About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 01 December 2022

There are many possible definitions for Digital Twins (DTs) however in simple terms we can describe them as virtual representations of physical objects or processes along with the connections of data and information that tie the two together. DTs can help inspect and conceptualize complex processes, simulate ...

There are many possible definitions for Digital Twins (DTs) however in simple terms we can describe them as virtual representations of physical objects or processes along with the connections of data and information that tie the two together. DTs can help inspect and conceptualize complex processes, simulate and predict the effects of complex phenomena on the physical counterpart, and interact with or affect the physical counterpart through virtual representation. The Digital Twin concept has been traditionally associated with domains such as Manufacturing and Aviation but has recently been applied to diverse domains such as Medicine, Management, Cultural Heritage, to name but a few. More recently, DT is becoming an important element for the engineering of Metaverses. eXtended Reality (XR) is an inclusive term referring to all interactive environments that combine real-and-virtual elements. It includes interactive experiences such as Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), or Virtual Reality (VR). XR experiences are naturally embodied and spatial and have a high potential for resulting in immersive experiences that promote a sense of presence (in both the sense of being “there” in a virtual world or in the sense of accepting a virtual object as being “here” with the user).

The question is, how does eXtended Reality alter the way we experience a Digital Twin? This Research Topic is interested in bringing to focus the various ways in which XR experiences can be used to visualize, interact and simulate DTs and also the associated challenges in aspects such as rendering, interaction and collaboration that result from having an XR environment.

Specifically, this Research Topic aims to explore the following questions:

• What advantages and disadvantages does an XR environment bring to the experience of a DT?
• What kinds of DTs are most appropriate to experience through XR?
• How do different interactions techniques, including the use of haptic systems and gestural interaction, affect the way the DT is used?
• What are the challenges in designing and developing XR experiences for DTs?

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Design methodologies for DT experiences in XR
• Applications that combine XR with DTs
• DT and Metaverse applications
• The role of augmentation in DT design and operation
• The combination of artificial intelligence, DTs, and XR
• Cases of XR developments to create more user-friendly DTs
• Data-driven DTs in XR
• Interaction techniques that use haptics, tangibles, embodied interactions for interacting with DTs
• Software libraries, toolkits, frameworks, authoring tools, for the development of XR experiences for DT
• Evaluation methodologies for XR experiences for DTs

Keywords: digital twins, extended reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality


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