Saudi’s National Metaverse Project ‘Cultural Universe’ Unveiled on Founding Day 2024

The post Saudi’s National Metaverse Project ‘Cultural Universe’ Unveiled on Founding Day 2024 appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News

The Saudi Ministry of Culture has launched what appears to be the world’s first state-operated national metaverse project, ‘Cultural Universe’. The innovative virtual environment, which integrates droppGroup’s Generative Media Intelligence (GMI) AI technology and Oracle’s Hyperledger Fabric 2.5 blockchain, was unveiled on February 22 to mark Saudi Arabia’s Founding Day 2024.

The purpose-built Middle Eastern metaverse digitally replicates various attractions and activities which formed part of last week’s real-life celebrations in the capital Jeddah. These include a History Walk which provides an educational stroll through significant events in the nation’s history, as well as sections devoted to Saudi heritage including music, art, history, and cuisine.

The History Walk starts at Bab Jadid and moves on to Thaker Courtyard and its live cooking corner, while the Al-Eidrous Courtyard features a dedicated children’s corner and a plethora of art workshops. Moving close to virtual representations of historical events prompts a voice audio, although this is limited to Arabic.

GMI Meets Blockchain in Cultural Universe

Designed to be accessible to smartphone users as well as owners of sophisticated VR headsets, the free-to-use Cultural Universe has been touted as a major step in Saudi’s ambitious Vision 2030 roadmap, enabling ‘virtual tourists’ to explore a digital realm that puts them in the heart of Saudi Arabia. The Cultural Universe takes users through centuries of history dating back to 1727.

The collaboration between Oracle, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and New York software firm droppGroup has produced something more than a metaverse, a ‘phygital’ environment that leverages blockchain as well as cutting-edge Generative Media Intelligence (GMI) artificial intelligence (AI). Indeed, droppGroup President Christopher Kelly highlighted the rarity of such visionary initiatives in government sectors and expressed enthusiasm for future AI projects with the Saudi Ministry.

The cross-platform compatibility of the Founding Day Microverse, as it is also known, is said to embody the Ministry of Culture’s commitment to inclusivity, enabling a diverse global audience to explore and engage with the country’s rich cultural history.

A recent report by PwC suggests the contribution of the metaverse towards economies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could be around $15 billion by the end of the decade. Both countries have invested heavily in metaverse-focused, with pilots having appeared focused on sectors such as retail, tourism, sports, education and media, placing the region at the forefront of digital innovation.