A woman wearing augmented reality glasses is surrounded by holographic displays of data, graphs, and a virtual human interface, illustrating an advanced, interactive, and data-rich environment for analytics and communication.

University of Oulu´s researchers pioneering in Metaverse development

In an era marked by unprecedented technological progression, the Metaverse emerges as a pivotal innovation set to pervade all forms of business, trade, and industry, as well as the daily lives of individuals. The Finnish Metaverse ecosystem is the first in Europe to create a Metaverse Initiative, and one of the first ones globally. The objective is to play a key role in shaping the future of digital experiences, focusing on developing the Metaverse ethically and responsibly. This includes prioritizing privacy, user safety, and considering its overall societal impact.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping our approach to work and value creation. Just as mobile phones, PCs, and the Internet heralded new digitalization waves, the Metaverse is poised to do the same, offering vast potential to transform our interactions and engagement with the surrounding world.

Leveraging its rich heritage in innovation, robust technology infrastructure, and proficiency in new technologies, Finland has a pioneering role in Europe. Business Finland initiated a process, which culminated in the launch of the “Metaverse Initiative by Finnish Ecosystem” at the Match XR event in Helsinki at the wake of Slush 2023.

The initiative was created in close cooperation with 400+ members of the Finnish ecosystem and some of the strongest Finnish large and SME companies, including major players like Nokia, KONE, Varjo, and Dispelix. The industry in Finland is projected to achieve a €30 billion volume by 2035, supported by an ecosystem estimated to encompass over 250 companies. Researchers from the University of Oulu have been involved in the process in many ways.

6G enables the Metaverse

The world is changing rapidly in many ways, and the Metaverse will challenge the requirements of wireless communications, mostly from connectivity. Our future society is data-driven, enabled by near-instant and unlimited wireless connectivity. 6G networks and technology play a key role in this development. We need speed, capacity, reliability, low latency to enable the visions to come true. Finland has been the first in 6G and with the launch of this initiative it wants to takea leading position in the Metaverse discussions, too.

“The metaverse is a new dimension of the internet, and we need a strategy that reflects its potential and diversity. We are looking for partners who share our vision and want to create a metaverse strategy that is harmonious and impactful. Together, we can build a better digital world for everyone.”, continues Jani Vallirinne, Metaverse Strategy Lead, University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The Metaverse presents substantial business potential, fostering innovation, growth, and new revenue streams across industries. Particularly, sectors like gaming, e-commerce, and advertising stand to gain immensely thanks to new monetization models and marketing opportunities. This digital frontier blurs the lines between physical and digital experiences, creating new business models and value propositions.

“The Metaverse is still more of a vision than reality as significant steps will be required in technology, standardization, usability, business, regulation, and content development. Finland wants to become an inspiring role model for the whole world. We want to ensure that the Metaverse has open standards and interfaces that provide sufficient independence and freedom and protect the ecosystem from being dominated by a single company or country,” says Jani Jokitalo, Account Manager, ICT and Digitalization at Business Finland.

Read more about the Metaverse Strategy for Finland