In a first, the celebrated Durga Puja festival of Kolkata in West Bengal is entering into the world of Metaverse (a computer-simulated three-dimension environment), enabling enthusiasts to virtual tour four big-ticket community festivities, communicate with similar 'pandal hoppers' and even click pictures.
The 3D platform developed for this purpose, xpand-land.com, will allow people to visit a shared social space where visitors from across the globe can come together from the comforts of their homes.
Durga Puja In Metaverse
Durga Puja in the Metaverse is an initiative of an Indian start-up XP&D, its group business Metaform and another firm, Spatial. For this year, there will be no fee to enter the platform, which will be open on Thursday (September 29); however, the monetisation will happen from the next puja.
The enthusiasts will be able to enter two puja pandals in north Kolkata - Ahiritola Sarbojanin and Tallah Prattoy - besides two in the southern part of the city - Deshapriya Park and Ballygunge Cultural Association.
Sukrit Singh, the co-founder of XP&D, said, "This is the first time in history that such a massive festival of devotion has been twinned in the Metaverse. We are piloting it with four pandals this year."
He said that for the next year, they plan to work with over 100 puja pandals. He added that soon, every pandal on the ground would have a metaverse twin for visitors to experience and enjoy, reported NDTV.
Meta-Realistic Avatar During Festivities
With the use of this technology, people can voice chat with each other and create a meta-realistic avatar of themselves in minutes on the platform, which can be accessed by electronic gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Further, the virtual reality (VR) headset wearable will give the optimum experience.
Suveer Bajaj, the co-founder of Metaform, said the project would help publicise the new Web 3.0-based technologies like blockchain, virtual reality and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated.
Earlier, Metaform had created a dugout experience for Gujarat Titans, the first Indian Premiere League (IPL) team to have a metaverse presence.
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