Metaverse Digital Twins Risks and Opportunities

Metaverse, whatever it may be, is attracting more and more interest in all sectors of the economy. And like the Internet itself, there are parts of the metaverse that are all business and focused on finance and governance, and there are parts that welcome the worst in society.

While much of the volatility in this property may be fueled by speculators, Yuga Labs has successfully shown that property in the metaverse can be a hot commodity, even as non-technical companies buy property and build businesses. clients and clients.

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

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These virtual representations of all kinds of real things were originally developed by academics and NASA as a way to inexpensively and comprehensively test and simulate complex mechanisms such as spacecraft and their engines. Digital twins have allowed NASA to repeatedly test their designs without the costs of building and destroying the hardware.

Large multinational corporations have also embarked on the digital twin/metaverse bandwagon. Sportswear maker Nike has announced its digital footwear — partly in response to emerging competition that has introduced a digital twin of Nike-branded shoes. Nike’s CryptoKicks, while not yet a digital representation of the real thing, will come with Snapchat filters that will allow owners of NFT-based sneakers to appear online while wearing them.

Other multinational companies such as BMW and Lockheed Martin, for example, have created digital replicas of complex manufacturing floors as well as digital replicas of wildlife areas to analyze fire and security behavior.

The city of Orlando is developing a model for the entire metro area to help it develop a technology hub. Other major cities 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 crypto regulator, the virtual asset regulator, has settled on the Sandbox metaverse.

Correctional facilities are also creating digital twins for real-world environments in an effort to facilitate the long-term transition of inmates into modern society. Convicted criminals will actually be able to practice using the self-checkout aisles of supermarkets before they are released.

However, the Metaverse is not all virtual roses. Bringing real-world experiences into an immersive environment from the metaverse will raise new ethical, legal, and social questions. For example, a large part of the metaverse will be accessed through XR (extended reality) technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality. These devices have the ability to collect millions of data points from their users as they are integrated into the metaverse. This data can be private such as biometric information related to breathing and heart rate, as well as location, text and audio information. Collection of this data through metaverse platforms may violate emerging laws such as the California Privacy Rights Act, which took effect in January 2023, which significantly limits the collection of consumer vital data.

Professor Dov Greenbaum is Director of the Zvi Mitar Institute for the Legal Effects of Emerging Technologies at the Harry Radzner School of Law at Reichsman University.

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