The urban metaverse is in an early exploration phase, with only a few relevant deployments currently. However, according to global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, by 2030, close to 700 cities will have deployed some form of metaverse infrastructure, often as extensions of existing urban digital twin platforms and solutions.
“Though metaverse is undeniably overhyped and steeped in vagueness, the urban context offers interesting value-generating use cases and applications, ranging from seamless interaction of citizens with eGovernment services, virtual tourism, smart infrastructure design, planning and development, and urban workforce enablement and enhancement. This is especially important in complex urban environments which are challenging to design, maintain, explore, and engage with,” explains Dominique Bonte, Vice President, Verticals & End Markets at ABI Research.
Benefits for city governments include gaining political capital through enhanced citizen engagement and participation and significant cost savings related to smarter and more effective urban infrastructure design, operations, and maintenance. The urban metaverse will also play a critical role in making cities net zero and circular.
Early urban metaverse case studies and examples include:
Urban metaverse technologies are centered around generating immersive 3D experiences combining digital twins, AR/VR/XR, avatars, AI, cloud, compute, and mobile devices. The urban metaverse ecosystem will be heavily dominated by urban digital/virtual twin providers such as Dassault Systèmes, Siradel (Engie), Greehill, and Autodesk in combination with mainstream XR hardware and software metaverse vendors, including NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft (HoloLens 2), Magic Leap (Magic Leap 2), HTC (XR Elite), Apple (Vision Pro), and Meta (Quest 3).
These findings are from ABI Research’s Urban Metaverse: Use Cases, Applications, and Technologies report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Urban Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.
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