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Orlando wants to be the center of the metaverse. The city of Florida has teamed up with game engine maker Unity Technologies to create a digital twin of the city.
The city will be one of the first to test one of the central theories in the Metaverse world of interconnected virtual worlds, as in novels such as e.g. snow accident else Ready player one. Once in the realm of science fiction, a vision of the metaverse is on the verge of becoming a reality.
Orlando wants to show the world that it will benefit from connecting virtual worlds with the physical world. As the home of Disney World, Orlando is familiar with the idea of turning dreams into reality. But it also hopes to move beyond the Magic Kingdom to become better known as a hub for the metaverse, Web3 and related industries for augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, games and simulation training.
“Orlando, as far as I can remember, has always been defined as one thing: the Magic Kingdom,” said David Adelson, the city’s chief innovation officer. “So what’s really interesting is that in the background of all that, which is great, there was innovation and technology. For each of the sectors and building blocks that make up the metaverse, Orlando has been playing in it for a very long time. ”
I met Adelson at the recent Enhanced International Expo in Santa Clara, California, and sat down with him for an interview.
The metaverse-related industries have had their roots in Orlando for decades, and now Orlando wants to be known as Metacenter, an urban center known for its imaginative and authentic elements. That sounds like a lot of marketing. And he is now. Many people doubt whether the exaggeration will really happen. But the agreement with the unit shows that the city is serious.
“The parks and attractions we have are our main industries,” Adelson said. “But this is where the metaverse also becomes real. This is where people first experience with the experiential rides, environments and technology behind them. “
Thanks to augmented and virtual reality, Orlando has become a $ 6 billion market for defense-related augmented and virtual reality. Because of the defensive focus, engine manufacturer Unity Technologies has the largest concentration of Unity licenses in Orlando, Adelson said.
“The developers are in Orlando,” Adelson said. “For AR and VR classes, the Central Florida branch is the most active in the world. We have very small businesses that are either developing virtual reality or augmented reality for games, education and entertainment. ”
McKinsey & Co. ‘s new research. This shows that the metaverse could reach $ 5 trillion in value by 2030. And it’s not just about games. In fact, games are expected to be smaller than the enterprise and e-commerce markets in the metaverse, according to McKinsey.
Companies located in the region include Disney, Universal, Lockheed Martin, Falcon Creative, Brand XR, AVT Simulation and Red 6. Intertwined with the state of Florida over Disney’s support for transgender people and Disney’s opposition to “no less gay” law”. But Adelson points out that Orlando is not like Florida when it comes to Disney.
“Orlando is not the state of Florida,” Adelson said. “We are proud to be inclusive and cooperative and such things because we are a melting pot. That is what makes us who we are. ”
Orlando-based gaming companies include Electronic Arts, Iron Galaxy, 302 Interactive, Echo Interaction, Unity and GameSim. On the AI side, companies include Checkr, SoarTech, Kore.ai, Care.ai, MindSphere and AdventHealth. And in 3D reconstruction, the list includes CREOL and UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics.
The Orlando Economic Partnership (District Economic Development Group) is working with Unity to create a digital twin of an 800-square-mile metro area that will use new 3D technology to create scenarios across everything from infrastructure to real estate to talent availability and to map more.
The unit’s version will capture 3D scans of buildings’ exterior and interior designs, and will help analyze power grid extensions, traffic flow, stop sign timing, and climate change.
The people of Orlando also participated in last week’s ringing of the Nasdaq Bell in Metaverse by future Cathy Huckle, chief flight officer of Metaverse. Hackl is working with the city to help confirm its reputation in the metaverse, and the bell rang in both the physical stock exchange building and the metaverse.
“I see the area of South Florida, which is focused on cryptocurrency, to Orlando, the simulation capital of the world, becoming one of the corridors of metaverse and Web3 innovation that you need to keep an eye on,” Hackl said.
Orlando is home to Full Sail University, a university of technology and video games that helps train a lot of talent in the area. In all, 550,000 college students live within a 100-mile radius of Orlando. While Orlando is focused on science and innovation, Miami is emerging nearby as a crypto-focused city.
“If you look at the building blocks that will form metaverse, they are represented here,” Adelson said. “Miami can have blockchain and crypto. They are very good at drawing themselves with it. But no problem. MetaCenter is where the physical center for metaverse is created.”
He noted that Orlando has a high-speed railroad that connects the city with Miami, meaning the area’s technology hubs are adequately connected for collaborative purposes.
Of course, concerns about a technological slowdown could be due to malaise in the larger economy. Adelson noted that more than $ 1 billion was invested in Orlando in the first four months of the year, with much of it going into artificial intelligence, 3D simulation, optics and photonics.
Adelson acknowledges that many people in Orlando may not be familiar with metaverse. But he said that was part of the point around the MetaCenter campaign.
“They feel just like games and that’s it. “They do not understand how many pieces touch on the metavers, and when you peel off those layers, you see how it becomes a very real thing for Orlando,” Adelson said. “There is already a lot of industry around it. We are not building new industries to handle the metaverse. We have had these industries in our pockets for a decade or more. ”
Although it may take 10 or 15 years to pay off, Adelson does not care. He knows it could take a new generation to adapt to the changes that the metaverse will bring, and look at his 15-year-old son who is already spending a lot of time in VR watching movies with friends, watching football games and to get involved. in other things in the metavers.
“We’re seeing the new generation start to adapt,” he said.
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