designboom's TECH predictions for 2018: digital twins

designboom's TECH predictions for 2018: digital twins

it takes two


whilst their may be twelve notches in the zodiac belt, it looks as though the dually represented gemini will have an overriding force in 2018 as the concept of digital twins is reported to be particularly promising. following predictions on robots and artificial intelligence, this topic might feel like unchartered territory but what better way to start the year than with new beginnings.

tech predictions 2018 digital twins
the image shows the calculations in making a digital twin in computer-aided product development
all images courtesy of siemens



but what is a digital twin?

the magic of the season has you thinking about renewal and there is many ways you can be reborn this year, one of which arrives in the concept of copying your physical assets in the digital word. in a nutshell, this is what a digital twin is and it’s a trend sweeping the computer-aided engineering (CAE) and internet of things (IOT) industries. a even more digestible definition comes to us from the senior director of strategy at siemens PLM software, who defines the digital twin as ‘a digital model that accurately represents a product, production process or the performance of a product or production system in operation.’

tech predictions 2018 digital twins
a digital twin is a digital duplicate of a physical thing that tracks data and other information



virtual and physical world’s merge


digital twins will allow engineers and scientists to track data in this alternate representation – an advancement preventing downtime, developing new opportunities and heading off any problems that could occur in the production of materials and products. but what does this mean for mere mortals? are digital twins only relevant to machines? or will we be able to apply the phenomenon to other entities such as ourselves? our crystal ball has already predicted the future of artificial intelligence, and the impressive services provided by digital assistants as algorithms, interfaces and processing powers improve. is the concept of digital twins the next stage in this evolution?

tech predictions 2018 digital twins
it is believed that digital twins could infiltrate healthcare meaning a digital reproduction of ourselves



and then there’s digital you!


according to gartner’s reports, as the role simulation has to play inevitably expands we foresee the digital twin eventually being applied to humans – read more. this means our day-to-day lives, relationships and other crucial elements could all be controlled and run by digital versions of ourselves — perhaps you are looking to restart a commitment to your health? — well human digital twins could help create healthcare plans, increasing preventative measures when it comes to disease — maybe you’re interested in new business ventures or you’d like to make your existing one more profitable? the digital twins concept could help businesses better monetize consumers — or perhaps you’re looking to break out of your introverted ways? — not to worry, your digital twin will need to be an open book for if it is to help you achieve all the above…digital fingerprints run across – from likes, retweets, posts and shares, to app downloads, website clicks and keyword searches – digital DNA might be the buzzword for 2018.


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