The city of Seoul, South Korea, is building its own virtual world, the “Metaverse Seoul”, using metaverse technologies. How about that, Mark Zuckerberg?
The metaverse technologies will be used for all areas of its municipal administration. The list of those technologies includes digital twins, virtual reality (VR) and digital collaboration.
Metaverse Seoul will hopefully improve city services as well as planning, administration and support for virtual tourism.
The project was just presented at the MIT Future Compute Conference.
How will metaverse technologies help make Seoul a smarter city?
There are few main goals with the project. First, the developers want to make it easier for citizens to connect with government services and each other. Additionally, they want to overcome the constraints of time, space and even language. The latter is rather important as there are many foreigners in Seoul. And last but not least, they want to explore new ways to improve user experience and satisfaction.
The project is on early stages of development. But users can try some of the metaverse technologies today already. For example, users can create avatars and explore a virtual representation of the mayor’s office in Seoul.
The developers want to add support for business development services, education and support for city services for filing complaints, inquiring about real estate and filing taxes. They intend to keep the project free and open for all citizens.
What metaverse technologies are there in Seoul now?
Seoul is already one of the world’s most connected cities. Over 95% of its ten million residents are already using fast 4G or 5G services. There is also an extensive network of free Wi-Fi with over 100,00 access points all around the city.
Now all that connectivity will help consolidate access to various city services with metaverse technologies.
Fast internet will make it easier to expand services that take advantage of 3D digital twins to improve access to local security footage, report fires and improve public infrastructure.
For example, the S-Map service already provides a digital twin for urban planning, real-time fire monitoring and wind path analysis.
There is also a safety service that connects users with Seoul police services, who can tap into local location data and camera feeds to speed investigations.
How soon will Seoul become a kind of metaverse?
The project is based on a five-year plan to provide increasing capabilities around several key areas.
And the government is eager to invite other participants to the project. There is business services portal is already providing startups a place to showcase new business ideas and services based on metaverse technologies.
An educational portal brings together 34 campus towns to provide coaching, collaboration and networking opportunities.
Eventually, the project will also provide virtual coworking spaces to allow citizens to work remotely as if working in a real office.
The developers hope to one day have an AI-based public servant working in the metaverse office in close collaboration with others for public services.
- Seoul is one of the first places in the world to apply metaverse technologies in real life
- The Metaverse Seoul project clearly shows that virtual technologies are not limited to gaming-like or social networks