Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

132 I NT E R V I EW However, it is important to recognise that the industrial metaverses will extend beyond AR/VR headsets. Rather, the metaverse is going to be experienced on phones, tablets and desktops. For the workforce to engage in collaborative experiences in an industrial metaverse, they must be able to use any device they wish, connect to any software they need, be able to see a rich and trusted set of data from their digital twin, and cooperate in a single shared application. What benefits can industrial metaverse applications deliver? What do we need to achieve critical mass here? The dominant benefit of industrial metaverse applications lies in the platform they create for very rich collaboration, providing access to real-time data, engineering data and 3D virtual environments for large groups to share conversations, interactions and speed up their decision-making. Clear benefits will also emerge from reduction in travel and its associated carbon dioxide emissions, as well as a decrease in safety risks. There is a wealth of opportunities in industry, ranging from supply chain management to construction simulations during design, safety assessments, operations optimisation and any time when people meet to solve design, construction or operations issues together. As always, critical mass will be achieved when technology can take existing business processes and either significantly improve them or remove them altogether to help us to have a material effect on our efficiency. With such a broad appeal it’s easy to see how all industries will be able to gain advantage but the first movers will be those industries with a mature digitalisation strategy and a solid digital twin. Industries that have invested in their information management discipline will emerge as those best positioned to gain an advantage. Is AVEVA making a play to own and run the industrial metaverse? Our focus is to spark industrial innovation by connecting people with trusted information to support responsible use of the world’s resources. As a leader in engineering and HMI/SCADA software, AVEVA unifies operational and enterprise data to create a single source of truth for authorised users in the cloud. Industrial workers using AVEVA technology can already use a smartphone or other device to view assets and solve problems from anywhere in the world. We also have over 100,000 physical sites implementing our software, and these are the same customers that are going to go into the industrial metaverse. So no, we do not want to own the industrial metaverse, rather we are focused on creating the tools that allow companies to create their own metaverses – and protect their intellectual property while sharing data with industrial partners. The technology to support industrial metaverse applications already exists but is siloed for one reason or another. AVEVA, together with partners such as Microsoft, is focused on connecting it together to support innovation within organisations’ industrial metaverses. “ We are focused on creating the tools that allow companies to create their own metaverses ”