To many, the metaverse is a new word, a concept born of the internet age, a distant and scary place to contemplate visiting. In reality, however, the first recorded use of the word was in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash. In the novel, the protagonist, Hiro, moves in and out of a place called the metaverse, a computer-generated urban landscape where users can have real-life like experiences. Here, Dr Harpreet Seth, Head of Architecture at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, explains how it can be used in construction.
The metaverse is now becoming a place for collaboration and innovation, visited by the next generation of engineers, designers and fashionistas through multisensory connected devices such as augmented reality (AR) glasses and virtual reality (VR) headsets. Of course 3D visualisation has been commonplace in construction for some time but, is the industry ready to take the next step and enter the metaverse?
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual-reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. It is a 3D evolution of the internet, representing a virtual universe that can be experienced like the real world.
As one of the fastest-growing industries, the construction sector stands to gain from the metaverse in the future. This applies not just to the core industry, but also to other players such as designers, architects and project managers. Metaverse in the construction industry will help designers and architects create spaces in an increasingly-efficient manner.
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