South Korea Digs Deeper Into The Metaverse With ‘Avatar Singer’ And More

South Korea has created “Avatar Singer,” a one-of-a-kind musical reality show involving industry aces musicians with veiled identities of 3D avatars. Photo courtesy of MBN

The COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing very clear: what is inevitable is not just death, but also change; the global reality that an indefinable virus can isolate everyone in the world, and anything virtual is undeniably possible – virtual meetings, online classrooms, digital music concerts, immersive interactive travel experiences, worship services virtual beings and certainly virtual beings too, all fundamental facets of social networking and a dynamic three-dimensional realm, the “metaverse”.

The term was first used to apply to this 3D cyberspace in Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snowfall. Later, second life, a virtual world platform (introduced in 2003), became the first metaverse in which users are represented as avatars. While technology identifies an “avatar” as a graphical image of a user, in online networks they are two-dimensional symbols recognized as profile pictures. As seen in video games, avatars may well be three-dimensional models.

Avatars socializing in the virtual world, Second Life. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

For me, for a long time, the metaverse conjured up images of The matrix (1999). The film is about a dystopian future in which humanity is inadvertently locked inside The Matrix, a creation of evil cyber-intelligence to harness human bodies as a power source. When hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) discovers the truth, he joins forces with the savage Morpheus (Lawrence Fishbourne) in a battle to shatter simulated reality.

The entertainment industry is embracing and investing in the Metaverse as it grows over time, alongside corporate and social media behemoths, to create more exceptional movies and television programming, including Minority report (2002), Avatar (2009), black mirror (2011), Loan player one (2018), and Altered carbon (2018), to name a few. However, how South Korea aligns with the metaverse might end up being the next big thing.

The movie Ready Player One is a great illustration of the metaverse. It is set in the year 2045 and follows protagonist Wade Watts on his quest for an Easter egg in a global virtual reality game.

I guess the use of this concept in South Korea started with the nascent K-pop industry in the country. Apart from popular K-pop metaverse platforms such as ZEPETO and Stan World, K-pop entertainment powerhouses such as HYBE, SM Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment, among others, are eagerly exploring the application of the metaverse to integrate their content via virtual idols. Take, for example, the popular girl group Aespa, whose members have individual virtual avatars, or the newer boy group Superkind, a group of four human idols – Daemon, Eugene, Geon, and a virtual idol named Sae Jin.

K-pop industry moguls are eagerly probing the use of the metaverse to embed their content through virtual idols.

South Korean businesses have accepted the metaverse as part of the present and the future alongside acceptance of the new normal. Check out my interview with Rozy, Korea’s first virtual influencer, to get a sense of how VR usage has evolved in the country. Rozy’s uncanny resemblance to a human is disconcerting. In an interview with KOREAZ, Baek Seung-yeop, CEO of Sidus Studio X, said that Rozy, his creation, is an iconic figure of the MZ generation. “In his case, we created more than 800 faces, which makes his face not only more realistic but also more detailed compared to other virtual characters.”

Rozy straddles the line between reality and fiction. She embraces everything that makes a human, except she’s not a real human being. Photo courtesy of Sidus Studio X.

In a next step, South Korea has devised a one-of-a-kind reality TV stage initiative called Avatar Singer. Korean media has revealed the musical reality show features 10 industry ace musicians with the veiled identities of 3D avatars. Participants compete to accomplish feats that go beyond physical limits.

Show makers acknowledged their excitement for the debut of Avatar Singer during a promotional press conference before the release, noting that it had been a huge challenge to create the program accurately. They claimed that because the production technique used in the show was complex, it should be considered a world-class production with a very high standard, especially because it mixes various technologies, including augmented reality and l real-time animation. The audiovisual exhibition of Avatar Singer is a surprise package and will undoubtedly dissolve the distinction between real life and virtual reality.

Herald of Korea said in an article that when the show’s host, Jang Sung-kyu, inquired about a ballpark figure regarding the show’s cost, it was revealed that each episode costs more than $1 billion. won, five to 10 times more than standard Korean entertainment. To display. The celebrity judges were captivated by the production, calling it “sensational” and calling the performances “cathartic”. “What we’re saying might not make sense right now, but you’ll understand what we mean after watching the first episode,” observed the South Korean rapper, TV and radio personality. DinDin, one of the panelists.

Avatar Singer is currently airing on South Korean cable network MBN.

The production technique employed in Avatar Singer combines various technologies, including augmented reality and real-time animation.

It just seems like the start of a magnum opus. With Korea’s deep dive into the global village (on all levels), from gaming to home shopping, showbiz and more, it will soon introduce its iteration of the K-metaverse, comparable to K-pop and K-drama. . I don’t know how it will turn out, but it will be something out of the box in my opinion. I can attest to this, especially after reading an intriguing article by John Mac Ghlionn for REVERSE. It reveals that the city of Seoul has committed $33 million to an initiative called “Metaverse Seoul”. This, according to XR todaywill revolutionize Seoul’s public services by allowing staff to interact with customers through an authorized metaverse portal using 3D avatars and immersive settings.

“Metaverse Seoul” is a metaverse gateway that will use 3D avatars to redefine Seoul’s public services.

American game developer Tim Sweeney made a very good point: “The Metaverse is going to be a lot more ubiquitous and powerful than anything else. If a central corporation takes control of this, it will become more powerful than any government and be a god on earth. Do we already have a name?

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