Digital Twins for Corporate/Industrial Metaverse

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Metaverse is a physical and digital converged world that augments each other. Depending on the augmentation type, the physical and digital converged world can be an augmented reality world (physical world augmented by digital world), an augmented virtuality world (digital world augmented by physical world) and a mirrored world (digital world and physical world are connected through the real-time data flow between the physical twin and digital twin). In this article, we discuss the digital twins for the corporate/industrial metaverse applications.

Digital Twin Basics

Depending on the type of physical twins, the digital twins can be a product digital twin, production process digital twin, human digital twin and digital twin of an organization (DTO). A product digital twin is created when a new product is designed. The product digital twin enables the functionality validation of the new product. A production process digital twin is a virtual model of the production process. The production process digital twin can be used to predict the behavior and to optimize the performance of the production process. A digital reality of a human is called a digital human, and can be created by a 3D avatar integrating with artificial intelligent (AI) or data modeling of human with respect medical or mental or physical characteristics. A digital twin of an organization (DTO), developed by Gartner[1], is a realistic digital representation of any organization‘s operation of its business model.

Usually, a digital twin is the software models that mimic a real-world system. A digital twin model[2] takes input data from the real-world system, simulates how the processes will behave using those inputs, and then produces predictive data about how the system will perform. The software models inside digital twins can be different from each other, depending on the type of the twin, the specific use case and the required level of details. Analytic digital twin models use all types of advanced data analytics including descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics. A decision-making can be performed based on the results of the analytic models. Simulation digital twin models use simulation models to improve decision-making. Simulation digital twin models can enable asking what-if questions to test various conditions and scenarios that are impractical to create in real life. AI digital twin models are using Artificial Intelligence technologies to leverage real-time-data, generating insights into and deeper understanding of operating environments. AI digital twin models can correct and process data, and detect, predict, optimize, and make decisions dynamically based on the data.

Metaverse Enterprise

A metaverse enterprise is a fused enterprise of a physical enterprise and virtual enterprise, which is a realistic digital representation of the physical enterprise. The digital representation of the physical enterprise is called a digital twin of the physical enterprise. Physical and digital enterprises are connected through real-time data flow. Based on actual real-time data in the physical enterprise, the virtual enterprise is created, and then, tested using simulation models, big data analytics, and scenario analysis to obtain meaningful insights regarding businesses of the physical enterprise.

Digital world decisions based on the obtained meaningful insights are transferred back towards the physical enterprise to improve businesses of the physical enterprise. Digital twins combined with extended reality (XR) devices provide a feeling of a real physical presence in virtual space for remote workers to operate digital twin models collaboratively as if remote workers feel that they are at the same place. Gamification is a process of using game mechanics, elements, and principles and applying them to non-game contexts to engage people better. Gamification can be used in a metaverse enterprise for providing remote collaborative working operations as a means to keep the workforce engaged and to drive productivity.

Metaverse Retail Store

A simple use case of retail store digital twin is to check if a store is in compliance with guidelines from its headquarters: checking if the shelves in the real store look like the shelves in the real store. Also, store layout can be evaluated before rearranging shelves in the store. For example, by using a VR-Headset and going through the digital twin store, store managers can get a feeling if a layout works out, or to check visibility of articles, shelves and departments. Another realistic visualization use case requires tracking of customer movement through the store. Such visualizations can assist store managers in their work and to optimize the store layout and operation.

Metaverse Commercial Building/Industrial Facility

Digital twins of physical assets can be used to understand, predict and optimize the performance of the asset to reduce energy use, and thus greenhouse gas emissions. A digital twin can establish a ‘control loop’ enabling the monitoring, reduction and optimization of greenhouse gas emissions of the physical asset. Such digital control loops can be defined by sensors collecting data, feeding into a data-driven system, and generating feedback which will be used to inform decisions and optimize of the physical asset.

For example, 3D digital twins of commercial buildings can show real-time energy generation and consumption. Monitor and manage commercial buildings through 3D digital twins reduce building’s greenhouse gas impact. A 3D digital twin of a building/facility with real-time data accessible enables remote management through avatars and/or on-sight management using the augment reality devices.

Conclusion

Many cases of digital twin applications for the corporate/industrial metaverse can be developed depending on the business type/industry segment. Some examples are the metaverse enterprise that the physical and digital enterprises are connected through real-time data flow, the metaverse retail store that can aid store managers to operate optimally the store and the commercial building real-time energy management.

[1] Create a Digital Twin of Your Organization to Optimize Your Digital Transformation Program

[2] For details, please see A Survey on Digital Twin: Definitions, Characteristics, Applications, and Design Implications, IEEE Access, VOLUME 7, 2019

TechIpm, LLC is a professional consulting and incubating firm in digital technology innovation and related IP development. TechIPm’s current focus is to develop a metaverse enterprise platform and its applications in ESG/sustainability digital transformation (e.g., next generation solution for dynamic carbon net-zero management). TechIPm’s business includes technology/IP analysis & development, technology commercialization & monetization, strategic business development and project management in the field of AI, blockchain, IoT, big data, cybercecurity, digital twins, sustainability and metaverse.

Alex G. Lee, Ph.D., Esq., is a CEO and principal consultant at TechIPm, LLC. Alex is an emerging IT/digital technology innovation and sustainable business strategy expert with 30 years experience in the High tech industry. Alex is, a partner at Vincula Group, a New York State attorney, a US patent attorney and a CLP (Certified Licensing Professional). Alex is also a founder of the online forums: Enterprise/Industrial Metaverse Forum and ESGDX Forum. Alex holds a Ph.D. degree in physics from the Johns Hopkins University, a J.D. degree from the Suffolk University Law School and executive certificate in strategy and innovation from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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