In the most widespread vulgate, the metaverse is a virtual theater, the immersive space to stage our lives in an augmented dimension, canceling distances and multiplying the meeting opportunities of the physical world.
Less well known is that the metaverse is (already) a place of design and manufacturing, the new square of Made in Italy where the entire supply chain - from the designer to the technical office, passing through prototyping - is projected into a new, challenging dimension.
This is explained by Gianmarco Biagi, CEO of Vection Technologies, a multinational company in strong growth, based in Australia and soul in Italy, which helps companies transform production processes by exploiting 3D data through powerful extended reality interfaces.
From the reduction of the so-called time-to-market (the time from the conception of a product to its effective marketing) up to distribution, passing through a prototyping that reduces the margin of error and waste without giving up to quality, the entire value chain of a company can be rethought with immersive technologies, as Boeing, Volkswagen and Toyota are already experimenting.
Since last autumn, Vection Technologies has been a partner of Tricolore Design Hub, the space in Milan born from the expertise of Ghenos Communication strong>, the agency of Gabriella Del Signore which, with the multinational, stages the possibilities of a technology that represents a strategic technological hub, the ideal example of a phenomenon that not so long ago we would have defined disruptive.
“We are experiencing an epochal transition” explain Biagi and Del Signore, “comparable to the arrival of the web at the end of the last century, but with an absolutely revolutionary potential for use in the world of manufacturing.
Tricolore Design Hub is the place to find out what is already happening and what the near future awaits design”.
Biagi is a visionary entrepreneur and manager with a consolidated background in the industrial and furniture world, who combines technological skills with the point of view of a supply chain where the human factor is central.
The long experience in Fendi Casa has led him to develop that knowledge which, now, with the addition of immersive technologies, represents the vision brought as a dowry to the Made in Italy supply chain, where virtual, augmented and mixed set a new standard in the production process.
But what happens, in practice, in the new immersive supply chain that we continue to call metaverse?
“The starting point” explains Biagi “is the virtual square generated by a simple videocall as is already done by the thousands. Up to now, however, we have used these opportunities above all to cancel physical distances, the bet is to make them a company driver".
“With our 3DFrame app integrated into the Webex by Cisco platform, for example, the whole supply chain becomes digital: from the designer to the head of the technical office, anyone can bring their own avatar into the virtual factory to design or build in real time, working with connected colleagues from all over the world.
It is not simply a saving of time, but also of costs, because a prototype made in this way, a digital twin, costs infinitely less and reduces the margin of error.
In an immersive platform we can cut and crop a model live, change the material and finish on the fly, exactly as if everyone were meeting with the whole team in the office or factory, but without wasting a gram of fabric.
All this is not the future, it is already the present: in the famous Gartner curve, which defines the life cycle of a particular technology, this special innovation is already in its mature, utilized stage”.
Now we can say it: the 'Metaverse of design' is much more than phygital, the mixed physical-digital dimension that in the midst of the pandemic has nourished the hypotheses of ways out of the various lockdowns.
“ Phygital was the immediate solution for companies to get out of the impasse and invent a way to approach the public remotely, which was a bit new but also reassuring .
The Professional Metaverse is dedicated to the entire value chain where communication and marketing are only the last phase: it is the construction of the product itself, and even before that the research and development phase that digital helps to implement with a new and totally scalable model for the world of design”.
The great fear is that this revolution could reduce the weight of the human factor: "Let's not replace man with software" reassures Biagi, "we will continue to have factories, fairs, showrooms and shops as we know them, but they will be spaces for more focused and better designed, more relevant experiences.
Factories will produce less waste and customers will be able to visit the factories directly, managers will train with all branch managers at the same time.
The verification of the production process will be constant.
It's not just me saying it: the reports of PWC and JPMorgan attest to it, which forecast investments in this sector in Europe for billions of euros in the coming years. The future of the Professional Metaverse is already present, and must be ridden”.