Twinning in Tech: The Digital Doppelgänger Era


The Gist

  • The tech twins concept. Digital twins simulate real-world scenarios, enabling risk-free testing and decision-making.
  • Customer experience enhancement. Digital replicas of customers help businesses anticipate needs and behaviors, improving service.
  • Future business transformation. Virtual models are shaping customer experiences, offering precise predictions and personalized interactions. 

What would you do if you had an identical twin? What if your identical twin wasn’t a real person, but was an exact digital copy of you, including living in a perfect digital replica of your home, and working in a digital copy of your office? What if this digital twin couldn’t be injured? Wouldn’t be embarrassed? Couldn’t be ashamed?

You’d probably put your digital twin through its paces, testing out scenarios so you could be much more confident about your decisions. After all, you could see how “you” would react and what would happen to “you” based on the choices you made — it would be like a 1980s “Choose Your Own Adventure” book come to life. 

This may sound somewhat fantastical, but cyber twins aren’t a dream of the future. If you’ve ever used Google Maps, you’ve used a digital twin of the Earth’s surface. Google Maps isn’t just a visual representation of the Earth, though — it links real-time traffic data with the simulation of the Earth to help you make better decisions about what route to take on your commute.

But digital counterparts have applications far beyond optimizing your commute. When it comes to customer experience, digital twins can help you anticipate and simulate customer needs and behavior.

Let’s dive into what digital twins are, discuss how organizations are developing digital twins of a customer and learn how digital models can shape how you’re interacting with customers — ultimately enabling you to make better decisions.

Back view of two little girl twins wearing identical gray and white striped dresses and straw hats while holding hands in piece about digital twins.
When it comes to customer experience, digital twins can help you anticipate and simulate customer needs and behavior.льга Тернавская on Adobe Stock Photos

Haven’t Heard About Digital Twins? You Will

The concept of creating a digital replica of a physical object may sound far-fetched, but it’s no longer a futuristic dream. In the “2023 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies,” Gartner highlighted emerging AI technologies to enhance digital customer experiences as a technology expected to greatly impact business and society over the next two to 10 years — and one that will especially enable CIOs and IT leaders to deliver on the promise of digital transformation. 

Crafting a Deeper Understanding

“Over time, it will be possible to use a deep understanding of the customer in a way that creates value for the consumer, the brand and the employees of the brand,” Chris Jones, chief product officer at Amperity, a customer data platform (CDP), said in a VentureBeat article of the possibilities of digital twins of the customer. “One of the things we are observing is the ability of these capabilities to deepen the human connection between brands and the customers they serve by empowering employees across the brand to truly see their customer and provide the most personalized experience possible.”

McKinsey research shows that 70% of C-suite technology executives at large enterprises are already exploring and investing in digital twins, and current estimates predict that the market for digital twins in Europe will be around €7 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 30% to 45%.

Virtual Replicas

In manufacturing, virtual replicas of a physical object or process that can be used to understand how it works in real life have become particularly interesting. Digital twins allow companies to have a complete digital footprint of their products from design and development through manufacturing, using data from computer-aided design (CAD) systems, product lifecycle management (PLM) systems, product data management (PDM) systems, inventory and supply chain data, service data and more.

3D Visualization

In 3D visualization, we look at digital doppelgängers from the perspective of physical modeling, where virtual models of physical products enable customers to design and build better products, operate more sustainably and bring products to market faster — ultimately meeting customer needs more reliably and driving more revenue, engagement and loyalty.


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