A few weeks ago I first learned about a relatively new concept - Digital Twin. A Digital Twin is essentially a computerized companion to a real-world entity, be it an industrial physical asset like a jet engine, an individual’s health profile, or a highly complex system like a city. It’s a highly realistic, one-to-one digital model of each such specific physical entity.
Digital Twin helps bring the physical and digital worlds closer to each other. It’s intertwined with and complementary to the Internet of Things (IoT). The huge amounts of data now collected by IoT sensors on physical objects, personal devices and smart systems make it possible to represent their near real-time status in their Digital Twin alter-ego.
“The myriad possibilities that arise from the ability to monitor and control things in the physical world electronically have inspired a surge of innovation and enthusiasm,” said a 2015 McKinsey report on the Internet of Things. Experts estimate that the number of connected things or devices will reach 50 billion by 2020, growing to 100s of billions in the decades ahead. The economic potential of the smart solutions this makes possible is enormous, possibly reaching several trillion dollars within a decade.