The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has announced plans to launch digital replicas of the institution’s two campuses via a metaverse platform.
The platform named MetaHKUST is set to open in September, according to a press release. It will be the first of its kind in the world and will use extended reality (XR) technology to provide an immersive study experience that will connect student and research activities across geographical locations, the release added.
HKUST maintains two campuses—one in Hong Kong and another in the southern Chinese city Guangzhou. This has posed a problem as travel between China and Hong Kong is severely restricted due to COVID-19. MetaHKUST will solve this issue by allowing students to visit both campuses virtually.
The project is divided into two phases. In the initial phase, HKUST intends to put physical infrastructure in place. The university will install XR classrooms, sensors, cameras, and visualization tools. Additionally, university community members will participate in crowdsourced scanning of the physical campuses to provide images for the virtual twins.