The Next Chapter: 2024 Technology Trends Reshaping Our Digital Landscape
Since the release of ChatGPT last year, generative artificial intelligence has dominated headlines, conferences, and even my own workplace conversations. It’s been incredible to see how AI technology has so quickly changed workflows and the focus of companies.
I’ve spent almost two decades working in tech, with 15 years of full stack developer experience. Collaborating specifically with teams in media and entertainment, I’ve seen firsthand how advancements in AI and game engines have impacted their industries.
Heading into 2024, I expect the challenges of working with AI to be top of mind, as well as how to embrace game engines and the industrial metaverse. Below, I dive into the top five technology trends that I believe will emerge in 2024 and how they will impact where businesses invest their time and resources.
Read along or jump to the section that interests you below:
Generative AI’s Storage Problem
3D content creation and animation were previously dubbed as time-intensive and manual, solely reserved for experienced animators and designers. ChatGPT 4’s release in March of 2023 shifted the landscape of how creators develop materials and assets across industries.
Its release spurred a new wave of generative AI tools with the capacity to easily create content and digital assets. Generative AI features and enhancements are now integrated in the core tools and workflows creators use to develop games and visual effects, like Photoshop, Blender, and Maya.
Stability AI recently released Stable 3D, enabling creators and non-experts alike to generate thousands of 3D objects per day for a relatively low cost. Unreal Engine has also released their own set of AI tools, including the Procedural Content Generation Framework (PCG) and MetaHuman Animator. These tools have made it possible to create entire game environments and digital 3D characters within minutes.
This phenomenal shift is going to add pressure and demand to the computing capabilities and storage needs of a team’s development pipeline. With so many assets, it will become even more important for teams to rely on software like version control and digital asset management.
📘 Related Resource: What is Digital Asset Management?
However, many creators – including authors, artists, and coders – are challenging the use of copyright material to train generative AI technology. As this legal battle continues on into the next year, I expect to see creators continuing to rely on traditional methods of creating assets while more slowly incorporating gen AI into their workflows.Back to top
The Wider Adoption of Game Engines
Another trend I expect to see more of in 2024 is a wider range of industries adopting game engines. Leveraging game engine technology opens up a world of possibilities, making previously complicated and advanced technology user friendly and time efficient.
For instance, Unreal Engine has become critical in helping design 3D worlds that are simple, powerful, and scalable for a wide-range of industries – including architecture, broadcast, live events, automotive and transportation, and film and television.
Unreal Engine has given virtual production teams a powerful way to seamlessly combine virtual and augmented realities with CGI and footage captured on sets. UE5’s technological advancements have already majorly impacted the film and entertainment industry, with contributions to over 550 major motion pictures and TV episodes.
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How DNEG Uses Helix Core and Unreal Engine for Virtual Production
DNEG, one of most in-demand virtual production and VFX studios, has adapted Unreal Engine and Helix Core. In our webinar, Head of Content Management at DNEG and Dimension, Mark Holland, walks through real-world workflows and processes used by his team.
AI and Digital Twins Drive the Automotive Industry
Research from the Boston Consulting Group pointed out that the automotive industry has entered a new chapter as vehicles have now become “computers on wheels.” In 2024, I expect to see the automotive industry taking advantage of the unique combination of digital twins and AI solutions.
Within the automotive industry, digital twins can be used to simulate crash tests to learn how a car will perform on different terrain or in unique situations, as well as to train driver assistance systems with synthetic sensor data. They will also enable companies to play out every scenario, helping test safety requirements and build vehicles that can react without a driver present.
📘 Related Resource: What Are Digital Twins? Learn About Digital Twin Software
For instance, Epic partnered with electric car manufacturer, Rivian to create a digital twin of their R1T truck using Unreal Engine. The teams were able to simulate the R1T driving through a jungle, using tools like PCG to quickly populate the forest and Substrate to design the car’s exterior to react to elements like sunlight and mud.
These capabilities will prove crucial as research from the BCG found that 60 percent of middle-income individuals desire to own an autonomous vehicle. By 2030, safety critical software is projected to account for 70 percent of the automotive software platform market. In 2024, I expect organizations to heavily invest in safety and compliance, backed by AI and digital twins, to ensure safety is not sacrificed with the adoption of these vehicles.Back to top
The Industrial Metaverse Is Here
The early stages of a digital ecosystem that joins real and virtual worlds has emerged across industries like architecture, transportation, and manufacturing. This shift is being referred to as the industrial metaverse.
The industrial metaverse is made up of technology like digital twins, game engines, virtual reality software, AI, and other tools. This digital replica mirrors and takes in information from the everyday systems around us, from supply chains to subway routes, allowing us to test them and predict how they will function.
By 2025, the Renault Group’s implementation of the industrial metaverse into their production lines is estimated to save them $330 million, on top of the $805 million they have already saved since 2016. As more companies embrace the industrial metaverse in 2024, I expect their savings to be largely driven by reduced training and office costs, a faster get-to-market rate due to more efficient product testing and manufacturing workflows and boosted productivity.
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Tools to Support Virtual Reality Game Development
Virtual reality (VR) game development – currently a more than $7 billion market – is expected to bring in $53 billion by 2025. In our 2023 game development report, 13% of surveyed developers noted they are working on a virtual reality game.
2023 State of Game
When creating a VR game, teams face a unique set of challenges. They often have difficult development pipelines with the added step of choosing what platform to develop for, since each significantly differs in terms of processing power. Additionally, VR games have a heightened potential for graphics issues with a need for more accurate and cohesive visuals.
Heading into the next year, I expect companies to invest in the tools needed to bring these games to life. VR game dev teams will benefit from a version control software, which team members can use to track and manage changes to code and digital assets. A good version control system allows for better collaboration and faster development, and it will give VR teams a complete history of their digital assets.
Get Ready for 2024 and Beyond with Scalable Version Control
With all that’s to come in 2024, I expect organizations to begin laying the groundwork needed to embrace all these technological shifts. If you want to be prepared to adapt the industrial metaverse and AI technology, version control is a necessary part of establishing its foundation.
Helix Core is already the leading version control for teams working with digital twins and trusted by 19/20 AAA game development studios for its integration with popular 3D animation software and game engines. Our tool has the endless scalability and secure collaboration you need to create at the next level.
You can get started free for up to 5 users – with no limits on features or functionality.
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