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METAVERSE NEWS: China Mobile, VR Healthcare & Dior

By Luigi Savarese
Luigi Savarese

8 Min

July 6, 2023

In today's Metaverse News edition China Mobile launched a partner program to drive the development of the Metaverse in Asia. Worcester hospitals introduced VR headsets to enhance patient comfort and education, revolutionizing healthcare experiences. Dior is entering the Metaverse with exclusive NFT B33 Sneakers, offering access to the Dior Metaverse. Moreover, the UKAEA, Dell, Intel, and Cambridge University, are leveraging the power of digital twins to accelerate fusion power development.

China Mobile's Metaverse Partner Program Boosts Industry Collaboration

Key Highlights:

  • China Mobile has launched a Metaverse partner program to drive Metaverse development in Asia.
  • The operator plans to invest in copyright protection, marketing support, and R&D efforts.
  • The Metaverse industry alliance consists of 29 members, including Huawei, Xiaomi, Mango TV, and iFlytek.

China Mobile unveiled a Metaverse partner program, reflecting the renewed interest in the Metaverse in Asia. The operator plans to invest in copyright protection, marketing support, and research (R&D) efforts, with investment expected to double over the next three years. Additionally, China Mobile has established a Metaverse investment fund to provide financing for alliance members. The Metaverse industry alliance, formed at MWC Shanghai, consists of 29 members, including Huawei, Xiaomi, state-owned Mango TV, and AI firm iFlytek.

In 2021-2022, China experienced a Metaverse boom, as exemplified by Shanghai’s Metaverse Program. Th entire country ecosystem did significant investments. Internet giants, telecommunications companies, device manufacturers, and private equity firms, invested over 12.8 billion Chinese yuan (approximately US$1.8 billion). Companies like Tencent and Bytedance had some setbacks in 2022. However, Chinese telcos have maintained their ambitions in the Metaverse space.

Telcos' Crucial Role in China's Digital Economy and Metaverse Development

Telcos play a vital role in China's AI, cloud, and online businesses by building and operating the necessary infrastructure. The government has entrusted them with constructing and managing the country's "computing power networks" which include network connectivity, storage, and computing resources.

China Mobile's Metaverse partner program underscores its commitment to driving Metaverse development, fostering collaboration, and strengthening Asian digital ecosystem.

VR Headsets Enhance Comfort and Education in Healthcare

Key Highlights:

  • Worcestershire hospitals have introduced VR headsets to alleviate patient stress and discomfort.
  • VR technology has shown effectiveness in replacing sedation during medical procedures.
  • VR headsets also serve as educational tools, empowering patients to actively participate in their healthcare.

Worcestershire hospitals are embracing Virtual Reality headsets as a means to enhance patient care and alleviate stress and discomfort. After a successful trial at Kidderminster Hospital, VR was used to create a soothing environment during medical procedures. The incorporation of calming visuals and sounds has proven effective in minimizing patient anxiety.

A notable example from the trial involved a child requiring blood sampling. Traditionally, sedation was utilized to help the child relax. However, by integrating VR headsets, the need for sedation was eliminated. The immersive experience provided a calming effect, enabling the child to undergo the procedure without the use of unnecessary drugs.

The benefits of VR technology in healthcare settings extend beyond stress reduction. VR headsets can also serve as educational tools. It allows patients to engage with interactive content related to their conditions or treatments. This empowers patients to gain a better understanding of their medical journey and actively participate in their own healthcare.

The implementation of VR headsets exemplifies the healthcare industry's commitment to utilizing innovative technologies for improved patient care. Ultimately, the positive outcomes observed during the trial at Kidderminster Hospital underscore the incredible potential of VR technology. It can revolutionise patient experience, particularly in high-stress medical settings.

Dior Launches Exclusive B33 Sneakers with Access to the Dior Metaverse

Key Highlights:

  • Dior introduces the "B33 Sneakers" range with accompanying Ethereum NFTs, entering the Metaverse.
  • Priced at $1,350, each pair comes with cryptographic keys for access to the Dior Metaverse.
  • LVMH has previously explored NFTs through Louis Vuitton and plans to release more B33 sneaker styles with NFC chips.

Dior, the renowned high-end fashion house, is embracing the Metaverse with its upcoming Fall/Winter collection, the “B33 Sneakers”. The collection introduces a fusion of fashion and crypto, as the sneakers will come with Ethereum NFTs, creating digital duplicates of the shoes. Designed by Kim Jones, the iconic designer of the brand, the Dior B33 Sneakers are priced at $1,350 per pair.

