In simplest possible terms, a Digital Twin is a digital (virtual) model of a particular object or a system that exists physically. As of today, the concept of digital twins has become incredibly sophisticated so it can create models of massive and complicated items. Buildings, huge factories, complex cities, and even humans can have their digital twins.
The concept of creating digital twins was first originated at NASA as they were thinking about creating digital mockups of their space capsules to diagnose potential problems that might occur when they are in orbit. However, the term “Digital Twins” became a norm because of Gartner (a leading global research and advisory firm). They introduced this term as one of their trendiest technology trends.
Basically, a digital twin is a computer program that can simulate real-world data of a physical object or a system. It can predict what will happen or how will the respective object or system behave upon facing real-world situations.
The functionality of a Digital twin
A digital twin is given life by specialist data scientists and/or experts in applied mathematics. They get together and research all the physics beneath the respective physical object or a system. They use real-world data of a given physical model or a system to create its digital copy. The output will comprise all the characteristics of the physical object, except it is intangible.
The digital twin will simulate the respective physical object or system in real-time. That will offer clear insights into performance and issues the respective object or system might have upon coming across certain conditions in the real world.
When do Digital twins become useful
There are many instances in which you can use digital twins and yield excellent results. As of today, this technology is used to simulate objects like trains, offshore platforms, and even complex aircraft engines. Also, they are being used to assist some complex maintenance operations. In many cases, technicians use this technology to test proposed upgrades to a system or a machine so they can get an idea about its benefits and drawbacks before doing it physically.
Mentioned below is how the digital twin concept is applied to various sectors
This could be the main area where digital twins are frequently used. There are many factories across the globe that use digital twins to simulate complex and expensive processes.
- Automotive industry
In the automotive industry, digital twins are used to testing upgrades, fix existing errors, and fine-tune the performance of specific vehicle models. Also, this technology becomes incredibly useful to identify potential errors of newer vehicle models before they become available to the public.
- Healthcare sector
In the healthcare sector, experts create digital twins of humans using data extracted through small sensors fixed to patients. That information will be used to do predictions of the respective individual’s wellbeing. It is also used to monitor the respective patient.
The concept of digital twins is only likely to become more sophisticated and precise in the near future thanks to the advancements of AI.