The year 2022 was characterized with a massive rush in the development of metaverse projects with more than 200 metaverse tokens recorded on CoinMarketCap. Most of these projects focused on retail consumer with specific applications such as gaming and building digital spaces.
While the previous year Metaverse growth was driven by the retail users, institutional businesses are taking a position in the industry. Speaking on the Metaverse, the Nokia Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Nishant Batra said the optimal and most impactful use of the metaverse will be driven by industries and businesses.
The metaverse can be defined as a connection of 3D virtual worlds where users can create value, engage with each other, and access services created by individuals as well as companies.
Introduction of digital twin
Explaining his standpoint, Nishant said that an aspect of the metaverse has been in operation before now – the digital twin. A digital twin is the representation of an object in the physical as well as digital realms where its properties can be manipulated from the digital to be reflected physically.
He explained that ports, aerospace organizations, and factories are using digital twins to navigate and make work easier and faster. So with a digital twin, ports can track containers that are hidden in the dock while aerospace companies simulate how aircraft will work in real life before going into manufacturing of any parts.
“Many new factories exist just as much in the digital world as they do in the physical, allowing operators to visualize operations down to the smallest detail,” he added.
The metaverse in urban planners
For urban planners or those in urban planning, he highlighted that with the use of extended reality technologies, these professionals will do a more efficient and faster job when planning cities. For example, with XR glasses, “they would immediately see how moving a bus stop or adding a traffic light would impact traffic”.
The information they get from these exercises can be sent into a digital twin of the city from where further simulation, tests, adjustments, and possible solutions to physical problems can be derived. “In essence, the metaverse will give planners endless freedom to make changes in the virtual world, and then immediately see how those changes would impact the real world,” the CTO said.
Integration with AI, 5G, and cloud computing
Expanding on how the metaverse will function, Nishant added that with the addition of AI technologies, 5G networks, cloud computing, and more, the metaverse will become an instrument that moves us “from a state of awareness to a state of control”.
Some of the possibilities that will come of this will include workers performing augmented maintenance from anywhere around the world as they interface with robots that can work both in a physical and digital world.
Industries will alter their operations by using operational technologies that will constantly change and solve problems based on real-time demands, he noted.
As businesses built it, customers will use it
Nishant emphasized his ground by saying that while the consumer-focused metaverse is still under development, the industrial-based metaverse has kicked off and will help provide tools for the former. “We will develop many technologies for the industrial metaverse that will make their way into the consumer metaverse – from micro-optics and advanced haptic interfaces to AI sensing awareness,” he said.
On the other hand, the growth of the consumer metaverse will usher in innovations that will be needed in the industrial metaverse. He advised that insteadd of focusing on the consumer metaverse, more attention should be given to the industrial metaverse.