South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

Spend 20 million to build a meta-universe city?

According to news on November 25, the Seoul Metropolitan Government of South Korea issued a statement recently that it will establish its own meta-universe platform to provide a new era of public services through an online virtual world.

According to the five-year “Basic Plan for Metaverse Seoul”, Seoul will tentatively name the high-performance platform “Metaverse Seoul” and will be completed by the end of next year. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is the first local government in South Korea to formulate a comprehensive mid- and long-term meta-universal policy plan, and it should be the first in the world.

According to the plan, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will successively provide various commercial support facilities and services on the Metaverse platform, including the virtual mayor’s office, Seoul Fintech Lab, Seoul Investment, and Seoul Campus City.

The Mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon (Oh Se-hoon) has fully imagined the metaverse city, for example, the virtual public service center of Seoul “Metaverse 120 Center” (tentative name). In the Civil Service Center on the official website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, public officials with avatars will provide consultation services for people.

In addition, Seoul also plans to establish a “virtual tourist area”, including Gwanghwamun Square, Deoksugung Palace, Namdaemun Market and other major tourist attractions in Seoul. Historical resources such as Dunui Gate, one of Korea’s four major capital gates destroyed in 1915, will also reappear in the virtual space.

South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

▲Planning for “Won Universe Seoul” (picture source is the Economic Daily)

01. Plan to invest 3.9 billion yuan, and plan to establish “Won Universe Seoul” in 5 years

In recent years, as people move more and more activities to the Internet, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, these platforms that use AR and VR devices have become more and more popular.

Earlier, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon proposed the Seoul Vision 2030 (The Seoul Vision 2030) plan, which aims to make Seoul “a coexisting city, a global leader, a safe city and an emotional city in the future.”

This five-year “Muniverse Seoul Basic Plan” is part of the vision of creating a “Future Emotional City”, which aims to improve social mobility among citizens and enhance Seoul’s global competitiveness. Currently, Seoul plans to invest 3.9 billion won (approximately 20.93 million yuan) for the project.

The meta-universe ecosystem in Seoul will start with the “Virtual New Year’s Eve Bell Ringing Ceremony of Bosingak Clock Tower”. The Bosingak Bell Ringing Ceremony is a traditional Korean New Year’s program. The bell is ringed 33 times at Bosingak at midnight on December 31 every year. .

The meta-universe ecosystem is carried out in three stages, namely introduction (2022), expansion (2023-2024), and settlement (2025-2026).

Seoul plans to establish a high-performance platform called “Won Universe Seoul” in the first phase of 2022, and provide services in the fields of economy, education, and tourism, and complete the creation of the platform before the end of the year to display it to the public.

In the future, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will also expand the application of the Metaverse platform to all areas of municipal management to improve the efficiency of government officials.

The project is also relying on South Korea’s national digital New Deal program, aimed at digital and artificial intelligence tools to change the good health therapy care, infrastructure and economic center, it caused crown from the new outbreak of the economic crisis in recovery.

Mayor Wu Se-hoon said that if this project becomes a reality, Seoul citizens will soon be able to wear their VR headsets and meet with city officials for virtual consultations. Similarly, the municipal government can also participate in mass activities.

South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

▲In the Seoul Digital Forum, South Korea, participants watched “Avatar” wearing 3D movie glasses (photo source is the official website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government)

02. Virtual civil servants work for the private “Meta Universe” in Seoul Lantern Festival

In the seven fields of economy, education, tourism, communication, city, administration, and infrastructure, the “Muniverse Seoul Basic Plan” proposes multiple goals, reflecting the metaverse trends of the public and private sectors in Seoul. In addition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has formulated a policy to provide public services to overcome problems such as space-time constraints and language barriers in the real world through the use of the meta-universe platform developed by advanced technology.

South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

▲The public safety Yuan universe event will be held from September 15 to 17, 2021 (picture source is the official website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government)

First of all, in the economic field, Seoul will reproduce the Seoul Fintech Lab in the Metaverse and provide related services in the economic field in the virtual world. In Metaverse, the Seoul Fintech Lab will help companies attract foreign investment. Virtual human matter will provide advice and one-stop service to foreign investors.

In addition, the startup company cultivation business in the Seoul startup camp Campus Town set up by Google for entrepreneurs will be conducted on the Metaverse platform, including digital content creation training and social activities.

Second, for the most active education field in Metaverse, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will create a virtual campus of Seoul Open City University (Seoul Open City University). Seoul Learn, an online education platform operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, will provide young people with a variety of immersive content, such as lectures, mentorship programs, and job fairs.

