Is the Metaverse the Next Big Business Opportunity in Cambodia?

As more businesses embrace the potential of the metaverse globally, Cambodian educational institutes are introducing students to the benefits it brings in a raft of areas, such as architecture, education, science and healthcare.
Boost Capital’s chatbot interacts with users and approves loans in 10 minutes (Kiripost/Siv Channa)
Boost Capital’s chatbot interacts with users and approves loans in 10 minutes (Kiripost/Siv Channa)

As more businesses embrace the potential of the metaverse globally, Cambodian educational institutes are introducing students to the benefits it brings in a raft of areas, such as architecture, education, science and healthcare.

“Asia's inventive entrepreneurs may be at the 'front of the pack' when it comes to new metaverse business models,” said Dan Neary, vice president of global tech company Meta for Asia-Pacific.

The metaverse has become the buzzword for what the future of the internet might look like, and is often accompanied by words such as “web3”, “blockchain”, and “NFTs”, wrote Kay Vasey, of The MeshMinds Foundation in collaboration with Asian Development Bank’s Southeast Asia Development Solutions (SEADS).

The article discusses various ground-breaking Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences across various fields. This includes the future of smart cities, healthcare, education, environmental communications, and arts and culture.

In Cambodia, VR company, LastMile Works, is developing 3D Projection Mapping to be projected on large-scale buildings and Extended Reality (XR) for live concerts and events.

Welcome to Cambodia’s metaverse

Last month, Phnom Penh’s Norton University held a workshop on VR tech to introduce its 250 architecture and civil engineering students to comony, an architectural metaverse platform.

So Sokuntheary, head of the university’s department of architecture and urbanism, said VR and company metaverse will play an important role for students in addition to their studies as it can be used for architectural design, science, sports, and entertainment.

Despite its current hype and attendant risks, the metaverse can potentially offer benefits in multiple sectors, including healthcare, education, and urban development, to name a few, said Kay, the founder of MeshMinds Foundation.

She noted, “At the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, staff members and students are creating a VR program to teach medical and nursing students how to manage agitated patients.”

“In the realm of AR, Singapore is leading the charge by giving secondary students in Infocomm Media Clubs access to Spark AR from Meta and Reality Composer from Apple,” she added.

People recall information better through VR, research by the University of Maryland. It said the most compelling uses of immersive technologies will be in education and training, suggesting that students retain information more effectively when presented in VR rather than on a computer screen.

"This data is exciting in that it suggests that immersive environments could offer new pathways for improved outcomes in education and high-proficiency training," says Amitabh Varshney, professor of computer science and dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at UMD.

Users retain information more effectively when presented in VR rather than on a computer screen, the university research revealed. In addition, a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report states that employees can be trained four times faster in soft skills using VR than traditional in-person classroom or online training.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand recently partnered with Meta to entice people worldwide to experience its nation from the comfort of their homes through AR technology.

The metaverse represents a significant economic opportunity. The global market size of the metaverse in 2020 was $4.69 billion and is estimated to grow by 43.3 percent annually between 2020 and 2027, according to data from Emergen Research.