The Industrial Metaverse – The Next Big Thing For Manufacturing?
The digital world and the real world are becoming increasingly mixed. This development is leading to a new generation of the Internet in which the Metaverse is making the digital world more real and reality more digital. The Metaverse is based on real-time 3D content. Virtual and Augmented Reality allow people to experience this 3D content much like real life: in three-dimensional space instead of on a flat monitor, with their own body as a natural interface. As a virtual world or embedded in reality, VR and AR offer unique potential for new forms of entertainment, digital communication, location-independent encounters and collaboration.
Forward-thinking industrial companies rely on the Industrial Metaverse as a way to bundle all the company’s VR and AR applications in one central location and to make these applications visible and usable for employees. The Industrial Metaverse accelerates work processes, enables higher quality results while reducing the use of real resources, thereby reducing costs.
The decisive factor for the success of the Industrial Metaverse is the scaling of VR and AR throughout the company and beyond. Entire work processes, such as 3D design or training, can only be shifted to the Industrial Metaverse if they are available everywhere throughout the company. To make this shift, all employees need access to the VR and AR applications they need, at any time and from any location. This seamless, smooth distribution is best achieved via XR app streaming.
XR app streaming operates across hardware and software, is independent of local resources and thus performs consistently transmitting all assets in maximum detail via cloud or local server rendering and offers maximum data security through a ‘single source of truth’ approach for 3D assets and user management.
The Industrial Metaverse thus combines the advantages of XR streaming with the management capabilities of a mature Metaverse ecosystem. Companies can use the Industrial Metaverse to control and scale their VR and AR content, thereby ensuring the viability of their digital future.
What is the Industrial Metaverse?
The Industrial Metaverse is emerging ahead of the Commercial Metaverse. It will provide the industrial infrastructure for the next phase of digital transformation. Like the Internet, the Industrial Metaverse will initially start in individual companies, then in the next phase, it will bring together partner companies, and in the future, it will span entire industries. Like the new Web 3.0, the Industrial Metaverse offers decentralized management, while at the same time providing the advantages of a central platform, such as security, ease of use and accessibility.
The Industrial Metaverse is the technical basis for all of a company’s XR work processes and applications. As a central ecosystem, it brings all applications together, making them manageable and visible. It also links, combines and scales these applications.
The Industrial Metaverse gives employees continuous access to XR applications – regardless of the locally available hardware. At the same time, it provides all the interfaces needed for seamless transitions between applications.
8 Industrial metaverse: Key success Factors for Companies
Over time, the Industrial Metaverse will evolve into a digital space for collaboration, planning and meeting that exists in parallel with real workplaces, such as the office. The key benefit of the Industrial Metaverse is the scaling of VR and AR throughout the entire company, making all XR applications and files visible and usable at all times by all employees who have the appropriate access rights. This company-wide scaling alone makes VR and AR a foundational technology whose potential can be fully exploited, for example, by converting entire work processes to Metaverse technology.
An example from the automotive industry is that companies can digitize their entire engineering processes. Prototype components can be modeled to scale in 3D, visualized, tested, adapted and then sent to production or even to market by several employees working cooperatively with VR or AR, regardless of location. This process consumes fewer or even no real resources. In this scenario, the Industrial Metaverse significantly shortens the prototyping process, thus saving costs. It also enhances the process through true-to-scale 3D visualization, thereby improving the quality of the process. Furthermore, this makes it possible to economically prototype small series or large series with a high degree of variance.
What Exactly is the Purpose of the Metaverse?
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t give a fixed definition of the Metaverse, because the undertaking is too dynamic for that. However, the CEO of Meta did outline the general conditions. The Internet of the future will permeate the real and digital worlds, and immersive real-time 3D content will become the predominant format. We will enter virtual worlds physically, overcome real distances through encounters in digital spaces, and one day, we will use VR and AR glasses more in our everyday lives than we use traditional computers.
Zuckerberg and many other tech CEOs were inspired by Internet and game theorist Matthew Ball, the intellectual father of the modern Metaverse movement. Ball sees the Metaverse as the next stage of the mobile Internet, a “massively scaled, interoperable network” of 3D virtual worlds rendered in real time. As early as 2019, Ball predicted that the Metaverse would accommodate a virtually unlimited number of users and would span the digital and physical worlds in all areas of our lives.
The Metaverse Standards Forum, an industry organization that advocates for open interfaces, describes the Metaverse as “merging the connectivity of the web with the immersion of VR and AR.”
“The metaverse is here, and it’s not only transforming how we see the world but how we participate in it – from the factory floor to the meeting room” states Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
The above is an extract from a whitepaper available for free download.
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