Professional Services
Order outsourcing

The Potential of Digital Twins in the Metaverse

In order to gain a deeper understanding of digital twins and their integration within the metaverse, the 80 Level Research Team has executed comprehensive research.

Art by Sebastiano Marini

Introduction & Demand

The concept of digital twins has emerged as a powerful tool for enterprises and cities. These virtual replicas of physical objects, processes, and systems have paved the way for innovative solutions and transformative experiences. 

In order to gain a deeper understanding of digital twins and their integration within the metaverse, the 80 Level Research Team has executed comprehensive research. This project involved engaging with professionals from leading companies within the domain to gather insights and expertise. Through in-depth interviews and discussions, the aim was to illuminate the potential of this technology and provide a comprehensive understanding of its implications. 

Gartner has predicted that the digital twin market will cross the chasm in 2026 to reach $183 billion by 2031, with composite digital twins presenting the most significant opportunity.

Digital Twin Technology for Dummies

Every physical entity starts with digital definitions — models & prototypes — which are used to build physical objects. Digital twin simulation holds the power to change the way businesses operate. This process creates dynamic models that mimic the performance of individual components or entire systems. Digital Twin Technology refers to a virtual representation of a physical object or system that spans its lifecycle, incorporates real-time data updates, and utilizes simulation, machine learning, and reasoning to support decision-making processes.

Adonay Cervantes, Global CTO at CloudBlue

In a practical sense, a digital twin is a virtual model that uses data from multiple sources, including sensors to simulate scenarios that are identical to the physical object or system that’s being emulated. The technology works by using artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and software analytics to collect data. Then, a cloud-based system is used to send that data to the digital systems powering a digital twin model.

Digital twins are virtual models that replicate physical objects or systems, enabling real-time synchronization between the digital and physical elements. By capturing data through Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices, digital twins maintain their a state of synchronization with their physical counterparts. This synchronization allows for accurate simulation of physical behavior within the virtual environment. 

Marco Tillmann, Senior Product Manager of Omniverse Digital Twins at NVIDIA

We can capture data from the real world through IoT sensors and devices and feed it into the digital model, keeping the “twins” in sync. Applying an accurate physical simulation to the digital twin creates incredible superpowers for those who use these digital twins. Users can teleport to any part of the digital twin and inspect any aspect of it reflected from the real world. The next step in the evolution of this connection is to enable the creation of an “operational digital twin” that synchronizes input from real-world sensors to the digital twin and provides feedback to, or allows control of, the physical devices in real-time.

While the consumer metaverse focuses on entertainment, the industrial metaverse concentrates on solving complex industry problems.

The Competitive Edge: Advantages That DT Tech Offers

  • Cost and time savings: Businesses can test numerous design iterations at a fraction of the cost and time required for physical prototypes. This enables companies to identify flaws and make necessary adjustments before the costly production stage.

Sebastian Pietsch, Digital Twin Developer at Accenture and Unreal Authorized Instructor partner for Epic Games

The main benefit of using digital twin technology within the company is eradicating planning mistakes. Not fully, of course, but many mistakes are found because complex factory halls have huge amounts of CAD data — and there’s bound to be mistakes. But, if the mistakes are found when they build the factory, even if one steel beam is just one centimeter shorter, it can lead to a huge holdup in time and a waste of money. 

Collaborating, especially in the company’s AR applications, is another advantage, as anyone can basically repair a machine (if they don't need special equipment) when the instructors sit somewhere in the company headquarters and see it through AR. It's also beneficial for worker training and onboarding — for example, when a company doesn’t have the machine yet, but has the workers already. 

  • Enhanced operational efficiency: Through virtual simulations, businesses can simulate projects multiple times, identifying and rectifying potential errors or bottlenecks, thus minimizing operational inefficiencies.
  • Error & risk reduction and quality assurance: By automating processes and providing digitized records, teams can eliminate human errors, leading to faster and more accurate operations. Digital twins technology offers a significant advantage in risk reduction by enabling process simulation and optimization in human-machine scenarios, effectively mitigating potential physical risks and liabilities.

Adonay Cervantes, Global CTO at CloudBlue

Companies use metaverse solutions for training and to generate end-to-end employee experiences. Digital twins provide a digital copy of the real world that the metaverse needs for its immersive 3D experiences, without the risk and with the possibility of introducing different variables and analyzing different results.
Beyond entertainment and training, the metaverse has the potential to help solve complex problems through technology.

The industrial metaverse refers to a virtual environment where businesses can collaborate and digital twins can interact with each other to optimize outcomes. Organizations, for example, can use digital twins and the metaverse to play out responses to natural disasters. 

