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Metaverse to improve industries

By OUYANG SHIJIA and MA ZHIPING in Boao, Hainan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-04-23 10:22
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A visitor (right) tries metaverse games at the 2021 International Digital Technology Exhibition and Tianyi Intelligent Ecological Expo in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Nov 11. [Photo by Li Zhihao/For China Daily]

The emerging metaverse technologies are expected to be integrated into a wide range of sectors including industry, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and consumption, and will fundamentally change the way people work and interact in their daily lives, experts and business executives said on Friday.

Denis Depoux, global managing director at Roland Berger, told a metaverse forum during the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022 that the metaverse will help to strongly accelerate industrial modernization and industrial digitalization.

The new concept of the metaverse refers to a shared virtual world in which people can interact via various forms of virtual technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

Du Lan, senior vice-president of the Chinese artificial intelligence pioneer iFlytek, said the combined physical and virtual reality internet will fundamentally change how people work and interact. For instance, the virtual worlds of the metaverse will offer an alternative for farmers to monitor the health of their crops and formulate crop management plans. The industrial metaverse will also offer an excellent alternative for manufacturers to test their products.

While China has its unique advantage in the development of the metaverse including a solid foundation of big data, abundant human resources, developed industrial chains of hardware manufacturing and rich culture, the country needs to ramp up efforts to close the technological gap with developed countries in fields such as chips, operating systems and optical displays.

Max Yuan, chairman and CEO of Xiao-i Corporation, a leading AI technology company based in Shanghai, noted that 2022 marks the year of the metaverse, saying the metaverse will enter a stage of rapid development in the next one to three years.

Looking ahead, he said the metaverse technologies will be integrated into various sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing.

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