8 min readMar 30, 2022

Imagine navigating a virtual room with chemistry and match-making intel available on your heads-up display. Picture the customization of IRL experiences based on who you are, and a convenient and more smooth way to make friends IRL and in virtual worlds. Encoded Individuation (E.I) is a socialization protocol that allows for the individualization of experiences in the Metaverse.

First iteration wireframe prototype .
Early conceptualization prototype of a metaverse layer integration (using Otherside as an example). Rough.Not reflective of future implementation.
Early AR conceptualization prototype. Rough. Not reflective of future implementation.

TL;DR — check the project here nyxsoul.xyz .

Here's a summary of NYX — the SOUL weaver — including the A.i ongoing evolution.

NYX was born in 2018 as an exploration of possible ways to create Encoded Individuation (E.I). It's core foundations are Jungian theory (including AION), Psychometrics, and machine learning as the underlying tech.

Check one of NYX's prototypes created by our co-founder Su (former Apple).

Why digital individuation?

"A soul is the representation in dreams of the inner personality".
- Carl Jung

Web3 avatars and PFPs are nothing but empty shells if they can't convey to Metaverse entities who we are. Immersion is incomplete without individuation.

Individuation is the process to achieve a sense of individuality that separates the individual from others. Encoded Individuation (E.I) is a on-chain agnostic protocol we've developed to allow for that in virtual worlds.

In Web2, online personality assessments have been used as a step towards digital individuation with subpar results. The siloed datasets these tests generate are often outdated. To make it worse, these resulting datasets are largely incomplete due to the time commitment personality questionnaires demand from users. Test takers have also no agency over the data and data collectors have also been reportedly selling personality data to third parties.


Moving into web3 immersive tech, personality data has the potential to play an enormous role on how people express themselves, experience the Metaverse, and meet each other.

An ideal individuation mechanism — or SOUL as we will call it from this point on — should provide C.A.O.S: Control, Anonymity, Ownership and be SPOT (Single Point of Truth). At the same time it should allow for the individuation process to happen, creating the possibility of truly customized experiences.

Some projects hinted already on generating on-chain personality, like in the case of https://alethea.ai. These projects are usually aiming towards A.i sentience (a self-aware artificial intelligence). Although A.i sentience is an important goal to pursuit, we believe that an encoded SOUL can be achieved already and that Web3 presents the perfect tech foundation for it.

First, allow us to recap NYX's iteration one.

2018/2019 — Iteration One (Web2)

Research for NYX started in 2018 led by zr0 (former Facebook Reality Labs), and in 2019 we published the first app running a first iteration of NYX on the App store.

The worldwide research for the individuation construct was covered four continents. The research also included ethnographic rounds and early prototype sessions.

Take a look at the exploration we did on the current spectrum of web2 dating apps.

Kinds app is the first Web2 iteration of the SOUL construct and digital individuation process. The app allowed our team to test user comprehension, complexity and accuracy of the SOUL. Iteration one offered a fun and engaging UI where users could individuate. It also allowed users to exchange traits with friends, upvoting existing traits or racking up new ones. As a result, users are able to check how similar they are to their friends and these iterations helped increase the machine learning model accuracy. Iteration One (web2) is available on the App Store.

The first iteration of the digital soul model. Available on the App Store.
Kinds present a fast (and fun) data collection interface that initializes the digital soul. The web2 version also allowed for social sharing of soul signals and checking how similar users are to their friends.

Check the design + development work for iteration One here.

Jung believed that the psyche, or soul, was driven towards individuation. Aion is Jung's equation that presents a formula of the self.
User interviews covered topics like personality, social interactions and loneliness.
Jungian archetypal theory expanded into "Soul Types" used in user-testing rounds.
Over a hundred scientific psychometric instruments were analyzed.
A prototype was created based on the traits chosen for the machine learning model and tested with users.

Check the UX Research log for NYX' s iteration one here.

2022 — NYX Iteration two (Web3)

How might we help people express who they are in the Metaverse?

In Web3 we have the chance to empower users with a combination of seamless integration, privacy and control in a way it was never possible in Web2. By using blockchain technology and smart contracts, NFTs holding E.I (a.k.a Souls) can be privately owned and at the same time consumable to web3 services creating a new social layer of interaction in the metaverse.

The vision for Encoded Indivuduation (E.i):

  • UI: Personality tests are long. The amount of time and energy users need to commit when it comes to question-based personality tests lead to incomplete datasets. The SOUL construct should be simple and fun to use.
  • Safe: The SOUL should evolve to be anonymized and owned by users.
  • Ubiquitous: Personality tests are siloes. The SOUL should be universal.
  • Accuracy: Personality tests age. The SOUL should update as people change their perceptions of themselves.
  • Socially enhanced: Personality tests do not factor in social interactions. The SOUL should be able to learn as people interact with one another.
Protoype visualization using Otherside as a backdrop.

NYX's machine learning (A.i.) model is grounded in decades of published scientific experiments on the psychology of personality and relationships. For this reason it excludes popular scales like the MBTI for being categorical in nature and also neither being a scientific instrument nor truly aligning with Jungian principles (Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, Jr., 1989).

Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, Jr., 1989

To learn about NYX’s foundations and early days check the machine learning model on match-making created in 2018 by NYX's co-founder Su (former Apple).

Brief summary of scientific publications used for the construct:

  • How HEXACO Personality Traits Predict Different Selfie-Posting Behaviors among Adolescents and Young Adults. (Roberto Baiocco, 2017).
  • Avatars as Information: Perception of Consumers Based on Their Avatars in Virtual Worlds (Jean-François, H. Onur Bodur, 2010)
  • Match Makers and Deal Breakers: Analyses of Assortative Mating in Newlywed Couples (David Watson, 2004).
  • A Behavioral Genetic Study of Relationships Between Humor Styles And The Six HEXACO Personality Factors (Livia Veselka, Julie A. Schermer, 2010).
  • What Does My Avatar Say About Me? Inferring Personality From Avatars (Katrina Fong1 and Raymond A. Mar1, 2013)
  • A New Big Five - Fundamental Principles for an Integrative Science of Personality (Dan P. McAdams, 2006).
  • A Survival Analysis of Adolescent Friendships: The Downside of Dissimilarity (Amy C. Hartla, Brett Laursena)
  • The first partnership experience and personality development. A propensity score matching study in young adulthood. (Wagner, Jenny; Becker, Michael; Lüdtke, 2015)
  • Commitment to Dating Relationships and Cross-Sex Friendships in America and China (Yuan-Huei W. Lin, Caryl E. Rusbult, 1995)
  • The Ego Resiliency Scale Revised: A Crosscultural Study in Italy, Spain, and the United States (Guido Alessandri, Michele Vecchione, 2011)
  • Ego-control and ego-resiliency: Generalization of self-report scales based on personality descriptions from acquaintances, clinicians, and the self (Tera D. Letzringa,*, Jack Blockb, David C. Fundera, 2004)
  • Emotional Intelligence and Social Interaction (Paulo N. Lopes Marc A. Brackett, 2003)
  • Models of Emotional Intelligence. (Aljoscha C. Neubauer, 2005)
  • Empirical, Theoretical, and Practical Advantages of the HEXACO Model of Personality Structure (Michael C. Ashton,Kibeom Lee, 2007)
  • Extraversion and agreeableness: Divergent routes to daily satisfaction with social relationships (William TOV, Ze Ling Serene NAI, 2016)
  • I’m Outgoing and She’s Reserved: The Reciprocal Dynamics of Personality in Close Friendships in Young Adulthood (Paul A. Nelson1, Avril Thorne, 2011)
  • Friendship quality and personality as predictors of psychological well-being in emerging adults (Emma Gleckel, 2015)
  • Friendships in young and middle adulthood: Normative patterns and personality differences (Cornelia Wrzus, Julia Zimmermann, 2016)
  • You are my best friend: Commitment and stability in adolescents’ same-sex friendships (SUSAN J. T. BRANJE,a TOM FRIJN, 2007)
  • The Investment Model Scale: Measuring commitment level, satisfaction level, quality of alternatives, and investment size (CARYL E. RUSBULT,O JOHN M. MARTZ, 1998)
  • NEOTM Personality Inventory-3 (Paul T. Costa, Jr., PhD, Robert R. McCrae, PhD, and PAR Staff, 210)
  • Brief versions of the NEO PI-3 (Paul Costa, 2007)
  • The Strength of Weak Ties (Mark S, 1973)
  • Personality and Performance at the Beginning of the New Millennium: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go Next? (Murray R. Barrick,
  • Consensus in Personality Judgments at Zero Acquaintance (Linda Albright, David A. Kenny, and Thomas E. MaUoy, 1988)
  • Personality Traits and the Propensity to Trust Friends and Strangers (Markus Freitag and Paul. C. Bauer)
  • Considering the role of personality in the work–family experience: Relationships of the big five to work–family conflict and facilitation (Julie Holliday Wayne,* Nicholas Musisca, and William Fleeson, 2002)
  • Teens, Social Media and Technology 2018 (Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang)
  • When similars do not attract: Tests of a prediction from the self-expansion model (ARTHUR ARON,a JODIE L. STEELE,a TODD B. KASHDAN,b AND MAX PEREZ, 2006)
  • Overlap of Self, Ingroup, and Outgroup: Pictorial Measures of Self-Categorization (THOMAS W. SCHUBERT SABINE OTTEN, 2002)
  • Refining the Relationship Between Personality and Subjective Well-Being (Piers Steel, Joseph Schmidt, and Jonas Shultz, 2008)
  • The Big Five Related to Risky Sexual Behaviour Across 10 World Regions: Differential Personality Associations of Sexual Promiscuity and Relationship Infidelity (DAVID P. SCHMITT*, 2004)
  • Development and Validation of Brief M easures of Positive and Negative Affect: The PANAS Scales (David Watson and Lee Anna Clark, 1988)
  • The Social Relations Model: An Integrative Method for Personality Research (Thomas Malloy, David A. Kenny, 1986)
  • Reinterpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator From the Perspective of the Five-Factor Model of Personality (Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, Jr.)