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The Metropolitan Government of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has released a beta version of its ‘virtual municipal world’ dubbed Metaverse Seoul.
Last year, the South Korean capital was the first to announce its intentions to digitalize the city and its public services. In January, Seoul made it official by investing over $5 million in metaverse technologies for digital transformation.
The capital’s target is to have a virtual ecosystem for all services, including culture, economy, education, and tourism, by 2026.
The beta will test Seoul’s virtual world and collect feedback to enhance the user experience and detect malfunctions before the release of the first phase, which is scheduled for November. In the beta version, selected users can enter Metaverse Seoul through a personal avatar and see the city’s virtual spaces, such as the city hall and plaza.
“Metaverse is evolving into different forms based on technological levels and user demand. In particular, it is gaining traction as a new paradigm for post-COVID-19.”Park Jong-Soo, Director General of Seoul’s Smart City Policy Bureau.
As for virtual education, the government launched an online platform inside the metaverse called Seoul Learn. The project focuses on providing better education to underprivileged kids. Students can also have virtual meetings with their mentors and receive career-related advice through the platform.
Another official service that Metaverse Seoul offers is resident registration certificates. Users will be able to access their documents from a mobile app.
It’s no news that the Asian country is a firm believer in the metaverse. In June, the South Korean government invested $177 million to promote the growth of metaverse-related jobs and businesses. In the same month, the blockchain company Solana Labs raised $100 million to fund the DeFi and GameFi scene in South Korea.
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