For decades, digital simulations have paved the way for innovation and value creation across domains. These simulations rely on the fundamental technology of digital twins – a virtual (nearly accurate) representation of the physical world. Simply by looking at this definition and relating it to the news that is circling around, we can start to see how digital twins can be taken to the next level using the technologies of Web 3.0. In this article, we explore the possibilities of how web3 can boost the inherent strength of the Digital Twins technology.

Simulation with Ownership

The advent of Web 3.0 and NFTs (nonfungible token) has led to a point in digital rights management where digital assets can be stored, verified, traded and operated immutably. Any fungible entity, in economic terms, refers to its capability for interchangeability with another asset or good for same value. NFTs serves as a unique token variant without any interchangeability with other tokens. NFT features unique traits that clearly imply restrictions for replacing or exchanging it with an identical token. In the context of Digital Twins, creators can work in two distinct ways: 1. Create a single model and distribute it with accurate specifications and metadata like a Semi-Fungible Token (ERC-1155 standard) on the Ethereum/Polygon blockchain. This is particularly valid for manufacturing-led industries that provide foundational designs for others to work on. 2. Independently create digital twins and make them available to individuals and organizations alike as NFT (ERC-721 standard) for a variety of purposes. This not only retains fair ownership of the twins but also provides greater interoperability with the right specifications. This significantly reduces the chances of inaccurate twinning or poor simulations. Digital twin NFT/SFTs can gain even further ground when they are coupled with the incredible capacity of the Metaverse. Twinning in the Metaverse The Power of Metaverse can bring realism into the Digital twin technology & virtual experiences beyond our imagination. In the workplace, a meeting in a metaverse can be extremely rewarding if participants of the meeting can interact with a digital twin of the company’s instruments, equipment and information system. Furthermore, technical training in the Metaverse can be of significant value if trainees can operate digital twins of complex systems. Metaverse can bring such ideas into reality and help build a digital twin system that is more interwoven with reality. Metaverse can also empower Digital Twins to support remote maintenance workshops of machines that need to be serviced and potentially connected with or mapped onto an actual workshop. The holistic integration of different types of digital twins can be combined with other products by collecting data at every stage of a product lifecycle using other web3 technologies like AI/ML or IoT. Skilled Developers can corroborate physical, online, and operational data to create a digital twin as an NFT in the metaverse. The application of AI algorithms with an integrated physics-based virtual model along with real-time analytics can generate highly relevant and valuable insights regarding an asset. The continuous data influx will help get the best out of an asset and in turn make the digital twin act as a live model of the physical equipment in the metaverse.

Industrial Use Cases of Digital Twins & Web 3.0

The Web3 can enhance the digital twin infrastructure across markets and geographies. It will help determine, predict, and enhance any asset’s current state and future state along with its digital counterpart. There are several sectors where the application of digital twins in the web3 can be beneficial; let’s look at some of those sectors.

Manufacturing & Automobile:

Web3 is poised to change the current face of digital twins in the manufacturing and automobile sector and significantly impact how the products are designed, manufactured, marketed, and maintained.

Retail:

Web 3.0-driven digital twins can help with better in-store planning, security implementation, and energy management in an optimized manner.

Smart Cities:

Smart city planning and implementation with digital twins with web3 can help enhance economic development, effective management of resources, and reduction of ecological footprint while boosting the quality of life of citizens.

Learning Cities

Smart cities are learning cities. They work with sensors from the Internet of Things (IoT), video cameras, social media, and other information sources to gather information about the needs of their citizens. This information is the ongoing feedback that city governments need to make more informed decisions about which services to offer or improve. Smart cities of the future will provide even smarter interactive services. They will use more and more digital tools to collect essential data and adapt systems and services to actual needs. Environmental data such as air quality, energy consumption and supply, available parking spaces, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, vehicles on the roads, and accidents provide information about usage and reveal changing requirements. Used properly, this information improves service levels and enhances the quality of life for all. Traffic can be redirected in the blink of an eye. Decisions about where to invest infrastructure budgets can be made based on actual needs and up-to-date data. Right now, the actual impact of these technologies in cities is limited. But smart cities will get even smarter by incorporating more data sources and creating digital twins to simulate the impact of change. Data on everyday activities can be fed into the models. Available appointments for citizens, open parking spaces, kindergarten spots, school district performance, hospital bed occupancy, garbage collection, etc. The possibilities are endless, and the more data that’s included, the better the city can adapt to the needs of its residents.

Digital Twins

The digital twin is a virtual image of buildings, streets, entire city quarters, and their environment. A multitude of data from a wide variety of sources makes a virtual twin a valuable planning tool that can provide up-to-date information and forecasts

At the moment, digital twins of cities are just virtual representations of a city used to simulate the impact of a subset of changes and events. In the Metaverse, they could also be used to build 1:1 digital representations to allow a life-like 3D experience of moving through your city.

Smart Citizens

Building smart cities doesn’t end with implementing new technologies. Citizens need to know how to use technologies and be comfortable with them. Tallinn, the model for smart cities around the world, shows that smart cities need tech-savvy citizens and government officials. Estonia has made extraordinary efforts to ensure that everyone is ready for the digital age. They’ve introduced 7 years of IT lessons in school and are training their government officials in IT and “Design Thinking”! Other applications also exist in healthcare, industrial systems and potentially most industries that deal with physical assets that require intricate planning and analysis.

Web 3.0 is built on the thought of a seamless convergence of the virtual and real world. The integration of the digital twin is one of the routes to materialize that idea. As enterprises increasingly adopt digital twins and web3 to build products, they can possibly scale it to entire ecosystems with evolving time. A physical space can be quickly modelled into an accurate and immersive replica using digital twins, simulation technology, and web 3.0 technologies like Blockchain, AI/ML, IoT, and NFTs. The convergence of digital twins and web 3.0 is not just natural but also a necessary paradigm shift for companies building for the future.

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