From Digital Twins to the industrial Metaverse
The interoperability and openness of Siemens Xcelerator with its curated portfolio, where in future everything works seamlessly with each other, is the perfect basis for the Industrial Metaverse where players meet to democratize technology by making immersive experiences accessible to everyone. The digital twin is the key technology for this digital transformation in this decade. A digital twin is a software application that uses real-world data to create a simulation of a physical object such as a building or a service, which can then be used to predict how it will perform. Siemens, through its Digital Industries Business, is one of the pioneers and global leaders in digital twin technology.
One specific use case: This helps cities to optimize all aspects of design, construction, operations, and management. On a larger scale, digital twins can be used for the development and operation of entire cities and districts like Siemensstadt Square by interconnecting buildings, transportation systems and other infrastructure such as energy distribution. The advantages of this technology are immense in terms of financial, sustainability and livability improvements. Potentially costly mistakes can be avoided because the future-oriented location is being built twice – first in the digital world and then in the physical world. This way, mistakes can be made in the digital world first by seeing what the impact will be. Instead of having people adapt to a city or neighborhood, a city or neighborhood can now adapt to the needs of the people.
Through a partnership between Siemens and Bentley Systems, formalized in 2016, both companies have developed a digital twin for the process industries. Bentley is strong in engineering technology and Siemens is strong in operations technology including hardware and software. Bringing together operations technology (OT) with information technology (IT) is what infrastructure digital twins are at their core. By putting complementary strengths together to work across the lifecycle one offering is to build, operate, and optimize intelligent infrastructure. In the case of Siemensstadt Square, a holistic digital and integral city twin offers the possibility to pre-simulate and significantly optimize urban planning and operations.
The metaverse will require platforms that work seamlessly with edge devices and with each other. Digital twin platforms can share content with anyone involved in the infrastructure lifecycle including the engineers, contractors, builders, site engineers, and the general public. Infrastructure digital twins are the fundamental building blocks of virtual worlds that will allow groups to interact and collaborate in the metaverse to solve problems such as making infrastructure greener, more sustainable, more resilient. Current technologies forming a comprehensive digital twin solution, already available from Siemens, are paving the way to the industrial metaverse.