Concept: US-based software development company Bentley Systems (Bentley) has introduced the Bentley iTwin platform that helps users to build and manage digital twins that are up-to-date virtual representations of assets, systems, or cities. It aims to connect the physical and virtual worlds by synchronizing work, increasing visibility, and interpreting information from the right data at the right time throughout the asset lifecycle.

Nature of Disruption: The platform allows users to examine assets and projects 24/7, from any location, and learn about their assets’, including what they are, how they perform, and when they need to be changed. The assets can be visualized, simulated, and monitored through immersive visualization. It leverages AI and ML, to provide analytical visibility and insights. The platform can help minimize the cost and time of delivering projects and managing assets by providing decision support throughout design, construction, and operations. It can enhance the level and quality of services provided both internally and externally, lower the risk associated with assets, and lower the liability connected with asset failures while still achieving sustainability objectives. The Bentley iTwin platform includes open APIs and libraries to assist users in creating, visualizing, and analyzing digital twins of infrastructure assets for project teams, contractors, and owner-operators. Its open-source iTwin.js SDK allows developers to develop rapidly while lowering the risk of releasing digital twin applications. This web-based platform gives users instant access to large-scale datasets for analysis and visualization. It is also constantly synchronized and federated with data that’s always changing from many repositories and vendors in incompatible formats. The Bentley iTwin platform takes care of back-end security, infrastructure, and data integration, lowering the cost of setting up and maintaining IT infrastructure. 

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Outlook: Digital twins are crucial for sustainable, resilient, and smart development because they replicate the real world through extensive digitalization and digitization. It also differs from maps in that they can be constantly updated in reaction to new data. And the city and national governments are looking into strategies to transform individual infrastructure, geographic, and ownership record data silos into unified digital twins. Singapore Land Authority partnered with Bentley to complete the world’s first digital twin of the whole nation in 2022. The company aided in the transformation of raw GIS (geographic information system), lidar (Light Detection and Ranging), and photography data into a realistic mesh, building, and transportation models of the country.

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