The term Metaverse was first coined by Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel "Snow Crash" in 1992. The author depicts a society built around a 3D universe mimicking the real world, in which humans evolve as avatars.
The word Metaverse is a contraction of “meta” (from the Greek: beyond) and “universe”. It has resurfaced recently to become widely used in the AR/VR and blockchain community, especially with Facebook’s name change to Meta.
The beginnings of the Metaverse are already part of our daily lives. Whether we're chatting with a friend, debating with strangers on Twitter, attending a Zoom meeting or playing online, our social interactions are increasingly taking place within a virtual space where physical limits no longer apply.
The Metaverse, in the strictest sense, can be conceived of as a set of interconnected virtual spaces in which users can share immersive 3D experiences in real time. They will move from one space to another while maintaining the same identity, their digital twin.
As more immersive technologies are made available to the public, these behaviors will only become more common. One thing that has been overlooked is that everyone already has a 'metaverse' device in their pocket: their smartphone. Thanks to the built-in AR (Augmented Reality) capabilities in our phones, it’s easy to expand reality with digital items that meld with the real environment to create a unique experience like something out of sci-fi. (Check out some cool examples with Google Search).
When used in the training industry, this technology creates an alternative reality where trainees can enter an augmented environment and experience real-world events before they occur. With less risks.
Like the Metaverse, AR training programs are limitless.
Any type of environment and most experiences can be recreated in Augmented Reality: a life-size crane accident, an arc flash, an injured person to be rescued in a given time, you name it. In a short period of time, trainees can be exposed to many situations that could take years to encounter in real life, if ever. Let’s take the example of Forklift inspection training. Think about how long you would have to wait to see all the flaws a forklift can possibly have in real life. With Augmented Reality, it only takes a matter of minutes.
The more a person is exposed to a situation, the better they will understand it and be able to deal with it when they encounter it again in the future. Augmented Reality becomes the equivalent of the flight simulators that pilots use to be prepared for the worst. And it’s available right at your fingertips.
In the real world, equipment or machinery is frequently limited in number, and it may not be realistic to instruct all students at once in hands-on training. In some parts of the globe, students don't even have access to adequate instructional or didactic resources. There are no such limits with AR training. With mobile AR, engineering students in any part of the world can access the digital twin version of costly didactic benches, for example, and use it as many times as they want.
What Gutenberg did for written knowledge, AR is doing for real world objects.
Mobile AR provides an economical and effective means of conducting training for multiple people at once at a very reasonable cost, whether in person or remotely. This is especially true for environments that are difficult to find or take a lot of time to prepare. Also, unlike most Virtual Reality training systems, AR is not restricted to a single room or space; all you need is a mobile phone or tablet.
During a training session using mobile AR, students can experience different scenarios in an immersive 3D environment. This creates a lifelike and highly accurate learning experience.
Trainees can witness the results of hazardous situations such as being attacked by a wasp swarm after a poor risk analysis or falling from an overhead crane after improperly securing to a lifeline, all in a secure setting. This exposure prepares them for real working conditions in the field, so such events can be avoided at all costs.
Unlimited practice time
Although hands-on training is most likely the best approach to learn and develop skills, it may be expensive and hazardous. Augmented Reality training enables trainees to practice and fail numerous times. They build up their muscle memory and acquire abilities that become natural over time. This way trainees gain experience, build confidence and improve their knowledge efficiently, making them better prepared when working on real equipment.
Want to see for yourself what training looks like in the Metaverse? Just download the Senar app and try out the 4 AR training demos. You will find that by receiving dynamic visual and audio feedback, you’ll be able to retain information more effectively and remember things in context with great detail.