For the past couple of years, businesses across the globe have been using Azure Internet of Things (IoT) in the development of groundbreaking applications for various industries. However, ushering a successful digital transformation also means having a deep understanding of our physical world and the interactions between objects, people, and locations.
That’s where digital twin solutions come in. They are essentially virtual graphical representations of the physical world that incorporate a wide range of data, leveraging technologies such as machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, and deep learning. In the past, the concept of digital twins has facilitated the development of industrial equipment like machines and engines. However, its application can also be extended to encompass the very fabric of our reality and interactions with the physical world. This can have widespread applicability and it can produce new opportunities and drastically improve both public and private spaces.
That is the foundation for the Azure Digital Twins IoT service. It’s essentially a platform that incorporates comprehensive digital models and solutions with spatial awareness with application in the physical world. As such, clients and customers now have the ability to analyze and understand data in context to a physical space rather than through sensors, allowing them to establish scalable experiences that combine data from both the digital and the physical worlds in a true synergistic fashion.
As a part of Azure’s current suite of IoT services, this platform will also have access to all of Azure’s scale, reliability, security, and privacy. This platform is earmarked to become a crucial tool in regards to ushering the age of smart cities. It can transform locations as various as schools, offices, parking lots, hotels, banks, and stadiums into smart spaces. Furthermore, Azure Digital Twins can also help you scale your business considerably — it can render remote sites accessible, ensure productivity in distant remote locations like oil-rigs, help track online behavior, and also provide predictive maintenance. All of these features can drastically improve your firm’s functionality and relevance in the global age.
In this article, we give you a deep overview of what Azure Digital Twins is, its prime features, and how it can help you scale your business.
What are Azure Digital Twins?
Most Internet-of-Things applications across the globe are things-centric in their approach, i.e., they focus first on the devices and then on the modeling capabilities. However, Microsoft Azure has switched things up with a model-centric approach that revolves around first modeling the physical environment and then connecting devices. This allows customers to better appreciate how people and places interact, allowing them to tap into greater capabilities.
Azure Digital Twins comes equipped with privacy and security controls as well — it uses the Azure IoT Hub to connect to various IoT devices and sensors to develop a connection to the physical space.
Azure Digital Twins Functionality
Spatial Intelligence Graph
This feature virtually represents the physical space and exhibits the interconnectivity between people, devices, and spaces. Using this key aspect of the digital twins, your business can gain insights regarding solutions that can enhance energy efficiency, space utility, general experience, and so much more. Furthermore, you can also store maps, manuals, and other information as metadata along with the places, people, and devices charted in the visual graph.
Twin Object Models
With this feature, you can set up device protocols in order to align domain-specific needs in order to facilitate smoother and simpler creations. You can leverage this feature to benefit all kinds of spaces — be it interior or exterior, individual infrastructure, or complete cities.
You can set up functions in order to produce notifications regarding transmissions from devices and sensors — this can be done in numerous ways. One example of its application can be in regard to PowerPoint presentations. The moment you start a PowerPoint in a conference room, the digital twins can automatically dim all lighting and lower the shades so the environment is perfectly suited for the presentation. Once everyone leaves the room, the platform will automatically detect the exodus and open the blinds and turn down the air conditioner. This how you can set up digital twins to read the environment and respond appropriately.
You can construct solutions and leverage multi- and nested-tenancy capacities in order to appropriately scale across multiple tenants and subtenants. This ensures that the data is perfectly isolated.
Role-Based Access Control and Azure Active Directory
Role-Based Access Control and Azure Active Directory (AAD) is a function that works as a gatekeeper for individuals and their devices. It can basically ensure security by giving limited access to different people or devices — defining what actions are allowed. This also ensures data privacy and compliance.
With Digital Twins, you can be connected to the rest of Microsoft’s broader offerings such as Azure analytics, Storage, Azure High-Performance Computing, Microsoft Mixed Reality, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. Basically, Azure Digital Twins provides an entire ecosystem of integrations.
Azure Digital Twins Applications
Azure Digital Twins is currently being used in a wide range of industries by various customers and clients. The following are some of the key practical applications of Digital Twins:
• Digital Twins can help you design, build, and manage the operations of your building. You can even access data that may have been lost between the various stages of the building’s life cycle such as design, construction, and ownership. You can also leverage Digital Twins to store the hierarchy of the building along with other information like warranties and manuals.
• You can leverage Digital Twins’ pre-defined data schemas and computing capacities to draw telemetry from equipment and facilities in order to lower the overall cost of production and operation.
• Managing space is one of the key concerns for scalable businesses across the globe. Digital Twins allows you to get more functionality from your space in an effective manner. You can use this platform to gain insight on how spaces are used by people in order to design a workplace that’s best suited for your team and their needs.
• In addition to the technical aspects of building, managing production, and costs, Azure Digital Twins can also be used to provide a better living experience to the occupants within the building. Since Digital Twins allows you to visualize and understand how space is used, you can better craft spaces that optimize key points and serve people better. The platform uses sensors to monitor motion, temperature, and various other conditions and engage them to provide the best living conditions to occupants.
• In addition to spaces like hospitals, schools, stadiums, etc, Azure Digital Twins can also provide innovative solutions to exterior spaces like parking lots, electric vehicle charging stations, etc. This allows you to further scale your business to new avenues and find innovative solutions in unlikely places.
Azure Digital Twins is a revolutionary Azure IoT service that can graphically and virtually provides spatial intelligence maps that exhibit the interactions between individuals, spaces, and devices. Instead of querying data from sensors, you can now draw data from the physical world itself. This has the potential to revolutionize the way we use and understand physical spaces, ushering forth an age of smart cities. It can also help you scale your business by helping you design, build, and manage operations, lower overall cost of producing by drawing telemetry from equipment and facilities, optimize physical spaces according to occupant use, and curate the perfect most synergistic experience for occupants of buildings.