Slowly, but steadily, cloud computing is factoring into the metaverse and it is not surprising considering the amount of storage and processing that goes into supporting a virtual reality universe. Looks like Amazon Web Services (AWS) has introduced a new angle to the cloud-metaverse game. The Seattle-based public cloud giant is reportedly using a 3D metaverse-like game to offer training to users on how to use its cloud computing platform.
Called AWS Cloud Quest, it is a role-playing learning game that helps users to develop practical cloud skills through interactive learning and hands-on activities using AWS services. The new 3D game is part of Amazon’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing training to 29 million people by 2025 in more than 200 countries and territories.
According to the company, the free training is ideal for new-to-cloud professionals who want to learn foundational cloud computing concepts while zapping drones and collecting gems, solving quizzes, videos and hands-on exercise based on real-world business scenarios to complete quests to, say, build a virtual city. This in turn will build a person’s real-life cloud computing skills -- drawing comparisons to the metaverse, which is defined as a network of 3D virtual world focused on social connection.
AWS Cloud Quest is moving away from passive content, as Kevin Kelly, director of Cloud Career Training Programs at AWS, said in a blog post, “We want to make abstract cloud computing concepts real through interactive and hands-on activities that immediately let learners turn theory into practice.”
“As the world becomes increasingly digitised, the need for individuals with technical knowledge has never been greater,” said Kelly. “We want to help address the tech skills gap, putting free skills training in the hands of anyone with a desire to learn more about cloud computing.”
Cloud Quest was introduced along with a revamped training initiative called AWS Educate, which, as the name suggests, targets the education sector to make it more interactive and accessible, said Kelly.
Unlike its contenders Microsoft’s Azure cloud, AWS hardly mentions the term "metaverse". In fact, only one AWS blog post is tagged with the term: "How Immersive Technologies Are Changing the Retail Landscape," from October 2021.
The Azure cloud, in comparison, is extremely vocal about the metaverse, and commonly associates with transformative technologies like digital twins, Web 3.0, NFTs, decentralised autonomous organisations and more.
Google Cloud too mentioned it is building the technology to capture and playback the real world in the metaverse, bridging the gap between the physical world and the virtual."
AWS’ new training initiative might also be seen as a way to discreetly foray into the emerging space.
Aubhro Ghosh, a training consultant with a healthcare company, explained, “The reason cloud training in the metaverse can be very effective is that it offers all the advantages of digital learning — convenience, interactivity and remote collaboration — without any of the previous drawbacks that distinguished virtual from reality.”
“As these two realms begin to blend together, we expect to see greater training opportunities to emerge,” he added.
According to a December 2021 Bloomberg Intelligence analysis, the metaverse could unlock nearly $800 billion market opportunity. Cloud training can be one of the many areas that can capitalise on the new revenue streams. As more businesses interact in virtual environments, learning cloud skills in the metaverse can alter this training landscape, believe experts.