The third is in the field of tourism. Seoul’s attractive tourist attractions, such as Gwanghwamun Plaza, Deoksugung Palace, and Namdaemun Market, will become a special area for the virtual tourism of Yuan Cosmos Seoul. Tourists can take the city sightseeing bus to tour in the meta universe. In addition, Seoul’s representative festivals and exhibitions, such as the Seoul Drum Festival and the Seoul Lantern Festival, cannot be carried out due to the epidemic, and can be held in the meta universe as immersive content in the future.

The fourth is that public services frequently used by citizens, such as civil litigation, consultation, and public facility reservations, will also be provided in Metaverse to provide citizens with more convenient services. This will also improve Seoul’s digital city level. The Seoul Metropolitan Government stated that this is crucial in the era of digital transformation. According to the US news website Quartz, the city is planning to use artificial intelligence to monitor its sewers and wastewater treatment centers.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will also create a meta-universe version of the mayor’s office in the city hall and use it as an open communication channel between the government and residents.

Fifth, use technologies that combine virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality to upgrade urban management. In addition, many services are provided to vulnerable groups to ensure their safety and convenience, including the use of extended reality devices to provide safe and convenient services for the disabled.

Sixth, Seoul will introduce the Metaverse Conference to host different events and use it as a communication channel. It will also use the most advanced technology to develop a remote working environment based on Metaverse. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has stated that it will launch a smart office in a virtual space. It will become a reality to provide consulting services for public officials in avatars.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will also provide data services to enable public services and other departments to use and share big data.

Seventh, in order to stably operate all the above-mentioned Metaverse services, construction of the Metaverse Seoul platform will start next year.

03. Analyze the new vest of the meta-universe city smart city?

Seoul, South Korea is the first local government to propose a “meta universe city”. This new formulation and ambitious plan has made many people shine.

At the same time, the Seoul Metaspace City actually makes us feel familiar, which is similar in connotation to smart city projects such as the “Digital Twin City” that my country has vigorously promoted.

For example, the “Xiongan Digital City” of my country’s millennium plan is to establish real-time visualization of the city’s global data, collect data, and help managers make decisions about daily management and emergency accidents. For example, when a fire breaks out in a city, firefighters can easily cause casualties when fighting the fire. However, in a digital twin city, disaster relief can be simulated on a virtual model of a building to guide decision-making, and accurate solutions can be selected to achieve successful disaster relief.

South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

▲Using 3D modeling to automatically generate large scenes

In Shenzhen, the forefront of my country’s reform and opening up, there are also many digital twin city plans related to Metaverse. For example, Shenzhen has established a complete underground pipeline network inspection system. Using AR technology, it can generate a three-dimensional real scene of the underground pipeline network and directly see the information of pipeline damage and aging.

South Korea’s first five-year plan for Metaverse, citizens can wear VR headsets to see government officials

▲Shenzhen uses AR technology to realize pipeline network visualization (picture source is Zhigu Trend)

In the “14th Five-Year Plan” and the 2035 long-term goal, China clearly pointed out that “promoting the construction of new smart cities by classification” and “building smart cities and digital villages.” Official data show that the number of smart city pilot projects in my country has exceeded 700.

However, we can also see that what looks different from Seoul’s Metaspace City is that the current digital twin cities in our country pay more attention to the progress on the government governance side, while Seoul’s keen tourism, education, cultural and entertainment projects are under national-level policies. The middle slope is relatively small.

In fact, in local areas and in some fields, my country’s smart cities show more diversified “meta-universe” colors. For example, at the beginning of the month, my country’s first scenic spot Metaverse Research Center settled in Zhangjiajie, which is also an exploration of the field of smart tourism in my country.

It can be seen that whether it is a smart city, a digital twin city, or a meta-universal city, they are essentially exploring the intelligent and digital development of cities.

04. Conclusion: Meta universe + government affairs, the concept landed in Seoul

Seoul Metropolitan Government officials emphasized that the goal of the meta-universe ecosystem is to expand access to public city services, but the current professional equipment for virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality may be more expensive for many people, and unlike smartphones and Computers are so popular.

The construction of a meta-universal city in Seoul is a new step in the development of smart cities. Park Jong-soo, Director of the Smart City Policy Department of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, concluded: “Meta Universe is evolving into different forms according to the level of technology and user needs, especially as a new paradigm that emerged after the new crown epidemic is attracting more and more attention. Seoul will create a new continent called “Won Universe Seoul” through the combination of public needs and private technology , making Seoul a smart and inclusive city.”

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