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The Outsiders

Double Vision: Using ‘Digital Twins’ to Pair Virtual and Physical Worlds

Being able to “see it before you build it” has long been a dream of manufacturers, but only recently has technology advanced to the point of making this a reality. Enter “digital twins”—virtual representations of products created with 3D design software, and another technology on Goldman Sachs Research’s “Outsiders” list of emerging ecosystems to watch. By building virtual models to test in reconstructed “real world” operating environments, companies can get an accurate picture of how their products will behave in the field, explains Goldman Sachs Research’s Joe Ritchie, ultimately enabling better performance through predictive maintenance and enhanced design. The potential goes beyond capital goods; as digital twins evolve, the data they gather could be combined with consumer information to create more targeted go-to-market strategies for industries like insurance and advertising.