Meta, a social media company focused on the opposite of meta, is helping universities get their own virtual reality campuses online. The company will open 10 virtual campuses as part of its immersive learning project, which seeks to take education into virtual reality environments. Meta will invest $150 million in the initiative in partnership with Victoryxr, an Iowa-based virtual reality education startup.
Entering the Metaverse into the Metaverse
One of the biggest applications of virtual reality and metaverse technology is related to education and the possibility of virtual reality lessons. Meta, the social media behemoth, is implementing this idea, helping 10 universities open Metaverse-based campuses.
One of them is the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), which is an online university. The university’s more than 45,000 students can now connect and share experiences through Metaver Online.
Daniel Mintz, chair of the Department of Information Technology at UMGC, said:
We’ve never had a campus before, and now we have our first. He has a duck pond.
As part of this plan, the university offers five courses at the Metaverse campus at no extra cost compared to non-immersive courses. However, the university is limited in the number of headphones (required for courses) that it can loan to students.
Other institutions will also be part of this project: University of Kansas School of Nursing, New Mexico State University, South Dakota State University, Florida A&M University, West Virginia University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, California State University, Dominguez Hills and Alabama A&M University.
Meta Quest is donating the headphones to these organizations so that Meta students can be included in the courses. One of the goals of the Meta Immersive Learning Project is to work with companies and universities to increase students’ access to these technologies. Part of the $150 million investment will be using Meta headphones in partnership with Victoryxr, the company that is designing the Metaverse campuses.
Meta also helped universities pay for the design and construction of these spaces, which cost $50k for a campus of five to seven buildings. Steve Grubbs, founder of Victoryxr, said:
Education is an exciting use case for Metaverse, and Meta Immersive Learning helps creators around the world acquire skills for Metaverse and create immersive experiences for students.
Meta’s virtual reality foundation has caused the company to lose money, as the Reality Labs unit of its Metaverse division reported a loss of $2.8 billion in Q2 2022. The company issued its first bond in August, selling $10 billion in debt to invest in Metaverse products and other initiatives.
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