The physical and the digital worlds are becoming increasingly integrated as a result of a relentless technological evolution. The latest idea developed by tech leaders seeks to remove the barriers between the two worlds and create a virtual network where users can go about their day-to-day activities and interact with other users in a second reality. We are talking about the metaverse.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse can be defined as a virtual environment that serves as a reflection of real life. In this space, users can use avatars to interact and virtually recreate real-life spaces through virtual and augmented reality. The main objective of the metaverse is to remove the physical limitations and barriers that exist between the digital and physical environments.
Many things can be done in the metaverse: social interaction with other users, shopping, carrying out economic operations, learning, playing games, even having your own job. It is worth noting that the metaverse is now being increasingly used in professional environments since it is seen as an advantage for companies and industries.
Metaverse and industries
According to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence, the economic prospects of this digital environment are so great that it is expected to be worth $800 billion by the middle of this decade, with this multiplying to $2.5 trillion by 2030.
Although the metaverse is not yet a physically tangible entity, it is a revolutionary idea and more and more companies and users are joining this model of interaction, meaning it will undoubtedly change the way we understand reality.
It is expected to be rolled out gradually, across all industries, and although it is not yet clear what the future of manufacturing will look like once the metaverse becomes mainstream, it is possible to highlight some of the main advantages.
The metaverse is conceived as a large-scale industrial workspace. In this virtual environment, manufacturers will be able to increase their competitiveness and run simulations to detect faults and improve their products before moving everything to the physical environment. Companies will also be able to optimise and automate their installations using metaverse simulations.
One of the main advantages is in terms of safety, since dangerous simulations can be performed without any risk to workers or robots.
Meanwhile, it will also help reduce costs and waste by accurately predicting the number of workers needed to perform a task or what machinery will be required for each application.
The metaverse also offers the opportunity to train employees using real projects. In other words, as it is a representation of reality, projects can be developed in this environment before being definitively approved.
An example of this can be found in companies such as Iberdrola, which recently took the leap into the metaverse to train its renewable energy technicians in the United States. Through its subsidiary, Avangrid Renewables, the Spanish utility company used VR Vision devices (mobile virtual reality glasses) to train staff on wind turbines. This allowed technicians to practice in an apparently real environment, but with the advantage that there would be no real consequences if they made any errors. The technicians were therefore provided with a comprehensive training experience and the company is now also preparing to use virtual reality for substations.