Our society relies on technology… and our rapidly progressing digital world requires innovative technological solutions. Industries are constantly working to advance the technology they leverage in order to improve existing products and procedures. Digital twins are the result of this continual push for improvement in efficiency, design, and engineering.
What is a Digital Twin?
A digital twin is the computerized representation of something in the real world.
A digital twin serves as the digital counterpart for places, physical objects, services, or processes in the real world. This virtual representation of an object, system, or space is connected to its real-world counterpart and updated from real-time data.
To make it simple- this just means creating a highly complex virtual model of something that is exactly the same as a physical thing, therefore making it a twin.
What Does a Digital Twin Do?
A digital twin is an advanced computer program that can predict how a product or process will perform. Because a digital twin is the projection of a physical object in the digital world, they can be used to view their physical counterparts’ status. A digital twin generates valuable insight into a physical thing by studying performance issues, running simulations, and developing potential improvements.
Digital twins are often used as prototypes to offer feedback during product development. It can also be a future model of what could occur before a physical version is built. The complexity of digital twins varies depending on the amount of real-world data it possesses and how closely the twin simulates the physical version.
Digital twins reduce risk and improve business processes. They provide businesses with valuable information by running analyses and giving insight into how products and processes are performing now and in the future. This information helps companies predict potential problems before they happen, allowing them to be proactive and increase efficiency. By streamlining workflows, digital twins provide heightened insight into solving business challenges.
The usage of digital twin technology is rapidly increasing. The digital twin concept was listed as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019.
How Does a Digital Twin Work?
A digital twin is made by gathering data from the real world and creating computational models to test that data.
Digital twins can model anything from an object to a process. Regardless of what is being modeled, digital twins need data about their real-world counterparts to create this virtual model.
Digital twins leverage geospatial technology like geographic information systems (GIS). This geospatial technology is used for capturing, storing, displaying, and checking location and mapping data. GIS improves both data capture and integration by enabling real-time visualization and updates. This advanced analysis can automate future predictions and allow for collaborative information sharing.
Digital Twins are often used to improve efficiencies in mechanically complex projects such as automobiles, turbines, and aircraft. However, the usage of digital twins has become increasingly involved in recent years. Now, digital twins can represent more than just one asset. An advanced digital twin can embody an entire system of digital twins- opening this technology to a variety of new industries.
Digital Twins have long been used in manufacturing and automotive industries… but that’s not all. Digital twin technology opens up doors to tremendous indoor opportunities- like commercial real estate, stadiums, offices, stadiums, and more.
Digital Twins and Indoor Mapping
The complex location intelligence used for outdoor navigation has not always been available indoors. Government funding for satellites that could map landmasses and be used for outdoor navigation took years. Until recently, there was not much technology that could assist in indoor wayfinding.
The Digital twin of a building is represented by a virtual map of the indoor space. This map includes a visual representation of every point of interest and its associated location data and assets.
Indoor mapping is converting a floor plan into an interactive, digital representation of an indoor space. This could assist in visualizing spatial data, serve as a wayfinding platform, or create real-time indoor location intelligence. It is possible to acquire vast data, imagery, point clouds, and 3D reality models from cameras and LiDAR devices mounted on rollers, backpacks, or even drones.
A digital twin of the indoors is multifunctional because it serves both the end-user and the building operators. Those looking to enter or use the indoor space can benefit from indoor directions. At the same time, owners and operators can improve efficiencies and create new experiences based on the data and analytics captured.
Additionally, a digital twin benefits privacy and security implications when collecting indoor mapping and imagery data. This intelligence is needed to promote the safety and efficiency of an indoor space. This technology is highly beneficial in public places like airports, hospitals, transit stations, college campuses, or grocery and retail stores.
In conclusion, digital twins can be used for many different things ranging from product development to mapping. One thing is for certain- digital twins give businesses an unprecedented look at their data, analytics, and how something is performing. Digital twins can help solve a vast array of problems, identify risks before they ever happen, and improve customer satisfaction. Digital twins enable us to understand our present needs and to predict and improve our future.