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The Gobsmacked® Blog

The Industrial Metaverse

A Tangible Advantage or Just Hype?‍‍

The concept of the Metaverse has been making waves in the tech world, promising a new era of interconnectedness between the digital and physical realms. While the consumer Metaverse focuses on social experiences and entertainment, the enterprise and industrial Metaverse aim to revolutionize the way we work and manufacture. But is the Industrial Metaverse a tangible advantage for industrial brands, or is it just another tech trend that will fade away?‍‍

The Industrial Metaverse: What Is It?

The Industrial Metaverse is a digital equivalent of a physical environment, like a factory or warehouse. It leverages technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to create immersive experiences that can be used for design, monitoring, management, and optimization. One of the key components of the Industrial Metaverse is the Digital Twin, a digital representation of a physical asset. Sensors on the factory or warehouse floor generate real-time data about everything happening and feed it into this digital representation. This data can then be used for simulations, predictions, and modelling.‍‍

The Potential of the Metaverse for Industrial Brands

The Industrial Metaverse offers significant potential for industrial brands. It can provide complete and experiential visibility of an environment, enabling remote management of facilities. It can also facilitate autonomous and robotic processes, further enhancing efficiency. Moreover, the Industrial Metaverse can help bridge the brand gap. It can make data more digestible and visual, making it easier to translate innovations and developments into customer-facing marketing material. For example, Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous solutions, has created an industrial metaverse for sales purposes, providing a robust and visual narrative when pitching to clients.‍

Challenges and real-world examples

Despite its potential, the Industrial Metaverse is not without its challenges. For one, there are physical limitations to consider. VR can cause motion sickness, and having artificial objects in your eyesight for extended periods can be uncomfortable. Moreover, the value of the Industrial Metaverse will only be realized if it offers a significant, tangible advantage. It's not enough to be a trend or a hype; it needs to provide real, measurable benefits to industrial brands.‍

Willem Meijer, Product Manager Industry 4.0 at our customer Mpac Group, likens the current state of AR/VR technology to the early mobile phone market. "Currently, it's either fully featured but very pricey or limited and cheaper. The barrier is that our customers do not have these devices. So when we offer AR support, we need to provide the actual hardware itself. It's like providing a mobile phone to our customers with just one number to call us—a hard business case to make."

Meijer further emphasizes the importance of process when implementing new technology. "The metaverse is seen as a magic button which can be pressed to solve all the problems. The reality is that it succeeds or fails based on using the proper process to use the tool. For example, we use a digital twin to filter out about 75% of the faults before the machine actually hits the shop floor. However, this is still hard to achieve within an organization due to the habit of working in more traditional ways. Just like every new tool, it takes time to learn and adjust the process needed to take full advantage of the technology."

Dive into our award-winning corporate film for Mpac, where hints of the Digital Twin and the broader Industrial Metaverse come to life. Check it out below:

Real-world examples: Mpac Group

Mpac Group, a leading global provider of high-speed packaging solutions, has been working with Digital Twins. "At Mpac, we currently use a digital representation of the customer's machine. Having this model ready to discuss and place it virtually on the shop floor gives a lot more feeling on the solution than just a flat image," shares Meijer. He further envisions, "In the future, all this technology is adopted in every aspect of manufacturing. I will be able to call the customers just like I now can WhatsApp them. Instead of building a test rig to test a concept, it will be way easier to just create a full simulation in one afternoon."‍

In conclusion

At Gobsmacked®, our mission revolves around building strong industrial brands. We recognize that the Industrial Metaverse can be a game-changer for brands looking to elevate their digital presence and storytelling. While it offers immersive experiences that can revolutionize brand engagement and customer interaction, it's essential to integrate it thoughtfully into a brand's overall strategy. Brands must evaluate if the Industrial Metaverse aligns with their messaging, audience, and objectives. While the potential is vast, it's crucial to ensure that its implementation enhances brand identity and doesn't overshadow it. As with any emerging technology, the key lies in leveraging it to amplify a brand's voice and values, rather than getting lost in the hype.‍‍

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