Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) – operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) – announced the first phase launch of the ‘BLR Metaport’. With this new launch, BLR Airport’s T2 becomes one of the first terminals in the world that can be experienced on the metaverse.
Built in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Polygon, the BLR Metaport offers an immersive, three-dimensional (3D) virtual experience of the newly launched Terminal 2 at BLR Airport. Interested travellers and the public can log on to www.blrmetaport.com and virtually tour and navigate the new state-of-the-art terminal, using their smart devices.
The BLR Metaport is an outcome of the Joint Innovation Centre (JIC), announced in April 2022 by BIAL, AWS, and Intel. The JIC focuses on driving the development and adoption of digital solutions in aviation. For BIAL, the mission of the JIC is to leverage emerging technologies to build new business models and passenger experiences and be at the forefront of technology innovation in India’s commercial aviation.
Developed in line with this mission, the BLR Metaport is one of the first airport metaverse experience, designed to deliver an enhanced digital experience for travellers. A 3D interface will offer customers new ways to interact with the airport, such as checking into flights, navigating terminals, shopping, and social aspects like connecting with other travellers. BLR Metaport brings the virtual and physical worlds together to provide consistent engagement, and aims to excite travellers with new, unique, and immersive experiences.
BIAL’s Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Satyaki Raghunath said, “We are very excited that BIAL is entering into the new world of metaverse through the BLR Metaport. This is our first foray into the world of Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and we aim to delight travellers with a unique, immersive, and virtual experience. We believe that it is important to connect with a new generation of our global audience through the metaverse. We also have several initiatives planned around the BLR Metaport, which promise to increase ways in which we can engage with our global audience and enhance business impact over the next few years.”
BLR Metaport is built on the fundamentals of decentralisation, where control and decision-making are transferred from a centralized entity to a distributed network. It uses the Polygon Blockchain, which will act as a medium of digital economy in the future for users to trade digital assets seamlessly and securely. These digital assets could be digital artwork at the BLR Metaport, certificates that are given for completing various industry-related training courses, collectibles, utility and commemorative NFTs. In the future, BLR Metaport will enable users to shop from their favourite brands sitting in any part of the world.
Polygon Companies APAC Head, Arpit Sharma said, “Polygon is committed to leading blockchain innovation, which will drive a digital economy that can be accessed by every individual in the world. BLR Metaport is one example of how big enterprises can collaborate and innovate to bring blockchain solutions to the masses.”
The BLR Metaport platform is built on AWS, leveraging its compute, storage, databases, and data visualization services to achieve high performance and scalability. It is optimized for Unreal Engine 5, a real-time 3D creation tool for photo-realistic visuals and immersive experiences, and leverages the full extent of the engine’s multiplayer collaboration toolset. Pixel Streaming offered by Unreal Engine 5 for BLR Metaport allows users to take advantage of the graphics processing unit (GPU) on AWS through their desktop or mobile web browser, without the need to have special GPU hardware themselves. To provide an immersive metaverse experience, BLR Metaport leverages Amazon EC2 G4 instances, the industry’s most cost-effective and versatile GPU instances offering high performance to graphics-intensive applications including remote workstations, game streaming, and graphics rendering. As a result, BLR Metaport can offer a fully immersive and photo-realistic experience to its users. Additional features offered by BLR Metaport include video conferencing, messaging and spatial audio, and avatar creation.
AWS’s Head of Service Lines for Public Sector in India and South Asia, AISPL, Kanishka Agiwal said, “AWS is delighted to collaborate with BIAL and showcase the art of what’s possible in the metaverse with the BLR Metaport. The BLR Metaport is testimony to how customers can leverage AWS to build innovative, engaging, and immersive metaverse experiences, while benefiting from some of the fundamental advantages offered by the cloud – agility, low latency, scalability, and cost-efficiency. AWS is committed to experiment with the latest technologies to accelerate industry innovation and drive positive experiences. We look forward to building exciting solutions through the BIAL JIC and extending the innovation center’s value to BIAL and its stakeholders.”