What is a Digital Twin? Why is it Important?

A virtual counterpart to real-world entities existing at the same time is what a digital twin offers. Here is your guide to understanding everything about a digital twin.

A ‘digital twin’ is just as fancy as it sounds. After featuring on Gartner’s list of top strategic technology trends of 2017, it’s form has taken shape in the last two years. The idea of co-existence of a virtual entity with its physical entity at the same time is powered heavily by digital twin technology. So, what is a digital twin? 

After moving effortlessly from just the manufacturing sector to more sophisticated technologies such as IoT, AI, and ML, the affordability and reality of digital twin can be realized any time now. 

Riding high on IoT’s connection capabilities, the digital twin has grasped the interest of a few countries that would use it to gain advantageous business outcomes. It would reduce maintenance costs and asset downtime considerably and would also increase efficiency for factory operations. 

The idea of digital twins is expected to grow significantly in the coming years and this article is your guide to know everything you need to about it. 

What is a digital twin? 

A virtual counterpart of any physical product or process that performs the same functions of the physical entity but in a virtual manner. This technology is being imagined for the functioning of large companies that use a lot of machinery.  It uses real-time data of a physical entity and duplicates it. This duplication can be studied and experimented upon, in other words, you can test out the virtual duplicate than the actual entity. 

How does it work?

A research is conducted on the physics of a physical entity in focus by a group of specialists in science and applied mathematics. 

This data is used to create a mathematical model that is able to mirror the real entity in the digital space. 

Once the twin is created, there are sensors on it that help it receive any inputs from its real-world twin. This can be used to check for potential issues, get insights, feedback if its a product and so on. It can also be developed even before the physical product is made to give researchers a base for reference. 

Read more: Simplifying IoT With Digital Twins

Where can digital twins be used?

The inception of digital twins was originally only for single entities but with today, they can function closely with AI, ML, and IoT which support the virtual reality dream. These 3 technologies make it possible to use it successfully in these fields: 

Real estate

Almost every profession is particular about good organization and with a digital twin that process would become even easier. Taking the example of real estate, a digital twin would connect all systems giving real insights and the ability to assess the plan. This would allow managers to optimize plans making the structure more feasible and efficient. Adding to this, it would also bring down costs. 

Sports and Racing

Formula 1 racing has been using digital twin technology to optimize its racing processes. Any racing organization or sports organization could make use of the digital twin to use a virtual twin in identifying places for improvement and strategy. 


Imagine this- a virtual setting of a hospital with all its elements- equipment, doctors, administrators, etc in place. Now, use this set up to get real-time updates on a patient’s health with sensors monitoring their condition would help analyze the process better. This way you are saving on patient’s waiting time and are able to make quick decisions. Quick decisions are especially important for time-sensitive scenarios. 

Why is a digital twin important?

There is already a lot of development in the AI and ML industry with new capabilities such as automation, prediction, and chats coming into being. The digital twin technology would be an inevitable invention that would mainly benefit businesses with efficiency and competitive advantage. The world is moving to more intelligent solutions and digital twin fulfills the need for insights and analysis. With more maturity and improvement in its model, this technology is here to stay. 

Read: Reinventing The Airport Operations Control Interface Of The Future With Digital Twins

What does the future hold? 

Companies that are already using AI, ML and IoT for their functions can move to digital twin technology for assistance. They’ll be able to ascertain outcomes of their plans and make timely decisions. With a digital twin promising good results for every physical entity, the technology will be disrupting a variety of industries. To stay current and updated, businesses will be seen to welcome this twin technology. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)Artificial intelligence and machine learningDeep Learningdigital twinInternet of thingsIOT
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