In the Metaverse, the digital and physical worlds come together. Yin and Yang in harmony side by side. The Metaverse is not 3D or 2D, or even necessarily graphic. It is about the dematerialization of physical space, distance and objects. The digital part of the Metaverse is a massively scalable and interoperable network of real-time virtual worlds that we experience from the physical world. Synchronous is experienced by an unlimited number of users, each with an ‘individual sense of presence’ such as identity, history, rights, objects, communication and payments. The real challenge is to make this virtual life as trustworthy, reliable and secure as it is organized in our physical life.
On the ‘Spacial Reality’ site I came across a nice interview with Valentin Heun, Vice President of Innovation Engineering at PTC, where I also worked in the 1990s, when CAD/CAM, life cycle and digital product data merged. Challenging times when 3D design systems were increasingly capable of digitally describing, representing and recording products, including their behavior, at the design stage in digital product definitions. A massive data-centric approach to a virtual world that enabled today’s automated factory and manufacturing industry.
CAD systems technology has not stopped and production plants are developed, defined and simulated on the virtual drawing board. A technical variant of the metaverse where engineers intuitively control real 3D objects in the real world. Remote maintenance on machines in operation. With Augmented Reality, remotely support a technician with repair and replacement with spare parts.
According to Valentin, there are currently two revolutions underway: one is ‘web 3.0’, a wave of data-driven distributed ledgers on the internet, enabling NFTs, digital currencies, smart contracts, and DAOs. The other revolution is spatial computing technology. A development that allows us to go beyond the desktop. And make our use of the computer ‘a real part’ of our daily lives. So real, that computer simulations can no longer be distinguished from reality and allow for a human experience that has never been seen before. This is the essential paradigm shift that is currently taking place.
In his view, spatial computing is a revolution similar to the personal computing revolution. Before desktop computers, computers were only available to experts. Today, computers are embedded in everything that is present in the real world around us. For the general public, the computer remains a difficult phenomenon to understand. The world of information is a virtual world, which is difficult for many to imagine. Everyone uses it, but the invisible virtuality is difficult to grasp and therefore understandable.
Spatial computing technology simplifies the representation of that invisible virtual world. To better imagine what we calculate, we design, simulate and test virtually. The desktop computer and the laptop completely lack the notion of space. Even a Zoom or Teams screen doesn’t give you the feeling of being ‘in the space’ of the participating speakers. You ‘look’ at a flat two-dimensional image with no depth. You have no idea where you are.
Chat is also a 2D thing that fits well into the desktop paradigm and thus into Web 2.0. A desktop where I can move the mouse in 2D, complete my agenda or write a text. Perfect for multitasking, but doesn’t have the “depth” of our real world. The chat lacks 3D information. That 2D view in your Zoom or Teams meeting applies to the factory as well. You can see the robots moving around and monitor the work processes, but depth is missing. You look at it, but you’re not there. The desktop does not allow real 3D work. Also, it takes a lot of computing power to display a 3D image through a 2D interface.
Web 3.0 offers the possibility of truly living that three-dimensional experience. Your avatar as the digital embodiment in that space, from which you can look around and move around. Carry a wallet, an inventory of your own assets, and have an identity (sometimes pseudonymous). A digital space where you can own goods with property rights established in digital contracts. A space where you can see and touch robots in operation. Your mind has the feeling of being present in that space, being able to move there and explore the space.
Also a space where I can be present as a digital avatar, which is safe and secure for me as an avatar. Where it allows and can guarantee the integrity between my avatar and the space. A legal handshake that as an avatar I am safe in this space and vice versa. The mind continually remains the translator between its own physical reality and the 3D experience in that virtual environment. As Valentín says, “it is a mental game to be able to function in these spaces”. Much like flying a drone, it’s still hard to make the simple translation between the joystick and the way the drone moves through space.
Intuitive and ubiquitous
The challenge of 3D spaces is the operating system to move you through that virtual space. How do you do that easily and intuitively? With its 3D expertise, PTC had the background to further develop spatial computing. Immerse yourself in that virtual space from the perspective of a designer, user or maintenance engineer. Really take the robot by the hand and program it virtually. Fly somewhere and touch a defective part, unscrew it and replace it with a spare part.
The platform developed by PTC makes it possible. Directly behind a screen or with aids such as glasses and headphones. Seamless transition from a part of the physical world to a virtual space of connection. Experiment how the extension fits with the existing piece. Where ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ are becoming more and more intertwined and we no longer know where we are. What Mark Weiser called the 21st century computer: The 1980s researcher at Xerox in Palo Alto who coined the term “ubiquitous computing”: “ubiquitous computing.” The genius idea that this profound technique melts into the fabric of the world, indistinguishable from the real world.
a new reality
The integration of the Metaverse as a space computing technology is imminent. The technology, the ideas, the creativity, the first experiences are all present and make us so curious to experiment that there are countless initiatives to develop, use and experience this new ‘world’. The complete amalgamation of the digital and the physical. Not only in terms of digital identity, digital accounting and digital possessions, but also a digital experience in space and feeling.
In a previous blog ‘the world is analog’ I described that humans, our world and our universe are physical. The virtual world cannot exist without physical products such as silicon chips, computers, and networks. Built with raw materials and physical artifacts that we, as creative people, have conceived, extracted, produced and put into action. And who can give us something extra fantastic again, that we have never experienced before. We can no longer do without the virtual world we are building because it will merge more and more into our perception and experience.
Commercial use of the Metaverse with Digicorp Labs
In addition to gaming and social platforms, the Metaverse will be important to industry and government. For professional users, brands and clients of the Enterprise segment. Digicorp Labs develops solutions and tools for this professional virtual world of digital services and products where security, reliability, legality, privacy, availability, continuity and responsibility are the most important values.
Easy-to-use mobile apps eliminate security risks and costs. Secure data management and secure quantum storage that respects privacy and confidentiality and forms the basis for decentralized applications and services. It will be settled with modern cryptocurrencies and recorded in a blockchain ledger. Digitally secure ownership of documents and objects with NFT and peer-to-peer information sharing and corporate communications.
By: Hans Timmerman (photo), Chief Data Officer at DigiCorp Labs and Director of Fortierra