Study reveals 5 Key Trends for continued surge in time spent on mobile devices

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People across Asia are united by a firm belief that connectivity empowers them with more economic opportunity, daily convenience, and greater access to essential services, according to Telenor Asia’s new “Digital Lives Decoded” study.

Study reveals 5 Key Trends for continued surge in time spent on mobile devices

The study, released in conjunction with Telenor’s 25th anniversary in Asia, surveyed over 8,000 mobile internet users across eight countries (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) in South and Southeast Asia.

The survey revealed a common appreciation for the benefits of an “always-on” life, where mobile connectivity enriches relationships and delivers convenience and makes it easier for people to participate in the digital economy.

A resounding 93% of respondents believe their mobile usage improves their quality of life. Overall, women lead this trend with 63% saying the quality of life is significantly enhanced compared to 52% of men.

This trend is most apparent in Thailand (75%) and Indonesia (71%), where the highest number of women are connecting to “significantly better” lives through their mobile use.

“It is often reported that mobile usage comes between people, distracting users from those around them and damaging relationships and interpersonal communication skills.

However, this study dispels that notion. Compared to before the pandemic, mobile data usage has more than doubled in most Asian markets, reshaping how we communicate at work and at home.

Interestingly, this survey shows that people want the changes in digital use and their daily lives to stay. In fact, they continue to immerse themselves in a digital world despite rules on travel and social interaction being relaxed,” said Jørgen Rostrup, Head of Telenor Asia.

Study reveals 5 Key Trends for continued surge in time spent on mobile devices

As connectivity puts power into the hands of people, this study also revealed where digital gaps remain, particularly in rural and elderly populations.

With mobile connectivity evolving from a nice-to-have to a must-have, the need to understand these gaps is becoming more important to policymakers, businesses, and individuals alike. Insights from this study can thus act as a map of where to bridge the widest digital divides,” he added.

Swiping up for an always-on lifestyle
Nearly all respondents surveyed have their mobile phone with them for at least half of the day, and one in five are never without their phone.

Yet, the majority of respondents surveyed feel they strike a good balance in their use of technology (76%).

People in the Philippines and Thailand are most dependent on their mobile phones, with 29% and 25% respectively saying they are never without their mobile phones. This dependence is set to grow, with nearly three in four people (74%) expecting their mobile usage to increase in the coming years, a trend greatest among respondents in Thailand (82%).

Keeping up as digital life charges ahead
Generational differences in how people feel about the surge in time spent online are apparent. Gen Z respondents, the youngest surveyed, are more likely to feel that they are overusing technology. Along with their millennial counterparts, Gen Z respondents were also the most concerned about having the right skills to keep pace with technology.

This was a concern shared across all generations, with 85% of respondents worried that their digital skills will not keep pace with a rapidly evolving digital environment. Of the countries surveyed, Thailand was the least concerned (63% of respondents).

Study reveals 5 Key Trends for continued surge in time spent on mobile devices

(Lack of) trust in the digital world
Concerns around privacy and security of mobile devices across the region have surfaced for 93% of respondents across the region, amid a well-recognised surge in digital adoption.

Of those who reduced their mobile usage in the past year, one in three Gen Z respondents in Malaysia cited privacy and security concerns as the top reason for the decrease. Conversely, people in Thailand were least concerned, with nearly a quarter of respondents (27%) not concerned about this at all.

Tapping into a more sustainable life
The study also reveals optimism about the potential for mobile technology to advance environmental sustainability. Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that digital access is “very important” for them to lead greener lives in the future. However, that share was lowest in Thailand (63%), Malaysia (57%) and Singapore (41%). 

People cited the greatest benefits come in the areas of reducing paper, waste, and electricity (70% of respondents), being able to communicate more efficiently (67%) and providing better access to public transport with more information (55%).

Mobile technology is closing the digital divide
The study also points to the greater potential women see in mobile usage, with more women than men saying mobile connectivity has enhanced their options for working and generating income and gave them better access to information and education opportunities. This was particularly true in Thailand, where three-quarters (75%) of women say mobile usage improves their lives, versus half (49%) of men.

