Manjeet Rege headshot.
Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas

In the News: Manjeet Rege on the Risks and Benefits of Virtual Reality

Manjeet Rege, professor of software engineering and data science at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, recently spoke with TechTarget about how the metaverse can impact different parts of everyday life.

From the story:

The metaverse will let people see and interact with physical objects as if they were real, said Manjeet Rege, professor and chair of the Department of Software Engineering and Data Science at the University of St. Thomas. A car shopper, for example, could visit an auto dealer in a fully immersive spatial web, examine car models, test drive them and check out how they themselves would look in different vehicles in different colors. ...

“There are new avenues of business for companies to explore, such as hosting virtual retail experiences or selling a physical product with a digital one, too,” Rege said. ...

The metaverse, more so than video games, can potentially be addictive to some people who are looking for an escape, and experts said some individuals may lose the ability to distinguish reality from virtual reality. “Prolonged exposure to virtual environments can lead to addiction, mental health harm, mental fatigue, sleep disruption and more,” Rege said, noting that these could be particularly acute issues “for younger users who may struggle to differentiate between virtual and real worlds. Or someone could end up enjoying the metaverse so much that they cease to enjoy the real world.”