USM FIRST UNIVERSITY TO SET UP A METAVERSE SPACE LIBRARY@IPPT

IPPT BERTAM, KEPALA BATAS, 30 April 2022 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) became the first university in Malaysia to introduce a Metaverse Space Library located at its Advanced Medical and Dental Institute (IPPT) Bertam campus that offers a variety of digital environments connected to the virtual world without computers.

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USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr. Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan said it has introduced the metaverse concept of virtual reality (VR) to the university's community because VR was making inroads in the mainstream of technology and had vast potential.

"In terms of education, metaverse can be a learning and teaching platform that integrates all information and entertainment in the three-dimensional virtual world and USM is coming to grips with technological advances in the education revolution of the new millennium.

“To enter the metaverse world, everyone needs a specialised device like a VR (head-set) set and currently the IPPT library in collaboration with the information technology division has developed an online internal system called ‘VR Discovery’ which is a 3D Data Management System.

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"Through the internal system, it can transform library information source materials such as image materials, anatomical models, electronic books, documents and others into three-dimensional format," he said after the Metaverse Space opening ceremony at IPPT USM here two days ago.

Faisal Rafiq said the source material is then automatically displayed on a web portal called ‘GoVR’ for access to more interactive three-dimensional formatted information by users.

“The uniqueness of the project is to explore and bring the world of virtual reality to the GoVR web portal using a headset.”

He said the initiative is known as ‘WebVR’ which enables users to experience the immersive virtual reality technology in the library and improves the effectiveness of teaching and training conducted at USM.

Meanwhile, head of IPPT Library and project leader, Hasniza Amno said the Metaverse Space (Spatial) project at IPPT is to provide high-impact services that are different from existing conventional services through a more creative three-dimensional virtual reality platform.

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"It is also part of the concept of edutainment in the library to create an immersive experience, where students are in a virtual interactive learning environment," she said.

Among those who were also present at the ceremony were USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Institutional Development) Professor Dr. Md Roslan Hashim; IPPT Director, Professor Dr. Tunku Kamarul Zaman Tunku Zainol Abidin; Acting Chief Librarian, Mohd Nasir Mohd Rashid and several heads of department.

Text: Tan Ewe Hoe

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