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KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

KDDI launches Metaverse and Web3 platform αU

KDDI announced the launch of αU, a metaverse and Web3 service, to realize a world where anyone can become a creator and to support the new generation of users who effortlessly move between the real and virtual worlds. αU provides services for the Web3 era, including the metaverse, live streaming, and virtual shopping. KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

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This service eliminates the boundary between the real and virtual worlds, allowing users to enjoy everyday experiences such as attending live music performances, enjoying art, having conversations with friends, and shopping―anytime, anywhere.
Furthermore, in collaboration with domestic and international partners, KDDI will provide support in introducing Japanese creators and content to the world. KDDI will build a creator economy in which creators can produce value and be compensated for their work.

 

Background

KDDI launched Virtual Shibuya, an urban-linked metaverse, in May 2020, and Digital Twin Shibuya, which links real and virtual spaces, in October 2022 as part of its continuous initiatives to expand urban experiences by utilizing 5G communications and AR/MR technologies. For the past three years, Virtual Shibuya has offered a new form of entertainment enabled by technology, such as live music performances from artists, talk shows featuring anime and manga characters, and other urban-linked experiences that are anchored in a virtual space.
αU will evolve from a traditional public space for experience to a space for communication.

Services provided with αU KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

KDDI provides αU metaverse where users can enjoy entertainment and conversations with friends in the metaverse, αU live that features high-definition, 360-degree free view live music performances, αU market offering digital artworks for sale, αU wallet that allow users to manage their crypto assets, and αU place that lets users shop at virtual stores linked with physical stores. The company promises to continue to expand our Web3 services with αU at the core.
KDDI holds αU Spring Week 2023 from March 8 to 12, 2023 in Shibuya, Tokyo. In this free event, visitors could experience all the services described above, including solo exhibitions and live performances from a variety of artists.

αU Comprehensive Web3 services built around metaverse

Please refer to the Appendix for details on each of the αU services as well as on αU Spring Week 2023.


<Appendix> KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU metaverse

This is a metaverse service that allows users to encounter a variety of communities where they can enjoy live music performances from artists and talk with other users within the cities of Shibuya and Osaka recreated in a virtual space.

Features

  • (1) Voice communication with avatars
    Participants communicate with a voice as the avatar of their choice. Using voice lets them comfortably interact with each other since voice can convey feelings that text cannot capture. Users gather and talk at bars, izakaya taverns, cafes and other communication spaces, which in turn develop into communities. These communities facilitate the birth of new entertainment experiences and creatives.
  • (2) Venue for events and meet & greets that are unique to the metaverse
    This virtual space serves as a venue for new types of live music performances, live talk shows from celebrities, and exhibitions from creators. In the meet & greets that take place after the events, users can communicate directly with the artists and other fans. They can talk with others in close proximity through avatars―something that can only be achieved in the metaverse.
  • (3) Everyone can become a creator
    Users can start creative activities by redecorating their own room (My Room) in a separate location from the city with furniture and other items to express their own uniqueness. In the future, users will be able to hold live talk shows as an extension of fun conversations with other people invited to My Room, as well as to create and sell avatars and furniture for My Room. In the metaverse, everyone is free to become a creator.

How to use

Download the αU metaverse application from the App Store or Google Play and sign up for a free membership. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).

KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU live

This live performance experience service provides high-definition, 360-degree, free-viewpoint video. αU live recreates artists and venues in a virtual space, giving viewers an experience similar to that of a real live performance. Users can enjoy a variety of αU live performances from both virtual and real-life artists.

Features

  • (1) Watch performances in 360-degree, free-viewpoint video
    Users can enjoy artists’ performances from any angle and distance. The audience can switch to different view angles anytime to see the entire venue, the artist’s face, or other areas in the space.
  • (2) High-definition video
    Since the video is processed in the cloud, smartphone users can view high-definition video that would normally require a high-spec PC to process.

How to use

Users can view videos on their smartphones or PC web browser. KDDI will announce further details around the summer of 2023. Before the official launch, the service will be available to try at αU Spring Week 2023. Operator will also show the service at the paid exhibition “prompt αU (in Japanese only).”

KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU market

This is an electronic trading marketplace where users can purchase digital artworks (NFTs) and other items. Works by famous fashion designers and renowned NFT artists will be available exclusively at αU market.

Features

  • (1) Purchase digital artworks (NFT) easily
    Since αU market accepts payments via credit card and au Kantan Kessai (Easy Payment), first-time customers can easily purchase NFTs. In addition, this market supports the Polygon blockchain, an NFT network that is compatible with other marketplaces, allowing users to resell purchased works to others.
  • (2) Receive benefits at real stores with the Digital Membership Card
    This service features the Digital Membership Card (NFTs), which allows members to receive benefits at real stores.
    KDDI will start providing the card for stores in Shibuya, Tokyo and gradually roll it out to other areas.

How to buy

Purchases can be made via the official αU market page. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).

Along with αU market, KDDI are launching αU dotadp, an NFT store originating from the au Design project that produced INFOBAR and many other cell phones in collaboration with a variety of designers and artists. For the first phase of this initiative, the operator will release NFTs to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the au Design project as well as NFTs by artists Mayu Yukishita, Honoka Yoshifuku, and Giselle Aika Bauer who are popular among Generation Z.
For more information, please visit the αU dotadp website (in Japanese only).

KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU wallet

αU wallet is a crypto asset wallet for managing digital artwork (NFTs) purchased from αU market along with cryptocurrency used for sales transactions.

Features

Securely manage and trade digital artwork (NFTs) and crypto assets

With αU wallet, users can manage works (NFTs) purchased from αU market as well as manage NFTs purchased from marketplaces that support the Polygon blockchain. In addition to this, users can send and receive Polygon (MATIC), a cryptocurrency used for sales transactions.

How to use

Download the αU wallet application from the App Store or Google Play and configure the relevant settings. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).

KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU place KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

Customers can enjoy a new type of shopping experience that combines the benefits of real stores, such as the ability to look around to find products they like and shop with family and friends, with the benefit of e-commerce, namely the ability to shop anytime they want.

Features

  • (1) Enjoy shopping as if being in a real city
    αU place recreates real-world streets, stores, and products in the virtual space. Customers can stroll through the city and discover and enter stores in the virtual space, just as they would in a real city. They can learn about products and get advice from store staff via video calls.
  • (2) Accurately recreated in-store spaces and product displays
    Featured stores can recreate their real-world exterior designs and store displays within the virtual space simply by taking pictures of them with a smartphone. KDDI also plans to provide functions for linking the real and virtual worlds to display product information through AR such as by holding up a smartphone in real stores.

How to use

The αU place app will be released around the summer of 2023, allowing anyone to access αU place. The operator will announce further details with the official launch. Before the official launch, the service will be available to try at αU Spring Week 2023. Real-store staff at au style SHIBUYA MODI and Lui’s/EX/store on the 5th floor of Shibuya Parco will be available to help people visiting recreated stores in the virtual space of Shibuya.

KDDI Metaverse & Web3 platform αU

αU Spring Week 2023

From March 8 through 12, 2023,αU services will be available to try free of charge in Shibuya, Tokyo.
αU live will feature a live music performance from BE:FIRST, and αU metaverse will host a live music performance from Wednesday Campanella and comedy performances from Yoshimoto comedians. In addition, αU market will sell NFTs featuring artworks by illustrators that are popular among Gen Z, and αU place will feature virtually recreated stores of au Style and the apparel retail Lui’s.

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