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Metaverse: what it is and why businesses should get on board

Businesses risk being left behind if they don’t look to this digital 4D world. Portland State is among the first colleges to start a class in the metaverse.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Metaverse is coming. But really, it’s already here. It’s an all-digital world currently accessible through chunky, big glasses that will only get better as they get smaller. It’s a 4D version of the internet you’re in, rather than just staring at it. It’s set to make boatloads of money in it, so companies have to get on board or risk being left behind.

The enthusiasm of virtual reality is difficult to convey to those who have never tried it. There’s an experience called “Richie’s Plank” on PlayStation’s VR and Meta’s Oculus headsets. You are standing in the downtown core of a digital city. Look around and you will see tall buildings, passing cars, flying birds. Turn around and there is an open elevator.

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You go inside and you see four buttons, the top floor is called Plank. When you reach out to press the button, feel the haptic technology in the controllers almost as if you were pressing a real button and hear the sound. Then the elevator doors close and you see the light filtering upward through the crack in the elevator doors. When opened, dozens of floors suddenly appear in the air and a wooden plank emerges. As soon as you step on it, you hear the wood in your headphones creak.

The feeling, the sounds, 360 degrees, it feels so real. Scientists have studied people who do this.

“And it looks so real. It gives you the same kind of feeling as if you’re really there doing it,” said Skye Lininger, director, resident of Portland State University. “Your palms will sweat. Your blood pressure will rise a bit. So you can create a sense of presence and emotion in these digital environments.”

Lininger teaches “Introduction to the Metaverse,” the university’s first lecture on the subject. And this month PSU was among the first schools to keep its entire classroom in metadata. Each student created an avatar that looks like them at home. They donned an Oculus headset and held their controllers and listened while sitting or standing inside the virtual classroom as virtual reality experts discuss examples of ways to use this new digital world.

Stanford was the first school in the world to do so last summer. Stanford medical students are now learning in virtual reality, students can learn to label organs, circulatory system, etc. they literally walk inside a body to learn.

But where the metadata store can really make an impact is for commerce. Looking to buy cool digital outfits for your avatar? Facebook and Walmart want to sell them to you. Nike is ready to sell digital shoes or shoes that you can buy to get to your real front door. Want to go to a virtual Snoop Dog concert? He and others are already doing it.

The Brooklyn Nets are the first professional sports team to soon sell virtual tickets to see their real games. 100 high-definition cameras have been placed around the Barclays Center to create a 360-degree experience. Fans will choose to be behind the basket, on the sideline or in the middle of the pitch for the match, all for a fee but not as much as a regular ticket close to the action.

The Masters golf tournament is considering doing the same next year.. Digital real estate is one thing: people using cryptocurrency to buy “land” plots to start their own monetization ventures.

“What we’re trying to teach students here, to raise awareness, is that you don’t have to just think about what’s next. You have to think about what’s going to happen next,” Lininger said.

It is estimated that half of the companies in the S&P 500 are now As new technology develops faster and faster, it will be disabled and replaced within a decade.

These are the hundreds of companies that buy it. They are currently creating the metadata store. From UX (user experience), to graphics, animations and monetization of objects, hardware of headsets, microphones and controllers, semiconductors, cloud computing and telecom needed for error-free operation and storage of all data.

Tony Schwartz is a 20-year criminal defense attorney in Portland and is currently a part-time student at PSU.

“It was interesting for me to really study the future of technology as we approach it,” Schwartz said. Said. “In a way, if I had a chance to study the Internet, in 1998, 1999, if I had a chance to study the World Wide Web before Facebook, you know, because Google wasn’t even a public company and Amazon was four years old. !”

Schwartz first enrolled in PSU’s Business Blockchain certification program and is now taking the metaverse course. The virtual learning aspect attracts his attention.

“I realized that the commercial use cases for this are endless,” Schwartz said. Said. “I immediately thought of all the ways I could use this technology to help me apply it, such as teaching law students how to give opening or closing statements, teaching students how to take or defend statements. Also, give them an idea of ​​what is what. like having a judge who doesn’t give you what you want, you can get around it.”

The possibilities are endless. Lininger tries to get her students to see that they can get on the train better.

“Once you have early technology, there are a lot of people trying to claim it,” Lininger said. “The pace of development is getting so fast that many companies don’t see what’s going to happen until they get past them.”

In KGW’s ongoing series What’s Next?, we look at the technology and work of the future.

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