If you’re hearing the term digital twin thrown around in conversation and wondering what it means, we’re here to help.
Depending on your work and social media circles, it may seem like a buzzword that sprouted along with the metaverse. Maybe you work in an industry like manufacturing, construction or real estate, where the phrase has been around awhile, but you haven’t spent a lot of energy to figure out exactly what it means. Either way, a digital twin is part of the ultra-cool technology that’s been brewing somewhat obscurely within a few industries… and it’s about to have its moment.
What is a digital twin?
A digital twin is just what it sounds like… an exact digital copy of a place or thing that matches up in every way to the data of its real-world counterpart. It allows you to explore, monitor and share within 3D virtual space.
True digital twins are dynamic 3D models of real physical space or objects that can even be manipulated to experiment and predict outcomes. Their use expedites processes in manufacturing, medical research, construction, real estate and other industries. They’re hyper accurate, a technological link between physical and virtual worlds that allow for streamlined remote collaboration.
Here’s one way to picture it: take a look around at everything in your current physical location, below you, above you, behind you, complete 360 degrees in every direction, and then think of magically morphing it all into a digital version that you can glide around in any direction in immersive virtual space. Visualize sharing this digital twin with people anywhere in the world so that they can also virtually explore it, collaborate with you and experience it for themselves. It’s a 3D tool that’s been in use for specific industries for years, and now it’s coming soon to a screen near you.
How to create a digital twin
Digital twins are moving further into mainstream usage, and so are the methods to create them. There are full-service companies who will completely scan, produce and store your digital twin projects. You can also learn to do it yourself with 360 cameras at all price levels, or even use your phone.
Companies like Matterport offer capture services as well as camera options and tutorials on setting up your digital twins on their platform. Phones and cameras are an easy option for DIY for small to medium spaces. Available apps allow you to share your newly created digital twins right away across social media, Google Street View and websites. For projects that need the highest quality and most accurate details, the best option is to invest in professional 3D scanning cameras or hire a capture service.
What can you do with a digital twin?
Digital twins are gaining usefulness across multiple industries. A few of the most common include:
- Facilities Management… to monitor building data, performance and detect problems
- Retail Companies… to track supply chain performance and customer behavior
- Construction… for collaboration, especially during the design process
- Real Estate Sales… to provide immersive 3D tours of properties
Even if you’re not in an industry where they’re actively used, digital twins are a big part of virtual technology advances that are making immersive 3D worlds accessible for many people. The applications are nearly endless, with huge potential to make a positive impact in the way remote work and collaboration take place.
Experience what it’s like to meet and collaborate inside 3D virtual space.
You can click here to try out a demo from SuperViz, and even invite others to meet inside the space with you.