Industrial Metaverse, GenAI to Trend in 2024, Deloitte Report Says

Deloitte's Tech Trends report has unveiled key findings about the rising spatial enterprise technology

Deloitte Insights
Mixed RealityNews Analysis

Published: December 7, 2023

Demond Cureton

Big Four consultancy firm Deloitte has earmarked the industrial metaverse and spatial computing as some of the top trends in tech for the year 2024, it said in a recent report.

Released on Thursday, the company’s 15th instalment of its Tech Trends report revealed that last year, it had projected that “the metaverse, or the immersive internet, would soon graduate to a full-blown enterprise tool.”

Companies would use the Metaverse to tap virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technologies for simulations, the report continued.

However, for next year’s trends, the company stated,

“This year, we’ve seen some of those metaverse capabilities progress in new directions, toward the broader realm of spatial computing. As they’ve turned the corner from consumer toy to enterprise tool, spatial technologies are especially taking hold in industrial applications, where companies are focused on digital twins, spatial simulation, augmented work instructions, and collaborative digital spaces that make factories and businesses safer and more efficient”

Statistics on the Industrial Metaverse

According to its findings, revenues from the industrial metaverse were projected to reach up to $100 billion USD by 2030, “far outpacing the consumer (US$50 billion) and enterprise (US$30 billion) segments.”

Many early adopters and consumers of emerging technologies would later see their creations reemerge as enterprise productivity solutions.

For Deloitte, the industrial metaverse involved “real-world physics” blended with spatial data and artificial intelligence (AI) to “replicate real-life processes.” Citing workers at a facility using remote guidance and engineers prototyping products with photorealistic digital twins, the consultancy noted that organisations typically employed a “simulation first” strategy before building facilities.

It continued,

“Improved and accessible high-fidelity 3D assets and hardware for [XR] can pave the way to an operationalized spatial web, where a digital layer atop reality accelerates ways of working across industries. Eventually, this progress can lead to a simplified era of operations, where autonomous systems, instant 3D models, and quantum computing are paired with optimized human involvement for applications such as remote surgeries. Or imagine an entire factory floor staffed by a single well-connected worker”

Deloitte Industrial Metaverse Survey

In its report, Deloitte noted that increased investments in emerging technologies like “digital twins, 5G enablement, cloud, edge, and AI” had “driven significant value and addressed long-standing pain points.”

92 percent of manufacturing executives had experimented with or implemented one or more metaverse-based use cases, with six on average, a recent Deloitte study showed.

Respondents also said that they expected a 12 to 14 percent improvement in sales, throughput, and quality from industrial metaverse use case investments “in the coming years.”

Process simulation and digital twins also topped the most common use cases and were a “lifesaver” where operations were “complex, pricey, and exact.”

It noted,

“Things (IoT) and advanced networking, simulations can increase the chances of successfully building a new operation or optimizing an existing one. It’s no surprise, then, that some analysts believe the global market for digital twins could grow from US$6.5 billion in 2021 to US$125.7 billion in 2030.”

Augmented Reality ‘Essential’ for Digital Twins

Augmented reality (AR) proved essential for interacting with full-scale digital twins. Due to this, global AR markets projected a $38.6 billion USD capitalisation last year, with a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent up to 2030.

Industrial and manufacturing applications comprised the largest volumes for AR, with healthcare training, simulations, and visualisation technologies reaching a CAGR of 44 up to 2023.

It added: “Consumer applications, catalyzed by the e-commerce boom of the pandemic, also abound, proving that the use cases for digital twins extend beyond just the enterprise.”

Web 3.0 and the Industrial Metaverse

Spatial web (Web 3.0) also removed roadblocks between digital content and physical objects, the report noted.

It also added smart glasses could allow real-time 3D (RT3D) content to interact with users in their physical environments with computer vision, geolocation, and biometric commands.

Deloitte explained: “Given the possibilities, the market for spatial computing is poised to dwarf previous estimates for the metaverse, with some projections estimating upward of US$600 billion by 2032.16.”

For the consultancy, four key areas would define the benefits of XR to companies:

  1. Increased monitoring, allowing employees with XR devices to observe multiple spaces at once, requiring fewer experts to monitor facilities. Citing Nokia’s eXtended Reality Multimedia solution, which offers 360-degree views, spatial audio, and live streaming, users could view physical spaces remotely to boost “preemptive maintenance, security, and quality control.”
  2. Reduced onboard time, where employees could use simulations and visual cues to learn vital vocational skills for most work situations.
  3. Reduced safety risk by forecasting problems ahead of key procedures. Situations in healthcare benefitted from 3D models of patient bodies prior to conducting surgeries. Brain surgeons were also noting immense benefits to surgical accuracy, it noted.
  4. Product Development, where augmented reality solutions boosted revenues for retailers. By integrating AR virtual try-ons, try-in-home, and other generative AI tools, retailers can convert their catalogues to RT3D assets quickly and efficiently.

Another key highlight showed that the Apple Vision Pro had pushed the term “spatial computing” into the mainstream. Other significant terms in spatial computing were 6G, the Internet of Things (IoT), human augmentation, and brain-computer interfacing (BCI).

The report concluded,

“While the possibilities are exciting, companies are at a crossroads: They need to move beyond the buzzwords if they want to be early movers—or find themselves trying to catch up with innovators. Beyond hiring or training their engineers on computer vision, sensor tech, and spatial mapping algorithms, they should also get ahead of the potential risks. Opening up the physical world to digital manipulation comes with its fair share of privacy issues (as computer vision expands), cybersecurity issues (as the physical world becomes hackable), and data protection issues. Fortunately, the progress of digital twin technologies and early 3D models offers valuable lessons for steps forward”

XR Predictions, Observations for the Industrial Metaverse

The report comes as speakers from across the industry have highlighted the rising trend in the industrial metaverse in a recent XR Predictions series. The exclusive feature showcased ten experts from across the immersive sector and their predictions for the industrial metaverse, XR, emerging technologies, and other trends in the digital landscape.

XR Today has also interviewed key executives shaping the industrial metaverse like Kevin O’Donovan, Co-Chair, VRARA Industrial Metaverse and Digital Twin Committee, Jay Latta, Founder and Speaker, The Fusionists, Rika Nakazawa, Group Vice President, Connected Industry & Head of Sustainability for Americas, NTT Ltd, Thomas Hainzel, Head of Digital Industries Evolution & Partnerships, Nokia, Dane Johnston, Senior Director, Omniverse Foundation, NVIDIA, Bill Holliday, Brian Holliday, Managing Director of Digital Industries, Siemens, and Paul Doherty, President and Chief Executive, The Digit Group to discuss the trajectory of enterprise-grade spatial computing solutions.

Many of the speakers have noted the limitless potential for the industrial metaverse to streamline processes, enable remote collaboration, assess and mitigate risks and design flaws, and reduce the need for physical resources and travel.

Speaking to Alex Ruhl, Head of Metaverse, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), XR Today learned that her consultancy focused on four major pillars of the enterprise metaverse — employee experience, training, client expertise, and metaverse adoption — to expand and guide the technology’s development and direction.




AR Smart GlassesIndustry 4.0ManufacturingMetaverseMixed Reality HeadsetsWeb3



Share This Post