Digital twins: Envisioning the present, planning the future

As real-time visualization technology has evolved, so have our uses for it. Many companies are starting to make use of digital twins to monitor structures and equipment.

A digital twin is a 3D model of a real entity—a building, a city, a vehicle—that not only looks like the real thing, but also acts like it. Through IoT devices and sensors, data about the physical entity’s activities are transferred to the 3D model in real time, giving viewers the ability to see activity on the entity as it happens. Seeing the structure in 3D, with the ability to instantly zoom in, fly around, and see live data, gives insights into efficiencies and improvements that would otherwise be difficult to gain.

Digital twins are currently being used to monitor and analyze data from a wide variety of sources: city infrastructure, traffic patterns, factory processes, movement of personnel within office buildings, and even test data from autonomous vehicles.

While the technology to create digital twins has been around for a while, the use of it did, until recently, require serious programming and user interface skills. But nowadays, game engines, particularly Unreal Engine, put digital twins within reach of many more users. Unreal Engine’s built-in real-time rendering and easy scripting language means non-programmers can build out a digital twin application in a fraction of the time formerly needed, and also maintain and update the application well into the future.

To learn about digital twins—how to build them, and the efficiencies you can gain from them— join us for a webinar on February 25 with DBEI and Epic Games. We’ll look at a few existing digital twin applications and what it took to create them, and talk about how you can take advantage of this exciting technology to gain insights into efficiencies for your own business processes.

Image Credit: Water Street Tampa – Courtesy of SPP & Imerza

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