It’s 2022 and everything is coming up metaverse.
I joke with my team that each week the top headline will read “Something, something, metaverse.” The adoption of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in our everyday lives has been a trending topic for the past few months. Digital twins have gained momentum across industries and are finally getting some well-deserved attention. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for since joining Unity.
Before we go any further, let’s take a minute to define what we mean by the “metaverse.” Our vision is a lot bigger than one organization. At Unity, we believe there will eventually be a digital twin of every real-life object, environment, and even people. Our goal is to enable every creator to have the tools to do so.
Unity’s fundamental belief is that the world is a better place with more creators in it. We think that immersive technology, like real-time 3D (RT3D), AR, VR, and extended reality (XR), can help creators better understand the world and unlock new innovations. To show you, we’re kicking off a new series: The Metaverse Minute. This monthly series will celebrate a few of the industry leaders that are building digital twins and advancing the metaverse now. Here are the first five:
First, it’s Hyundai – a key player in the automotive space. This announcement opens the door for other automotive and manufacturing organizations to follow suit.
Second, digital twins could improve the sustainability of the automotive industry. A digital factory means that operations and designs can be perfected without wasting resources.
Athletes often review game footage to work out what they can do better. Rezzil takes that game footage and makes it an experience, giving new meaning to the phrase “teachable moment.”
Manchester City is the first football (aka soccer) club to adopt Rezzil’s training app for fans. Now fans can participate in training sessions at the stadium, creating a completely new experience for sports and live entertainment.
Additionally, professional sports are extremely demanding on the human body. With Rezzil’s digital training tools, professional athletes can still participate in rigorous training exercises but without the physical strain. Over time this could increase the longevity of athletes and reduce injuries.
Samsung has committed to creating a virtual replica of its New York store. Customers will be able to enter through their web browser and enjoy three new experiences: The Connectivity Theater, Sustainability Forest, and Customization Stage.
Having widespread adoption of virtual shopping experiences makes for better, more engaging online shopping experiences. It could also help rehabilitate and innovate the traditional brick-and-mortar retail industry.
Our friends at Dress-X are using Unity to create a line of virtual H&M clothing that will not be manufactured or sold in stores.
In its announcement the company stated, “This means no waste, no packaging, and no transportation.” Digital twins have a big role to play in sustainability, especially in the fashion industry. In a 2018 study, McKinsey estimated that the industry creates 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions, 4% of the global total. We hope that the rise of virtual fashion will decrease waste, reduce pollution, and position the industry for a more eco-friendly future.
Fetal Heart VR is a teaching tool for sonographers and physicians involved in prenatal sonography. It allows medical professionals to fully simulate the maneuvers of an ultrasound probe, perform a virtual scan, and better understand the signs of congenital heart defects during an ultrasound examination.
VR is a boon for medical training and education. We have only just begun tapping into what is possible with AR and VR, and how it can improve the practice of medical professionals around the world. We are looking forward to more healthcare applications, especially when it comes to understanding rare or difficult-to-diagnose conditions.
Deciding which applications to include in the first “Metaverse Minute” was tough. Creators all over the world are using Unity’s Digital Twins solutions to make our world a better place. I cannot wait to share more applications throughout the year.