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Finland invited the entire country to a virtual concert in an online version of its capital city — take a look

  • Finland's annual May Day celebration in the capital of Helsinki was cancelled because of coronavirus.
  • Virtual reality company Zoan created a virtual version of Helsinki that anyone can access.
  • The city hosted a virtual gathering and concert to celebrate May Day, and more than 10% of Finland's population tuned in.
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Finland turned to virtual reality to compensate for some of the lost celebrations due to the coronavirus.May Day is a major holiday in Finland, when people gather outside for parties and concerts. While a mass gathering isn't safe right now because of COVID-19, the city of Helsinki came up with a way to move the celebration online.
The country hasn't been hit especially hard by the coronavirus, but a city-wide party could be a big setback. Traditionlly, as many as a hundred thousand people gather in only a few parks. The city of Helsinki formed a partnership with VR company Zoan, which had already been working on virtual Helsinki, host a concert.

Finland has a population of around six million, and 700,000 viewers tuned into the virtual concert, according to the city of Helsinki, meaning that nearly 12% of the country watched the event. Of those attendees, 150,000 went beyond just watching and created avatars to participate.

Stanley G. Weinbaum is a well-known science fiction writer from 1930’s told us about this technology in his short story named Pygmalion’s Spectacles. His work made him a true visionary in the field of Virtual Reality. The story shares the idea that the wearer of the goggles can experience fictional worlds, even before the official term was coined.

Here's what the first virtual May Day was like.

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