When we think of digital immersion, we often think of VR and AR. But digital immersion extends way beyond these technologies. The internet worked (and works!) because it is open. Decentralized by nature, and engineered with standards of interoperability so that millions of servers and devices can both run the infrastructure and access the wealth of experiences living on it. That doesn’t mean everything works everywhere, but it does mean standard modes of engagement.
Interoperability is the key idea that the internet exists in thousands, millions — hundreds of millions maybe — servers, because there are some standards of interoperability that were established early.
When it comes to IoT, the metaverse and the digital twin market, it all comes down to interoperability again. It’s not strictly required that every website or every 3D world interoperate with every other one. But it is important that we can share some things between them, that there are ways of fetching content that is fairly standard.
With the digital twin market projected to grow to $29.57 billion by 2025, we’re bound to see more use cases for Industry 4.0 to meet the demand for asset health optimisation and predictive maintenance. There is a growing need for Industrial IoT solutions, and a rise in smart city and smart building infrastructure ensuring efficient energy consumption.
When we talk about the IoT and the metaverse, it’s important to understand the digital twin concept. It comes out of the Internet of Things (IoT) world and is related to Microsoft’s plans. The tech giant has expressed its interest in developing a platform to digitally map and monitor everything in a real-world business environment — warehouses, factories, retail stores, and so on. It’ll be like a 3D version of Microsoft Office.
From a developer perspective, as usual Microsoft covers pretty much everything — you can apply complex machine learning technology to digital twins, or build a simple application on top of digital twin data using Microsoft’s Power Platform (its lowcode toolset). Apart from Microsoft, NVIDIA and Facebook are two other companies tapping into the metaverse with their own concepts.
Nvidia announced an expansion of its Omniverse platform, which is based on open source technology developed by Pixar, called Universal Scene Description (USD). Unlike Microsoft and Nvidia, Facebook’s metaverse is currently vaporware. To be fair, that’s because Facebook only just announced its metaverse product group. Developers can test out Microsoft and Nvidia’s metaverse stacks. There are also open-source platforms out like Mozilla Hubs, which is browser-based. It allows developers to use web technologies like Three. js and WASM. The Open Metaverse OS is another open platform, this time tapping into the crypto trend (it uses NFTs, decentralized governance, and the like).
This is why the metaverse is the natural continuation of the IoT. The metaverse is multi-dimensional, opening new possibilities for design and development.
Carnellia Ajasin, is CEO of Mind Katalyst - an innovation venture studio. We're making the difference we want to see in the world through building humanity-centred tech products and experiences that people love applying emerging technology as an insightful medium. We love co-creating products that improve life, making access to capital equitable for scalability and creating new ecosystems. For more on how Mind Katalyst can help you scale your technology products, contact us for more details