Unprecedented challenges call for innovative, efficient, and resilient solutions. Industries are rapidly embracing next-generation technologies to enable them to move beyond physical assets and in-person engagement to train employees and design, manufacture, market, sell and repair their products or services.
In our 2022 Immersive Technology Trends e-book, industry experts from Unity, Microsoft and Accenture, along with futurist Cathy Hackl, discuss how enterprises are adopting the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Web3, and the metaverse for success.
From extended realities and toward a holistic metaverse based on Web3 (a fully functional and user-friendly decentralized web where users control their own data and identity), these technological advances are expanding the ways we share, discover and connect in real-time to bring engineering and design data to life.
Here, we delve into the three major paradigm shifts technology is undergoing today and the ways different organizations are embracing them.
1. Collaboration – Accenture
Since its inception, the internet continues to evolve, and Web3 is its next iteration. The key to success in its newest form is to identify existing technology and map it to specific use cases.
“It doesn’t need to be rocket science; it’s as simple as getting people into a beautifully designed 3D space where they can meet and gather. That by itself gives us back our humanity. I see a group of people standing there, I walk up to them and join the conversation. It’s just natural social interaction.”
– Fadi Chehimi, PhD, Europe Lead of XR Capability and Consumer Experiences, Accenture
With over half a million employees worldwide, Accenture was looking for ways to introduce more immersive collaboration among their geographically dispersed teams. That’s when Accenture’s Nth floor was born – a virtual space that enables employees to interact with one another. Whether it’s a new hire who’s getting to know the company, teams meeting for a coffee break, or important all-hands meetings, the Nth floor brings Accenture’s workforce together.
2. Connectedness – Vancouver Airport Authority
Digital twins, based on 4IR technologies, are a critical enabler for Web3 in industry. These are already in use with various levels of completeness in many industries to help organizations understand system flows, anticipate maintenance needs, reduce operational costs, and enhance overall efficiencies.
“Ideally you want Web3 to revolutionize your end-to-end workflows, across the board, for every person in your organization. But I think it’s more the case that we will find pockets of traction, where somebody can get started despite the significant headwinds that are facing us.”
– Matt Fleckenstein, Sr. Director, Product Management, Microsoft Mesh, Microsoft
Being a leader of innovation, Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) wanted to reinvent itself as a gateway for learning, innovation and movement of new ideas in industries beyond aviation. The result was a digital twin of its terminal and airfield on Sea Island.
The digital twin of YVR’s facilities helps solve challenges such as training, optimization, testing, evaluating environmental impact, and planning for the future – all while enabling the airport to operate without interruption. Designed with a “people-first” mindset, YVR’s digital twin offers significant benefits to airport employees, as well as the community at large.
3. Conceptualization – iXtenda and HOMAG
The increasing adoption of real-time data technologies is instrumental in accelerating the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Described as the convergence of emerging technology, 4IR includes advanced digital production technologies such as additive manufacturing, the industrial Internet of Things, human-machine interfaces, and artificial intelligence.
These technologies are already revolutionizing every aspect of manufacturing workflows, allowing brands to be more efficient in their design and product development, increase market share, and create an improved buyer experience.
“Sometimes the transaction will be virtual to virtual. I might buy a virtual good, I might buy a physical good that translates into a virtual world. The hardest scenario to prepare for would be buying a virtual good in a virtual space that translates into a physical good.”
– Cathy Hackl, Chief Metaverse Officer, Futures Intelligence Group
Looking to combat the challenge that business-to-business (B2B) buyers have of visualizing the product they require, HOMAG, one of the world’s top manufacturers for woodworking machinery, leveraged the benefits of an interactive configurator for its Live.HOMAG virtual showroom. This showroom serves as a virtual environment where buyers can view more than 35 machines and try different configurations of the complex machinery – enabling them to picture and plan their new machinery product, even before manufacturing of it has begun.
Getting started with future technologies
To learn more about digital twins, Web3 and 4IR and hear details from our panel of industry leaders, check out our 2022 Immersive Technology e-book.