“Every few decades, technologies converge to enable a whole new thing – Omniverse is such an invention,” –Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.
As we reported late last year, NVIDIA has been working on some potentially revolutionary technology to support 3D development – including a platform purpose built to be an interconnected platform for 3D development. The open beta version of Omniverse launched in October 2021, and has been downloaded by nearly 17,000 users in beta. At NVIDIA’s GTC conference this week, we learned that NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise is now available for enterprise users.
Aiming to eliminate the siloing of 3D design tools and file formats, NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise could soon make it possible for 3D production teams in many different verticals to work together on complex projects. By acting as the central location for massive models, renders and files, NVIDIA Omniverse brings together geographically dispersed teams, different levels of expertise and domains of work all into one single context. Rather than requiring in-person meetings or exchanging and iterating on massive files, designers, artists and reviewers can work simultaneously in a virtual world from anywhere, on any device.
At the keynote to NVIDIA’s GTC conference, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang spent the first few sentences putting Omniverse front and center, and the description of Omniverse comprised the first section of the keynote.
“Software is now composed of micro services that scale across the entire data center, treating the data center, as a single unit of computing. AI and 5G are the ingredients to kickstart the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where automation and robotics can be deployed the far edges of the world. There is one more: we need the metaverse – a virtual world that is a digital twin of ours.”
If it delivers on this promise, Omniverse for Enterprise may finally provide the means for the sharing of 3D models, remote collaboration and rendering, with the addition of more photorealistic graphics and powerful simulations.
Built on a decade of graphics development
Omniverse includes two end-user applications: NVIDIA Omniverse Create — which accelerates scene composition and allows users in real time to interactively assemble, light, simulate and render scenes — and NVIDIA Omniverse View, which powers seamless collaborative design and visualization of architectural and engineering projects with photorealistic rendering. NVIDIA RTX™ Virtual Workstation (vWS) software, also part of the platform, gives collaborators the freedom to run their graphics-intensive 3D applications from anywhere.
Last year, NVIDIA introduced a second generation of RTX, a new rendering approach that fuses rasterization and programmable shading with hardware accelerated ray tracing and AI. Described as the culmination of 10 years of research, Huang describes the advancement as a “reset of computer graphics” that have allowed them to build the Omniverse Platform.
“RTX has enabled us to build Omniverse, a platform for connecting 3D worlds into a shared virtual world – not unlike the science fiction ‘metaverse’ first described by Neal Stephenson in his early 1990s novel Snow Crash, where the metaverse would be collectives of shared 3D spaces and virtually enhanced physical spaces that are extensions of the internet.”
Omniverse Enterprise is a new platform that includes the NVIDIA Omniverse Nucleus server, which manages the database shared among clients, and NVIDIA Omniverse Connectors, which are plugins to industry-leading design applications.
“One of the most important features of Omniverse, is that it obeys the laws of physics Omniverse can simulate particles fluids materials springs and cables. This is a fundamental capability for robotics. Once trained the AI and software can be downloaded from Omniverse.”
The world’s 3D industries are making great strides toward building the metaverse — a massive shared virtual world — by adopting open file frameworks like Pixar’s Universal Scene Description, and encouraging interoperability between software applications. The NVIDIA Omniverse ecosystem continues to grow, connecting industry-leading applications from software companies such as Bentley Systems, Adobe, Autodesk, Epic Games, ESRI, Graphisoft, Trimble, McNeel & Associates, Blender, Marvelous Designer, Reallusion and wrnch Inc.
Implications for AEC, Geospatial and Infrastructure
In an additional announcement at GTC, Bentley Systems, announced it is bringing infrastructure digital twins to NVIDIA Omniverse. Bentley is the first to harness real-time rendering, AI and simulation capabilities of NVIDIA Omniverse, and will continue to build upon the platform going forward. The shared vision of a “digital twin” was apparent from Huang’s comments in the keynote.
“[Bentley] has a platform called iTwin for digital twins – an exciting strategy to use the 3D models after construction to monitor and optimize the performance throughout its life. We’re super excited to partner with Bentley, to create infrastructure digital twins and Omniverse, Bentley is the first third party company to be developing a suite of applications on the omniverse platform. This is just an awesome use of Omniverse, a great example of digital twins and Bentley is the perfect partner.”
The integration of the capabilities of the Bentley iTwin platform and NVIDIA Omniverse enables users to virtually explore massive industrial plants and offshore structures as if they are walking through the infrastructure in real time, for purposes such as wayfinding and safety route optimization.
The combination of the Bentley iTwin platform and NVIDIA Omniverse make a high-performance user experience a reality at a scale that had previously not been possible.
Foster + Partners, the U.K. architectural design and engineering firm, is implementing Omniverse to enable seamless collaborative design to visualization capabilities to teams spread across 14 countries.
“Omniverse is a revolutionary platform that has allowed our designers to collaborate and visualize multiple design changes to a scene simultaneously while working on their software of choice,” said Martha Tsigkari, partner with the Applied Research and Development Group at Foster + Partners.
“As we can review design options in parallel, we have much more time for creative design and visualization. Integration of futuristic technologies such as machine learning will bring more opportunities to assist the creative process in the future.”
NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise software is available on a subscription basis and includes NVIDIA’s enterprise support services. NVIDIA’s partner network of leading computer makers — including ASUS, BOXX Technologies, Cisco, Dell Technologies, HP, Lenovo and Supermicro — are supporting NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise. A complete list of software partners is available at nvidia.com/omniverse.