Thought Piece | Innovation

Into the metaverse: what are the benefits of digital twins?

Author: Chris Marsh, Liam Springate-Jones
Date: 02/12/22

Into the metaverse: what are the benefits of digital twins?

Ongoing digital transformation across all sectors has paved the way for an innovation known as a ‘digital twin’. It’s a virtual representation of a physical object, which can be used to assess and simulate real-world problems. The concept was invented more than 50 years ago during the Apollo 13 mission. At the time, NASA created a digital twin model of Apollo 13 to test systems and solutions, and it marked a breakthrough in digital technology. 

Since then, digital twins have become one of the fastest-growing concepts of AI and according to research, the global digital twin market is expected to grow to an enormous $73.5 billion by 2027. With digital twins, brands can model products and systems, and make more efficient changes in the testing stage. It gives businesses the chance to dry-run their services with simulation scenarios, to help improve supply chains.  

Digital twins are a key component of the metaverse, which is a culmination of years of advancements in 3D software, machine learning and virtual reality technology. The metaverse is comprised of several different digital twins that replicate physical assets. Many companies in different industries are taking advantage of the value that digital twins offer for product development and optimisation. So, what are the key benefits of digital twins for businesses and how do they relate to the metaverse? 

Improved risk assessment and production time 

The intersection of digital twins and the metaverse is a great place for brands to invest time and resources as the virtual world continues to grow. Digital twins allow brands to assess the risk of their products and services, using data and insights to evaluate production time. Digital twin technology has proven to be hugely valuable in the automotive industry.  

For example, the French car brand Renault has created real-time digital twins in a system known as an ‘industrial metaverse’. Nearly 9,000 pieces of equipment are constantly monitored, and supply chain data is hosted in the Renault Group metaverse, which is a replica of the world in real-time. There’s also a digital twin for every factory, which is an integral part of the industrial metaverse. 

Having an industrial metaverse is a huge benefit for any car brand because it allows manufacturers to understand problems and processes in greater detail while helping generate new ideas. Furthermore, an industrial metaverse enables a new level of collaboration, supporting people who are working in the onsite, physical world. Digital twins are enabling industrial and virtual applications, which are helping businesses grow and develop. 

Enhanced product quality 

One of the greatest benefits of digital twins for brands and businesses is that they can serve as an excellent way to test new systems and products, helping with both product quality and assurance. This means the metaverse can be used to create virtual prototypes of products to assess for any problems and issues against different variables, which can save on costs as there’s less of a need for physical equipment.  

Tesla creates a digital twin for every one of its cars to provide better service and reliability for buyers. The brand uses sensors from thousands of cars to stream data into the virtual copy, and the AI then interprets the data on whether any maintenance is needed. With digital twins, businesses can gain valuable insights about their products, which can impact future decisions.  

Facilitate new business models 

The integration of digital twins and the metaverse has the power to facilitate new business models for brands. Unlike traditional models, where the manufacturer produces and sells the products, digital twins enable brands to adopt a ‘product-as-a-service’ model, whereby businesses can monitor and analyse their assets in real-time virtually, as well as optimise performance. Having digital twins enables customisation and the ability to modify products to meet the customer’s expectations. Simply, the metaverse and digital twins are transforming the digital landscape, and they’re presenting a range of opportunities for brands to develop and grow. 

Metaverse applications and digital twins allow brands to build virtual workspaces, advertise their products and reach new markets. If you’d like to find out more about the metaverse, please get in touch with our New Business Director, and we can arrange a free metaverse workshop with our Experience Design team. We hope to hear from you soon!