23 Mar 2023 3 min read

How metaverse technology is powering real-world innovation

By Elisa Piscopiello , Michael Stewart

The technology needed to create immersive virtual worlds is already being used to model the physical world, leading to tangible gains across a range of industries.


The metaverse, the next frontier of the internet, is still on the horizon, but the technology required to get us there is better understood. There are companies that are employing these technologies today to drive revenues and growth.

In this blog we explore what these technologies are and some of the breakthroughs they are enabling in everyday life, beyond gaming and social media.

The technologies that will deliver the metaverse

The development of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), 3D environments and gaming technologies are obvious categories that are fundamental to the development of the next frontier of the internet.

However, there are other elements that are just as fundamental, yet could be overlooked. These are 5G and the internet of things (IoT). The future will see the continued blurring of the physical and virtual worlds, with enormous amounts of data to be captured from the physical world by IoT devices and transmitted wirelessly at high speeds with low latency with 5G enabling technology.

These areas are closely interconnected when it comes to applications of metaverse technology. For example, digital twins companies already have the models but need 5G and IoT solutions to generate accurate real-time representations of the physical world.

5G is a key area of growth that is impacting applications beyond traditional internet and communication, such as automotive.


Micron Technology* is one of the largest memory chips manufacturers in the world and the largest Western supplier. It provides dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND memory chips. These chips are applied in 5G technology, to make data access faster and interconnected. 5G has download speeds that are up to 100 times faster than 4G, which translates into huge performance gains when bandwidth is needed.

This is key for the metaverse because it will require high-speed and low-latency connections available anywhere to participate. As the metaverse develops and our world becomes increasingly digitally connected, the need for memory is going to grow as our use of video, audio and livestreaming rise.

Case studies: how is this technology being used in everyday life?

Metaverse technology can lead to breakthroughs to the physical world.

Healthcare technology provider Medtronic* uses surgical robots that must be highly reliable and can operate all over the human body. To simulate the development and operation of surgical robots, Medtronic uses digital twins to save costs, time and improve patient outcomes.

Clean energy technology developer X1 Wind*, which designs floating offshore wind platforms, also makes use of digital twins. These enormous structures pose challenges that need to be understood and simulated before implementation, and simulations allow X1 Wind to visualise the wind platform and test the entire system prior to deployment.

Both of the above innovative applications are powered by digital twins from Ansys Inc*. It provides models based on a blend of physics-based simulation and data-based machine learning, which can predict the future performance of many different types of assets, so that clients can aim to lower their production costs, analyse maintenance scenarios, and understand how and why they differ. Digital twins can add a lot of value, particularly when the products being developed are more complex.

Real breakthroughs in the real world

The next frontier of the internet requires innovation across a variety of areas, which are often closely interlinked and complementary as technologies continue to develop.

As the above examples demonstrate, companies are developing and using these technologies today to drive real breakthroughs in the real world.

The metaverse might be on the horizon, but the impacts of technology are being felt today.


*For illustrative purposes only. Reference to a particular security is on a historic basis and does not mean that the security is currently held or will be held within an LGIM portfolio. The above information does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

Elisa Piscopiello

Senior ETF Analyst

Elisa joined LGIM as ETF Analyst in June 2021. She contributes towards the development and analysis of investment strategies, whilst also supporting ETF distribution and marketing efforts. Prior to that, Elisa worked as Multi Asset Investment Support Executive at Liontrust, and as Investment Dealing Assistant at Architas. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Kent with a First Class degree in Financial Economics with Econometrics. She holds the Diploma in Investment Management (ESG) and is a CFA charterholder.

Elisa Piscopiello

Michael Stewart

Head of Pooled Index Strategy

Michael focuses on the creation and ongoing support of investment strategies for LGIM's ETFs as well as the strategic role for ETFs within the business. Before joining us in 2019, Michael worked in ETF product development at Invesco, developing and supporting a wide range of ETFs across all asset classes. He holds an MBA from Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), University of London, and is a CFA Charterholder. When he’s not studying investment strategies, Michael likes running, vegan cooking and European train travel. 

Michael Stewart