The University of Salford, a public research institution in Manchester, England, has ventured into the metaverse by establishing a virtual counterpart.
The digital replica mirrors the ground floor of the MediaCity campus, a prominent digital and media hub in the country.
Within the metaverse space, students and faculty members can engage with one another and build innovative virtual spaces for educational purposes and the presentation of their projects.
Accessible to all, visitors can join the metaverse space by selecting an avatar that best represents themselves and customizing its appearance. Once in the virtual space, users can engage with others and showcase their work.
Metaverse avatars are powered by Ready Player Me, an avatar system tailored for gaming, applications, and VR/AR experiences, crafted through the use of Unity and Unreal Engine.
The metaverse project is the outcome of a collaboration between the University’s Creative Technical Services team and PixelMax, which created the metaverse space.
This partnership remains active, as the University envisions the development of additional virtual teaching environments.
One potential use for the space includes enabling Film Production students to virtually construct sets in the campus’ TV studios, allowing them to experiment with lighting before creating physical sets. Additionally, Fine Art students will have the opportunity to build galleries for interactive presentations of their work.
The University of Salford’s adoption of the metaverse follows a growing trend among renowned universities.
Notably, the University of Glasgow recently unveiled its plans to develop a Museum Metaverse project, backed by the UK Government with a budget of $6.8 million. This virtual platform aims to transform the museum experience by granting access to hidden collections worldwide.
Further afield, in July, LG UPlus collaborated with Yonsei University to establish a metaverse campus.