There are major companies that have applied for patents for the metaverse in recent months, but the United States Air Force (USAF) has gone a step further with its latest application: "Spaceverse".
US Airforce creates own Metaverse
According to NFT and Metaverse attorney Mike Kondoudis, the US Air Force has filed a trademark patent application for a "Spaceverse." In a tweet dated April 19, 2022, Kondoudis posted:
The US Air Force has filed a trademark application for SPACEVERSE, a metaverse that
- merges physical and digital realities on Earth and in space
- provides training, testing, and operational environments in augmented reality
The United States Air Force has filed a trademark application for SPACEVERSE for a metaverse that
1⃣ converges terrestrial and space physical and digital realities
2⃣provides extended-reality training, testing, and operations environments#Metaverse #Web3 #USAF #Space pic.twitter.com/OVkcnKvX6M— Mike Kondoudis (@KondoudisLaw) April 19, 2022
Military and Metaverse: A Novelty?
The term Metaverse was first mentioned in Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, in which the main character mounts a VR headset and enters the Metaverse, where his avatar goes to work and lives his life.
The US military has long relied on gaming and simulation to prepare for real combat. The US military started the Army game series at the beginning of the millennium to prepare for operations virtually.
Armies around the world have also been working with VR technology for several years. As early as 2014, the US Navy was working on a simulation with VR glasses and a touchpad as part of the Blue Shark project. In some other projects, soldiers and researchers are already working with similar or improved approaches, such as at the US Army's National Simulation Center.
What's new is that the new military metaverse could become a permanent, evolving space. Previously, the researchers kept working on new, individual virtual rooms and then partially discontinued the projects.
Read also: What Can We Do in the Facebook's Metaverse?
When will the simulation become reality?
The Metaverse could actually play a bigger role for the military in the future. Because the soldiers could simply take the portable Metaverse with them everywhere - and the virtual space will become part of the soldiers' everyday life and training.
Jennifer McArdle, Head of Research at Improbable US Defense and National Security, wrote in a blog post:
“In a way, this is the vision of the Department of Defense's Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, which aims to provide high-quality, distributed, and connected virtual learning opportunities that tailored to a person's abilities, anywhere, anytime."
So virtual reality is becoming more and more part of the real world. But when will the simulation feel like real reality, or at least almost like it? The inventor of the popular Occulus Rift, Palmer Luckey, estimates that it will be another 10 to 15 years before virtual reality becomes visually indistinguishable from real. For even more intensive experiences (such as surfing and still having haptic impressions) he estimates around 40 years.
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