The next chapter of I-Bhd’s i-City Finance Avenue in i-City, Shah Alam will be the deployment of technology infrastructure to enable businesses to set up immersive experience centers seamlessly. According to the developer, immersive experience centers will be the next selling point.
I-Bhd director Datuk Eu Hong Chew points out that with the issuance of digital banking licenses in Malaysia, the financial industry is moving into the immersive virtual sphere very quickly.
The Super AI technology ecosystem that i-City continues to extend to RM1.5 billion GDV Finance Avenue will allow tenants to enjoy the infrastructure for their businesses.
Eu adds that advancing alongside such technological developments is key to preparing proptech development for the future. He points out that unlike traditional banks, digital banking offers completely online banking and financial services, without the need for physical branches.
The inclusive nature of digital banking can make core investments such as foreign exchange, precious metals and real estate more accessible to the general public as well as underserved segments.
“For example, if we were to look at the synergy of the partnership between Sea Group and YTL Digital Capital Sdn Bhd forming a digital bank, Sea Group brings a deep understanding of consumer behavior insights and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its subsidiary, Shopee Malaysia, while YTL has a broader segment of individuals and SMEs,” says Eu.
“Through Shopee, Sea Group plays an important role in improving underserved and underserved markets by enabling these segments to transact and sell across borders through e-commerce.”
He opines that the continued upgrading of the marginalized community broadens the prospect of opening up the investment market to a broader group of people, especially with the availability of blockchain technology that enables real-world assets to be digitized and transactions to be made in fractions, such as buying. a RM1,000 share of a property worth RM1 million.
“The main challenge now is educating people to understand complex investment concepts. Considering that digital banks do not set up physical branches, it is important for this financial services segment to help consumers understand their offerings through digital means such as gaming and virtualization,” says Eu.
“Digital banks can even explore communications beyond mobile phones, such as immersive experience centers through the integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning.”
He says that with the fusion of technology and real estate, i-City Finance Avenue will be the first development to provide an infrastructure ready for such needs.
i-City Finance Avenue is already home to Mercu Maybank, a smart corporate tower, and DoubleTree by Hilton. Soon it will host the BeCentral residential tower, an international convention center, premium offices and experience centers.
Benefiting the retail and healthcare sectors
With digital banking bridging the economic gap between underserved and underserved markets and the mainstream economy, retailers stand to benefit, according to online lifestyle retailer Oxwhite founder CK Changr.
According to him, such economic inclusion will allow a broader group of Malaysians to have better purchasing power and will accelerate the adoption of immersive experience centers within the community at large.
“From banking to retail, this segment will make up the largest consumer group overall in the next 10 years. Despite spending a lot of time on their mobile devices, the next generation of consumers require a differentiated offline experience to engage,” he says.
Changr, who has a deep understanding of online consumer behavior through data insights, says it’s important for brands to provide a differentiated experience that goes beyond social media to successfully engage with this group of consumers. . As a result, immersive experience centers will be a great solution and those with first mover advantage will benefit the most, she adds.
However, with advances in digital technology, online sales will evolve. “Eventually we will invest in a center of expertise in the future and [will be] an extension of our e-commerce channels and we use data to engage with consumers. This is where they can sample or test products virtually and then seamlessly make payments, eliminating the need to stand in lines,” he adds.
Immersive experience centers will also benefit the healthcare industry, says DOC2US co-founder and CEO Dr. Raymond Choy. “The current telemedicine scene provides caregivers and patients with convenient access to healthcare without the constraints of location and cost.
“The trade-off, however, is due to a lack of face-to-face physical experience, such as body language, facial cues, and empathy. An immersive experience center will be able to simulate all of these human experiences while removing the barrier of location.”
Such benefits could extend to three streams, namely patients-doctors, health care providers-caregivers, and the health care industry in general, Choy believes. For patient-doctors, an immersive experience center will be useful for mental health consultations, especially for patients with limited mobility and those who require constant monitoring, such as patients with stroke, cardiovascular risk, and diabetics.
In terms of the healthcare provider caregiver segment, there will be better practice guidance for patient caregivers, regardless of the location of their physicians. As for the health sector in general, an immersive experience center will provide a better training experience for health professionals, says Choy.
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Making the metaverse a reality
With the next wave of customer engagement moving toward immersive experiences, I-Bhd CEO and CTO Ricky Lim believes the real estate industry has reached the crossroads of the augmented metaverse and the physical space.
Technology and real estate must co-exist to meet the needs of changing consumer trends, he says, noting that optimizing data to deliver an immersive consumer experience must start to take precedence over optimizing floor space.
The RM10 billion i-City, Malaysia’s No. 1 tech city, which has been designated an international zone, is setting the stage to welcome such a tech-focused community ever since it created a smart community in the 1990s.
“i-City is the first urban center to come with an integrated certified Tier-3 ready data center and AI super grid. This Malaysia Digital status ultrapolis (previously known as MSC Status) is also equipped with fiber optic connectivity provided by major telecom companies such as Digi, Maxis, TIME and Telekom Malaysia,” says Lim.
“In this sense, we are able to provide our technology-focused tenants on i-City Finance Avenue with the benefits of convenience and security while working in a smart building, as well as the technology infrastructure to establish their customer experience centers.”
To demonstrate its ability to provide super AI network connectivity, i-City will introduce an immersive 3D metaverse experience as part of its theme park offerings. The new experience will be rolled out in stages starting with the countdown to the new year 2023.