- Metaverse capabilities for the consumer, enterprise and industrial sectors face performance requirements: handling and processing large amounts of data and powering real-time capabilities that demand extremely fast responses.
- Businesses planning metaverse strategies should not assume that the infrastructure needed to run them will just emerge. Nor should they assume that metaverse capabilities and experiences will scale effectively on existing technologies.
- A comprehensive plan for cloud-to-edge computing and connectivity will likely be important for high-performance consumer metaverse experiences.
The metaverse may be “in development,” but if it’s ever going to be realized it will require a significant upgrade of the internet’s physical nuts and bolts.
Deloitte says that even current 5G rollouts won’t be able to deliver on the capacity and low latency that metaverse style applications will need.
Deloitte’s report stresses the gap between existing network infrastructure and that needed to reorganize the internet and everything connected to it into more shared, simulated and immersive experiences.
As the consultancy puts it, the grand vision of a single, unified metaverse suggests that it could support large numbers of users, all wearing unique avatars personalized with digital goods, interacting, and transacting with each other through an endless kaleidoscope of hyper-realistic spaces.
Industrial metaverses could envision digital twins of factories, cities and supply chains, driven by millions of sensors and modeled in real-time high resolution.
“While these scenarios are generating a lot of excitement, the internet architectures and the software that runs on them may not be prepared to support the kinds of computation, connectivity, and performance demanded by these use cases.”
For example, the internet today was designed to optimize download speeds, but networks will need to support bidirectionality for interactive experiences such as multiplayer video games. This requires faster upload speeds and lower latency.
According to Deloitte, fixed wire fiber networks are seemingly well-positioned to support early metaverse requirements, but wireless networks may not be. While modern (5G/LTE) wireless networks can likely deliver adequate download speeds for consumer metaverse experiences, they may be challenged further to meet the upload and latency requirements and may be inadequate for enterprise and industrial uses.
There are huge bottlenecks in homes too as anyone streaming video on more than one device simultaneously will know.
To better support “early” metaverse experiences and help enable future experiences at scale, Deloitte says telcos may need to build denser networks of wireless cell towers and adopt new wireless technologies “that can recognize and respond dynamically to different data types and volumes, optimizing performance in real time for latency and bandwidth.”
Business leaders are advised to evaluate their existing networks for performance and scalability, as well as the costs of delivering metaverse experiences across provider networks.
“They could consider which kinds of networks might be best for a given solution or location, and which capabilities require very low latency performance,” says Deloitte. “Partnering with telecom providers could help businesses to assess their connectivity needs more effectively. Those businesses seeking to deliver metaverse capabilities at scale may also need robust edge computing to support content and latency requirements to large numbers of users.
It’s not just the network but computing power at the edge that needs radical improvement. Clouds and data centers offer large amounts of computation and storage but can be too far from where low-latency resources might be needed. Edge computing brings smaller amounts of storage and computation much closer to where it’s needed quickly.
“It is estimated that enabling metaverse capabilities could require a thousand-fold increase in computation beyond what today’s state-of-the-art semiconductor chips can deliver, which are nearing the end of Moore’s Law,” Deloitte states.
While the cloud gaming market is supported today using solutions like distributed computing, data lakes, and active orchestration, “enabling true metaverse gaming, with vastly more users and connected experiences across multiple global markets, will likely require significant advances in the scale and design of metaverse infrastructure.”
As metaverse solutions find greater adoption and scale, Deloitte thinks they may require networks, computation, and AI “to further converge into self-managing, self-correcting, and self-optimizing distributed systems,” according to the report.
“Such a broad transformation could take many years but could pay dividends along the way — not just for businesses but in the potential to bring greater visibility to factories, supply chains, energy systems, cities, and beyond.”
The metaverse may be a wild frontier, but here at NAB Amplify we’ve got you covered! Hand-selected from our archives, here are some of the essential insights you’ll need to expand your knowledge base and confidently explore the new horizons ahead:
- The Metaverse Will Make $5 Trillion By 2030. That Sounds Awesome and… Wait, What Are We Talking About?
- Metaverse Expectations vs. Reality
- A Metacode of Conduct for the Metaverse
- Metaverse Interoperability: Utopian Dream, Privacy Nightmare
- Consumers Are Confused About the Metaverse, But Seriously, Can You Blame Them?