Alliance Channel | The Industrial Metaverse: A New World to Discover
Source: Alliance of Industrial Internet
In March 2021, the first concept stock of the metaverse – Roblox – went public. Since then, the metaverse has garnered widespread attention. Tech giants such as Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Tencent, ByteDance, and Baidu have been in a highly contested race to each build their presence in this new arena.
The metaverse is a new social ecosystem of Internet applications built on new infrastructure. People move around the metaverse using their avatars, and this is a prime example of the high degree of spatialtemporal integration between the virtual and real worlds and the human-machine interaction that the metaverse is characterized by. Through technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and digital twins, the metaverse is able to mirror, spatially and temporally expand the real world, and extend the value of the real world.
The industrial metaverse is an important field within the metaverse. It builds upon the core infrastructure and application concepts of the metaverse to serve the industrial economy. The industrial metaverse redefines the industrial system, as it features holographic display and cross-spatial convergence in the virtual world, covering the full-factor chain, the value chain, and the industry chain (which collectively are known as “the three chains”). The very nature of the industrial metaverse means that a new ecosystem has evolved, in which new styles of social networking are a staple feature. The industrial metaverse has also given rise to economic models for coordinating industrial production and operation activities by means of human-machine interaction and digitalization. It is clear that the industrial metaverse has the potential to really drive industrial transformation and further innovative development.
Answering your questions about this new world
Q1: What is the metaverse?
There is still no set definition of the metaverse. Generally speaking, the metaverse can be understood as an open, immersive, and autonomous digital cyberspace that digitally integrates the virtual and real worlds using powerful interoperable information technologies such as XR, blockchain, AI, and digital twins. The metaverse has now evolved into a digital living space with a new socioeconomic system, in which value has been redefined, identity has become an asset as each person cultivates their personal brand, and content has become the new means of value creation. This networked society spans the full time and space axes of social activities and real world interpersonal relationships. In a nutshell, the metaverse is an extension of the space, time, and value of the real world.
Q2: What is the industrial metaverse?
According to Mr. Li Bohu, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the industrial metaverse is the “integration of various new technologies in the new era, such as XR, digital twins, and content generation, inspired by new development concepts and new-generation AI technologies. The industrial metaverse realizes mapping, facilitates interaction, and integrates people, the virtual world, and the real world. It extends and boosts the real world through the virtual world, and covers the three chains (full-factor chain, value chain, and industry chain) to build an intelligent, collaborative, open, service-based, and interconnected digital industrial economy system.”
The industrial metaverse is an important application field of the metaverse. It is a new industrial ecosystem in which new-generation information and communications technology (ICT) and the real industrial economy are deeply integrated. Representative technologies include XR, digital twins, and content generation. Below is a representation of the relationship between the industrial metaverse and the metaverse:
For everyday consumers, the metaverse represents a way to pursue a different style of content creation and a new user experience. By contrast, the applications of, and objects constructed by, the industrial metaverse are an actual physical system, and the problems, organizational relationships, and tasks undertaken are grounded in reality. Thanks to the solid technical foundation and the wide range of applications in the industrial field, the industrial metaverse is poised to become a preferred direction for the application of the metaverse.