World Economic Forum Highlights Metaverse Adoption by US Manufacturers

A growing wave of American manufacturers is turning to the industrial metaverse to address complex production challenges, according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF report, published in March 2024, reveals that a staggering 92% of US manufacturing executives are actively exploring ways to integrate the metaverse into their operations. This statistic is based on a survey of 100 leading companies across ten different industries. The report further indicates that each executive, on average, is investigating up to six potential metaverse applications for their businesses.

The report identifies several factors fueling this surge in interest. One key driver is the need for the manufacturing sector to adapt and innovate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions caused by the pandemic have highlighted the need for more resilient and adaptable production systems.

“The industrial sector is facing new challenges and opportunities for growth as a result of converging trends related to technology, the economy, society, and business-to-business interactions,” the WEF report states.

These trends are pushing manufacturers to find ways to streamline production cycles while simultaneously improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Predictive forecasting, enabled by metaverse technologies, is seen as a key tool to achieve these goals.

Digital Twins Pave the Way

The report explores how various companies are leveraging digital twin technology, which utilizes virtual models to represent physical objects. For instance, Amazon is employing NVIDIA’s Omniverse cloud platform to conduct simulations designed to optimize warehouse layouts and robot work stations. Similarly, Mercedes Benz is using the same platform to design and plan assembly facilities.

The WEF report emphasizes that the industrial metaverse can be applied across the entire product life cycle, encompassing pre-production, production, and post-production stages. This includes tasks like product and service design, process simulations, plant design and management, alongside product testing and quality assurance.

Early Adopters

The report underscores that, while consumer-oriented metaverse applications are still under development, the industrial metaverse is experiencing faster adoption. This is attributed to its focus on solving real-world problems and addressing pressing business needs, grounded in practical implementations.

The information technology and vehicle manufacturing industries are currently leading the charge in industrial metaverse adoption.

“The automotive, energy, software and platforms, and aerospace and defense sectors are currently spearheading investments and activities in the industrial metaverse,” the report highlights.

However, some companies are expressing hesitation regarding continued investment in the industrial metaverse due to the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI). The report acknowledges this concern, suggesting that some believe the emergence of generative AI has overshadowed the potential of the metaverse.

The broader conversation around the metaverse extends beyond its industrial applications. While it offers efficiency gains in certain sectors, concerns have been raised about its potential negative impact on others, particularly the creative arts.

In a recent study conducted by UK researchers, the need to establish frameworks for addressing intellectual property (IP) enforcement and governance within the metaverse was underlined. The researchers pointed out that “blockchain technology’s inherent resistance to change or correction” poses challenges for the flexible management and updating of IP rights in the metaverse.

Read Also: Chainlink Reports Significant Growth in CCIP Revenue

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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