In the construction industry, digital twins have changed the way projects are managed and documented.
But what exactly is a digital twin?
A digital twin is a virtual replica of a construction asset that can be used to document and track the status of a project.
Unlike traditional documentation methods, digital twins capture more detailed information. By connecting the physical and digital worlds, they allow stakeholders to visualize, analyze, and optimize every aspect of a project's lifecycle, from construction to maintenance.
In this article about digital twins, we'll take a look at their various applications, advantages, and how they empower stakeholders to make well-informed decisions.
You can expect us to cover the following topics:
- Benefits of Using Digital Twins for Construction Projects
- Software Recommendations
- 360 Camera Recommendations
- How to Create a Digital Twin
- Challenges and Considerations in Adopting Digital Twin Technology
- ROI Analysis for Construction Companies
- Additional Educational Resources
Benefits of Using Digital Twins for Construction Projects
Here are some key benefits you can expect to gain from incorporating digital twin technology into your construction projects:
- Enhanced Visualization:
Digital twins enable stakeholders to virtually navigate through construction projects, providing a 3-dimensional perspective of the space. This enhances understanding for all involved, even when viewing remotely.
- Improved Collaboration:
Traditionally, construction projects involve numerous stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. Each stakeholder has its own set of data and information, which can lead to miscommunication and delays in decision-making. However, with digital twins, all stakeholders have access to a centralized platform where they can easily access and share data remotely.
- Greater Accessibility and Elimination of Safety Risk:
Construction sites are inherently dangerous and pose various risks to stakeholders. By providing an avenue for remote viewing, digital twins facilitate greater accessibility and eliminate potential safety hazards.
- Cost and Time Savings:
Digital twins help team members identify potential issues early on, preventing costly mistakes. Simulating and analyzing construction processes also saves time and improves overall project efficiency.
- Improved Lifecycle Management:
Digital twins allow for monitoring and managing the entire project lifecycle, ensuring a comprehensive approach to project management and long-term success.
- Insurance Documentation: In the case that a natural disaster strikes, you can use your digital twin as proof to substantiate and expedite insurance claims.
While Matterport is the biggest name in the space, using Matterport software has some serious drawbacks. Most significantly, customers are required to grant Matterport "non-exclusive, irrevocable, non-transferrable, worldwide, royalty-free right and license to Customer Data." (See Section 9.4 of Matterport's Platform Subscription Agreement)
Eww. We give that policy two thumbs down.👎👎
TeliportMe, on the other hand, is a Luxembourg-based company and is subject to some of the strictest data security regulations in the world. When you use our software, you can rest assured that your data is protected.
We provide a comprehensive array of customizable features for different user needs, and our dedication to customers and innovative practices has earned us the #1 ranking in the industry for customer satisfaction.
It's not just about technology for us – we believe in doing business the right way. We are dedicated to maintaining high ethical standards and never compromising our integrity to make more money. This commitment ensures that when you choose TeliportMe, you're not just getting advanced features; you're also getting a trustworthy and transparent platform that values your satisfaction and operates with honesty and integrity.
360 Camera Recommendations
If budget and convenience are your top priorities, then using a smartphone to capture 360° images may be your best option. However, it's important to be aware of a significant limitation of smartphones: they cannot capture a spherical panorama. This means you may be missing views of the floor or ceiling.
In order to capture a spherical panorama to create a digital twin, we recommend using a 360 camera. In our expert opinion, these are the best 360 cameras available today:
- Best Overall: Ricoh Theta Z1
- Best Image Quality: Insta360 One RS 1 inch
- Most User-Friendly: Insta360 X3
- Best Budget-Friendly: Trisio Lite2
- Highest Resolution: Xphase Pro X2
For more information on specific features, advantages, and limitations, we recommend reading this article.
How to Create a Digital Twin
Digital twins can be created using a range of technologies, including 3D laser scanners, sensors, cameras, and other Internet-of-things (IoT) devices. While this may sound like a complex process, TeliportMe makes it possible for anyone to create a digital twin, even providing capabilities to create them with a smartphone.
To create a digital twin, there are four main steps:
- Create a Free Account with TeliportMe: You can't create a phenomenal digital twin without phenomenal software. Fortunately, TeliportMe provides a range of options for every need and budget. We recommend beginning with their unlimited free trial, which allows you to try out all of the advanced features without any need to provide credit card information. Once you're satisfied with your digital twin and ready to share it, you can host your digital twin for as little as $19 per month.
- Capture: You can capture a digital twin using a variety of digital cameras, including the smartphone in your pocket. While it's easiest to capture images using TeliportMe's dedicated app for Android and iOS, it's important to note that a smartphone can only capture a cylindrical view of your space. A dedicated 360 camera, on the other hand, will capture a complete spherical panorama. (For a deep dive into the best 360 cameras, we recommend reading this article.)
- Edit and Add Interactive Elements: You can enhance your digital twin by incorporating videos, audio files, and descriptive text to provide detailed information about specific points of interest. This allows you to include information that might be challenging to convey through visuals alone.
Challenges and Considerations in Adopting Digital Twin Technology
To leverage digital twin technology effectively, construction firms must address several key challenges:
Overcoming a learning curve and resistance to change
While new technologies can make life easier, some people may resist them. In the construction industry, professionals might find it challenging to grasp and use digital twin technology, especially if they're used to traditional methods.
To overcome this resistance, it's essential to provide effective training initiatives.
Cost and resource constraints
To create a digital twin, you need to invest in software and allocate resources for regular updates, which may bring up budget and staffing challenges.
However, it's important to consider the return on investment for each expense. Digital twin technology can efficiently save time and money for construction professionals, especially in the long run.
With each passing day, your project will continue to grow—that's the nature of the business. As your project grows, more time may be required to update your digital twin.
While this challenge will continue to compound, it becomes even more critical to update your digital twin as up-to-date information is essential for effective project management.
ROI Analysis for Construction Companies
Construction companies can expect to reap long-term cost benefits with digital twins. Digital twins provide real-time monitoring, allowing professionals to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly problems.
Furthermore, digital twins enable remote viewing, streamlining stakeholder collaboration and reducing the need for on-site meetings. This can result in significant cost savings over the lifespan of construction projects.
Construction companies can also improve safety and risk management through digital twins, avoiding costly accidents and legal implications.