Metaverse comes to life

The Siggraph virtual conference takes place this week and Nvidia makes the inaugural conference.

A few months ago, during Nvidia’s GTC event, they surprised the audience by doing the entire conference in a virtual environment with Nvidia’s Omniverse that was so realistic that it looked like a real location.

I don’t know about you guys, but I would kill for the possibility of creating a Teams, Webex, or Zoom background that wasn’t a main static 2D image of somewhere where it wasn’t and instead looked real.

Much of what you’ll see on Siggraph has to do with the creation of Metaverse, which is conceptually very similar to the artificial world shown in the movie “The Matrix”.

This technology will not only have a massive impact on lower cost and much better movie graphics, but also our ability to translate what we imagine into real world events and lay a stronger foundation for everything; from more realistic games to digital immortality.

Metaverse and tools like Nvidia’s Omniverse have the potential to create the kind of disruptive change the Internet created in the 1990s.

Let’s take a closer look at this emerging technology. Then we’ll close with my product of the week – a free educational app for toddlers that is fun and helps them develop cognitive skills.

Building “The Matrix”

I’m a big fan of LitRPG books. These are fantasy books where the characters are living in a world defined by the logic of the game. As a game, characters gain levels and powers as they work through increasingly real-world NPC-surrounded missions or non-player characters. “Ready Player One” was a book and movie created from this concept.

In “Ready Player One,” the hero wears a diving suit and a virtual reality headset that allows him to live in the virtual world while feeling as if he is accurate. “The Matrix” is a large-scale virtual world. At the same time, the reason that appears in the film is true that it is a bit disconcerting (the use of people to generate electricity instead of, I do not know, the actual generators is on the other side of the new ).

But the idea of ​​living your life in a virtual world comes. At Siggraph, during Nvidia’s inaugural conference, you’ll see how close it is.

The birth of Metaverse is an event that could overshadow the Internet, as it will end up creating digital parallel virtual universes, including those that emulate the natural world and those that are pure imagination. These two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Using tools like Nvidia’s Omniverse

Imagine countries being able to build the cities of tomorrow virtually and physically, allowing citizens to explore, enjoy, and impact these new places decades before they are completed. Think about being able to model natural and man-made disasters to better understand how to defend them.

How about a virtual vacation? You can travel to real-world digital twins or developer-created rendered environments.

I would love to visit Edger Rice Burroughs Mars. Or maybe the city where I grew up as it was then. I will concede that the probabilities of the latter are long, but at least it is possible that the future AI that uses digitized records from that era will be able to do so.

Nvidia used Omniverse during its CEO’s keynote conference at GTC. Just at the end of the main note, you can see how the set is deconstructed in about 1 hour and 48 minutes in this video:

Imagine if you could do that during your Zoom meetings. Or, create a virtual house with this kind of detail that, with a VR platform, you can walk around and enjoy in your own time.

I would say that given the level of realism (down to the wall plugs and the builder), you could build it. But why bother? The virtual site would be much less expensive to maintain and you could change it as long as you have a whim to do so without hiring a contractor.

Finishing: It will be amazing.

We are still at the beginning of this; Think about the time when Netscape first appeared in Internet history, and Nvidia already reports thousands of users, hundreds of companies, and a first level of excitement that, well, reflects the days leading up to the browser.

We even have something similar to HTML, with Universal Scene Description (USD), created by Pixar.

In a few years, it may no longer matter what is real, because we will live mostly in virtual worlds, some of which are disconnected from reality. “Barsoom,” here I come.

Rob Enderle Technology Product of the Week

Khan Academy Kids

Khan Academy Kids is a free app that runs on most Android and Apple platforms that helps kids under five develop their first cognitive skills.

With the Covid-19 pandemic moving to children and some unevenness with masks and vaccines, many parents decide to keep their children at home, which has not been great for mental development, especially for young children. (I’m pretty convinced that one of my relatives has given birth to two demons given how much they act during the summer.)

This app, which reviewers have given 4.7 out of five stars, seems to be just the ticket. Parents report that their children love it, that it keeps them busy, and that it seems to help them prepare for their early years in school.

Keeping children busy and helping their young minds develop is particularly critical during this pandemic. Khan Academy has apps for older kids that are also positively reviewed by older kids who use it.

Khan Academy was created by Sal Khan, an American educator who created this essentially free platform with around 6,500 video lessons for children of all ages.

It is free for both students and teachers and has become, for many, a key tool for home schooled children during the pandemic.

The organization is funded by donations, so if you believe in helping children, particularly those who are financially disadvantaged, consider making a donation to the effort (I did). It is a worthy cause because all children need an excellent educational resource, especially during these times.

I chose Khan Academy as the product of the week because it touched my heart. I hope it touches yours too.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ECT news network.

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