Major mobile phone carriers in Japan are venturing into the realm of the “metaverse,” virtual worlds, with a focus on profitability. They aim to differentiate their metaverse services by allowing a large number of avatars, up to 10,000, to connect simultaneously. NTT Docomo Inc. established NTT Qonoq Inc., a subsidiary dedicated to metaverse-related businesses, which offers a metaverse space accessible through smartphones and computers without requiring app downloads. In this space, users can experience interactions such as taking pictures with Godzilla and engaging with other users. Qonoq President Seiji Maruyama views the metaverse as a technology that enhances communication.
Focus on NTT Docomo :
On October 2022, NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile carrier, is entering the metaverse realm by establishing a new division named KonoQ Co Ltd, or NTT QONOQ. This division is focusing on research and development of software and hardware solutions aimed at integrating extended reality (XR) products for both consumer and corporate customers. With a dedicated workforce of approximately 200 individuals, QONOQ has an estimated budget of around USD 412 million. Its primary focus will be on utilizing XR technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) in three key areas:
- Metaverse business: QONOQ aims to provide various experiences and introduce new methods of communication through avatars in virtual spaces. One such example is the multi-device metaverse ‘XR World,’ which offers unique communication opportunities filled with excitement and surprises. Additionally, QONOQ plans to establish a platform called ‘Matrix Stream’ that enables real-time virtual live performances in both physical and virtual venues, along with online distribution, providing a stage for virtual artists to shine.
- Digital twin business: QONOQ seeks to enhance user experiences by displaying augmented reality (AR) content on smartphones when users are in specific locations associated with partner companies. This interaction between the physical world and virtual space aims to deliver new value to users.
- XR device business: QONOQ will develop its own XR devices and offer customers integrated experiences and value through the Metaverse and Digital Twin businesses. These devices will be designed to enhance the overall XR experience and support seamless integration with the aforementioned business areas.