Digital Twin – The Key Concept from YII 2018

As noted yesterday, Keith Bentley, CTO and Founder of Bentley Systems believes that the digital twin technology now being developed by his team is the most exciting in the history of the company.

Picture of Not a DIgital Twin

Not a Digital Twin

Yesterday’s open source code announcement notwithstanding, the key concept coming out of this year’s YII 2018 conference is that of the digital twin, as opposed to what you see in the adjacent photo which may best be described as the analogue twin.

Bentley is not the first to use this term. It has been used in manufacturing for years, but Bentley may have given more thought to how their Built Environment customers will actually be able to implement it than anyone else.

I had a chance to speak with Keith today who explained that they had been working on the idea of supporting a digital twin and the open source library related to it for a couple of years. He is glad to be out of stealth mode.

Yesterday in his presentation, Keith explained that there are three issues that need to be addressed in order to support a digital twin – alignment, accountability and accessibility. He noted that alignment is the biggest issue as this involves dealing with all of the various data formats that need to be managed to keep the digital twin aligned with all of its applications and potential uses.

This is where he introduced the idea of “dark data.” This is data that can  currently not be accessed by the digital twin. One example he gave was data that is in the form of a PDF – a Permanently Dark Format.

Keith explained that they are in good shape on accountability as they are able to use iModel Hub to manage all of the ongoing changes to the digital twin. Accessibility requires scalability which he says is done and connectivity which is something they continue to work on.

So the next time you are at a cocktail party and someone asks you what’s new, you can always throw out the idea of the digital twin.

The YII 2018 awards will be given out at tonight’s black tie gala. It’s a long, but fun evening and that will wrap it up from London where the sun has finally come out.

For more on Going Digital click here.

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