Following a recent trademark filing by the Arizona State University, the school may be exploring the use of NFTs to authenticate many documents and also offer virtual classes in the Metaverse soon.
According to records filed with the USPTO on June 7 and 8, the Arizona Board of Regents filed seven applications on behalf of Arizona State University for variations of its name — ASU, Arizona State, Arizona State University — as well as the name of its football team, the Sun Devils, to be used in a virtual environment.
The university’s name, as well as the Sun Devils’ pitchfork symbol and logo, were trademarked for use in “virtual settings in which users can interact for recreational, leisure, or entertainment purposes,” as well as instructional objectives, according to the documents.
ASU reported 77,881 students enrolled at physical campuses in the United States for the fall semester of 2021, while 57,848 students attended via “digital immersion.” It’s unclear whether the university’s probable entrance into the Metaverse was spurred by the fact that more than 42% of its students are enrolled in online courses.
Casey Evans, ASU’s senior director of strategic learner and program mobilization, said digital immersion coursework was the “greatest instrument to enable students to continue learning during this time of physical separation,” presumably referring to the ongoing pandemic.
According to the trademark registrations, ASU may be looking into using nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, to authenticate a variety of documents, including degrees and tickets to campus events.
ASU has used blockchain technology in the past for a variety of purposes, including tracking the spread of COVID-19 in November 2020 and sharing data from its students’ academic records in 2019.
Other colleges have announced plans to “go meta” in 2022 as well. The University of Sao Paulo wants to do a study on the usefulness of virtual and augmented reality technologies, as well as how their use may alter human behavior.