Respondents also recognize how mobile connectivity is inclusive, giving people greater access to essential services which enrich their daily lives, such as education (88%) and healthcare services (88%).

However, it is around financial inclusion where mobile devices are really levelling the playing field. 92% of respondents say having a mobile device has increased their access to financial services while more than half (57%) believe their access to financial services has “significantly improved”.

It is also worth noting the disparity between responses of those living in cities (60%) and rural areas (50%), which highlights the ongoing need to broaden the reach of these services to those outside urban areas.

“As mobile connectivity becomes even more fundamental to our daily lives, lacking the right skills and awareness, including to navigate safety and privacy issues, or being off the grid can severely restrict access to education, healthcare, economic and employment opportunities. We need to better understand digital gaps, and how to bridge them, as well as the carbon footprint of our online habits, as we work together to create a future where mobile connectivity is empowering and sustainable for all,” said Mr. Rostrup.

Telenor Asia’s “Digital Lives Decoded” study is a three-part series looking at the role of mobile relationships in how we live, work, and play.

The first report examines the role and impacts mobile phones are having on the way people live, with a focus on the quality of life, relationships, access and inclusion, and outlook for the future.

The study, undertaken in July 2022, surveyed 8,227 mobile internet users over 18 years old and spread across eight markets in South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Respondents were evenly split by gender, ranging in age from 18 years and older, and crossing four generations: Gen Z (Born 1997 – 2012); Millennials (Born 1981 – 1996); Gen X (Born 1965 – 1980); and Baby Boomers (Born 1946 – 1964).

Published : September 07, 2022

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

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Siemens Healthineers has showcased its prototype innovation, “Patient Twinning”, a device that allows doctors to examine the targeted locations thoroughly and calculate the outcome.

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

The AI-powered innovation was unveiled on Wednesday at the event “Hospital Management Asia 2022’ at Bangkok Convention Centre in CentralWorld, Bangkok.

The device visualises human organs in a digital space and simulates the organs’ reactions to therapy. It will aid healthcare practitioners provide optimal medication.

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

Bjorn Bodenstein, managing director of Siemens Healthineers in Thailand, said that his company has the goal of pioneering breakthroughs in healthcare for everyone, everywhere.

“Virtual planning can visualise an organ’s response to a treatment on a computer before the actual intervention. Physicians can use it to test various therapies, examine the outcomes, and select the best therapy for the patient.”

He said the digitalisation of healthcare is driven by the desire to provide the best treatments for all patients.

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

For example, artificial intelligence can eliminate unnecessary interventions, prioritise acute cases, improve the quality and productivity of healthcare, advance precision medicine, and generate more clinical knowledge. It will cause a shift from patient-centric disease management to person-centric healthcare.

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

The company also showcased its other digital innovations at the event:

● AI-Rad Companion – A database to support radiologists, radiation oncologists, radiotherapists, and medical physicists with the automated post-processing of MRI, CT, and X-ray datasets connected to the Teamplay digital platform.

It saves time and enhances diagnostic precision. The steady rise of radiology examinations and staff shortages have led to less time spent on each case, with the risk of missing clinically relevant findings, the company said.

● syngo Virtual Cockpit – This allows medical staff to diagnose patients in remote areas, especially when more sophisticated examinations are required. This is achieved by connecting remotely to scanners at a different location.

Healthcare providers can transform care delivery and achieve a higher level of standardisation, leading to more accurate diagnoses, Siemens said.

● Cinematic Reality – By rendering X-Ray, CT scan or MRI images into high definition 3-dimensional animated visualisations that can be freely rotated, and magnified on demand, it has made it simpler for doctors to examine and diagnose complex cases.

Siemens innovation enables doctors to know outcome of therapy

Published : September 07, 2022


Thai start-ups spice up global tech summit in Bangkok

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Thai start-ups took to the international stage on Friday as the Techsauce Global Summit (TSGS) kicked off at IconSiam in Bangkok.

Thai start-ups spice up global tech summit in Bangkok

The two-day showcase sees global tech leaders, start-ups, corporations, investors and venture capitalists come together to network and swap ideas.

