Recently we helped our client Marathon Petroleum Corporation evaluate a planned gas facility in VR. Seven experts toured the facility virtually and discovered several ways the facility could be optimized and modified. Have a look at our recording of the session. This is a great example of how XR can help improve safety, design and bring workers together regardless of geographical locations and how this technology will shape the fourth industrial revolution. A revolution that is gaining momentum fast in the wake of the global pandemic that we are facing today.
As human beings in the 18th century harnessed the power of the steam engine the industrial revolution saw the light of day. With the advent of electricity, assembly line factories and mass production of consumer goods we saw the second wave of this revolution. It wasn’t long before automation and computers gave rise to the third industrial revolution.
We are now in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution – industry 4.0. This wave will build on the third revolution and enhance computers and automation with smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning.
Over the coming years, as Industry 4.0 unfolds, computers will communicate with one another to make decisions without any human involvement. A combination of the real and virtual world, the Internet of Things will make this new, smart world a reality. As machines get smarter and smarter and gain access to more and more data factories will become more efficient and productive. This interconnection of machines all over the world is what will unlock the true power of industry 4.0.
The COVID-19 is making sure this happens sooner rather than later.
Since the start of the pandemic businesses all over the world have faced unforeseen challenges related to supply chain disruptions, shortage of workers due to quarantine rules and resource downtime. Some industries have seen the demand for their products crater while others have seen the demand skyrocket.
The global COVID-19 crisis is gradually transitioning industry 4.0 technology from an option to a necessity. Through increased connection of all the components in a supply chain that chain will strengthen and be better able to withstand stormy shocks to the system like the current pandemic.
As more and more businesses grasp this new reality technologies like Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality will take center stage and prove key in maximizing efficiency throughout the entire economy of corporations as well as nations.
As the pandemic drags on, remote and immersive technologies like VR, AR and MR have proven an invaluable tool for corporations wishing to remain on top of their game.
Virtual events have allowed the industry to keep organizing seminars and conferences without personal contact. At countless of online events visitors have walked through exhibition stalls and interacted with vendors and corporate executives, experiencing products and engaging in discussions.
In the post pandemic world XR technologies will help in building a competent workforce while limiting risks and boost productivity across a wide range of industries, helping businesses achieve a competitive edge, greater market access, customer satisfaction through smart manufacturing. The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first pandemic, and it won’t be the last. But there’s a silver lining – when the next pandemic or whatever crisis it might be hits the world we will be in a much better place and industry 4.0 will not be as vulnerable as our current system.