Privacy, Wearables, And Building A Secure Web3 Ecosystem: Interview With Mai Labs


Mai Labs — a Web3 firm headquartered in the Cayman Islands — showcased its Mayaaverse metaverse platform in India earlier this week. The firm demonstrated the platform that digitally traces India’s journey through history. Mayaaverse allows visitors to explore ancient Indian cities (such as Hastinapur) to present-day temples, modern retail outlets, as well as photorealistic virtual venues for live artist performances. Mai Labs plans to onboard content creators, brands, artists, and a new generation of tech-savvy consumers and audiences onto its immersive Web3 ecosystem.

Gadgets360 interviewed Mai Labs Chief Business Officer Ashish Minocha and Chief Technology Officer Khoushik Ananth to learn more about the evolution of its metaverse ecosystem and how these platforms can strike a balance between ensuring user privacy while preventing malicious activity and safeguarding users.

Gadgets360: How is Mayaaverse different from Meta’s foray into the metaverse?

Ashish Minocha: Mayaaverse differs from what Mark Zuckerberg is building with Meta in several ways. Meta is developing Horizon OS, but its lacked initial content, while Mayaaverse prioritises content alongside its technological offerings. As it was developed in India, Mayaaverse caters to regional and cultural nuances more effectively, while MayaaSDK and the Lumyn XR headset are aimed at creators and developers.

Meanwhile, MayaaVerse is device-agnostic, promoting an open and democratised virtual environment and it focuses on making highly realistic virtual environments accessible through basic hardware so that it is available to a broader audience.

Gadgets360: How do platforms like Mayaaverse strike a balance between protecting user privacy and preventing misuse?

Koushik Ananth: We anonymise data to protect individual privacy, ensuring personal information isn’t exposed, and use strong encryption for data in transit and at rest. User data is stored in a dedicated and highly secured database separate from other operational data, minimising the risk of unauthorised access. Users can also view, edit, or delete their information and adjust privacy settings.

On the other hand, we have designed Mayaaverse in such a way that every entry is traceable to a real human identity, via KYC. Regular security audits, ethical data practices, and compliance checks help us adhere to global data protection regulations while delivering a personalised metaverse experience.

Gadgets360: How do photorealistic environments enhance metaverse experiences?

Koushik Ananth: Creating photo-realistic environments for the metaverse involves crafting virtual spaces that closely resemble real-world settings. This includes using advanced graphics rendering for lifelike textures, accurate lighting with dynamic shadows, and immersive spatial audio. Photo-realistic environments in the metaverse create a sense of presence and realism.

Additionally, physics simulation plays a crucial role. It ensures that interactions with objects and movements within the environment behave realistically, enhancing immersion. For example, physics simulation enables objects to respond to gravity, collisions, and other physical forces just like they would in the real world. This realism adds depth to virtual experiences, making them more engaging and believable.

Gadgets360: Does the Zero blockchain offer features not available on rival platforms?

Koushik Ananth: Zero Layer Blockchain is a foundational blockchain protocol which does not add layers on top of existing structures like traditional blockchains. Instead, it optimises the very base of the network. For India’s blockchain ecosystem, it brings increased transaction speed, reduced delays, and stronger security measures.

It also has an interoperability element that allows different blockchain networks to work together. We have also equipped the Zero blockchain with security and compliance features required by Indian regulations.

Gadgets360: How can Web3 platforms deliver a ‘safe and trustworthy’ ecosystem?

Koushik Ananth: Ensuring the safety and trustworthiness of Web3 technology requires a multifaceted approach encompassing technical, governance, and regulatory considerations. This includes employing encryption algorithms, adopting secure coding practices, and implementing robust authentication mechanisms to mitigate the risk of unauthorised access and data breaches.

KYC procedures, meanwhile, contribute substantially to building trust and credibility within the Web3 ecosystem. Platforms must also prioritise user verification demonstrate a commitment to security and regulatory compliance. Comprehensive smart contract audits can also identify and rectify vulnerabilities that could compromise the integrity of decentralised applications.

Gadgets360: How has Mai Labs has been received in India, in light of the sceptical approach towards the Web3 sector

Ashish Minocha: Overall, operating a Web3 business in India has been a unique experience for us. As a company, we don’t fully subscribe to the idealised vision of Web3 — one without intermediaries or boundaries, where the world becomes entirely permissionless.

We believe such a world is impractical. Instead, we champion Web H (Hybrid), or Web 2.5. We operate as a permissioned ecosystem, regulated by design, combining the best of both Web2 and Web3. Transparency and decentralisation remain our core values.

Some responses have been condensed and slightly edited for clarity.

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