Technology has the power to connect our society and make us more accessible. We can contact friends around the world, do business in virtual meetings, and meet new people online. The metaverse brings all of these concepts together into one platform: a public virtual world. Using a computer, phone, tablet, or VR headset, an individual may one day transport themselves to a virtual world to meet friends, purchase digital items, play games or even go to work and hold meetings.
Big tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft are investing in the technology, which shows that there is huge potential for the metaverse to become a widely used platform in the near future. While development has primarily focused on games, e-commerce, and virtual work, the industrial applications of the metaverse stand to be both exciting and impactful.
The construction, agriculture and manufacturing sectors are set to be greatly affected by this technology. By being able to create a digital twin of a facility or field in the metaverse, the potential is there to revolutionize the way planning, research, and problem solving are done. This would allow businesses to analyze data, anticipate any issues that may arise, or even develop new opportunities within a business. Being able to build brand awareness through visits or the sale of digital products could also have a positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. And it can revolutionize not only the industries mentioned, but also the way work is done in general.
AG AND CONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS
In agriculture, farmers have the potential to create a digital twin of their farm to plan the most efficient harvest. They were able to see how new farm equipment would increase efficiency before purchasing, revolutionizing their planning process. Farmers are already using AR (augmented reality) technologies to digitize and monitor plant biology, progress and data. The platform would provide more educational opportunities, hopefully inspiring younger generations to take an interest and enthusiasm for agriculture. The metaverse could also encourage more farmers to adopt smart farming practices, leading to additional on-farm benefits and improvements.
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Meanwhile, construction companies could see how new designs would impact current infrastructure. They would be able to create virtual walking trips and see how their projects would perform after years of wear and tear, leading to better planning and project longevity. The metaverse can also help analyze past projects to show their strengths and weaknesses, and it also presents the opportunity for the construction and AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industries to embrace digital working. in a field that has traditionally been very physical in nature. Site visits can be done in 3D, eliminating the need to walk around to make decisions and see changes.
USE CASES IN MANUFACTURING
Envision a future in which manufacturing companies could give presentations and virtual tours of their facilities, in addition to building brand awareness by showing how their day-to-day operations work. This would generate more interest among younger generations, as they seem to be interested in using technologies such as the Metaverse in their future careers. Manufacturers could also create a digital twin of their manufacturing buildings to solve logistical issues or plan the best workflow for employees.
Metaverse customers will have better visibility into the supply chain process through 3D representations of how products are manufactured, distributed and sold. Increased transparency means customers would know what the exact lead times are for goods and expected shipping delays, as well as greater visibility into real-time shipping costs for different distributors.
METAVERSE EARLY ADOPTERS
Lockheed Martin jumped at the chance to use metaverse technology to simulate and fight fires. The company has partnered with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC) and the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service to better understand wildfires and stop their spread. Using AI and digital twin technology in partnership with Nvidia, the system will be able to suggest actions to best extinguish the fire. This technology could be used in different applications in the future to make suggestions on the use of resources on farms or in controlled burning.
BMW, meanwhile, was an early adopter of metaverse technology in terms of manufacturing and logistics. The company has partnered with Nvidia to use their Omniverse to simulate its manufacturing operations, essentially pushing the boundaries of smart manufacturing. Using metaverse technology, BMW strives to create better workflows for its employees and foster more efficient manufacturing processes.
Improving product quality, reducing manufacturing costs, increasing production and ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees are top priorities for manufacturers today. However, these goals are rarely consistently achieved. The ability to achieve these goals depends more than ever on the collection of real-time data from all aspects of the operation and the availability of this data in an easy-to-understand format. The metaverse allows this data to be captured and analyzed much more easily than ever before.
WHAT AWAITS US
While this all sounds great, there are growing concerns about the environmental impact of the metaverse. Different studies have different claims about emissions and energy, and it’s hard to say what will happen when the metaverse is fully developed. Overwhelmingly, the resources available today show that it could use a massive amount of energy and contribute to global climate change. Blockchain and bitcoin are already integrated into the metaverse concept, and a study from the University of Cambridge suggested that global bitcoin mining consumes more electricity per year than the entire country of Argentina.
The Metaverse is still in its infancy and shouldn’t be integrated into our lives this year. However, it is most definitely a concept worth watching. After all, the metaverse market is already booming. Ultimately, it could become a new, cost-effective way to improve planning, testing, and design. And with all of the potential applications for industrial use, it’s clear that manufacturers and the customers they serve might consider using this technology at some point, or perhaps even become part of the first wave of early adopters. .