In October 2020, NVIDIA announced the beta version of its Omniverse, billed as a multi-scalable, real-time reference development platform for 3D simulation GPUs. Based on the description of Pixar’s global landscape and NVIDIA RTX technology, Omniverse will allow users to create 3D models of the physical world.
NVIDIA announced the NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise six months later, enabling global 3D design teams working across multiple software suites to collaborate in real time in a shared virtual space. “NVIDIA Omniverse connects worlds by enabling the metaverse vision to become a reality,” Richard Kerris, vice president of Omniverse Development Platform at NVIDIA, said in a 2021 press release.
NVIDIA’s other platform, Avatar omniverse, debuted in November 2021. It helps developers create, animate, simulate, and render state-of-the-art interactive avatars for use in the NVIDIA Omniverse. It also includes AI-powered toolkits, and accelerated rendering and simulation technology, all designed to facilitate the creation of realistic, high-resolution avatars. During development, developers can enroll in a queue and use NVIDIA Omniverse Audio2Face to create expressive facial animations while waiting.
On January 10, 2022, at CES, NVIDIA announced that Omniverse was no longer in beta and freely available to consumers, a move likely in response to Facebook’s rebranding to Meta three months earlier.
Recently, at the NVIDIA GTC AI Conference in March 2022, CEO Jensen Huang discussed how major technology players such as Amazon Robotics, PepsiCo, Kroger, and others are using NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise to create digital twins.
Other announcements include the availability of nearly a million Omniverse-ready 3D assets and live-sync communications with applications such as Adobe Substance 3-D Materials and Painter, Epic Games Unreal Engine, Maxon Cinema 4D, and NVIDIA OVX that are designed to take advantage of complex digital simulations. Dual NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise.
Mark Greenwald, Marvel writer and editor, and one of the great theorists of the universal concept of the universe defined it as “a continuum of all universes, the space/time matrix that includes all the alternate realms of reality.” Despite his background, Gruenwald claimed that the idea was not limited to comic books.
NVIDIA sees its Omniverse as the mother of all metrics, not just a dual digital simulation platform for industry operations. It is a collection of all universes that exist in the physical and digital realms, and it connects the metaverse with a common virtual universe.
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Rivals in the multiverse
NVIDIA Omniverse is not alone in trying to dominate the multiverse. Another Web3 metaverse, decentralized, has also been available since 2020, but only 15-20% of it has been developed. It was created by a group of Argentine software engineers with a vision of a user-governed virtual world that would allow people – using personal avatars – to “create experiences” on plots of land. Users buy and sell land using Manatous tokens that are part of the Ethereum blockchain.
Another multiverse player, Microsoft Mesh, currently in preview for Holo Lens 2, allows developers to create immersive, multi-user Mixed Reality (XR) applications. It enables presence and shared experiences from anywhere on any device. The network can be accessed through an app using HoloLens 2, VR headsets, mobile phones, tablets, or computers.
At Microsoft Ignite 2021, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that as the digital and physical worlds merge, Microsoft is creating an entirely new platform layer – the metaverse. “The Metaverse allows us to integrate real-world computing and integrate the real world into computing, leading to a real presence in any digital space.”
Mesh for Microsoft Teams, announced in late 2021, will be available in the first half of 2022 and will enable video conferencing users to share immersive experiences.
Launched in 2006, Roblox is another worldwide participant. As of April 2021, Roblox had 202 million monthly active users – an increase of 56 million users since April 2020. With hundreds of different “realities”, customer avatars, the ability to create unique worlds and the inner currency (Robux), Roblox has a strong benefit .
We can’t forget Facebook, which has officially changed the name of the parent company to Meta. The company sees itself as the next evolution in social connectivity and plans to bring a 3D world to the masses using virtual reality, which is largely based on the Oculus VR headset (the parent company that Meta acquired in 2014).
The initial Meta entry into the metaverse, the Horizon Worlds VR platform, is available for Oculus Touch on the Quest 2 platform. The company is said to be integrating tools for using cryptocurrencies within the game.
Many people believe that NVIDIA has created a platform that the biggest brands on the Internet will use to create virtual experiences. It is presented as the evolution of the web – the Metaverse, which is part of the mother of all Metaverses, the Omniverse.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run, as many players still have to break into the Metaverse.
Related article: Microsoft, Facebook, and the future of the metaverse(s)