The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently announced its plans to open the world’s first physical-digital twin campuses in the metaverse. Called MetaHKUST, the mixed virtual reality classroom will enable students from different places to attend classes like they were in the same class. The metaverse campus will also host the launch of Hong Kong University’s new Guangzhou campus.
Here’s all you need to know about Hong Kong University’s metaverse campus:
About the metaverse campus from Hong Kong University
The metaverse campus comes as an effort from Hong Kong University to embrace the rapidly evolving Web3 space. MetaHKUST will serve as an extended reality (XR) campus for both HKUST and its Guangzhou campus. Essentially, the platform will offer an immersive study experience. Moreover, it will function as a “holistic platform” for students, faculty, and alumni to come together, create, and innovate.
The first event of the Hong Kong University metaverse will take place in September, with the opening of the Guangzhou campus.
“A lot of guests might be overseas and can’t attend, so we will host it in the metaverse,” said Pan Hui, professor of computational media and arts.
“Using Zoom feels like you’re just looking at a 2D screen. But through virtual reality, you can feel as if you’re there. I think interaction is very important for learning. How you interact with students around you will increase your learning outcome.”
MetaHKUST is a long-term plan
To be sure, Hong Kong University has set up a long-term development plan for its metaverse campus. Initially, it will install physical infrastructures such as XR classrooms, sensors, cameras, and visualization tools. At the same time, it will invite university members to take part in a crowdsourced scanning of the physical campuses. This will help provide images for the virtual campus.
Once an ecosystem is established, members will be able to create content, such as their avatars. They can also create NFTs, tokens, or digital art. In fact, some of this may even be incorporated with augmented reality (AR) for viewing on physical campuses.
In the future, the university expects administrative procedures to become easier through Web3 applications. For example, HKUST is considering blockchain-secured diplomas or transcripts awarded as NFTs.
Universities are embracing the metaverse
Notably, universities across the globe are embracing Web3 technologies. Recently, the University of Tokyo announced a metaverse-focused course. The course is available for high school students and adult workers. Similarly, early this year, Ankara University launched an official NFT course. Meanwhile, Bentley University even dropped its own NFTs in honor of its Hall of Fame Coach.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s metaverse campus is the latest addition to this growing ecosystem. We can likely expect more universities across the globe to follow suit in the near future.