You can’t avoid it. Monaco’s economic players and institutions are taking an interest in the different facets of the metaverse.
According to JP Morgan’s projections, the metaverse market could represent an annual market of $1 trillion and “it could penetrate all sectors”. It’s easy to understand why this new tech universe is now the focus of discussions, especially since it became the priority of Mark Zuckerberg, founder and creator of Facebook.
Monaco is already showing an interest in this internet of tomorrow. “For a country like Monaco with a powerful brand and an image that captures the world’s imagination, the metaverse is a prime opportunity” explains Frédéric Genta, Interministerial Delegate for Attractiveness and Digital Transition. In May, the first edition of the Meta Entertainment World Summit, founded by Steven Saltzman, held at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, one of the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer hotels, brought together nearly two hundred industry pioneers (business leaders, investors, creators, architects, designers and creators of simulated and augmented hybrid universes). The experts who attended included French start-up Orbis Holographics, incubated by LVMH Group, which presented its mist wall with projected holograms and its animated digital reproduction of American actress Scarlett Johansson, which looked astonishingly realistic, and which allowed you to interact without the need for augmented reality glasses. “The metaverse is the web 3.0. It will change the world just like the web 2.0 revolutionised it” predicts Laurent Montrozier, founder of Orbis.
We are already seeing initiatives spring up around Monaco. AS Monaco football club has a virtual lounge, created by Riplee, a digital innovation specialist. Fans wearing a VR headset can experience what it is like to walk across the pitch or enter the changing rooms in Louis II stadium. In the virtual trophy room, supporters can even brandish the cups won by the Red and Whites, emulating idols such as Jean-Luc Ettori, Thierry Henry or Kylian Mbappé. Meanwhile down by the sea, the Yacht Club de Monaco entered the metaverse during its most recent Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, the competition that showcases the creativity of young engineers and industry players engaged in developing alternative propulsion systems. For the first time, the event was accessible on a virtual platform that uses the same technology as Fortnite video game. “This is our first step towards virtual reality. Our goal is to speak to the younger generations and launch a new online communication platform with the vision of the Principality of Monaco, which has always been very focused on digital technology” said YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri.
Some companies have even established themselves in Monaco. “Monaco is the first country in Europe to offer 1 GB/second high-speed WiFi and 5G. It’s the ideal ecosystem” explains Fardi Mohamed, founder of SYS. The entrepreneur, who moved to Monaco from London in February 2022, began taking an interest in virtual reality before it became fashionable, and now wants to “export the metaverse created in Monaco”. In addition to his 360° videos, this new technology pioneer creates immersive videos for estate agency marketing staff, interior designers and yachting industry players. “Virtual reality represents real added value. It allows a client to walk around a house in real time, to get a better feel for space and depth. This visualisation speeds up the buying decision. As for the interior design, the app enables the client to interact with and customise the space as they wish”. Mohamed, who also produces immersive video reports for Monaco Yacht Show, has launched a collective of digital experts and a Digital Zone in Fontvieille to experience the metaverse’s technological innovations.
For the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer group, as explained by Anthony Chiarel, head of the digital marketing department: “The metaverse is a real opportunity to capture a new target customer who is younger and more connected and to offer innovative services. Many platforms will be introduced in the coming months and years, and in the long-term Web 3.0 will contribute to our being a connected resort like no other in the world.”
Within this collective, DWorld VR is proposing a Monaco Metaverse. “Our goal is to recreate the world’s first virtual economy of an entire country, a greener, smarter and more futuristic version of the Principality of Monaco” says Manila Di Giovanni, CEO of the Monegasque start-up. DWorld VR started by creating a prototype of Monaco-Ville, before modelling the districts of Monte-Carlo and Mareterra and soon launching the monetisation phase of the platform. A beta version is set to be launched in October, enabling you to download and visit the virtual Principality.