Nokia, a telecoms infrastructure firm, is searching for ways to use the metaverse to remote employees in isolated areas, such as breweries on opposite sides of the world and aircraft technicians stationed in isolated airports.
Once renowned for manufacturing consumer mobile devices, Nokia has since transitioned to supplying technology and products that connect people across the globe. Robert Joyce—Chief Technical Officer of Nokia Oceania, said they are also determined to deliver the Metaverse.
“Last year, Nokia established two research labs that examined the Metaverse in-depth and thoroughly studied its supporting technologies.”Robert Joyce
In 2022, Nokia partnered with an Australian university to launch the world’s first 5G-connected microbrewery using metaverse technology. Furthermore, researchers from the brewery tech laboratory of the University of Technology Sydney and Dortmund University in Germany partnered up using augmented reality (AR) to make this revolutionary project come alive.
According to Joyce, these researchers utilize the metaverse to conduct joint experiments on beer brewing. By altering process variables such as temperature, timing, and recipes, then feeding all of that back into a digital twin—they can refine their brew virtually before perfecting it in reality. Additionally, Nokia is taking this approach even further by using the metaverse technology for Cessna aircraft technicians at remote airports in South Australia.
By collaborating with a company that had an advanced virtual Cessna aircraft, Joyce explains how they used 5G-connected Microsoft HoloLens and augmented reality to help instruct people in servicing the plane. With the 3D imagery of the craft displayed in front of them and audio instruction guiding their every move, users could quickly work on changing parts of their engine or wheels.
Just last month, Nishant Batra— the Global Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of Nokia—revealed to the World Economic Forum that it is industries rather than consumers who will see an immediate impact once the metaverse arrives.
“Ports have begun using digital twins to track every container on their docks, no matter how deeply they are buried in stacks. Aerospace companies are building engines and fuselages in the digital world to simulate exactly how an aircraft will fly – long before they take its first mechanical part.”Nishant Batra
Joyce enthusiastically shared his view, predicting that the “consumer metaverse” won’t become a reality until 2030. He added that next year, we should expect five times more revenue to be spent on the “industrial metaverse” compared to its consumer and enterprise counterparts. According to Joyce, while progress has been made in this field, there are still technical issues since the devices available now are quite clunky.
Joyce further went on to say that even though a Quest 2 headset is not the most comfortable experience when worn for multiple hours, consumer use of virtual and augmented reality services will skyrocket once mass-produced wearables become available that are both comfortable and affordable. According to him, it may take three to five years to witness this massive uptake in consumer utilization, but it’s coming.
When asked about blockchain‘s role in shaping a metaverse’s future, Joyce expressed optimism that blockchain technology will be essential whenever money exchange or asset transfer is involved.