Siemens has signed a partnership agreement with graphics card and maker Nvidia to create an industrial metaverse, an enhanced virtual reality for companies to reduce the costs of running their factories, buildings and speed up new product design.
The deal is a cornerstone of Siemens Xcelerator, a new open digital platform also launched by the German technology and engineering company.
The cloud-based platform, which will feature hardware, software and digital services, is part of Siemens' ambition to grow its digital business by 10 per cent a year from the 5.6 billion euros (NZ$9.5 billion) generated in 2021.
"Siemens Xcelerator will make it easier than ever before for companies to navigate digital transformation faster and at scale," Siemens chief executive Roland Busch said.
The company bought Brightly Software for NZ$2.6 billion earlier this week, and is moving further into the digital space because it offers faster growth rates and higher margins than its traditional business of trains, industrial drives and automation.
Nvidia and Siemens are just two of the companies are working in the so-called metaverse, which refers broadly to the idea of a shared virtual platform that people can access through different devices and where they can move through digital environments.
Facebook-owner Meta Platforms and Microsoft and others are also looking at metaverse technology can be used in business and leisure.
Siemens's Xcelerator will be the umbrella term for services which will allow customers to visualise yachts or factories, for example, before construction starts.
"We can essentially replace having to build a thing in the real world first," Tony Hemmelgarn, chief executive of Siemens Digital Industries Software said.
The platform would also ensure products "are going to work well, before we commit to building them in the real world when it becomes really expensive and difficult to change," he added.
The services will be offered to customers through Siemens's software as a service (SaaS) subscription model, to make it more affordable for small and medium sized companies.
As part of the collaboration, Siemens will connect Xcelerator and its own software and digital twin products with Nvidia's Omniverse, a platform for 3D design.