New to this year’s summit is the ClimateTech podium, which addresses climate change and sustainable solutions across Southeast Asia.

Other stages include Fintech, Climate Tech, the Metaverse, AI/Data, NFTs/Digital Assets, Deeptech, Smart Cities, Health Tech, Startups/VC and Corporate Innovation.

Thai start-ups spice up global tech summit in Bangkok

TSGS is back with 10,000 attendees after a three-year break, said Oranuch Lerdsuwankij, founder and CEO of summit organiser, Bangkok-based Techsauce Media.

Oranuch is widely considered a pioneer in the development of Thailand’s start-up ecosystem.

Oranuch LerdsuwankijOranuch Lerdsuwankij

“Techsauce is more than a media or technology event organiser. It is a tech ecosystem builder that connects three groups: start-ups, companies, and venture capital,” she said.

Techsauce said the summit has 10,000 registrants from 30 countries, making it the country’s largest tech event.

Thai start-ups spice up global tech summit in Bangkok

The first day of the summit also saw Techsauce announce its new “Thailand Accelerator” and “Pathfinder Club” programmes.

Thai start-ups spice up global tech summit in Bangkok

“Thailand Accelerator” is aimed at helping start-ups and SMEs grow across all industries in Southeast Asia, said Oranuch. It will provide start-ups with access to funding so they can launch in the global market, she said.

Meanwhile the Pathfinder Club, in partnership with Marco Polo, enables summit attendees to use non-fungible tokens to avail themselves of Techsauce support.


Published : August 26, 2022


Latest Webb images offer deep insights into Jupiter

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New images of Jupiter captured by Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) will give scientists even more clues to the planet’s inner life, the US space agency said.

Latest Webb images offer deep insights into Jupiter

Images include giant storms, powerful winds, auroras, and extreme temperature and pressure conditions.

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita of the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites, and even galaxies in one image.”

The two images come from the observatory’s Near-Infrared Camera, which has three specialised infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. The longest wavelengths appear redder and the shortest wavelengths are shown as more blue, Nasa said.

In the standalone view of Jupiter, created from a composite of several images from Webb, auroras extend to high altitudes above both the northern and southern poles of Jupiter.

The auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colours, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes, Nasa added.

A different filter, mapped to yellows and greens, shows hazes swirling around the northern and southern poles. A third filter, mapped to blues, showcases light that is reflected from a deeper main cloud.

Photo credit: NasaPhoto credit: Nasa

The Great Red Spot, a famous storm so big it could swallow Earth, appears white in these views, as do other clouds, because they are reflecting a lot of sunlight, Nasa said.

“The brightness here indicates high altitude – so the Great Red Spot has high-altitude hazes, as does the equatorial region,” said Heidi Hammel, Webb interdisciplinary scientist for solar system observations and vice president for science at Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

“The numerous bright white ‘spots’ and ‘streaks’ are likely very high-altitude cloud tops of condensed convective storms.” By contrast, dark ribbons north of the equatorial region have little cloud cover.

In a wide-field view, Webb sees Jupiter with its faint rings, which are a million times fainter than the planet, and two tiny moons called Amalthea and Adrastea. The fuzzy spots in the lower background are likely galaxies “photobombing” this Jovian view.

“This one image sums up the science of our Jupiter system programme, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and its satellite system,” Thierry Fouchet, a professor at the Paris Observatory, said.

Researchers have already begun analysing Webb data to get new science results about our solar system’s largest planet.

Published : August 23, 2022


Why Digital Twins are powering the shift to metaverse for business

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How will the metaverse build an immersive “mirror” of our real world of shops, products, companies and venues? And how can businesses in Thailand and elsewhere gain access to this lucrative virtual world, dubbed “the next internet”?

Why Digital Twins are powering the shift to metaverse for business

Answers to these questions were provided by Anothai Wettayakorn at “Metaverse Expo Thailand” on Sunday.

“The metaverse has already happened, and it is expanding,” said Anothai, regional director for US-based Dell Technologies.

Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that the fast-growing metaverse market will be worth US$783.3 billion (28 trillion baht) by 2024. Not surprisingly, businesses ranging from large corporations to SMEs are looking for a slice of this market, and the Thai private sector is no exception.

Anothai said cloud technology will be key to the metaverse strategies of companies transitioning to the “next internet”.

He explained that the metaverse is currently a patchwork of separate immersive pockets that will eventually be stitched together to form a seamless virtual platform.

Development of this virtual world requires huge computing power to drive real-time immersive experiences – which is where cloud technology comes in.

But also helping to build the metaverse is Dell’s Digital Twin technology, Anothai said.

Digital Twin tech enables individuals, companies and organisations to duplicate real-world items and processes in the digital world.

He added that businesses can use cloud and Digital Twin technology to provide customers with immersive experiences in everything from work and education to shopping, health and leisure.

These metaverse experiences would drive the digital economy and boost global gross domestic product, he predicted.

“In the future, many organisations will focus on doing ‘anything from anywhere’,” he said.

“The question isn’t when the change will happen, but how to prepare organisations to deal with changes,” he added.

The three-day “Metaverse Expo Thailand”, organised by Nation Group, wrapped up on Sunday.


#Thailand #Metaverse

Published : August 22, 2022


Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

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Thai developers must join hands to compete in the global metaverse market, five experts told the “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” in Bangkok on Sunday.

Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

Nattasate Trithipcharoenchai, CEO of Jenosize Digital Group, said no one could be successful in their own isolated metaverse so his company created T-Verse to connect virtual business, education, and government sectors and boost Thailand’s competitiveness.

In a talk titled “Get Ready for Your Own ’Verse”, he said that if every metaverse sector joined hands, users would benefit from a seamless, immersive experience while developers could compete on the global stage.

He added that the challenge was not how to create the metaverse, but how to make it a success. And success depended on creating everyday accessibility for people. Currently, to enter metaverse worlds, users need relatively expensive gadgets like virtual-reality (VR) headsets.

Nattasate also highlighted security concerns, explaining that users would need to feel safe when they create their second identity in the metaverse.

Content was also an issue as users will want engaging activities while spending time in the virtual world.

He went on to explain the core metaverse concept of “Digital Twins”, citing the example of a user who buys a costume for their 3D avatar that is identical to their real-world outfit. He also described the metaverse as communities where users could meet and hang out with friends

Finally, he said commerce would be a crucial aspect since the metaverse will not be sustainable without money or profits.

Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

Jinthita Chanthasuwannasin, a Jakaverse development team executive, boasted Jakaverse will be the biggest gaming metaverse, with more than 1,000 immersive games.

Jakaverse is also focusing on e-commerce, with Thai brands already buying up land in its virtual world. Singha Corporation has purchased 100 blocks of land while the Mall Group plans to build malls in the Jakaverse.

She also mentioned that her company will be one of the first Thai developers to make its metaverse compatible with VR glasses.

Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

Jakaphan Prachuabmoh, a member of the Jakaverse development team, said that Generation Alpha children (born 2010-2020) are already in metaverses like Roblox or Fortnite but they are not decentralised metaverses.

He said these kids will teach their parents how to access the metaverse just as children now teach baby boomers to use Line or Facebook.

Meanwhile, in building a metaverse, developers must create enjoyable experiences that differ from the real world to give users a break from their busy everyday lives, he added. The metaverse’s selling point must also be clear.

The purchasing of land was another important aspect of the metaverse. Just as in the real world, different metaverses will have different strengths and the price of virtual will become more expensive in the future.

Jakaphan also mentioned that metaverse devices and infrastructure will gradually become smaller and easier to use.

He added that big companies such as Facebook and Microsoft are already developing metaverse gadgets so other companies should hurry if they want to jump into the market.

Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

Pongwud Praipaisankij, CEO of Multiverse Expert, said his company does not have its own platform but is creating metaverses and their functions for customers.

Multiverse Expert is also developing GameFi (Game + Finance) applications with several game engines. Two games will feature on Thailand’s Bitkub Chain ecosystem.

