The metaverse has largely been promoted in 2022 as a potential successor to the consumer internet — certainly, that’s the vision Meta (née Facebook) is pitching, but it’s also true of dozens of blockchain-based metaverse projects (like Decentraland and Voxels). However, there are also various flavors of enterprise metaverse projects emerging.
One of the first functional metaverse platforms was Nvidia’s Omniverse, which began in 2019 as a way to create “digital twins” of engineering products. It’s the most obvious use case for an enterprise metaverse — in addition to Nvidia, it’s also how Microsoft has positioned itself in this space. But there are other ways a metaverse platform can be used in an enterprise context. To explore this, I spoke to two organizations: BISim, which is helping to build a metaverse platform for the US military, and Mesmerise, a UK company that sells VR business experiences.
The Military Metaverse
Pete Morrison is Chief Commercial Officer at BISim and for the past 15 or so years has focused on building simulated worlds for military training. Morrison defines the metaverse as “an immersive collective online environment” and further notes that “the wearing of a VR headset is kind of optional and secondary.” Indeed, he advocates for a web architecture for the metaverse — and this is precisely what the US military uses now in its 3D training simulations.
As he explained in a recent article, the US Army has been developing a web-based virtual platform called Synthetic Training Environment (STE) since 2017. “The STE aims to replace all legacy simulation programs and integrate different systems into a single, connected system for combined arms and joint training,” he wrote.