magine taking a course in a lecture theater lled with avatars, including the speaker’s and your own. Imagine a class where the professor greets the students present, in person and apparently there but actually located at a campus around km away. These scenarios may seem futuristic. However, such total virtuality and mixed reality environments for education are almost here, with initial trials underway as part of MetaHKUST, the University’s go-ahead extended reality initiative. I Getting real about the metaverse HKUST is setting out to help shape the digital world of immersive learning that frontier augmented and virtual reality technologies are opening up, as well as alert people to the societal issues that such realms will need to address in their development Cover Story 12 IN FOCUS Prof. Pan Hui at HKUST(GZ): pioneer of virtual and augmented realities.