Duplicating the real world into a digital, immersive experience is a hot topic now, but does the reality live up to the hype? Are these useful tools or a fad?
Born in science fiction and Marvel comic’s imagination the term comes from writer Mark Gruenwald, where Omniverse was the name given to the universe that held all other universes, and all things created and even all things destroyed.
The NVIDIA Omniverse™ is a “scalable, multi-GPU real-time reference development platform for 3D simulation and design collaboration, and based on Pixar’s Universal Scene Description and NVIDIA RTX™ technology.” The Omniverse is now in public beta release, and available for creators to work with. This fully immersive real-time universe obeys the same laws of physics as our world (or not, if you choose to build an un-Earthly world), and provides a platform to create immersive simulations and creative environments. The Omniverse is virtual reality on steroids, with the ability to animate the world with AI and provide a deeper, more realistic simulation of multiple actors within an environment.
A Digital Twin is a duplicate of a real world “thing” in the Omniverse. This thing could be anything – from people twined as avatars, to complex environments, buildings, cities, infrastructure and systems. Digital Twins are powerful simulation tools that allow for realistic testing of factory layouts, equipment changes, fluid dynamics and even complex system stress testing. The applications has no limits as NVIDIA is currently building a Digital Twin of the earth, which can be used for climate modelling.
See this excerpt of Jensen Huang as he introduces the Omniverse.
It may be a while before we see applications like the Black Mirror episode “San Junipero” where people who are dying or have died can be uploaded permanently to the simulated world in the decade of their choice to live forever in a virtual reality heaven. That would take the Digital Twin concept to a new and more personal height! This may be a second use for the Earth Digital Twin NVIDIA is working on! The idea of advanced simulations since the Matrix Trilogy has spawned an entire new discourse in philosophy – Are we living in a simulation now? and what are the ethics of the coming age of advanced simulations? Can we regulate a wild digital frontier with multiple worlds?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, right now the Omniverse is delivering bold new solutions for a range of industries.
- Animators and creatives are building scenes and realistic worlds for new narratives.
- Manufacturing can now simulate new factory designs and equipment, test layouts and production procedures with realistic AI driven actions (see video above).
- Creating digital twins to test physics driven problems like fluid dynamics, turbine optimisation.
The Omniverse also provides tools for people to collaborate, share created worlds, and use AI to create data sets to train machine learning models – with early applications in robotics and autonomous driving. These advanced tools makes the Omniverse an exciting development from NVIDIA that will lead to a wide range of implementations including things like Facebook’s metaverse for meeting and collaboration as well as advanced avatars, virtual actors and voice-over agents, and more!
Great New Things in Simulations
At XENON, we have been delivering solutions for complex simulations for over 10 years, including the tools to drive advanced flight simulators for training Army helicopter pilots (see the story here) and the latest Abrahams tank simulation training environment. These simulations allow the Australian Army to train their teams without the expense and danger of using real equipment, real ammunition. Experience has shown that skills learned in the simulations transfer seamlessly to real world situations.
The Omniverse tools allow for AI to both drive the simulation, and to also populate it with data. This automated intelligent replication of the datasets is one aspect of the Omniverse which makes it a richer, more dynamic simulation.
We believe the Omniverse will deliver powerful simulation tools to a wider range of industries, delivering advanced immersive training simulations for areas that are hard or dangerous to train for now. Things like surgery and specialist medical practice, and machinery operation. The applications are really limitless.
If you would like to explore how the Omniverse can benefit your organisation, reach out to the XENON team we’d love to have a chat!Talk to a Solutions Architect