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Orlando wants to be the center of the metaverse. The city of Florida has partnered with game machine maker Unity Technologies to create a digital twin in the city.
The city will be one of the first to test one of the central theories of the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that all connect, like novels like. Snowfall and Loan player usa. Once the matter of science fiction, the vision of the metaverse is about to become a reality.
And Orlando wants to show that the world can benefit from connecting virtual worlds to the physical world. As home to Disney World, Orlando is familiar with the idea of making dreams come true. But it also hopes to transcend the Magic Kingdom and become a better -known hub for the Metaverse, Web3, and related industries in augmented reality, virtual reality, AI, games, and education. by simulation.
“Orlando, as far as I can remember, has always been defined as one thing: the Magic Kingdom,” said David Adelson, the town’s Chief Innovation Officer. “And so, what’s interesting is that behind all of this, well, is innovation and technology. For every sector and building blocks that make up the Metaverse, Orlando has been playing there for a long time.
I met Adelson at the recent Augmented World Expo event in Santa Clara, CA and sat down with him for an interview.
Metaverse -related industries have been rooted in Orlando for decades, and now Orlando wants to be known as the MetaCenter, a metropolitan center known for both unique and authentic elements. That sounds like a lot of marketing. And it is, for now. Many people doubt that the overhyped metaverse actually happened. But the Unity deal shows the city is serious.
“The parks and attractions we have are our anchor industries,” Adelson said. “But this is also where the metaverse comes true. This is where people first experience it through the experiential ride of the fun, environments and the technology behind them.
With augmented reality and virtual reality, Orlando is a $ 6 billion market for defense -related AR and VR. Because of the defense focus, the Unity Unity Technologies machine has the largest concentration of Unity licenses in the city of Orlando, Adelson said.
“The developers are in Orlando,” Adelson said. “For the AR and VR chapters, the Central Florida chapter is the most active in the world. We have a lot of small companies that develop any virtual reality and augmented reality for games, for education, for for pleasure. »
New research from McKinsey & Co. shows that the metaverse could be worth $ 5 trillion by 2030. And it’s not just about games. In fact, games should be smaller than the business and e-commerce markets in the metaverse, according to McKinsey.
Area-based companies include Disney, Universal, Lockheed Martin, Falcon’s Creative, Brand XR, AVT Simulation, and Red 6. Disney, of course, has several run-ins in the state of Florida due to Disney’s support of trans people and Disney’s opposition to the state’s “say-no-gay law”. But Adelson noted that the town of Orlando is not the same as the state of Florida when it comes to Disney.
“Orlando is not the state of Florida,” Adelson said. “We pride ourselves on being inclusive, collaborating and things like that because we’re a pot. It’s what makes us who we are.
Game companies with an Orlando presence 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, UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics.
The Unity Project
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the region’s economic development group) is working with Unity to create a digital twin of the 800 square mile metropolitan area that will use new 3D technology to plan scenarios all from infrastructure ranging from real estate to talent availability and Suite.
The Unity renderer captures 3D scans of the building’s exteriors and interiors, and it helps analyze power grid extensions, traffic flow, red light timing, and climate change.
The people of Orlando also joined in last week’s ringing of the Nasdaq bell on Metaverse’s futuristic Cathy Hackl, the Metaverse Director of Journey. Hackl worked with the city to help strengthen its reputation in the Metaverse, and the bell rang in the physical Exchange building and in the Metaverse.
“I see the region from South Florida, which focuses on crypto, all the way to Orlando, which is the simulation capital of the world, to be one of the metaverse and Web3 innovation corridors to look at,” Hackl said.
Orlando is home to Full Sail University, a college of technology and video games that helps nurture many of the area’s many talent. In all, 550,000 students live within a 100-mile radius of Orlando. While Orlando focuses on science and innovation, neighboring Miami has become a cryptocurrency-focused city.
“If you look at the building blocks that make up the metaverse, it’s represented here,” Adelson said. “Miami could have blockchain and crypto. They’d be good to comb it. But it’s okay. MetaCenter is where the actual metaverse center is made.
He noted that Orlando has a high-speed train connecting the city of Miami, which means tech hubs in the area have enough connectivity for collaboration.
Of course, people are worried that a tech downturn could trigger economic malaise as a whole. Adelson noted that more than $ 1 billion was invested in Orlando in the first four months of the year, most of it in AI, 3D simulation, optics and photonics.
Adelson acknowledges that many people in Orlando are likely unaware of the Metaverse. But he said that’s part of the point around the campaign for MetaCenter.
“They feel like it’s just a game and that’s it. They don’t understand how many pieces touch the metaverse, and when you squeeze the layers, you see how it becomes a real thing for Orlando, ”Adelson said. “There is so much industry around him. We are not building new industries to drive the metaverse. We’ve had these industries in our pocket for a decade or so.
Even if it takes 10 or 15 years to complete the Metaverse, Adelson doesn’t care. She knows it may take a new generation to adapt to the changes that the metaverse will bring, and she watches her 15-year-old son already spend a lot of time in the virtual reality watching movies with friends, watching soccer games and sharing with others. metaverse objects.
“We’re seeing how the new generation is starting to adapt,” he said.
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