PUTRAJAYA: Singapore-based technology startup vEarth Pvt Ltd is seeking partners in Malaysia to contribute to the development of the country’s smart city plan through its hybrid reality metaverse, vEarth.
The metaverse industry, set to be worth US$5 trillion (RM23.4 trillion) by the end of the decade, is at the core of vEarth’s ambitious plans.
Founder Dr Reid Lim, in an exclusive interview with SunBiz, said, the company is eager to establish partnerships with major corporations and smart cities in Malaysia to integrate their metaverse technology into the country.
“Now we are working with Cyberjaya on an MoU (memorandum of understanding) for their smart city. So we are looking into how we can integrate with Cyberjaya, on how we can put Cyberjaya into the metaverse,“ he disclosed.
He said that what sets vEarth apart from other metaverses is its utilisation of Global Positioning System (GPS) geolocation. Unlike traditional metaverses where users enter entirely fictional realms, vEarth aims to recreate the real world by using GPS technology to represent users’ physical locations.
Lim said vEarth is “entering a real world, a real representation of where we are” through GPS.
“vEarth offers a location-based experience. So the whole idea of Cyberview and Cyberjaya is that they are in the business of promoting Malaysia to deserving tenants outside. vEarth uses GPS to provide this sense of location. For example, a Tokyo-based company interested in moving to Cyberjaya can use an app or link to explore CyberJaya via vEarth. They can virtually visit places like the CyberJaya Collaborative Campus. This feature is valuable for CyberJaya’s promotion,” he added.
Lim said vEarth can also display real-time data on the map. For instance, it can show autonomous vehicles in action, track their movements using GPS data and even indicate air quality. This enhances the user experience, he added.
Additionally, in contrast to other metaverses that focus on creating visually stunning environments, vEarth prioritises community engagement and practical applications.
Lim referred to its approach as “Metaverse Minus Experience”, where the emphasis is on meeting people, exploring businesses and experiencing various applications rather than hyper-realistic graphics.
“Because many companies have done that, a real life, very beautiful, very big creation of the metaverse, and they have failed. So vEarth does not want to end up in the same category. So what we are doing is a very cartoonish, low polygon representation. It is not meant to be very good looking. Because our emphasis is not on that,” he said.
Lim believes that, within the next five to 10 years, more people will use the metaverse as virtual reality technology becomes more accessible and commonplace. He envisions the metaverse as the future evolution of the internet, consolidating various online activities into a unified experience.
Meanwhile, his vision for vEarth is to become the go-to one-stop metaverse for Asia, offering a wide range of services and experiences, from ride-hailing to shopping, and even virtual travel.
He said vEarth holds the potential to reshape how people interact with the digital world, bringing them closer to real-world experiences within the metaverse.
The launch of vEarth metaverse is expected to take place over a few months in phases, depending on the development of suitable use cases.
vEarth plans to offer its platform for free initially, with monetisation strategies centered around collaborating with companies to introduce their products and services within the vEarth metaverse.