Digital Twins, virtual models of a process, product or service that allow for data analysis and system monitoring via simulations, are playing an increasing role in IoT and digital transformation in buildings. Projects today span multiple building sectors, including commercial real estate, retail, infrastructure, smart cities, smart campuses and healthcare facilities.
Deloitte predicted in 2019 that the digital twin is the next industry-wide disruption in real estate. The nascent market for digital twin platforms in smart commercial buildings has attracted early innovators offering a diverse range of use cases, who are challenging the established vendors of IT and building management systems with disruptive solutions. Incumbent BIoT players with digital twin solutions include Siemens, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, Honeywell, IBM and Microsoft.
Some of the smaller firms with a single focus on digital twinning, many of them startup companies, are profiled below.
ThoughtWire is a Toronto, Canada-based venture-backed startup founded in 2009. Powered by Digital Twins, the firm’s applications for smart hospitals, smart buildings, and smart cities unlock the value of data generated from built environments by combining it with context from people, processes and IoT devices. By optimizing systems and connecting people, owners and operators can use digital twins to reduce costs, avoid future costs, increase occupancy rates, and improve overall asset value. ThoughtWire has calculated that digital twins can lower operating costs in some buildings by up to 88 cents per square foot per year.
In October 2019, the startup partnered with Schneider Electric to help digitize hospital buildings. The alliance with ThoughtWire allows Schneider Electric healthcare facilities customers to benefit from the connected hospital environment, where facilities management and clinical workflow operations are orchestrated. ThoughtWire’s Digital Twin enables Schneider Electric to improve patient outcomes with a data model of a hospital’s building systems, clinical and IT systems, IoT devices, workflows and people occupancy data.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.
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