KT Meta Lounge is a virtual platform that consists of three buildings -- a business hall, academy hall, and conference hall -- and an outdoor space with trees and lakes. A total of 30 users can participate in a business-related event using their avatars and share documents at the business hall. At the academy hall, users can take lectures and communicate with instructors in real time. The conference room features AI-based translation and other special services.
Users can go for a stroll and socialize with others outside the buildings. In June 2022, a conference on global climate change held by South Korea's foreign affairs ministry was held through the platform.
KT said in a statement that the company will provide the metaverse platform to many educational institutions, local governments and companies targeting the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) market. "To expand the market to B2B and B2G clients and provide optimized solutions, we are carrying out various cooperation projects through Meta Lounge," KT's digital transformation business center head Kim Young-sik said in a statement on December 21.
The adoption of metaverse has gained momentum among companies and universities in South Korea. Targeting global automotive industry officials who were unable to travel to South Korea for business meetings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hyundai Wia, a parts-making unit of South Korea's Hyundai auto group, opened a metaverse-based showroom in December 2021 where virtual replicas of auto parts were displayed.
In March 2021, South Korea's first virtual entrance ceremony was held using at Soonchunhyung University, based in Asan some 85 kilometers (52 miles) south of Seoul. Freshmen could have special experiences such as meeting with professors, colleagues and seniors using avatars.
According to data released by market research firm Emergen Research, the global metaverse market will grow from $47.7 billion in 2020 to $828.95 billion in 2028. In December 2021, the e-commerce wing of KT teamed up with blockchain company Block Labs to develop a metaverse-based platform where users can experience real-world-like shopping malls in virtual reality.
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