Imagine the Metaverse Brought Together Technology Pioneers in Tampere

At the Imagine the Metaverse event, top names in the technology industry, such as Microsoft's COO Teemu Vidgren and the creator of the world's first VR sitcom Eve Weston, were featured. The international event offered attendees experiences that combined the virtual and real worlds, as well as a platform for companies to showcase their innovations and network.
Messuhallissa tapahtumaständejä ja ihmisiä, taustalla päälava ja valonheittimiä.
Visitors to the event's demo area had the opportunity to explore the experiences offered by the metaverse.

From June 11 to 12, over a thousand visitors gathered at the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre to explore the opportunities presented by the metaverse, which blends the virtual and real worlds. The event focused on perspectives from urban development, the experience economy, industry, and business. Among the attendees were industry experts from companies, research institutions, and cities. The international event attracted visitors from 33 countries.

– Imagine the Metaverse concretizes the technological change we are living through. It is important for Tampere to take an active role at the forefront of this change. The event showcased significant advancements in this area, such as the launch of international cooperation projects, collaborations between businesses and the public sector, and new experience technologies, says Development Manager Tiia Joki from the City of Tampere.

The event was made possible through collaboration. It was organized by the City of Tampere and Tampere Trade Fairs. The main partners of the event are the City of Tampere and Microsoft. Other partners include Nokia, Fujitsu, Intelligent Traffic Systems Finland (ITS), Smart City Innovation Cluster (SCIC), Cisco, and Bable Smart Cities.

– Events like this support Tampere's competitiveness, vitality, and export opportunities. For example, Business Finland brought a delegation from Los Angeles to Tampere in conjunction with the event to explore our smart city solutions. Events like Imagine serve as international showcases for the expertise and companies in our region, says Program Manager Outi Valkama from the City of Tampere.

In addition, delegations from places such as Indonesia, and Rotterdam were present at the event.

Business Tampere also participated in the event.

Speeches on Digital Transformation and Experiences

The event showcased the latest technologies. In the demo area, visitors had the opportunity to explore experiences offered by the metaverse, such as visiting the Vapriikki museum exhibitions in real time from the event.

The demo area featured company booths where visitors could, for example, experience a local hockey game from the perspectives of the opposing teams through VR glasses at Nokia's booth, as well as learn about fire extinguishing operations. In the event's parking lot, visitors could try out how a remotely driven car works.

The speeches addressed how new technologies change our ways of interacting, offer new experiences and ways of working, and provide tools to tackle global challenges like mitigating climate change and helping cities grow sustainably.

The event kicked off with a speech by Santeri Saarinen, a technology expert from the Helsinki XR Center, on the history and future of the metaverse. The timeline featured highlights from the gaming world and social media platforms. Saarinen describes the metaverse as a crossroads of various technologies, art, science, and popular culture. Toward the end of the event, keynote speaker Eve Weston proclaimed that the metaverse will become what we, as its "parents," nurture it to be.

Imagine the Metaverse Showcases Tampere’s Metaverse Development

Advancing metaverse development supports the city’s strategic goal of being a bold pioneer. Last summer, Tampere unveiled its Metaverse vision in collaboration with the London-based The Metaverse Institute. At Imagine the Metaverse, Tampere announced it is in the negotiation phase of a funding agreement for an EU project named x-CITE, which aims to create a European, city-shared metaverse, "CitiVerse." Tampere is involved in leading the project.

– In Tampere, we have been working diligently with our partners on pioneering efforts in smart city solutions and the metaverse, and this work is recognized globally. For example, last November, we won the award for Enabling Technologies at the World Smart City Awards in Barcelona for our innovative ways of utilizing the city's shared IoT platform, Valkama notes.

– We have made great strides, but the work on the Metaverse is still in its early stages. It requires collaboration and networks. We are delighted with our achievements and the success of the Imagine event, but our focus is already on future needs: new innovations and collaborative efforts, Joki says.

Further information

Tiia Joki
Head of Development
040 063 6838
Text: Elina Uusitalo
Photos: Mikko Vares
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