Digital Twin to Complement IoT in the coming years
How implementing Digital Twin within IoT ecosystem help Business.
The concept of digital twins has been buzzing on the internet for the past few years. The popularity grew when Gartner added it to its list of top ten strategic technology trends for 2017. While this technology refers to the virtual replication of a physical product or asset, experts consider the growth of Digital Twin to be parallel to that of the Internet of Things (IoT). It holds the ability to optimize and merge IoT, AI, and data analytics. This can facilitate effective process automation, intelligent business decision-making, rapid responses to queries, and increased production efficiency. As this technology develops in terms of sophistication and transition from being digital representations of single items to models of systems of interconnected things, industry leaders will view it as an opportunity to bring higher revenue with better ROI.
What is a digital twin?
Gartner defines a digital twin as a digital representation of a physical object. It includes the model of the physical object, data from the object, a unique one-to-one correspondence to the object, and the ability to monitor it. According to the research analyst firm, this is the next step in the Internet of Things (IoT) driven world, where CIOs are increasingly leveraging IoT technologies in their digital business journey. They can exploit this concept to enable stakeholders to monitor and make informed decisions about the state of the actual physical things, their context, and take action to optimize their future state.
IoT Analytics classifies digital twins into three dominant categories:
- The hierarchical level where Digital Twin is applied to (6 levels identified)
- The lifecycle phase in which the Digital Twin is used (6 phases identified)
- The use of the Digital Twin (7 most common uses identified)
Past to Present
The idea is said to have originated at NASA, where full-scale mockups of early space capsules, used on the ground to mirror and diagnose problems in orbit, eventually gave way to fully digital simulations. However it was first proposed in 2001 by Michael Grieves at the University of Michigan, has been around since then. At present, industry experts predict that the digital twin can be a successor of IoT. According to Gartner, 75% of businesses integrating with the IoT are expected to be using or planning to use – some form of Digital Twin technology by this year. It has also estimated that 13% of companies are already using such solutions, with another 62% already in the process of adopting some form of Digital Twin.
Digital Twin in IoT
A digital twin can provide a holistic view of the IoT backdrop of asset functions. In technical parlance, this implies that it can coordinate different aspects of an IoT device seamlessly by providing a unified model and API. Moreover, digital twin backed IoT enhances visibility into the full product lifecycle, unlocks more in-depth operational intelligence. It can reinforce remote service IIoT use cases where software updates, patches, or reboots for deployed assets can negate the need to send a technician on-site.
Companies with IoT ecosystem can profit from this new discipline as it augments product efficiencies and processes, detects problems before they occur, and help in future innovation. Another advantage is one need not worry about connecting to the asset to extract and transmit any data; rather, he can simply deploy applications in a secure sandbox in the cloud. This sandbox approach minimizes security risks since the applications are not deployed on the asset, but only in the cloud. Thus reducing development costs, which are necessary for faster development of IoT application. Besides, it helps in live tracking between the virtual and physical realms.