The Risks and Opportunities of Metaverse Digital Twins

The metaverse, whatever it is, is attracting increasing attention across all sectors of the economy. And, like the Internet itself, there are parts of the metaverse that are all business and finance and governance oriented, and there are parts that welcome the worst in society.

While much of the volatility in this real estate can be fueled by speculators, Yuga Labs has successfully shown that real estate in the metaverse can be a hot item, even among non-tech companies that buy real estate and build businesses. customers and customers.

To that end, companies and government agencies interested in pursuing opportunities in the metaverse have begun using digital twins on their recently acquired real estate assets.

These virtual representations of all kinds of real objects were originally developed by academics and NASA as a means of inexpensive and thorough testing and simulation of complicated machines such as spacecraft and their engines. Digital twins allowed NASA to iteratively test their designs without the expense of building and destroying the devices.

Large multinationals have also embarked on the digital twin/metaverse cart. Nike, the sportswear maker, just announced its digital footwear — in part in response to emerging competition that spawned a digital twin of Nike-branded footwear. Nike’s CryptoKicks, while not yet digital representations of the real thing, will come with Snapchat filters that will allow owners of NFT-based sneakers to pose online while wearing them.

For example, other multinationals such as BMW and Lockheed Martin have made working digital replicas of complex production floors and digital replicas of natural areas for fire behavior analysis and security.

The City of Orlando is developing a model of the entire metro area to develop a technology hub. And other major metropolises such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Helsinki and Singapore are developing digital versions of their cities to promote different policies. Even Dubai’s cryptocurrency regulatory body, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, has established itself on the Sandbox metaverse platform.

Correctional facilities are also setting up digital twins of real-life environments in an effort to ease the transition of long-term inmates into modern society. Convicted felons can virtually practice using self-checkout aisles in supermarkets before being released.

The Metaverse isn’t all virtual roses, though. Bringing real world experiences into the immersive environment of the metaverse will raise new ethical, legal and social questions. For example, much of the metaverse will be accessible through extended reality (XR) technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. These devices have the ability to collect millions of data points from their users as they immerse themselves in the metaverse. This data can be particularly private, such as biometric information related to breathing and heart rate, as well as location and text and audio information. Collection of this data by metaverse platforms may violate emerging laws such as the California Privacy Rights Act, which went into effect in January 2023, which significantly limits the collection of consumer biometrics.

Professor Dov Greenbaum is director of the Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies at Reichman University’s Harry Radzyner Law School.

Leave a Comment