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Malaysia’s i-City Theme Park to Feature Metaverse Experience

i-City announced an RM10 million digital transformation plan to enhance its theme park with a metaverse experience. To be carried out in collaboration with an international telecommunication services and cloud computing solutions provider, the upgrade will entwine i-City’s City of Digital Lights with an immersive 3D metaverse experience. According to i-City’s Head of Leisure, the industry partner on this project is currently building the technology platform for the infusion of a metaverse in the i-City theme park and the new experience will be unveiled in 2023.

Adopting new technologies such as the Metaverse technology has always been part of i-City’s strongest DNA. In 2009, when LED technology was in its infancy, i-City introduced LED technology into the theme park’s digital landscape.  With the metaverse being the latest buzzword in the edutainment and gaming world, we would like to be the first to adopt such new technology in Malaysia.

When i-City first started in 1995, when space exploration has yet to catch up among Malaysians, the developer spent RM10 million to create an Aerospace Adventure to generate interest in space science as well as to enable Malaysians to learn and experience aerospace adventure and technology. i-City brought in actual life-size space exhibits that have been launched to the moon which attracted 10 million visitors to the showcase. Then, it was the adoption of digital lightscapes. In keeping up with its reputation as Malaysia number one Technology City, they will be extending the metaverse experience to SnoWalk which is currently a snowfall and snow play attraction in Malaysia.

i-City is also exploring extending a new interactive digital attraction showcasing the Aurora in SnoWalk. Moreover,  i-City plans to spend RM10 million for this expansion and aims to attract 10 million visitors with the implementation of the metaverse.

On making metaverse a reality at the i-City theme park, the telecom’s Director of Enterprise said that the implementation of 5G this year is timely for the project. Metaverse requires 3D modalities to be transmitted digitally. This can be in the form of avatars and structures among others. The more live-like the 3D model is, the more details it will require and the more data it will consume. As such, the implementation of 5G together with the hyperscale cloud computing infrastructure which i-City is currently building will be instrumental to the success of this project.

It was noted that with the telecom’s focus on cloud-to-digital conversion in creating high-quality cloud virtual reality and augmented reality content, visitors to the park will be assured of an immersive metaverse experience like never before.

The global metaverse market size reached US47.69 billion in 2020 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 43.3% during the forecast period, according to a recent analysis. Rising focus on converging digital and physical worlds through the internet and the recent COVID-19 outbreak are expected to support market revenue growth between 2021 and 2028. In addition, increasing emphasis on developing metaverse platforms for the education industry will continue to boost the revenue growth of the market.

However, issues about identity and reputation in metaverse are expected to hamper market revenue growth during the forecast period. When it comes to the real world, the issue of personal identity and representation is quite easy. However, when it comes to virtual worlds, verification of users is quite difficult as another individual or even a bot can attempt to replicate actual identity.

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