Orlando will test whether a physical city can be the center of the meta-verse

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Orlando wants to be the center of the meta-verse. The city of Florida has partnered with game engine manufacturer 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 of the meta-verse, the universe of virtual worlds, all interconnected, as in novels such as Snowfall and Loans play one. Once the science fiction substance, the vision of the meta-verse is becoming a reality.


And Orlando wants to show that the world will benefit from connecting virtual worlds with the physical world. As the home of Disney World, Orlando is familiar with the idea of ​​making dreams come true. But it also hopes to go beyond Magic Kingdom and become better known as a hub for metaverse, Web3 and related industries of augmented reality, virtual reality, AI, games and education.

David Adelson is the Director of Innovation for the Orlando Economic Partnership.

“Orlando, as far back as I can remember, has always been defined as one thing: the Magic Kingdom,” said David Adelson, the city’s Chief Innovation Officer. “And what’s interesting is that behind all of this, which is amazing, has been innovation and technology. For each of the sectors and building blocks that make up Metaverse, Orlando has been playing there for a very 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 had their roots in Orlando for decades, and now Orlando wants to become known as MetaCenter, a metropolitan center known for both its amazing and authentic elements. That sounds like a lot of marketing. And so it is so far. Many people doubt that the overhyped metavers really happen. But the deal with Unity shows the city is serious.

“The parks and attractions we have are our anchor industry,” Adelson said. “But this is also where the metaverse becomes real. This is where people first experience it through these adventurous rides, environments and the technology behind them.

Along with augmented reality and virtual reality, Orlando has been a $ 6 billion marketplace for defense-related AR and VR. Because of its focus on defense, engine maker Unity Unity Technologies has the largest concentration of Unity licenses in the city of Orlando, Adelson said.

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Orlando’s AR, VR and simulation roots are in the military.

“The developers are in Orlando,” Adelson said. “For AR and VR chapters, the Central Florida chapter is the most active in the world. We have a lot of small businesses developing either virtual reality and augmented reality for games, for education, for entertainment.”

New research from McKinsey & Co. shows that the metaverse can be worth $ 5 trillion by 2030. And it’s not just about games. In fact, games should be smaller than corporate marketplaces and e-commerce in the meta-verse, according to McKinsey.

Companies based in the area include Disney, Universal, Lockheed Martin, Falcon’s Creative, Brand XR, AVT Simulation and Red 6. Disney has obviously had a lot of clashes with the state of Florida due to Disney’s support for transgender people and Disney’s opposition to the state’s “say-no”. -gay lov. ” But Adelson notes that the city 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’re proud to be inclusive, collaborative and things like that because we’re a melting pot. That’s what makes us who we are.

Gaming companies with a presence in Orlando 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 unit project

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Orlando is a center for AR and VR.

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 plot scenarios on everything from infrastructure to from real estate to talent availability and Suite.

The Unity renderer will capture 3D scans of the building’s exterior and interior, and it will help with the analysis of power supply expansions, traffic flow, red light timing and climate change.

Orlando people also attended last week’s ringing of the Nasdaq bell in Metaverse by futuristic Cathy Hackl, Journey’s Metaverse Director. Hackl is working with the city to help cement its reputation in Metaverse, and the bells are ringing in both the physical Exchange Building and Metaverse.

“I see the region of South Florida, which is focused on crypto, all the way to Orlando, which is the simulation capital of the world, to become one of the metaverse and Web3 innovation corridors to see,” Hackl said.

Orlando is home to Full Sail University, a university of technology and video games that helps nurture many of the area’s talents. In total, 550,000 students live within a 100-mile radius of Orlando. While Orlando focuses on science and innovation, neighboring Miami is becoming a city focused on cryptocurrency.

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Full Sail University is located in Orlando, Florida.

“When you look at the building blocks that will make up the metaverse, it’s represented here,” Adelson said. “Miami can have blockchain and crypto. They’re already pretty good at it. But it’s okay. The MetaCenter is where the very center of the metaverse is created.

He noted that Orlando has a high-speed train that connects the city with Miami, which means that tech hubs in the area are connected enough for collaboration.

Of course, people worry that a technological downturn could be triggered by malaise in the economy as a whole. Adelson noted that more than $ 1 billion had been invested in Orlando in the first four months of the year, much of it in artificial intelligence, 3D simulation, optics and photonics.

Adelson acknowledges that many people in Orlando are probably unaware of Metaverse. But he said it was part of the point surrounding the MetaCenter campaign.

“They feel like it’s just play, and that’s it. They do not understand how many pieces touch the metaverse, and when you pull those layers back, you see how it becomes a very real thing for Orlando,” he said. Adelson. “There is already so much industry around him. We are not building new industries to run the meta-verse. We have had these industries in our pockets for a decade or more already.

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Orlando Skyline.

Although it may take 10 or 15 years for Metaverse to be realized, Adelson does not care. He knows it can take a new generation to adapt to the changes the meta-verse will bring, and he sees his 15-year-old son already spending a lot of time in virtual reality watching movies with friends, watching football matches and getting involved in other things in the meta-verse.

“We’re seeing how the new generation is starting to adapt,” he said.

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