A university offers a back-to-school in the metaverse for its students

News hardware A university offers a back-to-school in the metaverse for its students

In addition to its recreational aspect, the 3D virtual world, more commonly known as the metaverse, tends to impose itself in various fields such as work or higher education. Academics from a technology school are going to be the first to go back to school remotely, in the metaverse…

From September of this year, young Hong Kongers will experience a very special return to school, since it will take place in the famous metaverse. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology plans to use the metaverse to bring students together in a fully digital campus.

This initiative will not be limited to simple virtual courses, in fact, the university intends to offer a real 3D virtual campus allowing exchanges between teachers and students.

Equipped with a virtual headset, students will be able to:

  • Set up their avatars
  • Work
  • Regroup
  • Participate in activities
  • Take university courses
  • Share publicly or privately

To achieve the most immersive result, the university used XR sensors to model identical classrooms in the metaverse. The objective of this innovative project is to connect students based in another campus of the university located in Guangzhou, 180 kilometers from Hong Kong.

MetaHKUST

But the project of this university is not limited only to the classic uses of the metaverse.

A degree in NFT?

The MetaHKUST project wants to push the university in a logic of adoption of web3.

“Hong Kong has all the necessary elements for the future development of Web 3.0 in a context of rapid convergence of our physical and digital worlds. As the first university in the world to build a digital twin for our two campuses, HKUST is ready to take the lead in creating a sustainable VR ecosystem to better complement research and learning. ” assures Professor Yang WANG at the initiative of the project

When we talk about the metaverse, the NFTs are never far away… To become a true pioneer in web3 higher education, beyond using the metaverse, the campus wants to issue transcripts and diplomas in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).

This technology behind the most famous virtual art collections like Bored Ape Yahct Club (BAYC) or Cryptopunks would allow these nominative virtual documents to have real value online.

This isn’t the first time the region has been the subject of experimentation around the metaverse. Then faced with severe restrictive measures during the last wave of Covid, Hong Kongers were offered several virtual experiences to overcome the confinement last June.

Among these companies, Facebook’s Meta had notably announced recreational activities in a 3D reproduction of a Hong Kong district within its Horizon metaverse.

These different initiatives can show a more flattering aspect of the famous metaverse. Indeed, several recent surveys point to a general reluctance on the part of individuals with regard to this new virtual concept. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that during a pandemic among others, this digital 3D world can prove useful in several sectors.

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