The city of Seoul, South Korea, is sowing the seeds for a “Metaverse Seoul” metaverse ecosystem that would cover all aspects of municipal government. To improve city services, planning, administration, and support for virtual tourism, the endeavor blends digital twins, virtual reality (VR), and collaboration.
Seoul smart city policy bureau CIO Jong-Soo Park spoke on their vision and actual progress at the MIT Future Compute Conference. Users can now create avatars and explore a virtual model of the mayor’s office.
Long-term goals include adding support for business development, education, and local services such as registering complaints, enquiring about real estate, and filing taxes. They also want to make the initiative available to the public as a free and open service.
Seoul is already one of the most connected cities in the world, with more than 95 percent of its 10 million citizens using 4G or 5G services. Furthermore, the city administration offers a free Wi-Fi network with over 100,000 access points.
According to Park, the project has three key objectives. First and foremost, they want to make it easier for residents to connect with government services as well as one another. They also wish to break free from the confines of time, location, and language. They want to find new ways to improve user pleasure and experience.
The platform will help consolidate access to various city services
Metaverse Seoul will also make it easier to expand services that use 3D digital twins to increase security, report fires, and improve public infrastructure. The S-Map service, for example, already has a digital twin for urban planning, real-time fire monitoring, and wind path analysis. The Ansimi App, a safety app, connects users with Seoul police, who can use local location data and camera feeds to speed up investigations.
The idea will eventually create virtual coworking spaces, allowing citizens to work remotely as if they were in a physical workplace. “One day,” Park stated, “we aim to have an AI-based public servant working in the metaverse office in close collaboration with others for public services.”