  • Training opportunities: By leveraging AR applications, remote experts can guide and assist on-site personnel in real time, eliminating the need for specialized equipment and enhancing worker training and onboarding processes. 
  • Collaboration opportunities: Digital twins provide a platform for organizations to collaborate and optimize outcomes, whether it’s for immersive employee experiences or playing out responses to complex scenarios, such as natural disasters.

Diverse Use Cases of Digital Twin Technology in Business

Optimizing Manufacturing Processes 

Marco Tillmann, Senior Product Manager of Omniverse Digital Twins at NVIDIA

BMW uses Omniverse to build digital twins of its factories to optimize its production line ahead of new vehicle launches, Siemens Gamesa simulates wind farms to maximize energy yield, and Ericsson uses the platform to create digital twins of cities to decide optimal 5G tower placement and virtually fix problems before deploying crews on the ground.

Marketing and Sales Applications 

Digital twins serve as effective marketing tools. Companies can create visually appealing renderings of products for trade fairs, showcasing their offerings in a virtual environment. Additionally, DT assists sales teams in tracking product performance, order processing, and delivery timelines, enabling automation of these processes and ensuring efficient customer service. This is where Xsolla can really benefit from DT incorporation in its metaverse development.

Reshaping Supply Chain Management 

Rajan K U.,  Head Of Digital Lab, Head of Blockchain-Digital Platform, DHL IT Services

The virtual representations and real-time insights from digital twins, coupled with the immersive and collaborative capabilities of the metaverse, empower stakeholders to make informed decisions, respond swiftly to challenges, and create resilient and efficient supply chains. This integration holds the potential to reshape the future of supply chain management, unlocking new opportunities for sustainable growth, customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. 

Retail Applications 

In the retail sector, digital twins and the metaverse offer multiple use cases: 

  • They provide an immersive shopping experience, allowing customers to interact with brands and products virtually, thus expanding clientele and accessing new demographics; 
  • Retail companies can simulate their supply chain and inventory management systems to predict demand, plan inventory restocking, and optimize processes for cost savings and increased efficiency. 


Environmental Monitoring and Prediction 

Collaborations between companies like Lockheed Martin, U.S. Fire Management Agencies, and NVIDIA have utilized digital twins to simulate and predict the path of forest fires and climate patterns. 

Marco Tillmann, Senior Product Manager of Omniverse Digital Twins at NVIDIA

We worked alongside Lockheed Martin and U.S. Fire Management Agencies to simulate and predict the path of forest fires to rapidly respond and suppress them. NVIDIA is also building a digital twin of the Earth to enable researchers and scientists to predict the climate decades into the future.

Challenges at the Threshold

While digital twin technology offers numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations and challenges:

  1. Using general-purpose engines to run complex simulations can pose challenges. These engines are not specifically designed or optimized for intricate use cases, leading to performance limitations. 
  2. There may still be limitations in accurately simulating physical behavior, requiring advanced tools to refine virtual models. 
  3. Concerns regarding data privacy and security. 
  4. The cost of implementing and maintaining digital twin technology.
  5. The need for skilled professionals capable of developing and managing digital twin models.
  6. Interoperability and data sharing — government initiatives, like the National Digital Twin program (NDTp), focus on aligning industry and government behind a common approach to information management, allowing data to be shared openly and securely between digital twins at scale.

Rajan K U.,  Head Of Digital Lab, Head of Blockchain-Digital Platform, DHL IT Services

To fully leverage digital twin technology, we must first shift our focus towards developing digital twin models that can be utilized across the whole system lifecycle — including product design. A common misconception is that a digital twin is only utilized once its physical counterpart has been created, but “shift-left” philosophies (or the practice of improving quality by moving tasks like testing to as early in the development lifecycle as possible) can also be applied using digital twins to find and prevent defects early in the product or system design process.

A Glimpse Into Tomorrow's Digital Twins in the Metaverse

As the metaverse matures, digital twin technology will see significant advancements. Companies will strive to create even more precise digital simulations of real-world objects and processes:

  • Enhanced connectivity and real-time data exchange: Future developments in the metaverse will focus on improving connectivity and real-time data exchange between digital twins and the physical world. Advancements in network infrastructure, particularly the deployment of 5G&6G connectivity and intelligent edge devices, will enable seamless communication and data flow.
  • IoT integration and sensor technologies: The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensor technologies will play a crucial role in the future development of digital twins in the metaverse. As more objects and processes become digitally interconnected, digital twins will have access to a wealth of real-time data. This will allow for more comprehensive and dynamic simulations
  • Standardization: Collaboration and standardization efforts will be crucial to fully unlock the potential of digital twins in the metaverse. Industry and government stakeholders must work together to establish common frameworks, definitions, and standards for digital twins. This will ensure interoperability, data sharing, and seamless integration of digital twins across different sectors and applications. 

Join discussion

Comments 0

    You might also like

    We need your consent

    We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more