Microsoft takes on digital twins


The software corporation has added a new service for digital twins to its Azure cloud computing platform. The aim is to allow companies to simulate applications on the Internet of Things (IoT).


  • Client


  • Services

    To allow companies to simulate applications on the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • Technologies

    Internet Of Things (IoT)

  • Dates



For years now, our partners and customers have been using the Azure Internet of Things (IoT) platform to create breakthrough applications for a wide variety of industries. Along this journey, we’ve learned that most digital transformation efforts benefit from context about the physical world. As a result, organizations are showing a growing appetite for solutions that provide a deeper understanding of the sophisticated interactions between people, places, and things.


Enter the concept of the “digital twin”—a virtual representation of a physical environment that brings in data from a variety of sources. Historically, digital twins have been used for industrial equipment (machines, fleets of machines, engines, and the like), but the concept of a digital twin is also broadly applicable to modeling all the ways we live and work in our physical environment. Modeling the complex interactions and high-value intersections between people, places, and things is unlocking new opportunities, creating new efficiencies, and improving public and private spaces.


This is the context for a new service we’re adding to our IoT platform. Today at our Ignite conference in Orlando, we’re announcing the public preview of Azure Digital Twins. Azure Digital Twins is a new platform for comprehensive digital models and spatially aware solutions that can be applied to any physical environment. Partners and customers can now query data in the context of a space—rather than from disparate sensors—empowering them to build repeatable, scalable experiences that correlate data from digital sources and the physical world.


Azure Digital Twins has been developed as part of the Azure IoT platform to provide all of the scale, reliability, compliance, security, and privacy benefits Microsoft Azure is known for. It means environments of all types—offices, schools, hospitals, banks, stadiums, warehouses, factories, parking lots, streets, intersections, parks, plazas, and more—can become smarter spaces, and so can the supporting infrastructure and even entire cities.


One of the first projects to use the new digital twin service is the Thyssenkrupp test tower in Rottweil, Baden-Württemberg, in which the corporation is researching into new elevator technology. Azure Digital Twins will be freely available from mid-October 2018.


About Azure Digital Twins

Most IoT projects today start from a things-centric approach, but we’ve flipped that around. We’ve found that customers realize huge benefits by first modeling the physical environment and then connecting (existing or new) devices to that model. Customers gain new spatial intelligence capabilities and new insights into how spaces and infrastructure are really used.