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Building Digital Twin in Virtual Reality: Here’s why and how we do it

Combining Digital Twin and Virtual Reality unlocks many possibilities to improve the life cycle of built environments. The system is already here. And yes, our experts love it!

30.9.2021

Let’s face it: Digital Twin is no longer a buzzword.

At KONE, we see the technology as a crucial part in our current way to digital transformation. Digital Twin, at its simplest, is a living model that mimics real-world behaviors of physical assets. It takes us, beyond real-time monitoring, to a more intelligent and proactive building management approach. Aside from Digital Twin, we have seen Collaborative Virtual Reality (VR) to help construction companies in making better decision and enhancing collaboration among remote teams. Everybody knows 1 + 1 is 2. But to us it can be even more: combining these two opens door for multiple opportunities for both KONE and its partners.

You can now, not just see, but hear and experience the elevator from afar. We have successfully developed a Digital Twin-VR prototype that synchronizes in real-time the physical elevator and its digital twin. The system will eventually allow a two-way communication from the digital elevator to its physical twin and vice versa. KONE experts, our partners and customers find the system useful in many possibilities: remote design review, remote maintenance support, construction and renovation planning, just to name a few. Prospective customers can also experience different elevator options to make optimal investment with KONE. This brings great value to our business and supports our customer-centric strategy. The possibilities are endless. This is just the beginning of a better future of smart building.

How did we do it in practice?

We envision VR to provide an experience platform of the physical elevator via its digital twin. First, we organized a co-design workshop with potential end-users of the system. Participants gathered to share their needs and wants. Insights from the workshop was then used to design the VR environment by 3DTalo. We collaborated with Devecto in installing multiple sensors to capture the “behavior” of the elevator and its surrounding environment. Finally, we used our KEKO Experiment Platform to host all collected data and create APIs to transfer them into the digital twin.

At KEKO, we warmly welcomed all talented SMEs and startups to grow our ecosystem and co-innovate a better future smart building. 3DTalo and Devecto have shared their experience on the collaboration with KONE in the KEKO project.

For global industry players like KONE, remote collaboration in VR with Digital Twin will enhance the robustness of our product development process and support our Lean and Agile way of working.

 

Phong Truong /

KONE / Project Consultant, KONE Technology and Innovation & 3DTalo

Tommi Loukas

KONE / Expert in Connectivity and Tools, KONE Technology and Innovation

Sanni Siltanen

KONE / Senior Expert in Research, Technology and Innovation