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'What would Asimov do?' Hitachi and Sony seek sci-fi inspiration

Japanese companies imagine a landscape beyond the metaverse

Sony Group imagines a fleet of floating habitats that will shelter climate refugees in 2050. (Image courtesy of Sony Group)

TOKYO -- Hitachi's recent metaverse event had all the usual trappings. A simulated climb of Mount Everest replete with avatars delighted attendees, along with the latest virtual reality goggles and motion suits.

But what garnered the most attention were lively discussions from entrepreneurs, who spoke about the technologies and frameworks needed to take the metaverse -- a proposed immersive version of the internet accessed through cutting-edge devices -- from the stuff of science fiction to commonplace reality.

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