History is being made in the metaverse again. On February 15, 2023, a judge in Colombia conducted an actual court hearing in Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, a collaborative metaverse platform from the company formerly known as Facebook.
The two-hour hearing saw Colombian lawyers donning virtual headsets to appear as avatars in an immersive digital court room. The meeting was also live-streamed on Youtube.
According to María Victoria Quiñones Triana, the magistrate of the Magdalena court, the proceeding was a success and the technology facilitated and expedited the process of executing justice.
The move made history in Colombia, making it the first court-hearing in Latin America to take place in the metaverse. However, in other parts of the world like China, Meta’s tech has already been used for virtual court hearings and proceedings.
Meta has been pouring billions into metaverse technology in recent years. Although the heavy investments haven’t quite paid off yet, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is committed. He said that the “two technological waves driving our (Meta’s) roadmap are AI and the metaverse.”
Of course, virtual court hearings are nothing new. Trying cases and conducting meetings on platforms like Zoom exploded in 2020 when the pandemic forced strict lockdowns on much of the world. But 3D immersive court cases in re-created digital courtrooms where people are represented as avatars are new. And if deemed effective, they could increase in popularity.
Some critics of the metaverse court hearing said the avatars lacked the seriousness necessary for such an important proceeding. But that could be a gut-reaction to the newness of the whole affair. After all, people said similar things about conducting serious business on Zoom when it first came to the public’s attention.
What else is going on in the metaverse?
Colombia conducting a court hearing in Horizon Workrooms is another great example of innovation happening in Web3. But justice isn’t the only thing being served in the metaverse. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve written several articles about interesting events taking place in virtual worlds. Here are some of the top stories.
First, about five months ago, The Sandbox teamed up with 1-Group, Smobler Studios to hold the first digital wedding in Singapore’s Alkaff Mansion. The wedding was held in-real-life at the legendary venue, and in a digital re-created version of the mansion in The Sandbox metaverse.
Next, the capital of South Korea, Seoul, launched a metaverse that is a digital twin of the real-life city. It contains government buildings where citizens can go for official documents, to file complaints, and for questions on tax filings. It also has a library where people can read e-books.
Finally, on February 10th, the National Football League (NFL) unveiled its first-ever virtual Super Bowl Concert in Roblox. The concert was held in the music-themed gaming experience from Warner Music Group, Rhythm City. It featured rising hip-hop star Saweetie.
The metaverse is a collection of technologies coming together to make virtual worlds and interactions more immersive and lifelike. For this reason, its seeping into a myriad of industries and sectors, even public court hearings. We’ll be on the lookout for any more news from Columbia and Meta’s Horizon Workrooms.