Seoul is set to become the first city to enter the metaverse. The Korean capital will invest billions into the decade-long project as a part of the nation’s goals to embrace the digital world.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced this week it will invest 3.9 billion won (roughly 4.5 million AUD) over 10 years to develop its metaverse plan. The city will develop a variety of opportunities for its residents to participate in culture and events virtually.
Mayor Oh Se-hoon hopes his project, Seoul Vision 2030, will turn Seoul into “a city of coexistence, a global leader, a safe city, and a future emotional city”.
By simply putting on a virtual reality (VR) headset, Seoul’s residents can take part in the rich life offered by Seoul Vision 2030. From visiting city hall to seeing art in a museum, it is hoped the plan will make life both more enjoyable and convenient for its people.
Soon, people will be able to file a complaint or any number of other bureaucratic activities on a virtual platform with avatars. Residents will no longer have to take a drive or catch public transport for such things, leaving more time and space to enjoy life.
Although the plan spans a decade, the first steps will be taken as soon as 2022. By the end of next year, the platform should be up and running in some form. It is predicted it will be fully operational in 2026, with residents able to attend a myriad of different functions and events virtually.
The first few locations to be developed virtually will be the Virtual Mayor’s Office, Seoul Fintech Lab, and Seoul Campus Town.
From 2023 onwards, the popular Seoul Lantern Festival will be held exclusively in the metaverse.
Much attention has been given to the development of the metaverse lately, with major companies like Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and Microsoft saying they are actively investing in technology to bring it to life.
Those interested in seeing how the technology will play out may only have to wait a year as Seoul moves ahead at incredible speed to build a virtual city.
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