Metaverse Communications, Networking, Security, and Applications: Research Issues, State-of-the-Art, and Future Directions

Metaverse Communications, Networking, Security, and Applications: Research Issues, State-of-the-Art, and Future Directions

IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 70, no. 9, pp. 6133-6148, Sept. 2022, doi: 10.1109/TCOMM.2022.3192385

Abstract or Summary

Metaverse is an evolving orchestrator of the next-generation Internet architecture that produces an immersive and self-adapting virtual world in which humans perform activities similar to those in the real world, such as playing sports, doing work, and socializing. It is becoming a reality and is driven by ever-evolving advanced technologies such as extended reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. In this context, Metaverse will play an essential role in developing smart cities, which becomes more evident in the post-COVID-19-pandemic metropolitan setting. However, the new paradigm imposes new challenges, such as developing novel privacy and security threats that can emerge in the digital Metaverse ecosystem. Moreover, it requires the convergence of several media types with the capability to quickly process massive amounts of data to keep the residents safe and well-informed, which can raise issues related to scalability and interoperability. In light of this, this research study aims to review the literature on the state of the art of integrating the Metaverse architecture concepts in smart cities. First, this paper presents the theoretical architecture of Metaverse and discusses international companies’ interest in this emerging technology. It also examines the notion of Metaverse relevant to virtual reality, identifies the prevalent threats, and determines the importance of communication infrastructure in information gathering for efficient Metaverse operation. Next, the notion of blockchain technologies is discussed regarding privacy preservation and how it can provide tamper-proof content sharing among Metaverse users. Finally, the application of distributed Metaverse for social good is highlighted. Most importantly, the paper explores the reflections of this cutting-edge technology on the smart city, talks about the role and impact of the Metaverse in the production of urban policies, and eventually identifies the research gaps and the future research directions in this domain.

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