While the differences between virtual and real universe have already blurred, metaverse is a relatively new concept. Here, the internet is considered a single entity to create 3D online environment through augmented and virtual reality. This allows people in the real world to interact, shop, learn, transact, and so on. This concept is extrapolated to industries to form the concept of industrial metaverse. This term refers to the development and interconnection of digital ecosystems in the virtual 3D environment which cater to requirements of various industries in the real world. So, all the industrial processes, operations, and so on have a digital representation and are controlled or managed by people, hardware, and equipment from the real world within the industrial environment. This post discusses how industrial metaverse may shape or transform industries in the future.
Exploring the Role of Industrial Metaverse in Industry Evolution
While this is a nascent market yet, industrial metaverse is already being used in some segments. Accordingly, changes are being made in some machines, network devices, and so on to suit the advancements of this technology. Here are some of the current applications.
- Online gaming: To some extent, this concept has been used in online gaming to create an immersive experience for the user through AR and VR. In some of these games, the user is represented online as avatar. However, further research and development is needed in this and other segments as well.
- Product design and manufacturing: Designing various large and complex parts and products such as aircraft, boats, and more may find improvement. This is possible by engineers engaging with virtual 3D environment to create prototypes, ideate, innovate, and so on to improve these designs to create them in the real world. Testing also carried out in the virtual environment. This will help save time and cost as well.
- Supply chain: The entire supply chain management may be mapped in the virtual 3D environment first to identify parts availability, transport issues, and other bottlenecks quickly. All the stages of the supply chain process may be recorded in the virtual environment and digital signatures may be used to reduce paperwork.
- Industrial IoT: Industrial metaverse may find huge application in IoT. One can transfer all the data gathered by sensors in IoT applications to the metaverse for a quick analysis and identifying potential issues in machines or integrated systems, depending on the type of application.
- Digital twins or replicas:Digital twins of anything ranging from engineering parts and devices to vehicles, aircraft and beyond are being created in the virtual universe to improve design, testing, and reduce the time required. This will easily enable identifying issues, creating prototypes, experimenting, and more at a fast speed in the virtual environment and later created in the real world.
- Industrial systems training and maintenance: Industrial metaverse may open up new avenues to improve productivity through the virtual environment. Visual representation of complex parts and systems offers a clear picture of the inside details. This is useful for troubleshooting, training, and monitoring of key indicators.
- Case studies and training: Since, this technology is in its nascent stage, further research is required. Researchers and businesses refer to various case studies done by some companies in this regard. This material is also used for training employees working in this segment.
- Emergency response training: Industrial metaverse can be applied to train operators in emergency scenarios. Simulated environments in metaverse will help recreate realistic scenarios and allow operators to sharpen their decision making skills, improve response times, and minimize casualties.
- Training professionals undertaking space missions: Simulated environments in metaverse will help recreate space missions, extravehicular activities, and space assembly. This would help space engineers and astronauts to improve their skills and knowledge in a safe environment while helping improve their efficiency.
While the term metaverse was coined as part of a science fiction where humans were shown as avatars in the virtual world, industrial metaverse seems to have huge potential if businesses come together and strategize. However, even then we may require good quality network devices to form a robust network, and fiber optics may be key to achieve the right speed, bandwidth, and more. Devices such as connectors, switches, media converters must be worked upon to suit the advanced requirements of metaverse. Researchers are already working on developing network switches, especially industrial hardened ones, to cater to these demands. In fact, their initial versions are already in use and designed to be more robust to handle and transfer humungous amounts of data. Whether now or for the future, if you plan to expand your network, ensure you source network switches, routers, and media converters from a reliable player. VERSITRON has been at the forefront of fiber optic revolution and has designed and engineered devices such as media converters, industrial switches, MicroModems, and other fiber optic devices. You can opt for custom devices to suit your specific requirements. You can contact their team of experts to know the scalability and future use of the devices they offer.