Using Digital Twins And Preparing For The Metaverse
The metaverse is rapidly expanding, and with that, several companies are responding by preparing for the virtual world. Whether they're building virtual headquarters, factories, retail stores or products, companies are beginning to invest in digital twins of their entities in anticipation of the metaverse continuing to gain traction across the business landscape.
Since the invention of the internet, companies have had to adapt to the changing digital times with new technologies and new circumstances. The metaverse is no different, and while it may be difficult to wrap your head around, taking the time to learn about digital twins and how they fit into virtual reality can be very beneficial.
The metaverse itself acts as a digital twin to our universe and our reality, and what's inside are more digital twins of tangible things that will eventually be used for transactions and optimizing business processes.
Before explaining what a digital twin is and how companies can use it in the metaverse, let's look at a very intriguing example in regard to wildfire areas in California.
In short, visualizations of wildfire areas in California were created. Fire behavior analysts could use the visualizations and the data to make predictions. These predictions will ultimately put firefighters in a better position to fight real flames by giving them data from simulated experiences without being put in harm's way.
Similarly, this same technology and practice can be used for businesses serving customers.
What exactly is a digital twin?
Per Gartner, "A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system. The implementation of a digital twin is an encapsulated software object or model that mirrors a unique physical object, process, organization, person or other abstraction. Data from multiple digital twins can be aggregated for a composite view across a number of real-world entities, such as a power plant or a city, and their related processes."
Digital twins do not have much value if they are not updated with real-time data, a task that machine learning and artificial intelligence have worked on for quite some time. For example, the maintenance industry uses digital twins to help fix machines and gain a comprehensive overview of different parts or components. A complete or holistic view of machines helps companies save time on maintenance with fewer reworks and efficient resolutions to machine failures.
It is tough to say precisely how the metaverse will look in one, three, five or 10 years, but with companies already creating digital twin playbooks and getting their feet wet in different areas, it may be wise to prepare your company as well.
Here is a look at some of the areas in which digital twin technology is playing a role in building the metaverse.
How can we use digital twins in the metaverse?
Enterprises are building digital twins of their manufacturing plants and factories to identify missteps in the production process. Design, manufacturing, and labor processes can be easily optimized with the ability to visualize every aspect of production.
Online shopping is often tricky because you can't get a great idea of the product and have to instill lots of trust in a few images and customer reviews. Retail and e-commerce companies have identified this hassle and given customer's the chance to shop in their virtual storefronts while remaining at home. The availability of products is updated in real time, and consumers can interact more hands-on with the item they intend to purchase.
Customer meetings are also a space the metaverse is sure to impact. Companies turned to Zoom or other web chat providers to host their customer meetings during the pandemic. In the metaverse, it may be as simple as an avatar of a customer visiting your virtual headquarters and sitting down in your virtual conference room—taking away the need to travel while also giving people a more face-to-face experience. The need for data in a virtual meeting is essential, allowing you to see a holistic view of your clients. What problems have they been having with your product? What is in their current contract? What types of concerns are they likely to kick off the meeting with?
Enriching digital objects through the connection of data sources inside the metaverse can feed your teams every piece of information they need about the company or person they are about to meet with, giving them an edge in the meeting and the ability to assist them proactively.
So, what now?
As mentioned, it is quite challenging to predict how organizations and enterprises will fully utilize the power of the metaverse. Still, the vital thing to know is that revolutionary steps are taking place. Innovative companies are preparing themselves by creating digital twins of their infrastructure, so as hesitant as you may be or as crazy as it may sound, exploring what can be achieved in virtual reality is a great starting point for companies.