He echoed the importance of accessibility, noting that Web 3.0 virtual technology required users to undergo several processes before entry. He said accessibility would be a decider of whether people choose to enter the metaverse or not.

Use cases were also important as almost every “verse” in Thailand launched by first selling land and buildings and opening them but is now deciding what to do with them.

He also sees differences in Europe and Asia. Metaverses in Europe focus mainly on decentralised finance while metaverses in Asia (mostly South Korea) tend to start with a single function and later seek collaboration with other metaverses, he said.

Pongwud added that standards and standardisation were also important. He mentioned that every verse he had created used the same technology, so they could be connected easily.

He said that the Metaverse Association of Thailand has been founded to set a standard for metaverses in Thailand so they could compete against counterparts in places like Europe, where they already share technologies.

Pongwud said that users would be bored if they stay in a single metaverse for a long time and will want to visit other verses just as people travel to foreign countries.

He also recommended that developers stop hyping the metaverse and start focusing more on business models and what people will gain.

He summarised his point as: “Ignorance will be expensive.”

Thailand needs metaverse standards to compete globally: developers

Worawisut Pinyoyang, co-founder of Learnity, said his company is using immersive Web 3.0 technology to build a digital academy and infrastructure to tackle education problems.

He said that educational technology is solving issues such as credit transfers and forgery of certificates and reports.

He also agreed there needs to be a central organisation so Thai developers can join hands and expand to the international market.

As a decentralised applications developer, Worawisut said that Thai developers’ mindset is focused too narrowly on serving the Thai market while foreign developers are a step ahead and thinking about the global market.

He added that the public should focus on metaverse fundamentals rather than being scared away by temporary phenomena such as the crypto crash.

He concluded that the metaverse would be the first opportunity for Thai developers to compete equally with foreign developers.

The three-day “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022”, sponsored by The Nation, wrapped up on Sunday.


#Thailand #Metaverse

Published : August 22, 2022


SKiVERSE wins Sports Metaverse Challenge #1

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The SKiVERSE team from Chulalongkorn University won Thailand’s first Sports Metaverse Challenge tournament, bagging prize money of 100,000 baht on Sunday.

SKiVERSE wins Sports Metaverse Challenge #1

Ten teams joined the tournament on Friday at CentralWorld in the Sports Metaverse Challenge #1, part of the “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” held by Nation Group. Four teams were chosen to compete in the final round on Sunday.

The team SKiVERSE chose skiing to present the metaverse system that helps athletes to practise in a virtual snowy terrain.

The team’s program can be developed for practical use in Thailand which does not have snow, although Thai skiers competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.

SKiVERSE’s members Lalipat Sirirat, Kanchaporn Kietkhajornrit and Raewadee Lamlertsuk said they would build on this success and further develop their program.

SKiVERSE wins Sports Metaverse Challenge #1Meanwhile, the BS team came second with their immersive Muay Thai program, receiving 30,000 baht in prize money.

The AS2P came third with a virtual table tennis game, winning 25,000 baht, while the Dragon Boat team were fourth with their dragon boat racing program, and received 20,000 baht.

The judges congratulated all teams for helping pave the way for the first Sport Metaverse Challenge, a tournament designed to find ideas to improve athletes’ potential through the metaverse.

The Nation will continue to support the teams of e-sports developers with networking and other aid as they help lay the foundations for Thailand’s metaverse.


#Thailand #Metaverse

SKiVERSE wins Sports Metaverse Challenge #1

Published : August 21, 2022


Question: What happens when you get hungry in the metaverse?

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The metaverse is not a “pure virtual world” so services and partners are still needed as a bridge to real life, a digital asset company chief told the “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” in Bangkok on Saturday.

Question: What happens when you get hungry in the metaverse?

Nuttapong Tungdajahirun, CEO Sabuy Digital, a unit of SET-listed Sabuy Technology (SABUY), shed light on how to function between the virtual and real worlds in the topic “Connecting the Metaverse with Reality”.

Just like opening a bank account, users are first verified via the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, he said. Next, to spend money in the metaverse, they have to exchange real-life currency for the cryptocurrency specific to the platform. All transactions in the metaverse are settled with crypto or digital assets.

