Metaverse first: That's what our expert for data visualization says about scenarios for users and advantages of the Metaverse for industrial companies including practical examples
In the gaming sector, people have been operating in the "virtual world" for quite some time now. Thanks to the advancement of internet speed and performance (5G), more powerful computers, and increasingly better end devices for VR (Virtual Reality), virtual spaces are being opened up for more and more users and application scenarios. The metaverse is essentially a scalable network in which complex worlds with 3D objects can be displayed simultaneously for almost an unlimited number of users. A multisensory experience is offered: visual experiences are enriched with sounds, language, and probably soon even with smells.
You move around the Metaverse as a virtual person - as an avatar. An avatar is created specifically for the Metaverse environment and, if desired, can resemble your real image very closely thanks to 3D scanning. Artificial intelligence helps recognize and transfer your facial expressions and gestures to your avatar.
We remember "Mobile first", followed by "Cloud first". I think soon it will be "Metaverse first", as the Metaverse will shape both our leisure time and our work environment. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has already entered into a partnership with Microsoft and other tech giants. In Microsoft Teams, it is already possible to participate in meetings as an avatar. A taste of what is yet to come. The "Mesh" platform presented in 2021 is the gateway to the business oriented Metaverse, either integrated into Microsoft Teams or as a direct entry point into the existing Metaverse. The business share of the content available is currently rapidly increasing, even in Austria.
Think, for example, of communication with colleagues in home offices or at locations on the other side of the world, with whom you can hold more "lively" remote meetings as an avatar in the virtual space. Complex content or data can be better visualized in the Metaverse. It also serves as a test field for new products and services. Many things are more tangible and easier to understand despite the physical distance between users. Online shops where your avatar can test products are also an example of what is possible or will be possible in the future.
The Metaverse offers special benefits to industrial companies. There are already various applications that use Mixed Reality (XR) to assist in industrial operations. In "augmented reality", the real environment is enriched with virtual 3D aspects through wearables such as data glasses. For example, at Tietoevry Austria, we have developed an Industrial Metaverse application for the plastic and foam manufacturer Greiner. The Microsoft HoloLens data glasses are used to work on complex industrial machines, enabling quicker resolution of errors and maintenance needs, and speed up the learning process on how to operate the machines. The data glasses project interactive 3D holograms, animations, as well as documents and videos.
This goes one step further. In addition to the content already mentioned, real-time data is visualized directly on systems and machines. These come from sensors and make complex circuit diagrams easy to understand - "real-time" and in the form of digital twins. I, along with my expert colleagues at Tietoevry Austria, developed a solution of this kind for Wienerberger AG: the Microsoft HoloLens 2 displays digital twins based on real machines using our application. This helps Wienerberger AG with error prevention and more efficient machine operation. There will be much more to report on the "Metaverse of Things" in the future.
Thank you for the conversation!