Difference Between Digital Twin and IoT (With Table)

In the digital world, connectivity is the most important thing. The interaction of humans with technology and the ways to bond the physical and digital modes is revolutionary. The two important features in digital representation are the digital twin and IoT.

Digital Twin vs IoT

The main difference between the digital twin and IoT is that the digital twin is a virtual representation of any plan or object in real-time with the help of technologies like reasoning, simulation, complex decision-making, and machine learning while IoT network of connected physical devices that run, process and act on data.

Digital twin helps companies to design, test, run, modify and validate a product before even it launches and exists in the real world. The entire planned module with exact procedures can be replicated in real-time and helps in the identification of any shortcomings or faults.

While IoT is widely used in smart home technological appliances. It refers to the exchange and connection of data to other devices and systems over the internet. It has various features and characteristics.

Comparison Table Between Digital Twin and IoT

Parameters of ComparisonDigital TwinIoT
Definition It is a logical construct that contains the real data and information in other applicationsIt is a network of physical objects or things that are sensors and processors which act on data
Origin First described by David Gelernter in 1991 and first used by NASA in 2010 The first application of IoT was in a drink vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982 and was declared by Peter T. Lewis in a speech in 1985
Types Digital twin consists of three types – the physical product, the digital or virtual product, and the connection that is established between the two productsIoT network consists of four types – cellular, local, and personal areas networks (LAN/PAN), Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Mesh Networks
Characteristics Enhanced connectivity, homogenization of data, reprogrammable, leave digital traces which helps in diagnostic of the problems, modularity, and customization of the products and modules Intelligent features with networked architecture, decentralization, complex, and consideration for size and space
Applications In industries like manufacturing, urban planning and construction, healthcare industry, and even in the automotive industryIn smart home devices and consumer applications, and the industry like medical and healthcare, logistics, communication, manufacturing, agriculture, food, and maritime operations

What is Digital Twin?

A digital twin is a representation that caters to real-time counterparts in virtual and digital forms. The representation is usually of a physical process or object. Digital twins are created by persistent improvement of creations and engineering activities. Right from handmade drafting to computer-aided design, digital twin combines everything.

Though digital twin was introduced by David Gelernter in 1991 in his book called Mirrors Worlds, the digital twin was first used in NASA in 2010 to improvise the physical model simulation of a spacecraft. The process for making any change in the designs of the product is called Engineering Order Change (ECO).

The digital twin consists of three types – the physical product, the digital or virtual product, and the connection that is established between the two products. The connection between both the products can be simplified as the flow of data between the products, physical and digital. The subject can be further sub-classified as digital twin prototype (DTP), digital twin aggregate (DTA), and digital twin instance (DTI). It can also be divided into different integration levels.

The digital twin has characteristics like enhanced connectivity, homogenization of data, reprogrammable, leave digital traces which helps in diagnostic of the problems, modularity, and customization of the products and modules.

What is IoT?

IoT stands for Internet of Things. It refers to the objects that can exchange and connect data to other devices and systems over the internet. The rise of IoT is due to various fields like computing, machine learning, commodity sensors, and other embedded systems.

The first application of IoT was in a drink vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University in 1982 and thereafter the field gained momentum. Short-range wireless like Bluetooth mesh networking (BLE), light-fidelity (Li-Fi), near-field communication (NFC), Wi-Fi, Radio-frequency identification (RFID), ZigBee, and Z-wave are the implemented IoT applications that support the framework and adds an application later protocol.

IoT works and operates on data. It can access, store and process data. IoT even has several threats and risks because companies mostly collect data from several sources and the place of storage is a cloud network which is a vulnerable spot. There are many regulations and governance upon privacy and security which have been set up or are under development.

IoT even has the potential in creating new models for civic engagement. The best example of IoT is the consumer applications in smart home technology which can analyze various parameters and provide instant solutions. Also, the sensors on vehicles, traffic lights, or roads are examples of IoT in our daily lives.

Main Difference Between Digital Twin and IoT

  1. Digital twin is a replica of a product, object, service, system, or process that is virtual and digitalized while IoT can consist of several devices that can be connected and controlled by the internet to form a network.
  2. Digital twin involves the creation and building of a simulated environment while IoT involves hundreds of millions of connected devices.
  3. Digital twin forms the basis of IoT while IoT forms the basis of a union of physical objects with the virtual world.
  4. Digital twin has originated in 1991 while IoT has originated in the year 1982.
  5. Digital twin consists of three types – the physical product, the digital or virtual product, and the connection that is established between the two products while IoT network consists of four types – cellular, local and personal areas networks (LAN/PAN), Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Mesh Networks.

Conclusion

Every data that is collected needs to be transferred and utilized effectively without the risk of security. The two sides of this technological coin are the digital twin and IoT. Both the aspects sound similar but have distinct differences.

A digital twin is called the backbone of IoT. The real data needs simulation and processing before it can perform and that is brought by the merge of digital twin and IoT. Almost every other company has the inculcation of these aspects in various domains.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9120192/
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-18732-3_1
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