going to be reimagined in this next decade.

- Right, which technologies do you think will improve just our personal music enjoyment experience, you know. How we do it nowadays might differ in a couple of years time. What do you think the future of that looks like?

- VR?

- VR, yeah. So we'd be listening to music in VR.

- No, because if you think about it, going to a concert is the audio really that awesome? It's really not. Right it's not like, it's like, wow this is the best sound and stuff I've ever heard in my life. That's not why you go to concerts.

- Right, for the experience.

- The reason why you go to concerts is the experience of being around people and the bass really. It's not like high-end and treble and fidelity concerts.

- Right, right. But you're going to get that in VR. Now, if you can have this, a similar experience but heightened, as far as like, you know the immersive social experience alongside the fidelity and the quality of audio and VR. Whoever cracks the social immersive experience in VR, get out of here.

- Yeah.

- For concerts.

- Yeah, for concerts in particular. Last question here: how can, you know, according to you, how can we be better prepared for future economic and social disruptions like we just experienced in your mind?

- Education, one. Preparation, two. Cross collaboration, like companies that you probably, you know, don't think of first in mind when you think of popular culture. Like companies like Honeywell. How can companies like Honeywell or General Electric, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, help educate and prepare the youth for this, you know, technological tomorrow? Like it's not always the front-facing companies like Google, Amazon, Apple.

- Right.

- Because at some point in time and culture they weren't the front-facing companies. So you're going to, the world needs these collaborations, mentorship you know, preparation, up-skilling, re-skilling of a workforce and workforce development. We truly need that. Like as a race, a new American dream needs to happen in America and around the world really. But right now in America, it's kind of wobbly. And I pray for our stability.

- Yeah well, Will, thank you so much. You really brought some interesting perspective on the tech front, on the future of our economy and everything going on here in this country this year. Thank you so much, Will. It's been great, and huge fan, and I hope that 2021 treats you better and everyone else around the world.

- Thank you so much, be safe.

- Thanks, you too.


 

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