Microsoft has made the metaverse real for B2B

The company has partnered with French Cosmo Tech, an expert on digital twins, to experiment with the first use of the metaverse with their typical customers, especially utilities.

Since the announcements of Meta – Facebook’s new name, the term metavers has been on everyone’s lips. The web giant, however, warns that this is just the beginning of the adventure: no one will see the light of day before 2022. In this regard, Microsoft is taking a step forward by adapting its Microsoft Azure Digital Twins platform metaverse applications to make the concept a reality today for manufacturers. Beyond the Teams announcements (read our article Microsoft Teams deploys a metaverse to counter Facebook), Microsoft has partnered with French Cosmo Tech, an expert on digital twins, to develop the first use of “combining physical and digital world in a simultaneous and simultaneous way “.

The goal of this BtoB metaverse: “Help business leaders improve their processes by providing them with ways to visualize their processes and systems because their primary problem is to gain visibility into impact. in their choices in the short term., medium and long term ”, explained Hugues de Bantel, CEO and co-founder of Cosmo Tech. The metaverse is “an assembly of a specific number of technological bricks”, explains Xavier Perret, Azure director at Microsoft France, who considers the metaverse as a continuation of the group’s products. “The bottom of the pyramid is first made up of the IoT, which collects data. At the top come digital twins simulating models. Then we add bricks, like cartography, artificial intelligence, etc., before imagining the whole thing. with a layer of mixed These technologies are all available and we already have customers experimenting with metaverse tools. “

To illustrate their vision of the metaverse, the two partners took the example of managing a wind farm for their demonstrations, which they held at the Sido Lyon trade fair on September 22 and 23 (and also in Sido Paris on 9 and Nov. 10). Equipped with a Hololens helmet, Arnaud Fontaine, sales manager for IoT solutions in Europe, shows on a screen what is in front of his eyes: a representation of a wind farm, where an installation flashes red. By selecting it, its IoT data is visible in the center of the screen in real time and the dashboard analysis warns of a malfunctioning problem. With the flip of a finger, Arnaud Fontaine displays future weather data and energy price forecasts in one corner of the screen. The curve on one side of the screen confirms its maintenance plan. Depending on these elements, the park manager will be able to adapt the construction of this wind turbine. Microsoft and Cosmo Tech have partnered with several utilities on this use in North America.

“ROI is immediate when applied to systems where there is dependence”

This example is valid, according to both actors, for any complex system. In retail, for example, the metaverse makes it possible to represent everything that happens in a distribution store to determine poorly filled shelves or the number of checkouts that will open to improve performance. . “It doesn’t take more than three to four months to get the value out of it and the ROI is easy when applicable to systems where there is dependence,” says Hugues de Bantel.

In France, Microsoft and Cosmo Tech have already started working with the Paris-Saclay community of municipalities, first with the digital twins: “The latter signed the Climate Pact in 2019 and its problem now is to determine how to optimize its development policies and what is needed.the location and measurement of energy sources from various sources (geothermal, gas, biomass, etc.) while reducing its carbon footprint and increasing the quality of service for citizens.It can only be checked by synchronizing all the data, then we will add the tools to the metaverse “, said Hugues de Bantel, satisfied with the initial results. The choices made by the municipality of Longjumeau resulted in a reduction in the carbon footprint of 75%.

The priority by the end of 2021 for the two partners is twofold: to ensure that all metaverse bricks are well integrated into Microsoft’s platform and to improve media tools other than Hololens headsets and tablets. And Xavier Perret concludes: “The concept of the metaverse is still complicated, we have to show all the possibilities through other tools.”

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