In October of 2020, NVIDIA announced the beta release of its Omniverse, billed as a scalable, multi-GPU real-time reference development platform for 3-D simulation. Based on Pixar’s Universal Scene Description and NVIDIA RTX technology, Omniverse will let users create 3-D models of the physical world.
NVIDIA announced NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise six months later, allowing global 3-D design teams working across multiple software suites to collaborate in real-time in a shared virtual space. Richard Kerris, vice president of the Omniverse development platform at NVIDIA, said in a 2021 press release that “NVIDIA Omniverse connects worlds by enabling the vision of the metaverse to become a reality.”
Another NVIDIA platform, Omniverse Avatar, debuted in November of 2021. It helps developers generate, animate, simulate and render state-of-the-art interactive avatars for use in NVIDIA Omniverse. It also features AI-enabled toolsets, accelerated rendering and simulation technology, all designed to facilitate the creation of realistic, high-fidelity avatars. While still in the development stage, developers can sign up for the waiting list and can use NVIDIA Omniverse Audio2Face to generate expressive facial animations in the meantime.
On Jan. 10, 2022, at CES, NVIDIA announced that Omniverse was out of beta and available free to consumers, a move that was likely in response to Facebook’s name change to Meta three months earlier.
More recently, at the NVIDIA GTC AI conference in March of 2022, CEO Jensen Huang discussed how major tech players such as Amazon Robotics, PepsiCo, Kroger and others are using NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise to build digital twins.
Other announcements included the availability of nearly a million Omniverse-ready 3-D assets and live-sync connections with apps such as Adobe Substance 3-D Materials and Painter, Epic Games Unreal Engine, Maxon Cinema 4-D and NVIDIA OVX, which was designed to operate complex digital twin simulations for NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise.
Mark Gruenwald, a writer and editor for Marvel, and one of the leading theoreticians on the concept of the omniverse, defined it as “the continuum of all universes, the space/time matrix that comprises all alternative realms of reality.” Despite his background, Gruenwald claimed the idea was not limited to comics.NVIDIA views its Omniverse as the mother of all metaverses, no longer just a digital twin simulation platform for industry operations. It’s the collection of all the existing universes in the physical and digital realms, and it connects the metaverse to a shared virtual universe.