Facebook Metaverse: what distinguishes it from 3D digital twin?
The idea of the metaverse has captivated the attention of rich executives and credulous pundits over the past two years, hitting a fever pitch when the company formerly known as Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc. and said it was pivoting to be a full-time metaverse company. It’s not clear what companies like Meta actually mean when they say “metaverse.” Perhaps that’s part of the allure.
One popular definition of the metaverse is a world in which we can all strap on headsets and occupy some sort of digital paradise where we can ride around. Let’s put aside the logistical complications (Who will run this thing? How will licensing be handled? How will harassment be moderated?) and technical limitations (Will full virtual reality suits be cheap and comfortable?). The one question we should be keep asking regarding this vision is: Do people actually want something like this?
VR headsets are best enjoyed in small doses. It’s safe to assume that the technology will get better over time, but even when headsets are lightweight and comfortable enough to use for longer periods, the desire doesn’t appear to be there. Few people want to spend all day strapped into an alternate world.
Which leads to another common use case for the metaverse: We will all conduct aspects of our regular lives, such as office meetings, socializing, shopping, eating, exercising etc. in virtual reality. This sounds, of course, like a nightmare. Who among us has spent the last two years working from home and thought: “Yes, I would like to spend more time in digital meetings”? Half of the small talk I’ve had in recent months has been about how awful it is to spend all day on Zoom calls. The internet is full of memes and jokes about the pointlessness of meetings — “that meeting could have been an email” is a popular phrase for a reason. Who is excited at the prospect that they might demand more of our attention?
Facebook captured the attention of about a quarter of the planet by offering a smart solution to a difficult problem — staying connected. But now, it’s trying to create a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. When tech executives like Zuckerberg preach the facebook metaverse, they are promising visions that either already exist, are ill-defined or that nobody actually wants.
Infinite Foundry on the other hand started with a difficult problem: how can industry fully understand everything that is happening in a production line so that it can improve operational efficiency and flexibility? Fully digitalizing in 3D all details of a production line in real-time was the solution. This 3D digital twin technology developed by Infinite Foundry is the same as an industrial metaverse, as it allows a user to virtually see any production detail, even those that are in areas without physical sensors. That is possible because the industrial metaverse serves as a calculation domain where physics-based algorithms probabilistically determine the parameters that are not measure. And this is the reason why the industrial metaverse not only makes sense, but is becoming the critical technology for industrial companies to continue competitive. The industrial metaverse is much more than just a fancy VR environment, it is where industry finds the answers to all their problems and challenges.
By André Godinho Luz
CEO Infinite Foundry