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The BEYA Metaquake Symposium kicked off Thursday with a full agenda. Topics ranged from understanding how the metaverse can enable wealth and wellness to alternate reality experiences.

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The first panel discussed the difference between the metaverse and the digital twin, two buzzwords fast becoming household names. Shea Richburg, a cofounder of the Future Wise Group, was the moderator. Watch on STEM City.

Christine Burkette, CEO of the Promising Integrations Consulting Firm, said she sees the metaverse as a duplication of reality. “It gives you the opportunity to do things that maybe you can’t pull off,” she explained. For example, Avatar: The Way of Water had no human actors on-screen; it was all digitally created and enhanced.

Jesse Alton, a co-chair of the Open Metaverse Interoperability group (OMI), guides metaverse founders and investors. He described the metaverse as the digital equivalent of our universe.

“It’s not like we’re waiting for it,” Alton said. “As soon as the first MP3, the first PDF was made, all those digital photos you’ve been taking are already in the metaverse. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) determine how we experience them.”

Ten years ago, Burkette was immersed in test studies on autonomous vehicles, which are rolling out in 2023. “I don’t think people know how long it takes to bring something from a conceptual idea to production.”

Regarding how digital twins enhance the metaverse for everyday people, Neil Haldar, vice president of revenue and marketing at Streamline, said digital twins ground the metaverse in reality as the metaverse expands areas to explore.

He also added that digital twins were essential to the metaverse because the import of that data provides the foundation to twist and pull at the capabilities of what can be done in 3-D, in immersive or non-immersive worlds, and experience reality with a little bit of a twist.

“It’s meant to make the metaverse more practical and empower you with information,” Alton said. “You may get a digital twin that comes with the car. A spark plug goes out, and instead of scratching your head, you can turn to your digital twin and see that spark plug is out in real-time.

Siri is the best day-to-day use of the digital twin, Burkette added. “That’s how it automatically starts ordering stuff and giving ideas about things to order. The digital twin is like the processing of the human brain.”

Other practical applications where digital twins have been brought into an environment to teach people how to be successful in the real world include:

  • An adventure designed for users to get from Tokyo station to the annual Tokyo Game Show, riding various transit lines. What the game does is replicate how subway stations look; the time it takes to get from one station to the next; what the maps look like in Japanese, and how the ticket machines operate.
  • For every shirt you buy at MetaFactory, a brand focused on crafting products that travel between digital and physical worlds, you also get a virtual equivalent for your avatar. It won’t be long before avatars can be sent to physical stores for fittings.
  • Much of the medical training that doctors and nurses undergo is conducted in the metaverse. Doctors are now doing surgery with robots, as healthcare integrates digital twins, the metaverse, and robotics.

In another session, Burkette discussed the effect the metaverse will have on social media with Calvin Young, the executive director of the National Guard Association Of Illinois.

“What I’m doing in the metaverse space is dealing with PTSD. At least 22 veterans commit suicide daily,: he said, adding that the crisis pushed his group to partner with a gaming company and create virtual reality worlds that help veterans interact with a social worker or healthcare worker. “We envision this virtual reality space will help us deal with PTSD better than we do today.”

The theme for Friday is the ‘Ecosystem of Career and Business Opportunities’. The day begins with decentralization and Web3 and how they will impact organizations and individuals. Click here to register.

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