Video Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Soon customers of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will be able to interact with customer service agents, apply for utility services, and even pay bills in the metaverse.

Called ‘DewaVerse’, DEWA’s platform on metaverse will also enable its employees to conduct borderless meetings on the virtual world, conduct safety trainings, and enable the organisation to collaborate with global entities to work on innovative solutions, including testing of prototypes and scaling up of projects in the real world.

Speaking to Gulf News on Tuesday at the ongoing Gitex Global 2022 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), DEWA’s chief innovation officer Dr Ali Rashid Al Suwaidi said DEWA is the “first local government entity to launch its platform on the metaverse”.

Metaverse is the next evolution of internet in the three-dimensional (3D) virtual world, where users can enter it as digital avatars and interact with other users.

Dr Ali Rashid Al Suwaidi

Al Suwaidi said: “We are tapping metaverse to implement and develop our existing and future projects to enhance our services and efficiency as well as boost customer happiness.”

Aside from having its customer happiness centre on metaverse, Al Suwaidi added, DEWA will also have a digital twin of its DEWA Future Lab, where employees and staff can hold brainstorming sessions as well as conduct first aid and fire safety trainings. DEWA will also deploy MetaDrone to gather information and fix solutions on solar panels

Safety protocols

DEWA did not provide specific timeline for its full deployment on metaverse but Al Suwaidi said this “will happen soon”. He added DEWA will ensure that safety protocols and regulations will be in place before the technology becomes available to the public.

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Smart transactions

Al Suwaidi noted DEWA was one of the first Dubai government entities “to complete the smart transformation of all its services by 100 per cent as early as 2014.” In the same year, DEWA adopted using Google Glasses for hands-free monitoring of its stations. Two years later, in 2016, DEWA adopted the HoloLens Technology from Microsoft to enhance its operations and productivity. DEWA also started using the Smart Helmet and Smart Glasses in 2017 to support engineers stationed in power plants.

DEWA also has a virtual reality studio for its employees to simulate training on first aid and safety procedures. Early this year, DEWA launched a digital guide and virtual orientation tour, using augmented reality, at its Innovation Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.