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After downloading the app, users can interact in real-time as life-sized custom avatars, decorate and explore underwater worlds, and take photos and videos to share with friends.

Thousands of attendees at Westfield Glòries mall in Barcelona can now dive into an underwater mixed reality world with Aqua! by TwinWorld, a real-world metaverse experience for mobile created by transformative technology startup DoubleMe in collaboration with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW).

The app transforms 150m x 15m x 3.5m (7,875m3 or 278,103 ft3) of shopping space into an interactive virtual aquarium, the equivalent of a 2 million gallon water tank, making it the size of the fifth-largest aquarium in the world.

After downloading the app, users can interact in real-time as life-sized custom avatars, decorate and explore underwater worlds, and take photos and videos to share with friends.

Aqua! was developed through an overseas proof-of-concept (PoC) testbed program to enhance the retail experience at Glòries mall. Glòries is the Barcelona branch of Westfield, one of the largest shopping centers in Barcelona and operated by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), Europe’s largest commercial real estate company that manages 120 shopping malls around the world.

Aqua! works by scanning the room and layering a shared, virtual world on top of the real world, in what the company calls a “real world metaverse.” This space merges the digital and physical worlds and allows anyone to create, share, and enjoy life beyond reality.

The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, with a special edition released for the HoloLens 2. Aqua! is a Spanish trial version of the mobile app powered by the TwinWorld platform.

DoubleMe’s mixed reality solution is expected to improve shoppers’ satisfaction, increase time spent in the mall, promote in-store purchases, and attract new customers by providing a unique real-world metaverse experience. Aqua! will be available at Glòries for the next 2 months.

Nina Kavaliova, Director of Glòries, said “We are very proud to announce that Barcelona and Glòries are launching a groundbreaking program in Europe, which has established itself as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship. Providing this kind of differential solution enhances our customer’s experience and journey while in the mall and helps us strengthen visitor loyalty.”

Aqua! will run from August 25 to the end of October this year, and the company hopes to expand the service to other Westfield shopping malls located in Europe.

Petros Bozatzis, DoubleMe’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), said, “In the future, we will expand the TwinWorld application to a global scale through collaborations with retail companies so that the real-world metaverse transforms the way we approach online commerce.”

While Aqua! is DoubleMe’s breakthrough project into the Spanish market, the company already has future plans with Telefónica to grow the Aqua! service.

One of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, Telefónica will provide mobile edge computing (MEC) devices to DoubleMe to integrate holoportation into the app. This will allow people to not only communicate as avatars within Aqua!, but also to represent themselves in the app as realistic 3D models.

Throughout 2021, DoubleMe will continue to develop TwinWorld applications like Aqua! with HoloVerse, a proof of concept project in partnership with Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, TIM, and MobiledgeX.

About DoubleMe

DoubleMe is a Silicon Valley transformative technology startup that specializes in real-time volumetric capture technology. Operating in Sunnyvale, London, and Seoul and partnering with 15 telcos worldwide, DoubleMe is constantly developing new ways to democratize 3D technology and bring the physical and virtual worlds together. With our HoloPort™ and HoloPortal™ technology, the company provides an end-to-end platform for social holographic reality experiences. DoubleMe has received more than $17M in funding to date.

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