The South Korean people and an increasing number of major companies in the country have begun to embrace and integrate the metaverse into their everyday lives in new and unexpected ways.

Two major retailers in the country have recently introduced metaverse and artificial intelligence elements to shoppers to enhance their shopping experience.

GS Shop introduced home shopping via the metaverse on Tuesda by showing the inner workings of a food production facility. It aimed to reassure customers of the quality of the facility and the food that was for sale.

GS Shop turned scans of the physical facility into 3D representations. This way, customers who had augmented reality devices, similar to the haptic gloves Meta previewed this week, could tour the facility in the virtual world to see the conditions under which their food was being produced.

Jason Ye, co-founder of multichain ecosystem accelerator DeSpread, has noticed the explosion of companies joining the metaverse in Korea. “It seems like every company is diving into the metaverse and play-to-earn these days,” he told Cointelegraph.

“Korea has lots of huge IPs. If you can combine those IPs with great content around them, you can build a great business model. Attractive contents are the basis for entering the metaverse.”

Metaverse and AI avatars are popping up in several industries including retail shopping, finance and even public services. 

Lotte Home Shopping, which topped $14 billion in sales in 2020, introduced Lucy, a virtual model to help promote the brand’s products. Lotte will use Lucy in future video content and on social media since the avatar has its own Instagram account. It is also highly likely that Lotte will integrate Lucy into its metaverse-based virtual store.

The deployment of virtual reality has also extended to the public sector. The Seoul City government announced on Nov. 6 that it planned to have built its metaverse platform by 2023, where residents can file civil petitions.

Related: ‘We are building for the metaverse,’ says Meta VP Nick Clegg

The tentatively named “Metaverse 120 Center” will handle virtual visits that do not require the visitor’s physical presence.

On Nov. 10, the Korean military announced that it would phase in metaverse applications to soldier training programs by the 2030s.