However, Nuttapong pointed out that the virtual worlds of the metaverse still have their limits.

While users can touch, see and hear objects and products in the metaverse via virtual reality goggles, gloves, etc, they still cannot taste or touch them. So, in the absence of “full immersion”, users will experience a hybrid real-virtual world, he said. In other words, they can earn currency in the metaverse to spend on products like food and beverages in the real world.

Nuttapong said many activities in every metaverse are still connected with the real world. Sabuy Digital is offering infrastructure services that link the two worlds.

He explained that his company was filling this gap and other needs with a digital payment gateway, broker/dealer services, token issuance, and crypto fund management.

Sabuy is also building infrastructure to meet the metaverse demands of both large companies and SME partners. Some SMEs have found difficulties in utilising metaverse technology so the company is offering solutions tailored to their needs.

Nuttapong said Sabuy has more than 100,000 online and offline touchpoints and aimed to have more than 500,000 touchpoints this year where customers could exchange products or complete the KYC process.

He gave the example of the growing virtual sphere of gamification, which is connected to reality via Sabuy’s FIIT token. Users can play games or do virtual exercise to earn the tokens, which they can then exchange for products in the real world.

“Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” is organised by Nation Group and runs at CentralWorld in Bangkok until Sunday (August 21).

Published : August 21, 2022


Metaverse pioneer: SMEs can now reach out and touch global consumers

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The metaverse has opened a path to the global market for small businesses, a developer told the “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” in Bangkok on Saturday.

Metaverse pioneer: SMEs can now reach out and touch global consumers

Phantabat Santimakorn, business development chief for Tree Roots Entertainment Group, said in the new internet era, our real world and the virtual world would blend in a seamless experience. This new hybrid reality would surpass current internet platforms of communication by offering people full sensory interactions, he added. 

Speaking at a seminar titled “Bridging Virtual and Physical Experience through the Metaverse”, he said the platform was the next step in the revolution from radio to television to interactive media. And like all these previous steps, the metaverse would spur dramatic changes in people’s behaviour that brought huge new business opportunities.

Tree Roots Entertainment has teamed up with property giant MQDC as Thai businesses make early inroads into the metaverse.

Phantabat noted that the new virtual universe offered multi-sense experiences while also removing barriers between people and businesses.

But he cautioned that the immersive nature of early-stage virtual reality also carried risks and should be balanced with time spent in the non-virtual world.

He also addressed practical uses of the new platform.

“The metaverse can be used to construct prototypes of ideas or things that you want to build [in the real world].”

In a few years, he added, we would see the metaverse develop into far more than just a game. In the meantime, his role is to nurture people’s ideas and dreams by building a community to support creativity on the platform.

He also believes in equality of access to the metaverse, which is why his company is not limiting development to a single interface or device.

He said that although business is about making profit, it should also include long-term targets. In his case, these include providing value to others because “the metaverse is a long game”.

Phantabat noted that the number of metaverse users is still limited as the devices used to access the platform are not widely distributed while public awareness was still low. He advised removing these barriers to boost users.

He added that the metaverse offers young-gen buyers, for example, a new and virtual gateway to the real estate market.

Among other business sectors that will see benefits from the platform are small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Thai SMEs should think about how they can enter the metaverse so they can gain greater access to global market, he said.

Although the virtual platform was still in its infancy, experience from early-adopter companies would help accelerate use of metaverse, Phantabat added.

Metaverse pioneer: SMEs can now reach out and touch global consumers

Parut Penpayap, project director of the MQDC Metaverse, explained the metaverse was similar to the Internet of Places as users of both perform transactions in a certain place with goods or digital assets.

The real estate developer is creating the Translucia metaverse of virtual worlds as a way to engage customers in Thailand and overseas.

So, what is the biggest challenge in creating a metaverse?

Parut identified two things: what to design and how to shape users’ experience.

Right now, MQDC customers can use Translucia as a bridge between the virtual and real worlds, walking around their metaverse property before being handed the keys to its bricks-and-mortar counterpart.

