The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has announced plans to build an online metaverse campus called Metahkust. The institution will take a first step towards this goal by building a mixed virtual reality classroom that will allow students from other latitudes to attend classes as if they were in the same space. The virtual classroom will host the launch of the new campus in Guangzhou.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology bets on the metaverse
Institutions are finding more and more functions and applications for metaverse spaces, and they are slowly integrating these technologies into their daily processes. The University of Hong Kong announcement his plan to create a common metaverse that will integrate his two campus sites as if they were one. Called Metahkust, the application will allow students of the institution located in different latitudes to attend classes and events as if they were in the same place.
The first event in which this metaverse-based system will be tested is the opening of the Guangzhou campus that the university will host next September. Pan Hui, professor of media and computer arts at the Guangzhou campus, said:
Many guests may be overseas and unable to attend, so we will be hosting it in the metaverse.
Benefits of a virtual approach
The institution explained the benefits that Metaverse-based classrooms and campuses can offer over a more traditional remote classroom setup, which involves using video conferencing tools like Zoom. Hui said metaverse environments offer more interaction for students, which can feel like they’re attending real-world classes. He explained:
Using Zoom feels like looking at a 2D screen. But thanks to virtual reality, you can feel like you’re there. I think interaction is very important for learning. The way you interact with the students around you will increase your learning outcomes.
Additionally, Hu said the new direction would foster a sense of “unity and participation” that would otherwise be impossible to achieve due to geographical constraints. To achieve this unified virtual campus, the university will install a series of sensors and cameras to provide information to the metaverse system.
Recently, the University of Tokyo also announcement integrating metaverse technology into their learning processes. The institution has announced that it will begin offering introductory engineering courses in the Metaverse later this year.
What do you think of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s metaverse initiative? Tell us in the comments section below.
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