A Few Words about the Client
Kalima Systems is a French company that produces embedded blockchain technology dedicated to Industrial Internet of Things (I-IoT). The company operates in the manufacturing, utility, and construction business sectors. We used digital twin technology to develop a unique solution for Kalima Systems.
The idea behind the Kalima project is quite obvious and comprehensible even for those of us who lack technical education:
The majority of workers in the utility sector spend a lot of time on studying 2D or BIM schemes of the premises when facing a new task in an unfamiliar building. They try to locate and to find the necessary object in the real environment using schemes traditional schemes which is often exhausting and ineffective in terms of time.
Our goal was to simplify this process by developing a mobile application that could visualize a digital twin of any building updating this information with real-time data from IoT sensors. We created the program which is capable of reading BIM files, visualizing these files on the smartphone, and, what is most important, giving users the possibility to interact with these objects in real-time.
Digital twin technology is an absolute trend in the world of manufacturing which provides users with the most accurate data about the premises in 3D view. Using Augmented Reality and Internet of Things sensors it is even possible to stream the data about the environment into a digital twin ( measuring such parameters as light, noise, etc.).
Obstacles & Victories
Integration with BIM was one of the most challenging and demanding aspects of the project. Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model which is often used for BIM is very different from a standard 3D model.
It literally contains a million dots and transforming it into Unity was quite a challenge. This format is created specifically for architects that is why it was not that easy to build a solution for further integration with Unity and easy utilization in a mobile application. We have managed to find the most appropriate and effective way of BIM& Unity integration for our clients keeping the mobile application fast and light.
Digital Twin and the Industry 4.0
Digital twin technology empowered with the Internet of Things turned out to be the best solution for this business challenge of Kalima. The development of the fully interactive 3D model that shows real-time data (lights on\off, etc.) of a digital twin using IoT sensors was the final goal of the cooperation.
That is why we developed a mobile application that could upload the digital twin information from the server and show it to the end-user.
Using a simple mobile app a user is capable of navigating a digital twin on his/her smartphone and find the location within several seconds. A user can rotate the object exploring it from various angles, he/she can also “fly” inside this building approaching the places and the objects he/she wants to study in detail.
Digital Twin Technology for Kalima: Real-Time Update
This digital twin for Kalima is created in real- time. What does it mean?
It means that the application updates the information about a digital twin automatically. The employee might download the application with the building he/she is studying in July. The architect will make some changes, such as adding additional objects, several weeks later. The next time an employee will check the application with the digital twin he/she will see the final model of the environment.
With this digital twin technology, users got a unique possibility “to walk through the digital twin building” and interact with the environment.
Technologies: Unity, BIM
People have 3D thinking: it’s easier for us to imagine 3D objects, they seem more realistic and more comfortable to interact with. This is just one of the reasons why major tech media, such as Gartner, and consulting companies think that digital twin technology will be gaining well-deserved popularity.
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