UPDATED 15:50 EST / JANUARY 05 2022

EMERGING TECH

Touchcast unveils its enterprise metaverse service MCity

The virtual experience and events platform Touchcast Inc. today announced the launch of MCity, its enterprise-scale metaverse product, designed to enable companies to bring their operations into virtual spaces for meetings, conferences and everyday work.

The MCity platform provides what the company calls a metaverse-as-a-service. It’s powered by Epic Game’s Unreal Engine, as well as Nvidia’s artificial intelligence technology and cloud-based graphical processing, and taps into the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Upon registering for MCity, businesses can create a “digital twin” of their own real-world campuses or a fanciful immersive experience of their own design for workers to enter into that allows them to remotely join one another from anywhere in the world.

“At a time when humanity is challenged to think differently about the future of work, we need new paradigms and new tools to imagine a better way of doing things,” said Edo Segal, founder and chief executive of Touchcast.

The registration process also allows organizations to receive a .metaverse domain for free. That provides a secure setup for their metaverse campus within MCity to begin offering immersive experiences.

Using Unreal Engine, businesses can recreate their own corporate campuses on their own virtual city blocks in MCity. Starting today, companies can claim their own MCity address for free. Unreal Engine also provides a powerful, open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool for the creation of digital twins of the real-world campuses of these companies, so that employees can feel as at home in the virtual campus as they do in the real one.

It’s very similar to the representation of the metaverse depicted in Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash,” the book from which the current term of art has been taken. In “Snow Crash,” the metaverse is portrayed as vast virtual city blocks built up alongside a giant roadway where people engage in cultural exchanges, commerce and work.

For its first software integration, MCity can transport users of Microsoft Teams into the immersive virtual worlds to meet, work, shop and converse together. It features high-resolution, photorealistic environments, which were the until recently the mainstay of high-end games and movies but made possible by the platform by cloud-streamed rendering.

Users of MCity do not require expensive or cumbersome headsets to use the platform and can visit the platform through their own computers on 2D screens to view the 3D environments. The company believes that this is important because it will make the metaverse and its domains more accessible to users.

Touchcast collaborated with Accenture to assist clients for taking advantage of virtual reality and metaverse products. Accenture’s venture capital arm, Accenture Ventures, also led an early-stage funding round for Touchcast of $55 million in February of last year.

“With the rise of distributed commerce, employees and customers want the flexibility of hybrid working but also a fundamentally better experience,” said Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director at Accenture. “For many, the primary means of interacting with an organization will be digital. But for this interaction to be meaningful, it needs to go far beyond conference-calling and video chats. MCity provides this richer, deeper, persistent digital experience.”

MCity is currently available as an invite-only preview, but users are can claim a free registration of a .metaverse domain name today.

“We have been building the technologies for this migration for the past decade, and over the past two years have run mission-critical events for the world’s biggest companies in MCity,” said Edo. “Now it’s time to open it up to the rest of the world.”

Image: Touchcast

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