Former Twitter and Microsoft execs building a classroom on the Metaverse explain what it would look and feel like
- Invact Metaversity raised its first round of funding at a valuation of $33 million in less than 3 months after its launch.
- They are trying to run a 3D immersive virtual learning platform that allows students to attend online classes as animated avatars.
- The company will design its own course structures to further enhance the online learning experience.
While there are those working on creating virtual restaurants and dating experiences, former Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari and former Microsoft executive Tanay Pratap are trying to create virtual classrooms with their latest company Invact Metaversity.
Earlier this week, more than 70 top global executives and founders — including Future Group’s Kishore Biyani and former Infosys executive TV Mohandas Pai — decided to give the company, Invact, a $33 million valuation. Metaversity, which had just started three months ago.
The company is now looking to launch its first
Students will have the option of attending classes through their desktop and mobile computers or having a real-life experience using virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Here’s how it will work
The first and easiest option is that students can just use their laptop or mobile phone to attend these metaverse classes. It would be like playing Second Life or the Sims simulation game.
The second is where one uses a VR headset to be in the real setting – sitting in the classroom, having friendly conversations, interacting with
avatar and have a teacher teach before them. The company’s investors also experienced the VR aspect of this e-learning method before investing.
In both contexts, the only aspect that changes is the mode of use, but access to canteens, libraries and other aspects would remain the same, said the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Tanay Pratap, at Business Insider. “In the world we’re building, you can have a fully immersive experience with the VR device, and it will also work on laptop and desktop with the click and cursor movement,” he added. .
“Today on a Zoom call you’re in a box. You look left, you look right, you feel lonely. Compare that with a class in metaversity, the teacher is in front, you have peers around you.We will bring back the lighthearted jokes and humor of the classroom through spatial audio…When students study together in the virtual world, there would be a better exchange of ideas.
Tanay Pratap, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Invact Metaversity
Although the company doesn’t yet have any long-term plans to provide the VR headsets to students, they may do so for the first batch to be tested for experimentation. The company believes that VR headsets will be more common and cheaper than smartphones in the coming years.
On the business side, Invast Metaversity plans to add more courses and expand its business offering in the coming months. The course structure would be designed internally by the team members and even the creators, educational institutions and companies would have to create their courses on the platform.
“Coursera and SkillShare are dinosaurs, they will die out”
The company is trying to solve two problems. First, make online education or distance learning a much more exciting prospect for students. Second, make sure the course completion rate increases in the online space.
“I think those [Coursera, SkillShare, edX and Udemy and others] are like dinosaurs right now. And in ten years [of launch]the
the result on completion of the course is lower by 10%. It just shows that even if the business model [of these companies] somehow works, the end user product does not work. If you enroll in a course, you must take it. Why would one in ten complete it,” Pratap added.
“Those [Coursera, SkillShare and others] are just competitions [sic] which will disappear in a while when this new way of learning and all the university experience emerges in the metaversity.
Tanay Pratap, CTO of Invact Metaversity
He believes the model they operate in would allow students to have peers and community, which will lead to empowerment that will push others to complement it. “The community course and all the cohort experience would lead to empowerment and the course experience,” he emphasized.
“We want to prevent students from overspending on a poor education”
“In the education section [sic] we did not find any disruption. Education is always the same. It’s still exams, it’s still rotten learning, it’s still very dry. If it’s [education] it’s good, it’s good only for the richest 1% in the world,” he said, adding that they want to democratize education and allow students to have better learning opportunities. without giving up the real experience.
Citing an example of an MBA course, he noted that the course on their platform costs $2,500 compared to the usual $50,000-80,000 tuition fees charged by overseas universities. He said it was not about replacing all education with digital education, but rather replacing a below-average education experience with a more digitally convenient learning experience.
Pratap said, “In the 1980s or 1990s, if anyone asked what the internet was, no one would have predicted that the internet would be this thing that we do voice, video or all of our work in. in line. Someone would have predicted, people would have thought they could be joking. That’s how it goes [metaverse] to evolve.”
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