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What is a Digital Twin?

05/05/2020

Studio Victoria

2 minutes

In this new blog article we are going to cover the subject of digital twins, which many people are not familiar with but are used extensively by forward-thinking companies that want to be the reference in their sectors. We will answer the following questions: what is a digital twin?, how do we make digital twins? and what are digital twins used for?. If you are in the Construction, Property, Insurance, Video games Development, Renewable Energy, or Facilities Management sectors, digital twins will help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS.

WHAT IS A DIGITAL TWIN?

In its simplest definition, a digital twin is a virtual model of objects or processes that can be used for data analysis, research or monitoring.

For our clients, like yourself, digital twins often are 3D models of buildings, wind turbines, bridges, dams, power lines or any other man-made structure.

HOW DO WE MAKE DIGITAL TWINS?

To produce highly detailed and accurate digital twins we use the following technology:

  • Drone photogrammetry that processes photographs taken from above to produce the 3D models. We talk about 3D Models with drones in this blog article
  • Laser scanners (LiDAR) use light pulses to accurately measure distances and produce the 3D model, a process that you can read more about in [this other blog post](/blog/what-is-a-laser-scanner "this other blog post') that we recently published

In the vast majority of our operations that are destined to produce digital twins for our clients, we use both technologies in a complementary way, producing the exterior digital twin with drones and then the interior digital twin with the laser scanners.

Ideally we prefer to do the scans at times when your buildings or structures have less use, in order for us to work unobstructed and to get the best results.

WHAT ARE DIGITAL TWINS USED FOR?

Digital twins are a critical service that we offer to many sectors:

  • Construction and Property
  • Insurance
  • Facilities Management
  • Renewable Energy
  • Video games development

Once the 3D Model is produced, there are many uses for the digital twin:

  • Recreate the real world for your video games
  • Keep track of your construction project in your BIM application of your choice (Autodesk Revit, Archicad or many others)
  • We can build a fully interactive app that integrates your digital twin with smart sensors (lighting, air quality, foot traffic, RFID, air conditioning, heating, etc.) that have an API that we can access. You could use this app with your computers, tablets or smartphones. This is extremely useful for Facilities Management and the Renewable Energy sector
  • Accident reconstruction or court evidence for the Insurance sector

With all these uses, digital twins are certainly critical and allow you to streamline processes and operations, reducing costs and eliminating risks.

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