The Reality Capture Network (RCN) hosts an insightful and thought-provoking audio room series that brings together industry experts, thought leaders, and innovators to explore the potential of up and coming digital technology. Hosted by founder and president of RCN Matthew Byrd, this series provides a forum for open, interactive discussion about topics ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to drones and reality capture methods. Last week, VEERUM’s Senior Client Success Executive Meaghan Snethlage sat down with a RCN panel to discuss two buzzwords that have been taking the technology world by storm: digital twins and the metaverse. In this blog post, we will recap and summarize the key takeaways from this audio room, focusing on sharing practical tips to understanding new technologies and innovation.
Demystifying digital twins: What is a digital twin?
The series begins with delving into the panel members’ unique perspectives on how they define a digital twin. Meaghan, one of VEERUM’s experts, simply describes it as a “digital replica of a physical counterpart, which can include assets, processes, or people.” However, she takes it a step further and explains that “when I think about the digital twins and what it refers to in the context of reality capture and the industrial industry, really at its core, it’s a blurring of what we have in the physical world and how we can digitally represent that. There are a few important components that go into it, but VEERUM approaches digital twinning with a “reality first” strategy, eliminating any reliance on CAD or other 3D models. I see it as an entire ecosystem of data and technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and VR (virtual reality) coming together to create a real-time digital representation of the physical world.” The discussion continued to share the vast potential of digital twins and the metaverse across diverse industries, gamifying asset maintenance, creating real-time dashboards of remote sites, and even transforming our daily lives.
Exploring digital twins in the metaverse: What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is one of the biggest buzzwords in the industry, but what exactly is it? The metaverse is a digital world that incorporates a combination of multiple elements of technology. The panel discussed that while digital twins are available now and have been providing benefits to industries for almost a decade; the metaverse is a future immersive vision of technologies combined, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, video, and artificial intelligence. So what is the use case for the metaverse with digital twins? Meaghan sees huge potential for industries in “contextualizing and processing massive amounts of data.” She says that “using platforms like VEERUM that incorporate all your asset data and can then visualize, store, and understand real-time and historical data allows us to understand trends and behavioural patterns of data like never before. Previously, decision-makers would sit down and try to understand a specific process in isolation. When we implement these technologies that can combine and process and analyze different sources of data, it effectively reduces the cognitive load of trying to understand everything that’s happening on site, making our decisions more robust.”
Start on the path to the metaverse today
The metaverse is exciting in theory, but how do we actually start deploying it beyond the conceptual level? This panel highlighted digital twins as a fundamental building block in achieving a true metaverse. In fact, getting started may be even easier than you think. “There’s a misconception that if you’re going down the path of digitizing your assets, you need to ensure that your data is perfect, organized, and accessible, " says Meaghan. “While that is the goal, you can actually do it in lockstep with deploying the digital twin. The digital twin actually helps you see where the gaps in data are and helps you fill in those gaps. We can think of digital twins as the LEGO building blocks of the metaverse, which we can stack and arrange together to allow for the maximum usage and flow of data. Layering generative and predictive AI/ML and immersive technologies can then produce a metaverse experience.”
As we reflect on the discussion and insights shared, it becomes evident that digital twins and the metaverse can reshape industries, drive innovation, and create a more connected and efficient world. Interested in listening to the entire audio room? Check it out here: https://realitycapturenetwork.com/educationcenter/digital-twins-and-the-metaverse/