Virtual Reality and Metaverse: Impact on the Digital Transformation of Society

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903). This special issue belongs to the section "Big Data and Augmented Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2023) | Viewed by 17941

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Education, University of Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas, s/n, 06006 Badajoz, Spain 2. Liberal Arts Division, Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus, San Juan, PR 00926, USA
Interests: virtual reality; augmented reality; metaverse; educational technology; virtual learning environments; digital literacy; media education; ICT in education; theory of education; educational innovation; history of science and technology; higher education; holistic education; research methods and techniques; health education; environmental education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Technology, Instruction and Design in Engineering and Education Research Group (TiDEE.rg), Catholic University of Ávila, C/Canteros s/n, 05005 Ávila, Spain
Interests: technology enhanced learning; virtual learning environments; virtual reality; augmented reality; metallography; material characterization; mechanical properties; mechanical behavior of materials; mechanical testing; materials testing; stress and strain analysis; fracture mechanics; fractography; corrosion science; failure analysis; fatigue; finite element analysis; nuclear energy; energy efficiency
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Society is becoming increasingly digitized, and all sectors are becoming more and more adapted to this digitization process. Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, the metaverse, etc., are becoming closer to everyday life. This Special Issue seeks to provide an overview of the opinions of different sectors of society regarding this digital transformation. In this regard, studies that analyze how multiple sectors are adapting to this technological change are welcome. Thus, the opinions of professionals in the health, education, and tourism industries, among others, are of particular interest to compare how this technological change affects different professional groups. We are also interested in identifying the advantages associated with specific sectors, the difficulties encountered, limitations in the use of certain technologies, etc.

This Special Issue is open to submissions of either in-depth original technical articles or survey/review papers. All submissions will be subject to a rigorous peer review, should cover quantitative or qualitative analyses with good scientific soundness, and provide new contributions in a specific sector, or a comparison between different sectors. We warmly invite researchers to submit their contributions to this Special Issue. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-immersive virtual reality;
  • Immersive virtual reality;
  • Augmented reality;
  • Mixed reality;
  • XReality;
  • VR/AR/MR collaboration;
  • Education with VR/AR/MR;
  • Use 360° video for VR;
  • Instruction of qualified staff through VR/AR/MR applications;
  • Virtual laboratories;
  • Virtual reality systems;
  • Virtual reality tools and toolkits;
  • 3D interactive environments;
  • Metaverse.

Prof. Dr. José Gómez-Galán
Dr. Diego Vergara
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • augmented reality
  • mixed reality
  • virtual environments
  • metaverse

