The consumer universe is increasingly digitized — e-books and digital music are everywhere — and 3D printing has made digitization a two-way street. Enter digital twin technology.
Several definitions of digital twins
The face-value definition of the term digital twin is a digital instantiation of an actual physical asset. By this definition, a 3D printing process qualifies: A digital instantiation of an object is used to actually create that object. Using older terminology, a digital twin might be thought of as a simulation of something real.
In a GE Global Research Center presentation, Colin Parris, vice president of software research at GE, defines a digital twin as “a living model of something that delivers a business outcome,” operationalizing the concept in practice.
Gartner defines a digital twin as “a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system” — the key words being dynamic and system. Digital twin technology is becoming so important that it landed a spot on “Gartner’s top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017.”
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