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Microsoft partners with Kawasaki for industrial metaverse

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Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.

Andrew Evers | CNBC

You may not be ready to dive into the Metaverse for fun, but it may come to work faster than you think.

Microsoft Kawasaki announced on Tuesday that it is a new customer of the so-called “Industrial Metaverse” of the tech giant. Use the headset to help build the robot.

First launched in 2016, HoloLens lets the wearer experience augmented reality, which overlays digital images in a real-world environment. For Microsoft’s industrial metaverse, this means connecting many of the company’s technologies, such as cloud computing, to enable factory workers and managers to build products faster and more efficiently. increase.

The idea is to create what Microsoft calls a “digital twin” in the workspace. This speeds up processes such as repairs and the start of new production lines. For example, instead of having a repair person come to the factory to repair a broken part, you can use HoloLens to chat with field workers and guide the repair process with visual clues from augmented reality. I can do it. Managers can also use digital twins to increase new production as needed. ⁠— Microsoft suggests a way to deal with supply chain issues.

Kawasaki participated in Heinz, which recently announced the use of Microsoft’s Industrial Metaverse at its ketchup plant. Boeing As a manufacturing partner.

It may sound like a gimmick, but it’s what Microsoft’s customers were looking for because of the growing buzz around the concept of the Metaverse. Jessica Hawk, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of mixed reality, told CNBC in an interview last week that the Industrial Metaverse is a taste of what technology can achieve today, before it’s completely immersed in the future.

“That’s why I think you’re seeing a lot of energy in that space,” Hawk said. “These are real problems that these companies are working on … So, for example, having a technology solution that helps unblock supply chain challenges can have a huge impact.”

Microsoft’s fast-growing business talks a lot about where things are in the Metaverse. Everyone has heard of science fiction’s future promise to work, play and socialize in virtual reality, but today’s applications are more relevant to business-related applications than the needs of the average consumer.

for example, MetaFuture mixed reality headsets are more expensive than the $ 299 virtual reality headset and will be sold to people who want a “presence” while working remotely. In fact, one of Meta’s first Metaverse products was Hold a meeting in virtual reality..

But the difference is that Microsoft is off to a good start, actually selling mixed reality technology to today’s enterprises, while at the same time providing the tools developers need to have their own metaverse experience. Is to be.

“We see a real difference in how we are advancing our strategy here to recognize that people experience the Metaverse on a variety of devices and platforms,” Hawk said.

This means that people will appear as digital avatars in Metaverse products that also work on 2D screens, like the new feature Microsoft added to the Teams chat app last year. These types of features may be converted to headsets and other platforms in the future.

“We’re really excited about the moment when we unleash so many innovations,” Hawk said. Some things we understand today. And we are aware of many things that have not yet been fully realized. So it’s a very exciting time for us. “

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