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
Envisioning Digital Practices in the Metaverse: A Methodological Perspective
by Luca Sabatucci, Agnese Augello, Giuseppe Caggianese and Luigi Gallo
Future Internet 2023, 15(12), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15120394 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Researchers are exploring methods that exploit digital twins as all-purpose abstractions for sophisticated modelling and simulation, bringing elements of the real world into the virtual realm. Digital twins are essential elements of the digital transformation of society, which mostly benefit manufacturing, smart cities, [...] Read more.
Researchers are exploring methods that exploit digital twins as all-purpose abstractions for sophisticated modelling and simulation, bringing elements of the real world into the virtual realm. Digital twins are essential elements of the digital transformation of society, which mostly benefit manufacturing, smart cities, healthcare contexts, and in general systems that include humans in the loop. As the metaverse concept continues to evolve, the line separating the virtual and the real will progressively fade away. Considering the metaverse’s goal to emulate our social reality, it becomes essential to examine the aspects that characterise real-world interaction practices and explicitly model both physical and social contexts. While the unfolding metaverse may reshape these practices in distinct ways from their real-world counterparts, our position is that it is essential to incorporate social theories into the modelling processes of digital twins within the metaverse. In this work, we discuss our perspective by introducing a digital practice model inspired by the theory of social practice. We illustrate this model by exploiting the scenario of a virtual grocery shop designed to help older adults reduce their social isolation. Full article
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16 pages, 6611 KiB  
Article
3D Visualization in Digital Medicine Using XR Technology
by Miklos Vincze, Bela Molnar and Miklos Kozlovszky
Future Internet 2023, 15(9), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15090284 - 22 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Nowadays, virtual reality is a new and rapidly developing technology that provides the opportunity for a new, more immersive form of data visualization. Evaluating digitized pathological serial sections and establishing the appropriate diagnosis is one of the key task of the pathologist in [...] Read more.
Nowadays, virtual reality is a new and rapidly developing technology that provides the opportunity for a new, more immersive form of data visualization. Evaluating digitized pathological serial sections and establishing the appropriate diagnosis is one of the key task of the pathologist in the daily work. The type of tools used by pathologists in the evaluation of samples has not changed much in recent decades. On the other hand, the amount of information required to establish an accurate diagnosis has been significantly increased. Nowadays, pathologists are working with the help of multiple high-resolution desktop monitors. Instead of the large screens, the use of virtual reality can serve as an alternative solution, which provides virtualized working space for pathologists during routine sample evaluation. In our research, we defined a new immersive working environment for pathologists. In our proposed solution we visualize several type of digitized medical image data with the corresponding meta data in 3D, and we also defined virtualized functions that support the evaluation process. The main aim of this paper is to present the new possibilities provided by 3D visualization and virtual reality in digital pathology. The paper presents a new virtual reality-based examination environment, as well as software functionalities that are essential for 3D pathological tissue evaluation. Full article
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31 pages, 2565 KiB  
Article
The Meta-Metaverse: Ideation and Future Directions
by Mohammad (Behdad) Jamshidi, Arash Dehghaniyan Serej, Alireza Jamshidi and Omid Moztarzadeh
Future Internet 2023, 15(8), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15080252 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
In the era of digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI), the utilization of Metaverse technology has become increasingly crucial. As the world becomes more digitized, there is a pressing need to effectively transfer real-world assets into the digital realm and establish meaningful relationships between [...] Read more.
In the era of digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI), the utilization of Metaverse technology has become increasingly crucial. As the world becomes more digitized, there is a pressing need to effectively transfer real-world assets into the digital realm and establish meaningful relationships between them. However, existing approaches have shown significant limitations in achieving this goal comprehensively. To address this, this research introduces an innovative methodology called the Meta-Metaverse, which aims to enhance the immersive experience and create realistic digital twins across various domains such as biology, genetics, economy, medicine, environment, gaming, digital twins, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, psychology, supply chain, social networking, smart manufacturing, and politics. The multi-layered structure of Metaverse platforms and digital twins allows for greater flexibility and scalability, offering valuable insights into the potential impact of advancing science, technology, and the internet. This article presents a detailed description of the proposed methodology and its applications, highlighting its potential to transform scientific research and inspire groundbreaking ideas in science, medicine, and technology. Full article
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12 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
Emerging Technologies and Their Link to Digital Competence in Teaching
by Miguel Ángel García-Delgado, Sonia Rodríguez-Cano, Vanesa Delgado-Benito and María Lozano-Álvarez
Future Internet 2023, 15(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15040140 - 05 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1650
Abstract
The new educational reality requires teachers to have a series of skills and competences that allow them to improve the teaching–learning process and therefore the quality of teaching, integrating technology and emerging technologies. In order to assess the competence level of teachers, a [...] Read more.
The new educational reality requires teachers to have a series of skills and competences that allow them to improve the teaching–learning process and therefore the quality of teaching, integrating technology and emerging technologies. In order to assess the competence level of teachers, a descriptive study was designed, in which 101 teachers from different stages and geographical locations in Spain took part and were administered the DigCompEdu Check-in questionnaire. The results show average levels of teachers’ digital competence (B1 and B2, particularly), and an incipient use of emerging technologies by teachers, with less than 50% of the sample not using these technologies in their daily classroom activities, although those who show a higher level of digital competence are also those who integrate them more in their daily work. The results correspond with similar studies, corroborating the average level of teachers’ digital skills. Full article
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15 pages, 4196 KiB  
Article
Perception of the Use of Virtual Reality Didactic Tools among Faculty in Mexico
by Álvaro Antón-Sancho, Pablo Fernández-Arias and Diego Vergara
Future Internet 2023, 15(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi15020072 - 12 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
This paper develops descriptive quantitative research of the assessments of virtual reality (VR) technology, used as a didactic tool, by a sample of 712 university professors in Mexico. For this purpose, a validated Likert-type questionnaire was used as an instrument, the responses to [...] Read more.
This paper develops descriptive quantitative research of the assessments of virtual reality (VR) technology, used as a didactic tool, by a sample of 712 university professors in Mexico. For this purpose, a validated Likert-type questionnaire was used as an instrument, the responses to which were statistically analyzed. The results obtained show that professors in Mexico report low levels of digital skills, but high valuations of VR. These ratings depend strongly on the professors’ area of knowledge. In this sense, the biggest gap is between Engineering professors, who value VR better, and Humanities professors, who value it worse. There are also gender gaps and gaps due to the digital generation of the participants in the assessments made, whose behavior is also different according to the area of knowledge. As a result, some recommendations are provided to try to reduce the gaps found. Full article
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16 pages, 536 KiB  
Article
What Is Metaverse?—A Definition Based on Qualitative Meta-Synthesis
by Markus Weinberger
Future Internet 2022, 14(11), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi14110310 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 8485
Abstract
The term Metaverse has received much attention in various industries, in society, and, increasingly, in scientific communities. This creates demand for a comprehensive and broadly accepted definition of the subject, which is well grounded in research. At the same time, the Metaverse is [...] Read more.
The term Metaverse has received much attention in various industries, in society, and, increasingly, in scientific communities. This creates demand for a comprehensive and broadly accepted definition of the subject, which is well grounded in research. At the same time, the Metaverse is rather a vision under evolution than an examinable phenomenon. Therefore, this study applied an adapted version of the meta-synthesis method to analyze the existing literature and distill a proposal for a Metaverse definition. The adapted method takes the nature of the subject into account by weighing younger publications with many citations over older, less influential documents. Initially, 47 publications were fed into the process, of which 24 were left after the primary analysis. As a result of the analysis, the following definition is proposed: “The Metaverse is an interconnected web of ubiquitous virtual worlds partly overlapping with and enhancing the physical world. These virtual worlds enable users represented by avatars to connect and interact with each other, to experience and consume user-generated content in an immersive, scalable, synchronous and persistent environment. An economic system provides incentives for contributing to the Metaverse.” The meta-synthesis method ensures a systematic and reproducible approach while at the same time preserving the original voice and notion of the analyzed literature in order to create new knowledge based on the existing literature; thus the proposed Metaverse definition might serve as a helpful foundation for future research. Full article
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