Metaverse

Five ways IoT will be a Metaverse enabler

26th August 2022
Paige West

The Metaverse: since Facebook announced its strategy pivot and company name-change to ‘Meta’ in October last year, the concept has been met with a barrage of confusion, including every definition under the sun – from a never-ending video game to a fully digital world, to the internet of the future. Sindu Manickam, Senior Industrial IoT Technologist, Digital Catapult further explores.

While definitions of the Metaverse continue to polarise opinion even amongst some of the most prominent industry players, we do know one thing; our virtual and physical worlds are becoming more intertwined than ever before. We can expect the proliferation of complex ‘cyber physical’ systems – where technologies like digital twins, artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies converge, and are increasingly integrated into the physical world.

IoT is a prime example of a technology bridging our physical and virtual worlds – allowing us to analyse data from our physical environment using sensors, to glean insights and take appropriate action. This could be anything from a homeowner monitoring the energy efficiency of their devices, to a manufacturer monitoring asset performance and predicting breakdowns or repairs.

What could IoT potentially mean for the Metaverse – in this case, a world where our virtual and real worlds seamlessly collide?

Here are five ways the Internet of Things (IoT) could be central to the Metaverse taking off:

Connected devices could make the Metaverse feel ‘real’

For the Metaverse to evolve more closely with reality, recreation of real-world situations and scenarios is crucial.

Connected devices will solve the fundamental yet complex problem of integrating hybrid data with the cloud or digital infrastructure. This integration forms the crux for building advanced systems like virtual simulations.

IoT will help integrate digital content into a physical environment

Only when enabled by IoT can the Metaverse establish an entirely integrated collaboration with the real world.

IoT will play a critical role in building various blocks for the metaverse, by creating an interoperable, seamless system of systems, to integrate digital content into a physical environment.

Practically, this could be as big as leveraging digital twins and immersive experiences to generate real-time feedback control to elements such as machines and devices actually in the physical world.

Data collection will be at the centre of the Metaverse

The Metaverse needs data from the real world to enable digital twins and virtual simulations – data with responsiveness, properly secured with mass ingestion.

Essentially, the Metaverse requires scanned objects to be incorporated with real metadata and live data from the physical environment.

IoT will be the bridge between the Metaverse and devices

Connecting the digital senses of an environment is the essence of IoT.

We’re currently moving to a place where processing raw IoT data so that it may be consumed in real time by the Metaverse is the norm.

Connecting metadata to real life devices is important to derive decentralised value creation in the system.

Digital twin technology combined with IoT will provide meaning to the Metaverse

Digital twins with IoT will allow us to access, visualise and analyse equipment performance data – allowing us to group sensors and their data in near real-time, and connect the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ worlds more meaningfully.

The Metaverse involves scanned objects that can interact with the real-world. However, linking a physical object with real metadata and live data feed from sensors and other sources is what provides meaning to the Metaverse – and this will be made possible by a combination of digital twin technology with IoT.

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