Switzerland is playing a key role in building the next dimension of the internet: the metaverse. Thanks to the influence of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Disney Research and Magic Leap have all opened offices or research laboratories in Switzerland's economic capital.
Why shop in crowded shops, squeeze into overcrowded public transport or search desperately for a place to park? Soon, all you'll have to do is slide on your glasses to see your avatar and those of your friends strolling through the shopping streets. It will be possible to walk into a shop and try on virtual trousers that you can buy to enhance your virtual self or order for home delivery.
This science fiction scenario is becoming less and less fictional. All the technology giants are investing massively in the so-called metaverse, the internet-accessed digital duplicate of the physical world.
International renown?Switzerland is at the forefront of these innovations and is making a name for itself worldwide in this emerging sector. Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Disney Research and Magic Leap have all opened offices or research laboratories in Zurich. Zurich has become a global hub," says Marc Pollefeys, Director of Mixed Reality & AI Zurich Lab.
"The tech giants attract a large share of the brains trained at ETH Zurich, but also at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)," confirms Ronan Boulic, a lecturer and researcher at EPFL and a virtual reality specialist. "The EPFL imaging centre, which sparks collaboration between several laboratories, has also gained international renown," he adds.
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