We have witnessed many changes during the last year and the industry has taken a giant leap forward technologically and operationally. In particular, the hype surrounding digital twins has subsided and I believe we have passed the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations.’
Despite the shift in expectation and increased market maturity, are there any real digital twins available in the current market? The short answer is yes. However, there is a limited number that are truly scalable. Some providers in the digital twin arena have rolled out useful features in response to one customer use case. Still, we are yet to see a fully scalable solution.
Despite the shift in expectation and increased market maturity, are there any real digital twins available in the current market?
I believe overcoming this industry hurdle lies in one question – What is the digital twin of a building? While the market hype surrounding digital twins has reached its peak in the last year, we are still not unified in the answer. During many client meetings, I am still hearing differing opinions and new definitions.
Perhaps the idea of a digital twin is still too much of a complex concept for us to comprehend fully. For ease, we choose to focus on one element to try and understand it. I often describe it as a cloud so vast that you’re not able to see where it starts and where it ends.
My colleague Ken Dooley recently released a research paper that examines the current situation, the scope for improvements and the bottlenecks of digital twins. When discussing the hype surrounding digital twins, he says:
“Digital twins for buildings are complex pieces of technology. They are big, they are messy and they mean different things to different people. Complex is used here as a catch-all term. In essence, it means that they are difficult and expensive to create and difficult and expensive to maintain once they are up and running.”
Digital twins for buildings are complex pieces of technology.
Despite these technological complexities, looking at our progress with Granlund Manager, we are getting closer to creating a scalable product. We have developed solutions that enable the import of asset information from different models, show asset information and streamline maintenance activities. Our latest development allows us to show data from various sources within the model, such as temperature and CO2.
While we are proud of these developments, the work is far from complete. There is a tangible excitement surrounding the potential technological advances to be made with the software among clients and the Granlund team. We are discussing the possibility of creating a parallel simulation of energy usage that will allow us to monitor the current situation and, at the same time, anticipate what it could/ should be.
While we are proud of these developments, the work is far from complete.
Although this functionality is not currently in development yet, the idea is a result of a discussion in which I learned yet another new definition of a digital twin.
We have the privilege to be living in interesting times where technology and functionality continues to thrive as our drivers for change. Gartner was right – we saw the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ during 2018, the market is currently amid the ‘Trough the Disillusionment’ and the ‘slope of enlightenment’ is peaking over the horizon.