Metaverse continuum set to redefine how the world operates
March 29, 2022
March 29, 2022
The Accenture Technology Vision 2022 is hot off the presses. It reveals that the “Metaverse Continuum”— a spectrum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities and business models—is redefining how the world works, operates and interacts.
We see businesses racing toward a future that is very different from the one in which they were designed to operate, while technologies, such as extended reality, blockchain and edge computing, are converging to reshape human experiences.
So how do we make the leap and take the lead in the metaverse?
Setting the scene for the metaverse
Accenture sees the metaverse as an evolving and expanding continuum of technologies, including for example, virtual reality (VR); augmented reality (AR); apps driving new experiences; design tools and digital assets—underpinned by connectivity technology such as 5G and cloud.
Collectively, these concepts and tools increasingly blur the boundary between the physical and the digital; and they have the potential to revolutionize processes, drive up efficiency and overall, boost operations maturity like never before.
How? Shell, for example, is already using VR and AR in industrial operations. The company’s AR Remote Assist enables workers in the field to get assistance from experienced technicians ("experts") from across the world, allowing the remote expert colleague to essentially see through their eyes and offer over-the-shoulder coaching.
Meanwhile, Drone Deploy is a cloud software company that uses drone technology to help various industries, including agriculture, construction and oil and gas. Drone Deploy has created a new 3D Walkthrough system, which combines both drone images and ground images to create an accurate picture of what a site looks like, with accuracy down to one inch.
But here’s the thing: the seamless co-existence between the 2D and 3D realms requires a new focus on interoperability. And as the metaverse expands, that means thinking ahead about the platforms and partnerships to make these interfaces and interactions a seamless reality.
So as you think about what the metaverse means to you, it’s something to bear in mind.
The metaverse stands to bring people-centric technology experiences to life, redefining how we work, collaborate and interact.
Think artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics working even more efficiently to support decision making (such as intelligent monitoring and maintenance of equipment).
It will also deliver entirely new ways of working.
Consider digital twins: virtual universes that allow users to design, test, and model products and processes in record time. They’re already proven, and they have hugely innovative applications, even at Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, where they’re being used to improve predictability of ski conditions for a potentially longer ski season.
Another example is Mars. Working with Microsoft and Accenture, Mars is embracing digital twins, one of the foundational elements of the metaverse, to reduce waste, increase speed and capacity, and empower its associates to make real-time decisions across its supply chain. Now, the company is extending this concept to product development with digital simulations factoring in variability, such as climate and disruptions, and maintaining greater visibility from the point of origin to place of consumption.
And what of the employee more generally?
Metaverse ideas have the scope to revolutionize employee learning. Accenture research indicates 90% of leaders think employee training methods need to be more effective. Extended reality (XR) can improve the delivery of training, its retention and usefulness, for better safety, performance or compliance.
And how about trust and safety?
Naturally, trust, safety, and explainability will be more important than ever as the metaverse becomes a reality.
Users expect trust and safety with every online interaction. The metaverse is no exception to that. Trust and safety permeate every industry, from social media to eCommerce. Users want to connect, share, and purchase. Third parties want to launch and sell new services. All expect positive experiences.
Scaling intelligent operations—in other words, applying a strategic approach to advancing the operating model and transforming the business through technology, processes and people—and adopting a higher level of ecosystem safeguards for customers, can help organizations to take a more proactive, competitively robust, stance to both 2D and 3D interactions in an unpredictable external environment.
Responsible AI is already a major concern for many, requiring new guardrails to be drawn up and implemented. But it can be addressed, with responsible AI practices emerging to accompany its adoption at scale.
The same will be needed as the metaverse takes shape. It will be vital to build a “responsible metaverse” that constructs its own standards and practices for a safe and secure future.
We know the metaverse is coming—with 98% of executives believing continuous advances in technology are becoming more reliable than economic, political, or social trends in informing their organization’s long-term strategy.
To prepare, organizations must lay the foundation with intelligent operations and decide where to play.
Are you going to meet me in the metaverse? Contact me to talk more about the road ahead.