Stepping into the Metaverse: ASU at the forefront of expanding virtual opportunities

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Arizona State University (ASU) is at the forefront of exploring the Metaverse, the next frontier of living life online and conducting business virtually. A team of about 50 students at the ASU Learning Futures Collaboratory are helping to expand the Metaverse and testing out practical applications of it. Led by Dan Munnerley and Heather Haseley, they are creating the ASU Universe, a digital twin of the campus, which allows students to meet and take classes together without ever setting foot on campus. They are also developing a scavenger hunt using augmented reality to help new students become familiarized with the campus and the Career Arcade, which could be the future of internships and career day experiences for middle and high schools, offering a chance to fully immerse yourself in simulated experiences. Munnerley expects VR headsets to become as common and necessary as smartphones and that they will eventually get smaller and thinner. They have also tried headset accessories that add smell to the virtual experience.