United States manufacturing firms turn their attention to the metaverse


  • According to a report by the World Economic Forum, manufacturing firms in the United States are turning to the metaverse to solve complex production issues.
  • Challenges and opportunities in metaverse adoption.

Manufacturing firms in the United States are increasingly turning their attention to the industrial metaverse as a solution to complex challenges within the production cycle. This trend, outlined in a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) published on March 12, reveals that 92% of United States manufacturing executives are actively exploring ways to integrate the metaverse into their operations.

United States manufacturing firms turn to the metaverse

The report, based on surveys conducted among 100 of the largest companies across ten industries in the United States, highlights that each executive, on average, is investigating up to six different use cases for the metaverse. One key driver behind this growing interest is the need for the industrial sector to enhance its strategies in response to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the report states, “Amid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of technological, macroeconomic, societal, and business-to-business (B2B) customer trends are accelerating and converging to create new challenges and opportunities for growth in the industrial sector.” This necessitates manufacturing companies to streamline production cycles, enhance efficiency, and achieve cost-effectiveness through predictive forecasting methods.

The report underscores the utilization of digital twin technology by various companies, where virtual models represent physical objects. For instance, United States firm Amazon is leveraging the NVIDIA Omniverse cloud services platform to conduct simulations aimed at improving warehouse design and robot workstations. Similarly, Mercedes Benz is using the same platform to design manufacturing assembly facilities.

Moreover, recent reports indicate that Nokia, a telecoms infrastructure firm, is exploring the use of the metaverse in Australia to potentially support Cessna aircraft technicians at remote airports. The industrial metaverse is seen as applicable across the entire product life cycle, including pre-production, production, and post-production stages.

Challenges and opportunities in metaverse adoption

The activities encompass tasks such as product and service design, process simulations, plant design and management, and product testing and quality assurance. While the industrial metaverse is gaining traction and adoption, some companies are cautious about continued investments due to the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

The report notes a decline in metaverse investments attributed to the rise of generative AI, with concerns that this technology may overshadow the metaverse’s potential. Despite the efficiency gains observed in sectors adopting the metaverse, concerns have emerged regarding its potential negative impact on other industries, notably the creative arts sector.

On March 8, researchers in the United Kingdom highlighted the need for strategies to address enforcement and governance of intellectual property (IP) issues in the metaverse. The researchers pointed out that blockchain technology’s resistance to change or correction poses challenges in managing and updating IP rights flexibly.

The industrial metaverse is becoming a focal point for US manufacturing firms seeking innovative solutions to enhance productivity, efficiency, and adaptability in a post-pandemic landscape. While adoption is on the rise, considerations around emerging technologies like generative AI and governance of IP rights in the metaverse remain critical areas of discussion and development.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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