The US Air Force unveiled its new virtual initiative called SpaceVerse, terming it as a “secure digital metaverse that converges terrestrial and space physical and digital realities and provides synthetic and simulated extended-reality [XR] training, testing, and operations environments.”
Aiming to cement its position in the metaverse universe, the Department of the Air Force filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a few days ago, leading attorney, Mike Kondoudis tweeted on 23rd April.
However, it is not clear if the plan is directly linked to the U.S. Space Force, which according to its website is “organized under” the Air Force, but operates as a “separate and distinct branch of the armed services.”
Out of the six branches of the U.S. military, Space Force has in the past announced major initiatives aimed at bringing blockchain technology or otherwise adopting digital assets.
In June 2021, Space Force announced it would be releasing NFT versions of patches and coins designed for the launch of one of its vehicles. The U.S. Navy too forged a $1.5-million deal with Consensus Networks to develop a blockchain-enabled logistics system named HealthNet.
China and the US battle it out
Much of the US-based firms venturing into the metaverse realm have focused mainly on commercial and recreational civilian purposes. But China seems to be one step ahead with its metaverse warfare that “affects the opponent’s thinking, cognition and action decision making,” according to a March 2022 report by an Air Force think tank.
Elmer Francisco, CEO of VetCoin Foundation, said in an interview that the metaverse is the next evolutionary step in weaponry after drones.
“Before, people fight with swords. Nowadays, people use guns and other weapons. Then countries employed drones. It’s similar except now in the metaverse, soldiers are using computers to engage in cyber warfare,” Francisco said.
With conglomerates like Meta [formerly Facebook], and several Silicon Valley tech giants pumping so much money into the metaverse, Francisco believes the US is leading the way, as of now. But “both China and the United States will inevitably compete in the metaverse, in the future,” he added.