The metaverse conjures plenty of imagery from virtual worlds like those envisioned in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. But the industrial metaverse may very well become a reality first.

That conclusion comes from a strong show of 150 enterprises that have partnered with Nvidia on the Omniverse, the simulation environment that is being used to build metaverses big and small. The industrial metaverse will consist of digital twins of things such as car factories.

BMW has built a digital twin in the virtual world so that it was able to perfect the design and build the real factory later. It is an example of many digital twins that big companies are building. Another is Deutsche Bahn, the big German railway company that is modeling more than 5,000 train stations in its rail system so that it can virtually monitor its real-world rail system. What is fascinating about this discussion — about whether the gaming or the enterprise metaverse will happen first — is that both are galvanizing each other.

We talk about such things on our Omniverse panel at the GTC fall event. The panel included Matthew Ball, CEO of Epyllion and author of The Metaverse book; Rev Lebaredian, vice president of the Omniverse and simulation team at Nvidia; Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap; Tony Himelgarn, CEO of Siemens Digital Industry Software; and Inga V. Bibra, head of IT for Mercedes-Benz research and development.


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