Collaborating in the metaverse, the virtual world created by game engine technology, is not a concept reserved for the future – it’s happening right now. Teams of designers are using a range of devices and technologies from game engines like Unreal Engine, Omniverse, and Unity to create interoperable real-time asset exchanges between products and platforms without a loss of quality or function. This open exchange of ideas and solutions promotes innovation, problem-solving, and teamwork culture in infrastructure design.
Gaming tech is revolutionizing productivity, efficiency, and profitability in the built environment. Epic Games, creator of Unreal Engine, recently announced that it had raised $2 billion to develop a kid-friendly metaverse in a partnership with Lego, aimed at creating a safe space for children where physical and digital worlds can connect for limitless creative possibilities. But the company’s influence extends beyond children’s spaces. With a 2022 equity valuation of $31.5 billion, Epic is investing millions of dollars in designing compatible solutions for architects, engineers, and construction managers to build real, life-sized infrastructure using the metaverse.
Organizations now use the digital twin technology and mixed reality experiences, powered by gaming engines, to redesign cities, tour factories and build large-scale infrastructure projects like the ITER project, the largest fusion experiment of all time. Using a digital twin plugin that links construction design models to a metaverse experience, organizations have the opportunity to utilize an open platform like iTwin, which brings in all the engineering data of a 3D model, and adds 4D digital context with reality and spatial modeling. Gaming engine technology turns complex modeling and data into an immersive world with lighting, textures, and depth – all in the metaverse.
What sets infrastructure design apart from other uses of the metaverse is that there is already a 3D model behind every structure; engineers build models every day so there is never a shortage of content for the metaverse. Virtual and augmented reality experiences provide access to data versatility making it possible to run daily analysis at the physical job site, track progress, view specifications and other information in real-time through strategically-placed sensors. The open platform, collaborative environment of the infrastructure metaverse also addresses productivity challenges and the negative effects of isolation faced by remote workers. Engaging in virtual reality experiences promotes creativity, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration, inspiring higher levels of engagement as project participants share their experiences and make informed decisions that lead to increased safety, efficiency, and productivity on the physical build.
While the adoption of technology in the metaverse has its pitfalls, the industry has made massive strides in resolving issues with comfort and motion sickness using smaller, more comfortable, and affordable wireless headsets and dialing in the correct frame rates. As a result, the metaverse is better equipped than ever to revolutionize infrastructure design, and organizations are opting in.
In the last year, the interest in the metaverse’s challenges and benefits has grown exponentially, and with gaming engine technology paving the way for limitless opportunities, the future of infrastructure is here. Organizations are now building the future of infrastructure with tools that they can carry around in a backpack.
In conclusion, the architecture and design technology industry is revolutionizing productivity, efficiency, and profitability with the aid of gaming engines and infrastructure design in the metaverse. The open exchange of ideas and solutions promotes innovation, problem-solving, and teamwork culture in construction design and delivery. This technology also addresses productivity challenges and the negative effects of isolation faced by remote workers, promoting creativity, knowledge-sharing, and higher levels of participant engagement. As the metaverse continues to thrive, so too will its application in infrastructure design.