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The metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets. A second life where virtual lives play as important a role as a physical existence. An immersive digital world where users can socialize, work and do other activities together. While the metaverse is still not fully realized, experts predict that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse for work, shopping, education, social media or entertainment.
The question at hand is – Can the metaverse be militarized?
The key technologies of the metaverse can already be found in the defense world, such as head mounted displays, 3D simulations and more. Defense Web reports that metaverse-related ideas are already emerging with the helmets for the new F-35 fighter jet including an augmented reality display that shows telemetry data and target information on top of video footage from around the aircraft.
Synthetic training environments, in which simulated worlds interact with and augment live training, simulates the full complexity of the physical world, and is the primary training approach for the military. Simulation and virtual training provide the opportunity for people to train in a wide variety of scenarios and hazardous environments, without exposing them to the risk of those scenarios, reducing the level of wear and tear on equipment, and reducing the carbon footprint of training.
In addition, a defense metaverse could enable interconnection of the various virtual training worlds ensuring that lessons learned from training and education can be exploited. It could also potentially aggregate information that can lend insight into factors, like morale, which could inform force design or training.
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