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A new kind of tourism: Virtual travel in the metaverse

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Big tech companies, including Disney, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta (formerly Facebook), are already exploring their own versions of the metaverse. And smaller companies such as Equinox and Delta Reality are interested in working with tourist agencies to develop interactive and even game-like augmented, virtual and mixed reality content highlighting various destinations.

One destination has already taken steps in that direction. In September 2021, Seoul became one of the first major cities to announce plans to go “meta” by 2023. Its metaverse platform, tentatively titled “Metaverse Seoul,” will feature several of the city’s top tourist attractions. Tourists will be able to feel as though they’re walking through Gwanghwamun Plaza, Deoksugung Palace and the Namdaemun Market, in what will be called a Virtual Tourist Zone, without the hassles of in-person travel. They can even “attend” Seoul’s biggest festivals in the metaverse, including the breathtaking Seoul Lantern Festival, surrounded by hundreds of sparkling lights but not by crowds.

Virtual tourism may serve as a springboard to in-person tourism. In early 2022, Madrid launched a free, 360-degree virtual tour in Spanish and English to potential guests who want to make informed decisions about what to see when they visit Madrid in person. With approximately 40 of the capital’s most popular tourist attractions featured, users get a taste of the city, exploring its plazas, museums, gardens, cultural institutions and cathedrals.

“The competitive landscape of the metaverse is getting stronger and stronger,” says Sivan, “and we as consumers love it.”

Making virtual travel easy and seamless

No one likes disruption on vacation, when the idea is to have fun, explore, escape and relax. Users wanting a virtual travel experience will expect the same, meaning that the technology needs to support fluid synchronization between users’ movements and visual perception so that touring a virtual Egypt or Australia will feel as close to real as possible. Reduced latency is critical when creating this level of ultra-sensory content. This is also true for hotels and resorts competing for travelers’ interest, seeking to optimize guests’ stays with personalized packages and seamless experiences. One way to do that in the near future might be offering users three-dimensional AR tours of a hotel, resort or other site.



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‘NFTs: Enter the Metaverse’ | Watch the trailer for non-fungible token documentary from ABC Localish Studios

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In 2021, three otherwise unassuming letters would upend the worlds of cryptocurrency, technology, art, and pop culture all at once. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, were propelled into the mainstream after an unprecedented $69.4 million sale at the historic art auction house Christie‘s in New York City.

The sale of digital artist Beeple‘s Everydays at Christie’s for $69.4 million marked the beginning of a seemingly unstoppable NFT wave, where everyone from digital artists to mainstream celebrities like Paris Hilton, Mark Cuban, Steve Aoki and many others began creating, selling, and collecting NFTs via cryptocurrency on the Blockchain.

While NFTs initially focused on the importance of ownership of digital assets, they soon also became part of a social movement where groups of creators and collectors began communities based on buying and selling NFTs. Some early examples of these groups include CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, but many more have since risen in popularity as the world of NFTs continues to expand and propels new digital artists, like 17-year-old Diana Sinclaire, to international fame.

Following the journey of digital artist Beeple, aka Mike Winklemann, through the historic sale of his Everydays work, “NFTs: Enter the Metaverse” illuminates the social and economic factors that led to the rise of NFTs as well as the implications of NFT technology on the future of the Metaverse. The documentary features appearances by Paris Hilton, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mark Cuban, Steve Aoki, 3Lau, Rebecca Jarvis, Kelly Crow, Kenny Schacter, Diana Sinclair, Daniel Maegaard, and Karsen Daily.

Watch “NFTs: Enter the Metaverse” premiering on May 21st on ABC (check your local listings), ABC News Live and the Localish Network.





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Metaverse

‘NFTs: Enter the Metaverse’ | Watch the trailer for non-fungible token documentary from ABC Localish Studios

Published

on


In 2021, three otherwise unassuming letters would upend the worlds of cryptocurrency, technology, art, and pop culture all at once. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, were propelled into the mainstream after an unprecedented $69.4 million sale at the historic art auction house Christie‘s in New York City.

The sale of digital artist Beeple‘s Everydays at Christie’s for $69.4 million marked the beginning of a seemingly unstoppable NFT wave, where everyone from digital artists to mainstream celebrities like Paris Hilton, Mark Cuban, Steve Aoki and many others began creating, selling, and collecting NFTs via cryptocurrency on the Blockchain.

While NFTs initially focused on the importance of ownership of digital assets, they soon also became part of a social movement where groups of creators and collectors began communities based on buying and selling NFTs. Some early examples of these groups include CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, but many more have since risen in popularity as the world of NFTs continues to expand and propels new digital artists, like 17-year-old Diana Sinclaire, to international fame.

Following the journey of digital artist Beeple, aka Mike Winklemann, through the historic sale of his Everydays work, “NFTs: Enter the Metaverse” illuminates the social and economic factors that led to the rise of NFTs as well as the implications of NFT technology on the future of the Metaverse. The documentary features appearances by Paris Hilton, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mark Cuban, Steve Aoki, 3Lau, Rebecca Jarvis, Kelly Crow, Kenny Schacter, Diana Sinclair, Daniel Maegaard, and Karsen Daily.

Watch “NFTs: Enter the Metaverse” premiering on May 21st on ABC (check your local listings), ABC News Live and the Localish Network.





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Unreal reality: The big leap to capitalise on the metaverse boom

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Will the rise of the metaverse see a move to not only wearing VR goggles, but full body suits to feel the wind, fresh water and even to act as the protagonist in our favourite movie?

Time will tell. But the sense of reality companies eventually develop, and how people react, will be key for companies, fund managers and investors to capitalise on what has been called the next big disruption – the metaverse. 

In the keynote address at Citywire Montreux 2022, researcher and broadcaster Stephanie Hare delved into the tricky questions that surround the great push towards virtual, augmented or mixed realities.



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