But to make the metaverse sustainable, it would have to encompass the economy and society, not just business, Parut said. Hence it was necessary to integrate the commercial with the social aspect.

Parut cited a study estimating the metaverse market in 2030 will grow to US$8 trillion and another projecting it would extend to every business sector.

He explained that emerging metaverse era would last until 2025 as sectors and businesses trialled the platform.

The advanced metaverse period from 2025 to 2030 would see more complete technologies and business models.

After 2030, the mature metaverse will be a self-sustaining virtual world.

However, he urged companies and SMEs to exploit first-mover advantage by jumping into metaverse business.

“Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” is organised by Nation Group and runs at CentralWorld in Bangkok until Sunday (August 21).

Published : August 20, 2022


Direct democracy ‘now possible’ in Thailand as new internet era dawns

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The dawning metaverse era will boost “people power” by enabling the public to directly participate in politics, three politicians told the “Thailand Metaverse Expo 2022” in Bangkok on Saturday.

Direct democracy ‘now possible’ in Thailand as new internet era dawns

Thuntee Sukchotrat, Thai Sang Thai Party’s Digital Transformation chief, explained in a seminar titled “How the Metaverse will Redefine Politics and Governments” that direct democracy is now possible thanks to new technology.

He pointed out that people’s power under representative or indirect democracy was limited to elections as representatives don’t always fulfil their promises.

However, under direct democracy they would have to listen to the people. He gave the recent example of the D-vote website, where the public participated in a parallel no-confidence vote against the government.

Thuntee also mentioned that his party is using augmented reality (AR) technology as a promotion tool. Thai Sang Thai is setting up an office in the metaverse to offer everyone 24-hour access to the party.

More significantly, new technologies could be adapted to increase government sector efficiency with strong policies that boost people’s income and reduce their living costs.

“Political technology will create a politics where people will maximise participation and their power,” he added.

Direct democracy ‘now possible’ in Thailand as new internet era dawns

Olarn Weranond, Sarng Anakot Thai Party executive and CEO/co-founder of incubator DurianCorp, said the metaverse will soon become the core of our digital lives.

Just as people now can no longer imagine life without the internet, in 10 years, life without the metaverse will be unthinkable, he predicted.

“Whether we like it or not, the metaverse will come.”

However, he noted that only 0.7 per cent of the Thai government’s annual 3-trillion-baht budget goes to metaverse-related ministries – Digital Economy and Society (MDES), Culture, and Tourism and Sports.

This indicates the government does not understand the importance of the metaverse, Olarn said. He added that less than 3 billion baht of MDES’s 6.8 billion baht budget allocation will be used for metaverse development next year.

He also had advice for people seeking to get to know the metaverse better. All they had to do was use it for their favourite pastimes, such as watching movies, playing video games, or listening to music.

He gave two examples where digital technology has already had a huge impact on politics. The first was the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal blamed for altering the course of the 2016 US presidential election while the second was the 2011 Arab Spring uprising where populations used Twitter to push for change.

Direct democracy ‘now possible’ in Thailand as new internet era dawns

Parit Wacharasindhu, Move Forward Party’s communications and policy manager, spoke via video to explain how new tech has potential to improve the country in three ways.

Comparing society and the economy to a cake that we all share, he said advances like the metaverse could be used to:

1. Make the cake bigger, or increase economic growth by using technologies to improve efficiency;

2. Divide it more equally, or reduce inequality in society by giving underprivileged and rural people access to the internet and digital learning;

3. Make it “delicious” by allowing people to help decide the country’s future via direct democracy and voting on policies and plans.

He gave two concrete examples of how the metaverse could improve people’s participation in democracy.

First, it will allow people to watch and get involved in live meetings.

Second, it will give people a better understanding of issues in the public hearings process.

He added that technology could also improve issuance of government documents and licences while combating corruption.

But he cautioned that technological advances should be viewed as a precious tool, not an obstacle. He added that new laws and regulations would be needed to allow people to participate in setting the country’s direction via tools like the metaverse.

Published : August 20, 2022