Microsoft is really making the metaverse for B2B

The company has teamed up with French Cosmo Tech, an expert in digital twins, to experiment with the first uses of metaverse with their common customers, particularly in the field of utilities.

Since the announcement of Meta – the new name on Facebook, the term metavers is on everyone’s lips. However, the web giant warned that it was only at the beginning of the adventure: nothing will see the light of day before 2022. For its part, Microsoft is taking a step forward by adapting its Microsoft Azure Digital Twins platform for metaverse applications in order to the concept really right now for the manufacturers. In addition to the announcements about Teams (read our article Microsoft Teams implements a metaverse to address Facebook), Microsoft is collaborating with French Cosmo Tech, an expert in digital twins, to develop the first applications “that combine the physical and digital world in a simultaneous and synchronized way “.

Purpose of this BtoB metaverse: “Help business leaders improve their processes by giving them the means to visualize their processes and systems, because their main problem is to gain visibility into the impact of their choices in the short, medium and long term. term, ”explains Hugues de Bantel, CEO and co-founder of Cosmo Tech. The metaverse is “a collection of a certain number of technological bricks”, explains Xavier Perret, Azure director at Microsoft France, who considers the metaverse to be a continuity of the group’s products. “The bottom of the pyramid first consists of IoT, which collects data. Above come digital twins that simulate models. Then we add bricks, such as cartography, artificial intelligence, etc., before visualizing it all with a layer mixed with reality. These technologies are all available and we already have customers experimenting with metaverse applications. “

To illustrate their vision of the meta-verse, the two partners take the example of the management of a wind farm for their demonstrations, which they carried out at the Sido Lyon trade fair on 22 and 23 September (and again in Sido Paris this 9th and November) . 10). Equipped with a Hololens helmet, Arnaud Fontaine, Sales Manager for IoT Solutions in Europe, presents on a screen what he has in mind: a representation of a wind farm where an installation flashes red. By selecting it, its IoT data is displayed in the center of the screen in real time, and the analysis of the dashboard warns of a problem of underperformance. With the flick of a finger, Arnaud Fontaine displays future weather data and energy price forecasts in a corner of the screen. A curve on one side of the screen testifies to its maintenance schedule. Depending on these elements, the park manager will be able to adapt the production of this wind turbine. Microsoft and Cosmo Tech are collaborating on more tools for this use in North America.

“ROI is instantaneous when applied to systems where there is interdependence”

This example is valid, according to the two actors, for any complex system. In retail, for example, the metaverse makes it possible to represent everything that happens in a distribution store to define poorly stocked shelves or the number of boxes that need to be opened to improve performance. “It takes no more than three to four months to get value from it, and ROI is instantaneous when applied to interdependent systems,” says Hugues de Bantel.

In France, Microsoft and Cosmo Tech have already begun working with the Paris-Saclay community of municipalities, first on digital twins: “The latter signed the climate pact in 2019, and its problem today is to determine how its development policies are optimized and what to do. positioning and dimensioning of energy sources from different sources (geothermal, gas, biomass, etc.) while reducing its CO2 footprint and increasing the quality of service to citizens, this can only be assessed by synchronizing all data, we will then add applications in metavers “, says Hugues de Bantel, satisfied with the first results. The choices made in the municipality of Longjumeau have resulted in a reduction of the CO2 footprint by 75%.

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

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