Immersive mixed reality will power the Metaverse

The Metaverse will be able to help optimize production planning, accelerate designing, improve overall production efficiency and increase accuracy

By Dijam Panigrahi March 18, 2022
Courtesy: Brett Sayles

The way in which businesses, enterprises, industry leaders and consumers use technology for everyday tasks is set to undergo a drastic evolution. A few years ago, it was nearly impossible to think any sort of technology could have a greater impact than networked computers, the Internet or even mobile computing, but now immersive mixed reality powering the Metaverse is challenging just that.

How companies will leverage “digital twins”

Today’s IT leaders are building the Metaverse – knowledge workers and things being represented by “digital twins” – a virtual world where people, consumers and workers all gather to communicate, collaborate and share through a virtual presence on any device. This means companies will build immersive virtual spaces, aka metaverses, and it will allow employees to virtually collaborate using their digital twin through chats, emails, video calls and even face-to-face meetings.

Well-known companies like Microsoft, Accenture and Facebook, which itself is now called Meta, are all paving the way toward this new reality of business, but there are companies working behind the scenes building immersive reality, modeling and simulation technologies that will ultimately power this new Metaverse.

What companies can do with the Metaverse

Microsoft in particular believes individuals will engage with one another in an immersive experience once they can co-exist in a virtual setting where they exist as avatars, perhaps even one day as holograms. The company expects people to access virtual settings from its Mesh for Teams application through mixed-reality headsets like HoloLens, as well as everyday smartphones and laptops.

In one of the earlier enterprise-level buildouts, Accenture has been developing a “virtual campus” where its employees meet for coffee, parties, presentations and other virtual events. The company also leverages this virtual meeting space when onboarding new employees, so they can build their virtual twins.

Modeling is at the center of powering the Metaverse

In this virtual Metaverse, digital twins based on modeling and simulation play a leading role. Simulation allows companies to take copies of the digital twin, run simulations on it and then identify optimizations that are too complex to find by monitoring the physical environment alone.

The power of simulation will be an exact game-changer for enterprises and businesses throughout the Metaverse in a variety of industries, such as optimizing production planning in the automotive sector, accelerating design in the aerospace industry, improving overall production efficiency for manufacturers and increasing accuracy for consumer packaged goods companies, many companies are poised to leverage virtual simulation to make better business decisions and generate the greatest return on investment.

Optimum immersive reality systems are needed to support ultra-realistic, high-fidelity digital twin visuals during the modeling and simulation process; precise fusion of the virtual on real world in a multi-platform environment and the ability to demonstrate a variety of realistic environments.

The Metaverse is a new kind of application, which is enabled by tight integration between real and virtual worlds. It is enabled by a multitude of new technologies broadly in five groups see Figure 1.

  1. Communications and computing infrastructure: The Metaverse will need to perform large scale compute-heavy tasks and access large databases to merge the real and virtual world.
  2. Management technology: The Metaverse will need a lot of resources, such as energy, compute, etc. This layer manages and allocates most optimum resources to run the Metaverse.
  3. Fundamental common technology: AI, Spatio-Temporal consistency are fundamental common technology for the Metaverse.
  4. Virtual reality object connection: The Metaverse will create 1:1 connection between real and virtual world objects and technologies, such as blockchain, and identity modeling will enable that.
  5. Virtual reality space convergence: The Metaverse will fundamentally need a new medium to interact. AR/VR/MR, BCI, and gaming technologies will enable this.
Figure 1. The technology road map of the Metaverse.

Figure 1. The technology road map of the Metaverse. Courtesy: GridRaster

Immersive reality solution providers offer the following foundational technologies to run industrial enterprise Metaverse:

1: Virtual reality space convergence:

a: AR/VR:

  1. Ultra-low latency high fidelity rendering: Low latency is extremely critical to provide an immersive experience in the Metaverse. AR/VR partners provide unparalleled realism of environments by leveraging ultra-low latency remote rendering on cloud and on premise in full fidelity and wireless streaming the solution to affordable commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) devices – HMD, tablet and desktop.
  2. High precision 3D artificial intelligence (AI) based spatial mapping: Uses high-fidelity remote spatial mapping with high fidelity 3D scene reconstruction, scene segmentation and 3D object recognition using 3D vision and deep learning-based AI with precise fusion of the real and virtual worlds to merge real world and virtual worlds.
  3. Game engine: Consumer game engines have limitations that they can only handle a Metaverse that can fit in a single server. The metaverse will be ever growing as more digital twins are created to simulate real objects in the virtual world. The right AR/VR partners have created a data-centric simulation engine which scales for any complexity of metaverse.

2: Communications and computing infrastructure:

a: Cloud computing/edge computing: Industrial enterprises will always subscribe to multi-cloud, edge cloud. Depending on different factors such as data sensitivity, latency and cost, different parts of the Metaverse need to be run at different clouds/edge in a distributed manner. AR/VR partners automate running the Metaverse for industrial enterprise.

b: Messaging framework: In the distributed Metaverse there is a need to update the Metaverse at global scale, so users can collaborate seamlessly. AR/VR partners have messaging framework updates distributed to the Metaverse at global scale.

3. Fundamental common technology:

a: Security and privacy: Security and privacy is one of the biggest issues facing today’s world. Since the Metaverse has the digital twin as an integral part, the Metaverse will have much richer data. The security and privacy in Metaverse cannot be solved by traditional security tools. AR/VR partners have built tools that handle security and privacy related to digital twins.

The Metaverse is going to be important for all businesses, enterprises and consumers. Today, people and employees can only experience the internet when they log online on their computer or mobile device, but with new connectivity, devices and technologies powered by immersive mixed reality, people will be able to experience the internet all around every single day.

Author Bio: Dijam Panigrahi is Co-founder and COO of GridRaster Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based AR/VR platforms that power compelling high-quality AR/VR experiences on mobile devices for enterprises.