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Revisiting the Metaverse

How High Tech companies can benefit from the next wave of innovation

4-minute read

June 2, 2023

My latest blog Looking Ahead of Semiconductor Industry highlights that 42% of the senior executives from semiconductor companies anticipate new business opportunities in the near future, thanks to the emergence of the metaverse.

This result did not surprise me. After all, the High Tech industry provides the hardware foundation necessary to build the metaverse. This includes more powerful chips, better memory technology, faster and more reliable 5G networks, improved devices, and more secure applications.

Understanding what the metaverse can do

The Metaverse embraces all facets of business, from the individual consumer to the corporate enterprise. It is composed of a great variety of technologies, from Artificial Intelligence to blockchain, Augmented Reality to Edge Computing, and beyond.

The power of all this lies in the ability to transform business models and how enterprises create value. And just like other technological leaps forward of the past, the impact starts slowly and is then suddenly all pervasive. In other words, it’s evolution, then revolution.

For High Tech companies to be in the vanguard of that revolution, there’s no better place to start than inside their own operations. 

Show what the metaverse can do

So where are High Tech companies showing interest? Among all potential use cases, the one that separates them from most industries is digital twin. 16% of High Tech executives (compared to 8% in all other industries) are interested in exploring the metaverse to create a digital twin of their operation.

Which metaverse use cases are you most interested in?
Which metaverse use cases are you most interested in?

Let's dive into some use cases that can bring this potential to life and boost both top and bottom lines.

  • Facility layout planning: it’s essential for High Tech companies, particularly clean-room facility owners, to use digital twin technology. Technology that enables them to simulate the facility layout before building the physical facility and supports their long-term manufacturing ambitions. In an industry where large amounts of capital go to facility and manufacturing assets; this can significantly reduce the risk of irreversible design errors.
  • Process workflows: by virtually simulating the placement of manufacturing equipment and process workflows, fab owners can improve operational efficiency. This is a particularly important factor given the trend of application-specific products and low-volume, high-mix manufacturing operations. The ability to quickly adjust process workflows is a major driving force for success.
  • Equipment design & product development: High Tech companies that develop and build manufacturing equipment can also use a simulated manufacturing environment to inform their equipment designs and functions. For processes that require highly customized equipment, manufacturers and equipment makers must collaborate closely. The use of a digital twin in the metaverse improves cooperation and increases efficiency. There is no need for both parties to be in the same physical location, increasing product development efficiency.
Easy access from remote locations.
Easy access from remote locations.

Invest in training to unlock workforce potential

  • Employee training is important for High Tech companies to stay competitive and differentiate their products. However, it can be expensive and complicated to train new engineers and technicians. To address this issue, a digital twin of a manufacturing facility in the metaverse can provide an effective solution. This digital twin can help with new employee training at scale and with significantly less risk, allowing trainees to learn how to maintain equipment and troubleshoot processing errors without impacting manufacturing operations. Digital twins of entire supply chains and single components can also enable anyone from anywhere to access training and learn new skills.

    Metaverse technology can also serve as an asset to market the industry and increase awareness among young students. By creating an exciting and immersive learning environment in the metaverse can generate enthusiasm among students and provide a platform to learn and apply new skills together in real-time.

  • Sales capabilities: The metaverse can generate top-line value too. By creating an engaging customer experience, High Tech companies can “show rather than tell” their enterprise customers the value their products and services provide. Solutions in the metaverse can integrate enterprise applications, allowing customers to configure product bundles, make and edit quote/order requests, receive real-time notifications and more. As a result, enhancing the buying experience, instilling customer confidence and contributing to revenue uplift.

More on Revolutionizing the smart factory floor with Metaverse

Simple rules for engagement

As companies move to take advantage, a few simple rules apply. To deploy the metaverse in their own business, companies should:

  1. Be creative but keep it simple. While the metaverse has great potential, companies should take care not to overreach.
  2. View the metaverse as an evolving technology platform, not a point technology.
  3. Start small and be focused. Use limited use-cases to hook people and then build momentum.

At the same time, High Tech companies need to start developing differentiated products and services. One opportunity? Create higher-margin, application-specific products by collaborating with software companies and OEMs. 

They need to engage with them early. By working with ecosystem partners as they develop their own metaverse offerings, High Tech companies will be able to influence technology standards from the get-go. Early engagement also opens the door to developing and testing new business models moving away from one-off hardware sales to as-as-service propositions.

The right time to start? Now

I believe that High Tech companies are uniquely placed to shape and benefit from the impact the next wave of technology innovation will have on enterprises and entire industries. By moving now, companies have the opportunity to create ground-breaking experiences that capture sales, generate sustainable revenues and grow customer lifetime value.