As part of its Immersive Learning initiative, which strives to bring education to virtual reality environments, the company will launch ten virtual campuses. Meta will invest $150 million in this initiative in collaboration with Victoryxr, an Iowa-based virtual reality education start-up.
One of the most significant uses of virtual reality and metaverse technology is in education, with the prospect of virtual reality classrooms becoming a reality. Meta, the social media behemoth, is putting this concept into reality by assisting ten universities in launching their metaverse-based campuses.
The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), an online university, is one of these. The university's more than 45,000 students will now be able to gather and exchange their experiences in an online metaverse.
UMGC's chairman of the department of information technology, Daniel Mintz, commented, "We've never had a campus before, and now we have our first. There is a duck pond there."
As part of this plan, the university will offer five courses on the metaverse campus at no additional cost as compared to non-immersive courses. However, the number of headsets (needed for the courses) that the university may loan to students is limited.
This initiative will also include the University of Kansas School of Nursing, New Mexico State University, South Dakota State University, Florida A and M University, Dominguez Hills, West Virginia University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, California State University, and Alabama A and M University.
Meta is donating Meta Quest headsets to these organizations so that students can participate in the courses. One of the goals of Meta's Immersive Learning initiative is to improve student access to these technologies via collaboration with organizations and institutions. Part of Meta's $150 million investment will be used to deploy headgear in collaboration with Victoryxr, the startup designing the metaverse campuses.
Meta has also assisted universities in financing the design and construction of these spaces, which may cost up to $50,000 for a five to seven-building campus.
Meta's shift to virtual reality has cost the company to lose money, with its metaverse branch, Reality Labs, reporting $2.8 billion in losses in Q2 2022. In August, the company also issued its first bond, raising $10 billion in debt to invest in metaverse goods and other projects.