Metaverse City – Smart City and Place

When we usually talk about the Metaverse it is easy to limit ourselves to think only meetings, collaboration, virtual realities, NFTs, Blockchains and so on. We can think about smart spaces – that could be in a form of  Connected Spaces of which I wrote earlier – and Industrial Metaverse with Field Workers. Thinking the big scale Smart cities and places have been building up already for years. There is already a lot of connected infrastructure and IoT in place. We have heard about smart houses and buildings and of course about smart cities too. Thinking the Metaverse era cities, buildings and spaces need to have an intelligent infrastructure to enable building the future: Metaverse City.

Metaverse City

For the future smart city it needs to have intelligent infrastructure in place that allows data to be aggregated, analyzed and combined with various sources to create an “aware” Digital Twin that can anticipate and predict needs and help to meet various goals, for example on sustainability and energy. Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and various other services are in the intelligent infrastructure core of with Digital Twins.

Intelligent infrastructure is not just one thing, but combination of all parts such as roadways, airways, communications, energy and water networks. Think about optimizing the traffic, heating and energy, reducing pollution, smart transportation systems or just intelligent parking aid that saves you time to find a free parking slot.

Various of these services are there – often as a point/siloed solution. To make the Metaverse City a “breathing entity” a whole digital twin of the city will be enabling the future services and digitalization for people, employees, citizen and even to smart cars.

The Metaverse City can engage and activate better interaction with citizens, giving them better services and enabling various Urban Innovations such as circular economy, demand management people-centric innovations.

Building the Metaverse City (smarter future)

  1. You need define what the Metaverse City (or smart city, place, building or space) really means to you and to your organization. As technology and innovation is still advancing there are various definitions for people – just think how people think about what Metaverse means. When you are starting look for the whole vision and the roadmap, but make the start small and plan for incremental steps. Start with something you can build and get results from. Think also what you want to achieve – what are KPIs for the success and what is the ROI of intelligent infrastructure.
  2. Leverage the latest technology when you start planning your innovation. Think and plan the security and how applications and platforms will be used. Create model with connected and synchronized IoT, Edge and Digital Twin.
  3. Integrate various sources, structured and unstructured free form data, together to develop and train AI to analyze and understand the big picture.
  4. Activate partners across public and private sector to leverage the ecosystem power.
  5. Make the result worth people’s time and attention. Addressing needs of employees and citizens answers Why and What’s In It For Me questions. Think about proactive information that could be created to give heads-up to your employees or to citizens of the Metaverse one city. Think information, warnings, delays and costs (energy or water optimization for example)

Thinking about this Azure 3D Scenes Studio example. A Digital Twin of a manufacturing facility has been built on Azure and connected via IoT to the real world. While the model isn’t the most visual, it is very usable to be used by experts to see the big picture and dive deeper for more data. Taking steps like this forward will enable foundation for the Metaverse City.

 In the future building visualization and models will only get easier and better looking as applications and tools improve and also the ability to implement Industry Foundation Classes (ICF) with Universal Scene Description (USD) to enable better model and scene interoperability, import and export between tools and platforms. Read about this from Nvidia Omniverse article about.

IFC — a data model for describing architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) data

USD – Universal Scene Description

With this technology (applying USD to IFC) building, using and especially maintaining Digital Twins will be much more easier than can be today. And this is what the Metaverse City needs.

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