“Metaverse Seoul”: Korea’s Capital Becomes a Super Smart City
The capital of South Korea is building a digital twin for the Metaverse. What will the city government of the future look like?
South Korea’s capital is already one of the world’s leading smart cities. Over 95 percent of residents have access to 4G and 5G networks. The city also offers free Wi-Fi with over 100,000 access points. Now Seoul is planning its own metaverse for all areas of city government.
Seoul brings city administration to the Metaverse
The “Metaverse Seoul” project is designed as an open and free service for all citizens. Currently, its use is still limited. Those interested can create their own avatars and explore a virtual replica of the mayor’s office.
In the future, it will also be possible to submit taxes, complaints or inquiries about real estate and to use services for citizens, businesses, cultural or educational institutions.
Quick and easy access to authorities
Jong-Soo Park, who is in charge of the Seoul Smart City Policy Bureau, wants to make it easier for citizens and authorities to get in touch with each other. “We hope to one day have an AI-based public servant working in the metaverse office in close collaboration with others for public services,” said Park at the MIT Future Compute Conference.
The expansion of the digital city administration is intended to increase user satisfaction and overcome time, space and language restrictions. In addition to increased convenience, “Metaverse Seoul” also aims to make the city safer. Using various apps, authorities will be provided with a digital twin for urban planning. This makes it possible to access recordings of urban security cameras more quickly or to track fires and wind paths in real-time.
A special security app connects citizens directly with the police. Upon invitation, the latter can access local location data and live camera images via smartphone to help more efficiently in emergency situations.
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Urban metaverse with service portals
With a five-year plan, Seoul wants to gradually introduce new levels to the urban metaverse. Virtual co-working spaces will be created where citizens can collaborate. Startups will be able to present their business plans on an enterprise portal, and an education portal will bring together 34 campus cities for coaching or collaboration.
The tourism industry will also be digitized. Users will then be able to visit replicas of historical sights or other attractions in the city in virtual reality. Virtual festivals or museum exhibitions are also planned. The city already has experience with virtual reality. Late last year, Korea introduced a VR driver’s license test for seniors to determine their fitness to drive.