Metaverse is transforming real estate and urban governance in India

How India’s real estate and urban governance leverage metaverse via Web 3.0 technologies.

November 09, 2022

2022 was the year when the metaverse emerged as a rising trend. Simply put, we already live in a two-dimensional metaverse, navigating digital maps, transacting digitally, authenticating through OTPs (one-time-passwords) and making critical decisions based on metadata. Web 3.0 adds another facet to the internet – the third dimension. Just as businesses moved online 20 years ago, we are also all set to jump into the metaverse and engage similarly.

Data centres in India are being recognised as a distinct asset class. Indian companies and professionals are already working on backend technologies, namely NFT (Non-fungible Tokens), crypto, tokenisation, artificial intelligence, IoT, digital twins, phygital (physical plus digital), 5G and more. India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has launched Digital Rupee (e₹) for inter-bank transactions as a pilot project, the first cryptocurrency to possess a legal tender in India. All this is evolving the metaverse to be transactional in the real world.

Enterprises like MapmyIndia (in collaboration with ISRO), Heliware, Genesys International and Esri India are working on digital twins, GIS-enabled 4D mapping interfaces of urban India, using established technologies like LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging), among others. The fourth dimension will make land use, urban planning, demographic monitoring, municipal administration, and disaster management more precise. This shall ensure sustainable, safe and energy-efficient living environments. In addition, government bodies like New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) announced issuing Municipal Property Registration Certificates using NFTs to maintain land records in the city.

Metaverse in India is set to make ‘proptech’ a reality through enhanced transparency, especially by addressing data integrity. Commercial leasing in India, one of the most intricate activities in the real estate owing to its discrete nature, will get more streamlined with smart leases and optimised order-matching. Interior 3D mapping and IoT controls in building administration and facilities management will result in total transparency between occupants and stakeholders. An Indian startup, Workians, is reportedly developing a virtual real estate metaverse, offering investors transaction services with informed decision-making through metadata and virtual navigation.

It introduces a new dimension to marketing real estate, especially residential units. The metaverse platforms will address personalisation in a big way - the most distinct characteristic of residential estate. Vacant spaces can be pre-imagined, marketed, and delivered with decor and fit-outs. Lepasa, an Indian startup, announced they are developing a metaverse platform incorporating Pixel Streaming technology, with real-life use cases for the real estate sector, set to launch in 2023. Earlier this year, an Indian property marketing firm, Squareyards, offered an interactive visualisation of properties on sale in Dubai by creating a digital twin of the city using Web 3.0 technologies.

India is on the course of a technological revolution. Through the metaverse platform, real estate and urban governance will become genuinely democratic and efficient in the times to come.