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1 Months ago
NASA Creates Metaverse Experience for Astronauts To Live on Lunar Space Station
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Many people in the metaverse trade assets or explore virtual realities. However, astronauts working with NASA and SpaceX are using it to prepare for life aboard a lunar space station still under development.

This space station, called “Gateway,” is being designed as a next-generation science lab, solar-powered spaceship, and home-away-from-home for international astronauts. In the past, astronauts have used physical and computer-based simulators to prepare for new missions.

However, with the advent of modern virtual reality headsets and advanced spatial computing technologies, they can now gain the necessary skills to work and survive in an immersive 3-D environment. Gateway will debut off-Earth in 2025 when its critical power and propulsion systems are set up in orbit around the Moon. It has a much larger mission beyond its initial purpose.

According to NASA, Gateway is being set up as a staging point for the Artemis program, a U.S.-based initiative to build a crewed base on the Moon. This will be the next step in humanity’s quest to put a human on Mars.

In a statement, NASA said: “Gateway is a vital component of the NASA-led Artemis missions to return to the Moon and chart a path for the first human missions to Mars. The small space station will be a multi-purpose outpost orbiting the Moon and providing essential support for lunar surface missions, a destination for science, and a staging point for further deep space exploration.”

The astronauts who will operate and maintain Gateway, the first orbital space station, will face the unprecedented challenge of living and working in deep space. They will have to operate at a distance of approximately 386,243 kilometers from the Earth, much farther than the International Space Station’s average distance of about 400 kilometers. This task will make them the world’s first crew to live and work in deep space.

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Pakistani Information Technology University
1 Months ago
Pakistan Witnesses 1st Metaverse Classes At Lahore University
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The Pakistani Information Technology University of Lahore has launched the nation’s first virtual reality-based classes in the metaverse.

These new courses will provide a virtual classroom experience through virtual reality headsets and motion tracking. Local Pakistani news outlet Samaa reported that the head of the computer sciences department, Ibrahim Ghaznavi, stated that ITU expects the new initiative to enhance the academic abilities of students participating in the metaverse experience.

Online courses were introduced at the university in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the shift to metaverse technology comes as virtual reality applications for education have started to gain traction worldwide.

ITU Lahore is a program said to have been developed in partnership with the University of Denmark. The program takes inspiration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the alma mater of the University of Denmark. The program was established in 2012 with the aim of replicating MIT’s success in technology and engineering. ITU Lahore has partnered with other reputable universities and corporations, including Harvard and IBM.

Although the past decade has seen the rise of virtual, mixed, and augmented reality headsets and support technologies, the early excitement surrounding the start of the metaverse era was mostly focused on the gaming industry. However, the metaverse has not captured gamers’ attention in the same way that other gaming technologies such as handheld consoles and cloud computing have, as evidenced by aggregators like Steam player counts and Oculus sales figures.

Nonetheless, recent analysis shows that the metaverse is gaining momentum in other industries, such as medicine, education, marketing, and industry. Many applications are now available in consumer headsets and browsers.

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Industrial Metaverse
1 Months ago
WEF Says US Manufacturing Firms That Use Metaverse Increase
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A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) reveals that an increasing number of manufacturing firms in the United States are shifting their focus to the industrial metaverse as a solution to the complex challenges they face during the production cycle.

The report, published on March 12, states that 92% of U.S. manufacturing executives are exploring various ways of implementing the metaverse into their own firms. The survey results were collected from 100 of the largest companies across 10 industries, indicating that, on average, each executive was investigating up to six different use cases.

One of the reasons driving this interest is the need for the industrial sector to “elevate its ambitions” in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Amid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of technological, macroeconomic, societal, and business-to-business (B2B) customer trends are accelerating and converging to create new challenges and opportunities for growth in the industrial sector.”

Manufacturing companies face the challenge of speeding up production cycles while increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness through predictive forecasting.

The report highlighted how different companies are using digital twin technology, which involves utilizing virtual models to represent physical objects. For instance, Amazon has been using the cloud services platform Nvidia Omniverse to run simulations that can improve warehouse design and robot workstations.

Likewise, Mercedes Benz is also using this platform to design manufacturing assembly facilities. On March 1, Nokia, a telecoms infrastructure firm, used the metaverse in Australia to help Cessna aircraft technicians at remote airports.

The report also pointed out that the industrial metaverse can be used across the product life cycle, including pre-production, production, and post-production stages. This technology can be used for various tasks, such as product and service design, process simulations, plant design, management, product testing, and quality assurance.

“Automotive, energy, software and platforms, and aerospace and defense currently lead the way in industrial metaverse investment and activity,” the report stated.

Some companies are becoming reluctant to invest further in the industrial metaverse due to the increasing prominence of generative artificial intelligence (AI). The report has suggested that the metaverse’s declining popularity is partly due to the emergence of generative AI, with many people assuming it has caused the metaverse to take a backseat.

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Nissan Metaverse
2 Months ago
Nissan Launches Metaverse Experiences Intertwining History, Safety
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Nissan Motor Co. recently launched a new metaverse experience focusing on history and safety.

The exhibit is called the “Heritage Cars & Safe Drive Studio,” and it features immersive depictions of three of Nissan’s most iconic automobiles from history, as well as interactive educational safety exhibits.

Nissan said in a press release, “The studio commemorates Nissan’s 90th anniversary year, which began in December. It features three iconic models from Nissan’s past, each set in a meticulously crafted virtual environment that reflects its era.”

The following is a description of three exhibits available on the Meta Quest headset. The first exhibit highlights the Silvia Q’s S13, a Nissan vehicle that has gained popularity worldwide as a drifting car.

At the Heritage Cars & Safe Driving studio, visitors can observe the historic vehicle and learn about the impact of pedestrian clothing colors on drivers. The second exhibit is a mini-game that teaches visitors about a driver’s field of view and how multitasking can negatively affect driving safety.

Additionally, visitors can see the Skyline 2000GTX-E, a popular tuner car featured in popular culture outlets such as the Gran Turismo video game series and the Fast and Furious film franchise. The final exhibit takes visitors back to the 1950s and 60s in the United States, where they can participate in a hands-on steering wheel spin exercise in a setting reminiscent of a classic American diner and drive-in theater.

All three experiences were developed in collaboration with researchers at universities in Japan. These metaverse exhibits have been added to previous entries from Nissan, including the company’s first virtual test drive launched in 2022. In December 2023, Nissan refreshed four existing metaverse worlds for its 90th-anniversary celebration.

These updates come as hardware solutions for AR and VR become more advanced. Apple’s release of its first mixed-reality headset in February 2024 has signaled renewed competition for tech companies such as Meta and Microsoft, which have been moving towards consumer and enterprise adoption over the past decade.

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