A whole new world – The Metaverse of SKT

Lee Sooyeon

             Have you heard of ‘Metaverse’?If you have, how would you define the metaverse? Is it one metaverse? Is it multiple metaverses? Is the term metaverse the term we should use? Is the metaverse here, or is it being created? So many questions arise when one is asked to define the term metaverse. Defining the term is not a simple task.

             Google the term ‘metaverse’ and you’ll find several definitions. The Wikipedia definition defines it as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet. The word “metaverse” is a portmanteau of the prefix “meta” (meaning beyond) and “universe”. The term is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.

p.c: gettyimage

             One of the biggest Telecom companies in Korea, SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest wireless carrier, said Thursday it will launch its virtual meeting platform ‘ifland’ in around 80 overseas markets by the end of this year in a move to join the global metaverse rush. The carrier launched the platform last month that allows users to interact with others using personalized avatars in a range of online settings from stadiums to cafes.

             The metaverse platforms have grown in popularity over the past year, especially from tech-savvy teenagers, as people shift their activities online amid the pandemic. Also, the Korean tech giant Naver Corp. operates the hugely popular Zepeto, which had 200 million global users as of February. SK Telecom said it is planning to develop ifland into a global platform, with launches in around 80 countries by the end of this year. The company plans to draw users on the back of K-pop content, such as holding regular fan meetings, and it will also develop the service into an open platform so that users can create their own digital environments. Ifland will also be equipped with a market system within this year to allow users to buy and sell digital items.

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