You know how you can use Google Maps to explore different places, streets, and even see your own house? Well, what if you could do the same thing, but instead of just seeing the outside of buildings, you could see inside them? That's what a 'Digital Twin' is. It's like a Google Maps, but for everything inside a building.
Just like Google Maps gives us a complete picture of our streets and cities, a digital twin gives a full view of a building, but in much more detail. It shows all the rooms, lights, air conditioners, pipes and even the energy the building is using - all in real-time. It's like a 3D map that's constantly updated.
This is helpful for people who look after buildings, called property managers. They can see everything happening inside their buildings without having to walk around. Just like you can find the best route to your friend's house using Google Maps, a property manager can find a problem, like a broken refrigerator, in their building using a digital twin.
This is not a new idea. Many industries, like factories, hospitals, and power plants have been using digital twins to keep their systems running smoothly. But it's just now starting to be used by people who manage buildings like offices or apartment complexes. And here's the best part: a new company called Alpaca Technology is making digital twins more affordable. Before, it was like buying a fancy sports car - only big companies could afford it. But Alpaca is making it more like buying a bicycle, so even small businesses can use it.
For example, if a property manager uses Alpaca's digital twin, they can see if provider A’s products break more often than provider B . Maybe they could use this date to negotiate better the next time they buy from them or stop using them as a whole. They can even learn how long a light bulb runs before it burns out and has to be replaced. Allowing them to have a more exact budget. The digital twin can also help them save energy by showing where they can start to replace high energy consuming products for more sustainable ones as they need to be changed.
So, just like Google Maps has changed the way we navigate our cities, digital twins could change the way we manage our buildings. And with companies like Alpaca making it cheaper, more and more people will start using it. It's exciting to think about how this could make our buildings better and more earth-friendly!