The “Metaverse," a phrase used in the early 1990s to describe a network of virtual three-dimensional worlds, has been a hot topic of discussion online, at home, and in many town halls since Facebook became Meta.
These new forms of digital engagement and the technology that's making them a reality have significant ramifications.
Without a better understanding of how the metaverse is developing and how users want to use it, governments would be hesitant to invest in services based on it.
The early stages of technology development may be the best time to discover what they may provide and how actions may promote equal development.
The metaverse may offer opportunities for local administrators to better serve their communities, boosting economies, expanding accessibility, and fostering new connections, among other advantages.
These opportunities range from applications designed to assist those with mobility limitations to digital communities tying people to each other via augmented and virtual reality.
Although they cannot predict how metaverses will evolve or if they will live up to the hype, it may be time to begin investigating the options and developing strategies to direct the growth of the area.
Barbados and the Metaverse Embassy
Barbados will be the first country on Earth to open an embassy in the metaverse, according to a Web3 announcement made late last year.
What does this indicate about the direction of online real estate? One reason is that it serves as a siren cry stating that the digital layer that surrounds us is now sovereign land.
The opening of the Barbados embassy ushers in a new era of decentralization.
Barbados and platforms like SuperWorld are blazing a trail for countless organizations and communities—on chain and off—to go beyond the confines of our physical world by entering the metaverse and taking on projects like:
- finding and buying digital land
- creating virtual government facilities
- building a teleporter that allows avatars to travel through different worlds.
Imagine a society where people may explore an entirely new layer of reality, improving their real lives and communities.
Seoul, the first city to enter the Metaverse
For all facets of its municipal government, the South Korean city of Seoul is laying the groundwork for a metaverse environment dubbed "Metaverse Seoul."
In an effort to enhance city services, planning, management, and support for virtual tourism, digital twins, virtual reality (VR), and cooperation have been brought together.
This project intends to jumpstart the metaverse sector in South Korea by supporting businesses and generating employment as part of its Digital Innovative Deal, a program for investing in new technologies in the nation's economy.
The initiative has three key objectives for the city.
- They aim to make it simpler for people to interact with both other people and government services.
- Wish to go past the limitations of time, geography, and language.
- Wish to investigate fresh approaches to enhance consumer pleasure and experience.
In order to provide growing skills in a number of important sectors, Seoul is tackling this project with a five-year strategy.
Startups now have a venue to present their brand-new products and services thanks to a business services platform.
34 university towns are brought together via a learning portal to offer chances for networking, coaching, and cooperation.
Locals and tourists from other countries can discover current attractions and historical recreations thanks to virtual tourism services.
Down the road, they are working on the infrastructure to support large festivals and museum exhibits.
The Spanish Government and the Metaverse grants
The Spanish government will provide EUR 3.8 million to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and independent contractors with residence in Spain or the European Union who are engaged in research, development, and innovation initiatives involving Web3 and metaverse technologies.
The "Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe" effort, which is a component of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan, is encouraged by this program.
Both Spanish and EU nationals are eligible for the awards. They are targeted especially at initiatives with one of the following goals:
- The development of new methods or prototypes for producing audiovisual and digital content.
- New techniques or prototypes that apply Web3 and metaverse technology to social change. Integration of underprivileged groups is also part of this, particularly in light of the gender gap.
- Development of new online workspaces for cooperation.
- New procedures or models that apply metaverse technology in settings related to culture, health, or education.
The last date for executing the sponsored projects is December 31, 2023, and applications may be filed up to August 31, 2022.
Shanghai and the cultivation of Metaverse Industry
The Shanghai City administration unveiled its plan to develop a metaverse business worth 350 billion yuan ($52 billion) by the end of 2025 at the beginning of July.
This action may be considered as the most populated city in the nation responding to Beijing's request for assistance in guiding the country's post-pandemic economic recovery.
Ten of the most important metaverse businesses in the world will be based in Shanghai, and there will be more than 50 connected applications in the commercial, educational, smart manufacturing, cultural, and collaborative office sectors.
By 2025, the city's metaverse business will generate 350 billion yuan in revenue as a result of these advancements.
Shanghai became the first municipality in the country to include it into its long-term strategy as a result of this initiative.
The city's investments in the metaverse will support the modernization and transformation of several real-world businesses.
Robots, smart homes, virtual reality headsets, and smart cars are a few examples of smart terminal technology.
There are countless potential applications for the metaverse in cities because it is still being developed.
The metaverse might be utilized to hold lifelike, virtual public gatherings in the future and involve citizens from their homes.
In order to help cities manage resources responsibly and effectively, it may also be used to monitor energy use in real-time.
City leaders have a fascinating chance to influence how the metaverse is created as technology develops.
A crucial first step in figuring out how this new technology can affect municipal government in the future is to be educated, proactive, and interested in how to use it.
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