The Tampere Smart City Expo & Conference event kicked off with a dive into the possibilities of the metaverse for city dwellers and businesses
The Tampere Smart City Expo & Conference brings together experts and companies of smart cities and technologies. The City of Tampere and Business Tampere are organizing the event at the Nokia Arena from June 6th to 7th, in collaboration with Tampere Trade Fairs. The city's main partners for the event are Microsoft, Nokia, and VTT.
–We invite companies to test their solutions in Tampere. The city acts as a testing platform and an open partner for businesses and research. Through intelligent solutions, our goal is to enhance the well-being of citizens, provide a positive urban experience, and create favorable conditions for people's everyday lives, listed Rantanen.
The metaverse intertwines with the physical world using digital twins, generative AI, and intelligent applications, which are utilized by citizens, urban planning authorities, and businesses. Responsible utilization of the metaverse involves examining ethical values and the data being utilized. Tampere's metaverse development actively focuses on exploring responsibility.
Collaboration with companies is crucial for harnessing the potential of the metaverse for the benefit of city dwellers
Tuija Pakkanen, Lead of Sustainable Built Environment Research at VTT, sees the development of the metaverse as a human-centered path.
–In the future, Tampere's metaverse will appear as an interactive multisensory platform where city dwellers can access diverse services and work remotely in various tasks that currently often require physical presence. The metaverse can be accessed through various devices, from today's computers, phones, and augmented reality (AR) glasses to future shared reality (SR) devices that adapt to the user's needs in unprecedented ways, Pakkanen explained.
–The metaverse – or rather, the various metaverses – open a range of new opportunities and networks play a critical role in this development. We strongly believe that collaboration between cities, businesses and other ecosystem partners is needed to realize the full potential of the metaverse. We are pleased with our great cooperation with the city of Tampere, said Petri Ahokas, Head of Nokia’s Tampere Unit.
One example of the city's collaboration with companies is the AI-related development work with Microsoft. Further cooperation is also being planned around the metaverse.
According to Mervi Airaksinen, the CEO of Microsoft Finland, Tampere is in the same league as international smart cities such as Seoul, Dubai, and Rotterdam.
–The development of smart solutions is not linear; it progresses in leaps and is done by learning from each other," described Airaksinen.
The collaboration between cities and companies is crucial for harnessing the potential of the metaverse for the benefit of city dwellers. Rantanen concluded his opening speech by welcoming companies to join in building a metaverse-driven, human-centric city and the future of Tampere.
For more information:
Executive Director, Growth, Innovation and Competitiveness
City of Tampere
Marketing and Communications Designer
Data Driven City for Citizens -developement programme
City of Tampere
Lead, Sustainable Built Environment