On March 7, 2023, KDDI will launch αU, a metaverse and Web3 service, to realize a world where anyone can become a creator and to support the new generation of users who effortlessly move between the real and virtual worlds.
αU provides services for the Web3 era, including the metaverse, live streaming, and virtual shopping.
This service eliminates the boundary between the real and virtual worlds, allowing users to enjoy everyday experiences such as attending live music performances, enjoying art, having conversations with friends, and shopping―anytime, anywhere.
Furthermore, in collaboration with domestic and international partners, we will provide support introducing Japanese creators and content to the world. KDDI will build a creator economy in which creators can produce value and be compensated for their work.
KDDI launched Virtual Shibuya, an urban-linked metaverse, in May 2020, and Digital Twin Shibuya, which links real and virtual spaces, in October 2022 as part of its continuous initiatives to expand urban experiences by utilizing 5G communications and AR/MR technologies. For the past three years, Virtual Shibuya has offered a new form of entertainment enabled by technology, such as live music performances from artists, talk shows featuring anime and manga characters, and other urban-linked experiences that are anchored in a virtual space.
αU will evolve from a traditional public space for experience to a space for communication.
We provide αU metaverse where users can enjoy entertainment and conversations with friends in the metaverse, αU live that features high-definition, 360-degree free view live music performances, αU market offering digital artworks for sale, αU wallet that allow users to manage their crypto assets, and αU place that lets users shop at virtual stores linked with physical stores. We will continue to expand our Web3 services with αU at the core.
We will be holding αU Spring Week 2023 from March 8 to 12, 2023 in Shibuya, Tokyo. In this free event, visitors can experience all the services described above, including solo exhibitions and live performances from a variety of artists.
Please refer to the Appendix for details on each of the αU services as well as on αU Spring Week 2023.
This is a metaverse service that allows users to encounter a variety of communities where they can enjoy live music performances from artists and talk with other users within the cities of Shibuya and Osaka recreated in a virtual space.
Download the αU metaverse application from the App Store or Google Play and sign up for a free membership. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).
<αU metaverse service screen>
This live performance experience service provides high-definition, 360-degree, free-viewpoint video. αU live recreates artists and venues in a virtual space, giving viewers an experience similar to that of a real live performance. Users can enjoy a variety of αU live performances from both virtual and real-life artists.
Users can view videos on their smartphones or PC web browser. We will announce further details around the summer of 2023. Before the official launch, the service will be available to try at αU Spring Week 2023. We will also show the service at the paid exhibition "prompt αU (in Japanese only)."
<αU live service screen>
This is an electronic trading marketplace where users can purchase digital artworks (NFTs) and other items. Works by famous fashion designers and renowned NFT artists will be available exclusively at αU market.
Purchases can be made via the official αU market page. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).
Along with αU market, we are launching αU dotadp, an NFT store originating from the au Design project that produced INFOBAR and many other cell phones in collaboration with a variety of designers and artists. For the first phase of this initiative, we will release NFTs to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the au Design project as well as NFTs by artists Mayu Yukishita, Honoka Yoshifuku, and Giselle Aika Bauer who are popular among Generation Z.
For more information, please visit the αU dotadp website (in Japanese only).
<αU market service screen>
αU wallet is a crypto asset wallet for managing digital artwork (NFTs) purchased from αU market along with crypto currency used for sales transactions.
Securely manage and trade digital artwork (NFTs) and crypto assets
With αU wallet, users can manage works (NFTs) purchased from αU market as well as manage NFTs purchased from marketplaces that support the Polygon blockchain. In addition to this, users can send and receive Polygon (MATIC), a crypto currency used for sales transactions.
Download the αU wallet application from the App Store or Google Play and configure the relevant settings. For more information, please visit the official website (in Japanese only).
<αU wallet service screen>
Customers can enjoy a new type of shopping experience that combines the benefits of real stores, such as the ability to look around to find products they like and shop with family and friends, with the benefit of e-commerce, namely the ability to shop anytime they want.
The αU place app will be released around the summer of 2023, allowing anyone to access αU place. We will announce further details with the official launch. Before the official launch, the service will be available to try at αU Spring Week 2023. Real-store staff at au style SHIBUYA MODI and Lui's/EX/store on the 5th floor of Shibuya Parco will be available to help people visiting recreated stores in the virtual space of Shibuya.
<αU place service screen>
From March 8 through 12, 2023,αU services will be available to try free of charge in Shibuya, Tokyo.
αU live will feature a live music performance from BE:FIRST, and αU metaverse will host a live music performance from Wednesday Campanella and comedy performances from Yoshimoto comedians. In addition, αU market will sell NFTs featuring artworks by illustrators that are popular among Gen Z, and αU place will feature virtually recreated stores of au Style and the apparel retail Lui's.
For more information on each event, please visit the official page of αU Spring Week 2023 at https://alpha-u.io (in Japanese only).