Buyers of the sneakers will receive cryptographic keys that grant access to the Dior Metaverse, a virtual world created by the brand. The exclusive services and experiences within the Metaverse have not been disclosed yet, adding an element of intrigue. However, with only 470 pairs of trainers available, wrapped in luxurious mohair fabric, interested individuals must act swiftly to secure their spot.

Dior Metaverse Exploration

Dior's venture into the Metaverse is not new. In fact, the brand began exploring blockchain technology in 2021 with virtual experiences and collaborations. They joined forces with Meta Media in 2022 to showcase the first Metaverse fashion show in China. Dior's parent company, LVMH, has also explored NFTs through its sub-brand Louis Vuitton, already very active in the space.

Looking ahead, Dior plans to release six additional styles of the B33 sneakers, priced between $1,000 and $1,100. These future versions will include NFC chips embedded in the soles, enabling close-range wireless communication between items. Each sneakers will provide buyers with access to the luxury brand's virtual world, creating an immersive and exclusive experience.

Dior's foray into the Metaverse demonstrates the fashion industry's willingness to embrace new technologies and engage with digital assets, offering unique opportunities for both fashion enthusiasts and crypto enthusiasts.

Digital Twin Project Aims to Accelerate Fusion Power Development

Key Highlights:

  • Collaboration between UKAEA, Dell Technologies, Intel, and the University of Cambridge to create a digital twin of the UK's fusion power plant, STEP.
  • The digital twin will enable scientists and engineers to design and test the STEP prototype in a virtual environment.
  • Exascale computing and AI technologies will play a crucial role in ensuring the readiness and robustness of the STEP design.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), in partnership with Dell Technologies, Intel, and the University of Cambridge, is embarking on a collaborative project to develop a digital twin of the UK's fusion power plant design. By harnessing the power of supercomputers and AI, this initiative aims to create a virtual replica of the prototype fusion plant, known as STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production). This will enable scientists and engineers to design, test, and ensure its readiness for future energy production.

The digital twin will provide a highly immersive and connected virtual environment, referred to as the “Industrial Metaverse”, where engineers and scientists can develop and refine the engineering designs of STEP. This virtual platform will enable the exploration of various concepts, ensuring ecosystem readiness, cost-effectiveness, and ultimately contributing to the goal of delivering electricity to the grid in the 2040s.

The integration of exascale computing, the next generation of computing technology, will facilitate powerful analytics for testing STEP's initial concepts. This collaboration showcases the UK's commitment to becoming a scientific and technological superpower, supporting innovative research, and making the next generation of high-performance computers accessible and practical. By utilizing advanced hardware and software solutions, such as open software architectures, the project aims to minimize risks and accelerate the journey towards sustainable fusion power.

Hong Kong Establishes Web3 Task Force to Drive Innovation and Development

Key Highlights:

  • Hong Kong forms a dedicated task force to promote Web3 development and position itself as a leader in the field.
  • The task force comprises government officials, regulators, industry experts, and financial sector figures.
  • Its primary goal is to provide recommendations for the sustainable and responsible growth of Web3 in Hong Kong.

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced the establishment of a dedicated task force aimed at promoting the development of Web3 and positioning Hong Kong as a leading player in this emerging field. Led by Paul Chan, Hong Kong's financial secretary, the task force consists of 15 non-official members, including industry experts and key figures from the financial sector. This collaborative effort between government officials, regulators, and industry leaders underscores Hong Kong's determination to become a Web3 hub.

Despite its proximity to China, which has taken a cautious stance on digital assets, Hong Kong continues to position itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. The recent launch of the Virtual Asset Trading Platform (VATP) handbook demonstrates the city's commitment to providing clear guidelines for Web3 companies seeking to establish a presence in Hong Kong. Global cryptocurrency exchanges like Huobi, OKX, and BitMEX have expressed their intentions to operate in the region, reaffirming Hong Kong's determination to foster an environment conducive to Web3 innovation and attract top talent.

By establishing the Web3 task force, Hong Kong aims to leverage its status as an international financial center and a metropolis known for its innovation and technology. The task force's work over the next two years will play a pivotal role in shaping Hong Kong's future in the emerging Web3 landscape.