Current consumer perceptions of the metaverse as a virtual world with avatar representations of people and things, doesn’t account for its business capabilities. With a lack of awareness of other forms of the metaverse, it comes as no surprise that a recent survey conducted by TeamViewer found that around 70% of people had a poor understanding of the term metaverse. With even consumers being confused at the concept of a metaverse, it's no wonder this term isn’t fully understood by businesses too. Hendrik Witt, Chief Product Officer at TeamViewer, wants to change this.
“By taking a broader look into what makes a metaverse, we could offer the definition of a continuing convergence of the physical world and an internet powered by immersive technologies, minus the necessity of any virtually constructed avatars,” says Witt. “In this respect, the metaverse can be more broadly applied across different industries, one of them being manufacturing, also known as the industrial metaverse.”
The Industrial Metaverse for manufacturing
“The industrial metaverse can be applied to assist frontline workers in the manufacturing industry,” says Witt. “For frontline manufacturing workers augmented and mixed reality (AR and MR) can be deployed to assist everyday tasks. For example, frontline workers can wear smart glasses to virtually see information, step-by-step workflows and even interactive 3D holograms. With access to step-by-step workflows, managers also have the advantage of direct documentation of work processes, ensuring that all protocols are met by frontline workers.”
An important aspect of the industrial metaverse is that it does not restrict the user's view. For frontline workers, having full vision of the real world is an essential consideration.
“Manufacturing workers need access to viewing their hands to successfully complete their workloads,” explains Witt. “Having a traditional headset that shuts them off from the real world entirely, is counterproductive. This is where smart glasses, that create a hands-free working environment can help. By offering digital support without blocking the users’ field of vision, this ensures better working ergonomics for all. For manufacturing workers, the industrial metaverse needs to connect the real and physical worlds to truly enhance the working experience.
“For the manufacturing industry, implementing the industrial metaverse across the entire industrial value chain offers a game-changing solution to everyday problems, by improving efficiency and accuracy in an industry where this is absolutely crucial. With fewer errors, frontline workers are enabled to perform better and achieve vastly improved results.”
Investing in an industrial metaverse to advance the manufacturing sector
Businesses are only just beginning to understand the true capabilities of the metaverse, Witt believes. With everyday advances in metaverse technologies, each industry has a chance to learn where it can be deployed.
“Specifically for the manufacturing industry, metaverse capabilities ensure frontline worker accuracy, efficiency and optimised support systems, driving results across the value chain,” says Witt. “Investing in the industrial metaverse now will reward your business in the long term.”