USP will be the first public university in Brazil to work on metavers

USP will be the first public university in Brazil to work on metavers

The University of São Paulo (USP) will be the first Brazilian public education institution to enter the metavers. After signing a collaboration with the United States of Mars (USM), assigned within the Radio Caca platform, the USP will conduct research on practical applications and technical, economic and legal aspects of the digital world.

To begin the work, the Brazilian institution won a non-fungible token (NFT), represented by a land in the metavers, where the research will be carried out. In practice, this field should host the research center built by USM in collaboration with other universities around the world.

Several researchers from the University of São Paulo will be able to develop studies on metavers (Image: Reproduction / USP)

USM Metaverse, as it is called, will provide virtual spaces for universities to develop spaces for interaction between students, faculty, researchers, and visitors. Everything has to be built for a virtual and augmented reality environment, although it is not yet clear if there will be other ways to access it.

“USP wants to understand how metavers may or may not contribute to education in general. We will do experiments to find out if this may be relevant to research, especially those that deal with issues that are not very easy to visualize in the abstract, such as physics. quantum or molecular studies ”, explains Professor Marcos Simplício, Professor of the Department of Science and Technology in Computer Engineering and Digital Systems at Poli-USP and responsible for the project.

Agreement to test on the metavers

The partnership will be based on the agreement signed between the University Blockchain Research Initiative, sponsored by Ripple and based at the USP Polytechnic School, and Radio Caca. While focused on engineering, the project plans to go much further to encompass other segments and researchers at the university.

The idea would be to explore various nuances of the platform in different areas of knowledge, in addition to information technology and 3D modeling. The USP believes that research could be conducted in the areas of economics, law, social communication, and the humanities, such as behavioral psychology and sociology.

Collaborations are being created for this initiative with the involvement of the School of Communication and Arts (ECA), Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Humanities (FFLCH), Institute of Advanced Studies (IEA), Institute of Psychology (IP), City of Knowledge, Center for Research in Architectural Technology and Urbanism (NUTAU), Museum of the Person and Games for Change Latin America.

It is a very interesting opportunity for any USP researcher interested in the topic “Metavers” to conduct their research through this platform. There has already been interest from several professors in the segment, but it is still necessary to create a Management Committee to define some rules of use “, concludes Simplício.

At the moment, the metavers is still “all bush”, but the USP should build a replica of its campus on the ground (Image: Reproduction / Radio Poop)

“It is a great honor for us at RACA to have the USP, the largest public university in Latin America, within the USM Metaverso. Together we will build new experiences that can unlock the full potential of Web3 for people. That’s our goal, to build an open metaverse focused on user freedom, “said Jeff Watney, head of USM at Radio Caca.

Applicability of the USP metaverse

Professor Marcos Simplício explains that the project is in its initial phase, so they still have to deal with the bureaucratic part of things, from the legal implications of receiving the donation of digital assets to the creation of virtual wallets to receive NFT. “All this is still very new for the Institution, so we must overcome these obstacles to start the practical part,” he said.

Among the plans is the construction of a building that simulates the campus of the University of São Paulo with rooms and spaces for conducting experiments. The construction of all this must be collaborative, carried out by the USP professionals themselves and with the participation of all stakeholders. The goal is not to bring video call classes to the metavers, but to develop multidisciplinary research spaces.

One of the most advanced ideas is the “Transcender” project, the aim of which is to offer alternative methodologies for working on mourning and farewell, especially in the current time of the pandemic. “We thought of creating a kind of memorial, where students and family could bring flowers to their loved ones in a digital environment,” he says.

It would be a study involving researchers in the field of psychology, communication, specialists in rituals and scholars of religion. “It would be a way to bring emotional comfort to someone who has lost someone, either because of covid-19 or other factors,” concludes the professor.

What is USM?

Conceptual image of the metavers of the United States of Mars (USM), of which USP will be part (Image: Reproduction / Radio Poop)

As its name suggests, the “United States of Mars” simulates a kind of digital civilization built on the red planet. The platform is in alpha version, but already has more than 100 thousand users and can be accessed for free.

There will be a digital currency called u-RACA that will be used to buy land and other elements of the platform, such as buildings, vehicles and concert tickets. In addition to this commercial bias, the creators intend to leave some space reserved for research and development, as in cases similar to that of the USP.

Founded in May 2021, Radio Caca is an ecosystem with different platforms, such as the United States of Mars (USM) and the play-to-earn game. metamon. By agreement with third parties, RACA is also the sole NFT manager for Maye Musk, Elon Musk’s mother. A community platform with more than 627,000 followers on Twitter, 300,000 members on Telegram and 66,000 members on Discord.

the podcast of Canaltech this Friday (10) deals with the subject in even more depth. Access to learn about this innovative initiative from a major metavers academic institution.

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