The Digital Twin concept merges the virtual world and the physical world where a building, a room or a product will get a dynamic and digital replica. You could document a room from the build, use the Digital Twin to help with design, by putting on a VR headset and having the ‘real life’ experience of the room as designed, move things around (without having to actually move anything) and document the whole process right up until completion. It is essentially a simulation which lets you experience the end product, rather than just seeing an image on a computer screen. And this is already in play! When recently out shopping for a new kitchen, Wren sent me off to a VR room where I could experience and ‘walk around’ the kitchen that we had designed on a computer together. I was able to see the finished look without having to order, pay and wait for the install to decide if I even liked it.
In the retail sector, digital twins are being used to enhance customers experience. Digital twins of the customers are created allowing items to be tried on without having to visit a store. They also help better in-store planning and security implementation. Digital twins are similar to smart buildings in that they optimise operations and improve a customer experience. The system allows for predictive modelling to make proactive adjustments to space. It will no longer be sufficient to just design, build, and lease a space. The space will need to think for itself and react to the world around it. And these large-scale changes, enabled by the predictive capabilities of a digital twin, will be the drivers behind a disruption of the real estate industry in the years to come.
The benefits of digital twinning range from real-time remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, accelerated risk assessment and production time, and better team collaboration that then enables effective financial decision-making. The metaverse is all about the immersive experience acting as the bridge between physical and digital experiences. Benefits are use case specific and vary from investor to occupier. Though digital twinning does not need the metaverse to function, it can enable the technology to be used in an immersive way, unlocking opportunities through collaboration via avatars. Allowing users to immerse themselves within the digital twin, brings realism and human interaction to the virtual world.