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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Digital Twins and Innovation

Not sure I quite agree with the premise.  These are simulations,  and we often in practice we fed them with data from real operations.     Such simulations were always approximations of the real world, usually in a useful context.   Today we do much better approximations because computing and data availability has advanced.    Yes they could feed innovation choices,  classically to test multiple options and determine how they might perform in context.   If they need to be real-time depends on the problem.   Calling them 'twins' is fine,  but perhaps overstates the real situation.  Below a good description of the tech.

How Digital Twins Are Reinventing Innovation  in MIT SMR Frontiers
Frontiers January 14, 2020  

by Mark Purdy, Ray Eitel-Porter, Robert Krüger, and Thijs Deblaere 

This article is part of an MIT SMR initiative exploring how technology is reshaping the practice of management.

Last year the world held its breath as Notre Dame Cathedral stood shrouded in flames.

After the fire was extinguished, and it was revealed that the iconic cathedral was not lost, the hard work of restoration began. Until very recently, that process would have begun with a search through dusty archival blueprints to guide the intricate repair works. But in the age of the digital twin, engineers and architects were able to consult a digital model of the French cathedral — one far more detailed and interactive than any blueprint — which allowed them to stay true to the original structure while also incorporating new innovations in design and materials.

As its name suggests, a digital twin is a virtual replica of an object, being, or system that can be continuously updated with data from its physical counterpart. Supported by an estimated 25 billion connected global sensors by 2021, digital twins will soon exist for millions of things. A jet engine, a human heart, even an entire city can all have a digital twin that mirrors the same physical and biological properties as the real thing.

The implications are profound: real-time assessments and diagnostics much more precise than currently possible; repairs literally executed in the moment; and innovation that is faster, cheaper, and more radical. ..."

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