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What Is a Digital Twin?

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A digital twin is a virtual device that contains the exact state, information, and organization of the physical device to which it is connected. Think of it as a test version before proceeding with product development or interacting with a real-world device. Digital twins go hand-in-hand with implementing the Internet of Things (IoT).

Industrial companies can simulate production systems and experiment with them by creating models using precise real-time data, for example. Digital twin technology can support a wide range of other business objectives  Facebook, uses digital user twins to simulate user behavior for target marketing.

Other Definitions of Digital Twins Include:

  • “A representation of an organization’s physical assets that help to illustrate its business operating model from end-to-end.” (Mighael Botha)
  • “A computer program that takes real-world data about a physical object or system as inputs and produces as outputs predications or simulations of how that physical object or system will be affected by those inputs.” (Network World)
  • “A virtual model of a process, product or service.” (Forbes)

Digital Twin Use Cases Include

  • Testing the effectiveness of generating power through a wind blade.
  • Predicting where a product may break down to mitigate those risks.
  • Managing a customers experience and create new revenue models.
  • Improving the durability of pharmaceuticals.
  • Managing the city of Singapore.

Businesses use Digital Twins to:

  • Pursue industrial IoT automation.
  • Simulate and visualize 3D designs
  • Back-up and unify systems and other fundamental IT operations
  • Proactively predict machine maintenance issues
  • Conduct virtual-reality employee training

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

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