Metaverse to Supercharge Upcoming Industrial Revolution: World Economic Forum

The metaverse technology, that creates hyper-realistic virtual ecosystems, is grabbing the attention from the manufacturing sector in the US. This detail has been disclosed in a recent report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The metaverse is poised to supercharge the upcoming phase of the industrial revolution, the report says. Compatible with cryptocurrencies and NFTs, the metaverse technology can provide virtual destinations for people to visit as avatars – without having to step out from the comfort of their homes.

Last week, the WEF released its report titled ‘Navigating the Industrial Metaverse: A Blueprint for Future Innovations’. An estimated 92 percent manufacturing firms in the US are exploring ways to add a metaverse twist to their existing business operations, the report said.

“The industrial metaverse, projected to be a $100 billion (roughly Rs. 8,29,018 crore) market globally by 2030, is spearheading operational change by seamlessly incorporating transformative technologies across industrial value chains,” the report said. “The metaverse will propel the next phase of industrial revolution through the convergence of digital twins, a core building block of the industrial metaverse, and three rapidly evolving fields – spatial computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Web3, and blockchain.”

The WEF surveyed 100 companies across ten industries to compile this report, findings of which indicate that the metaverse use cases will explode in the sectors of defence, aerospace, energy, software, and automotive in the times to come.

In the post Coronavirus era, several industries are exploring ways to expand their businesses and make up for the losses they incurred during prolonged lockdown periods between the years of 2020 and 2022. This is one reason why establishing presences in virtual ecosystems is becoming a trend for merchants and manufacturers.

Setting up digital offices and company locations in the metaverse, is more cost effective than maintaining physical spaces. The metaverse ecosystem allows industry players to connect with more global audiences and buyers – increasing the trend of creating digital representations of physical objects.

“Various industries are using these technologies (like metaverse) to unlock value and discuss the foundational elements for a collaborative, responsible and economically sustainable next era of the Internet,” the report added.

The WEF has predicted that the metaverse technology could finetune cross-industry collaboration. In addition, its report noted that the enterprising of metaverse will subsequently open new experiences for employees, fresh methods of working, and new generation of operations as more industry players adopt the technology.

“Although real-life applications of the consumer metaverse are still developing, the industrial metaverse is ahead on the adoption curve, aligned with actual problems and business imperatives and driven by on-the-ground implementation,” the WEF said.

This is WEF’s second major report showing a bright future of the metaverse in the last one year. In its report published in January 2023, the WEF had said that metaverse will reach industrial ecosystems before consumers. Along with the WEF, Indian industry association NASSCOM has also projected an upward curve for metaverse’s future trajectory. In January last year, NASSCOM had said that the technology is witnessing a strong early adoption.

While Japan is accelerating efforts to contribute to the growth of Web3 technologies like the metaverse, China has set up a dedicated council with Huawei and Tencent as members among others — tasked with setting R&D standards around metaverse uses.

In India, the chief of Bharat Web3 Association, Dilip Chenoy also recently hailed brands like Nykaa and Reliance for adding metaverse-based elements to their businesses.

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