Even as technologists are trying to envision what the metaverse will bring for businesses and consumers, the industrial metaverse is already transforming how people design, manufacture, and interact with physical entities across industries.
While definitions abound and it remains to be seen how the industrial metaverse will fully unfold, digital twins are increasingly viewed as one of its key applications. Used for everything from creating ecosystems when planning a new city to working out iterations of manufacturing processes, digital twins were first proposed in 2002 and later became a vital technology when the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) accelerated automation and digitization across industries.
Simply put, a digital twin is a virtual replica of a product or process used to predict how the physical entity will perform throughout its lifecycle. BMW, for instance, created a virtual twin of its production plant in Bavaria before building the physical facility. Boeing is using a digital twin development model to design its airplanes. And “Virtual Singapore” is a digital representation of the Southeast Asian nation that the government created to support its policy decisions and test new technologies. The increasing buzz surrounding digital twins is fueling expectations for the industrial metaverse.
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