Geo Week News

April 5, 2024

NVIDIA announces Omniverse Cloud APIs to advance digital twin ecosystem

The APIs should accelerate the adoption and acceptance of digital twin workflows in manufacturing and beyond.
Image via NVIDIA

An ecosystem of interconnected digital representations of key enterprise operations like manufacturing plants and warehouses at key junctions of the supply chain, among many other examples, in theory feels like a no-brainer. These are complex facilities with many moving parts, so having digital representations connected to real-time data sources allows for significantly streamlined processes. Proponents of an “industrial metaverse” are trying to create exactly this scenario, and while the interconnected piece of this is still seemingly a ways away, individual organizations are starting to adopt their own digital twin-based workflows.

The biggest reason behind the uptick in this adoption comes down to better and more accessible tools to make it happen, with NVIDIA being right in the middle of that. It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given that they seem to be in the middle of every tech boom right now, but their work with OpenUSD and the Omniverse has pushed forward a number of industries with some big companies getting more involved. Recently we talked about Trimble’s involvement in the Alliance for OpenUSD, an organization with which NVIDIA is also heavily involved.

That news came out of NVIDIA’s annual GTC conference, but that wasn’t the only news to come out of the conference in the 3D data streaming space. In addition to the Alliance for OpenUSD news, NVIDIA also announced new Omniverse Cloud APIs, which they say extends “the reach of the world’s leading platform for creating industrial digital twin applications and workflows across the entire ecosystem of software makers.”

More specifically, the company has released five new APIs to allow developers to integrate Omniverse technologies into their existing software applications, which can be used for digital twin work and simulation applications. The five APIs are:

  • USD Render — generates fully ray-traced NVIDIA RTX™ renders of OpenUSD data.

  • USD Write — lets users modify and interact with OpenUSD data.

  • USD Query — enables scene queries and interactive scenarios.

  • USD Notify — tracks USD changes and provides updates.

  • Omniverse Channel — connects users, tools and worlds to enable collaboration across scenes.

Within the announcement, NVIDIA indicated that some big names already have plans to integrate these APIs. Trimble, for example, plans to leverage them “to enable the use of interactive NVIDIA Omniverse RTX viewers with Trimble model data.” Hexagon is also included in the announcement, with indications that they’ll “integrate its reality capture sensors and digital reality platforms with the NVIDIA Omniverse Cloud APIs through USD interoperability, empowering customers with hyper-realistic simulation and visualization capabilities.”

The ultimate ideal of an industrial metaverse is still a long ways away, as a true ecosystem requires mass adoption. That said, these APIs should increase that adoption significantly in the coming years as digital twin applications will now be able to incorporate Omniverse technology directly into their existing architecture. As we’ve talked about before, seeing all of this play out feels like we’re watching the future happen in real time, and this specifically seems like it has the potential to transform the manufacturing space. At least that’s what NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang indicated in a statement around this API announcement.

“Everything manufactured will have digital twins. Omniverse is the operating system for building and operating physically realistic digital twins. Omniverse and generative AI are the foundational technologies to digitalize the $50 trillion heavy industries market.”

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