Geo Week News

April 11, 2023

Unity Industry builds and deploys interactive digital twins

Unity’s new offering is a suite of products and services delivering high-quality 3D graphics aimed at enterprise customers.
Man wearing AR glasses looking at digital model of building under construction.
Stock Image | Shutterstock | MangKangMangMee

Unity has largely made its name in the gaming space, with their gaming engine being one of the top options for indie game developers on the market, but in recent years they’ve also found success from other industries leveraging their gaming engine for their own 3D purposes. To that end, they’ve made another step towards strengthening their offerings to those other enterprise spaces, introducing their new Unity Industry suite of products and services which they say are designed just for industry creators.

Although Unity has been working with industries beyond gaming for a good while at this point, and they did have specific products for these customers, this is the most comprehensive jump into the sector that the company has made to date. Specifically, Unity says that Unity Industry is “a set of optimized products and services that enterprises across manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, retail, and other industries, can leverage to build and deploy interactive real-time experiences.” 

With the addition of Unity Industry to the company’s offerings, they are in turn deprecating Unity Industrial Collection (UIC), with Unity Industry now becoming the default offering. Any existing UIC customer have until October 3, 2023 to renew their subscription or purchase additional seats at the current price.

In terms of specific offerings, Unity Industry is made up of five separate offerings being bundled together, some of which are new and exclusive to Unity Industry, and others also offered on their own and which were established before this new offering. Here are the tools and support included in the bundle (descriptions from Unity):

  • Unity Enterprise - Allows enterprises to manage complex real-time 3D projects across teams using built-in support and creation tools that scale. Includes extended three-year long-term support (LTS) and read-only source code access

  • Industry Success - Exclusive to Unity Industry to overcome challenges faster with dedicated success advisors, professional training and onboarding, and rapid-response support

  • Pixyz Plugin - Enterprises can import more than 40 3D, CAD, and BIM file types to bring source data into Unity’s real-time 3D platform

  • Unity Mars - Efficiently creates AR apps with better workflows and purpose-built authoring tools

  • Unity Build Server - Enterprises can utilize on-premises solutions to build Unity projects for faster project build testing as you scale, regardless of network restrictions

It’s worth zooming in a little more on the Industry Success service here, which is the piece of this that is exclusive to Unity Industry users. This is, essentially, Unity’s “consultancy” service, something that should be particularly beneficial to companies and organizations which know they can derive value from these kinds of real-time, interactive 3D models but are just getting started.

Included with this service is a guaranteed 48-hour response time for technical support, on-demand training materials covering a wide range of topics, a dedicated “partner advisor” to serve as the bridge between customers and Unity, and one month of product activation support through documentation, training, and a technical point of contact to ensure a smooth start to using the product, plus 90 days of customer onboarding engagement.

This move signals the recognition from the gaming engine space – including not just Unity, but also Epic Games’ Unreal Engine – that their graphics expertise contains immense value for the enterprise world. It’s something we signaled as a trend we were looking for heading into 2023, and we’ve seen companies both new and old – like METAGEO and Esri – at least express interest in taking advantage of Unity’s game engine for their geospatial offerings.

It’s no secret what kind of value these types of digital twins can add to many industries, including of course AEC but also spaces like retail, government, facilities management, and more. With any type of digital twin, stakeholders can enhance collaboration and efficiency in design processes, run simulations to spot potential improvements or ensure a plan will work before actual implementation, streamline their operations by connecting their digital twins with sensors, provide preliminary training without having to be on-site and potentially shut down production, and more. Adding in the hyper-realistic and physically accurate graphics from Unity and other gaming engines enhances those already valuable use cases.

“Real-time 3D is a catalyst for change at every part of the value chain and across every industry,” says Marc Whitten, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Unity Create Solutions, in a press statement. “Unity Industry will provide enterprises with the essential tools to accelerate their digital transformation and build the next generation of digital twins and immersive experiences.”

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