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Codit at Azure Digital Twins – EMEA Summit at NEST

Sam Vanhoutte has been learning all about Microsoft's latest offering - Azure Digital Twins, this is what he has discovered so far...

Codit are currently attending and presenting at the Azure Digital Twins – Emea summit at NEST, close to Zurich. During this event, Microsoft gave its vision on smart spaces powered by Azure Digital Twins and an update on the technology. As a Microsoft IoT Elite partner, we’ve delivered some Smart Spaces insights garnered from our real-life customer stories. We haven’t only been delivering our insights, but also learning a lot ourselves.

One thing that is not to overlooked is the Azure Digital Twins Platform that Microsoft recently launched. This platform is a turnkey solution that allows customers to digitally replicate represent the physical world and models the relationships between people, places and devices.

It used to be that a lot of custom code had to be written before smart building implementations could be deployed. With Azure Digital Twins, Microsoft is offering a complete package right out of the box.

As you can imagine this is an enormous added value for customers.  Customers can save money on things that should be a commodity. They are then free to focus on business differentiation – such as adding more value to their customers or gaining a competitive edge – without compromising on quality.

There are some amazing features to be found in Azure Digital Twins:

Spatial intelligence graph
This is a virtual spatial graph representation of the physical world, where you can model the relationships between people, places and devices.  It can be used across a variety of environments, such as offices, factories, hospitals, parks, and smart cities. But importantly is can model complex relations between spaces, for example:

  • Region – City – Hospital – Floor – Room
  • Country – Plant – Processing unit – Production line – Machine

For example, if you have a device that is monitoring room occupancy, you can already pre-define the space type such as classroom or office.

Data normalization
It has the capabilities to take the different types of incoming data sets and normalizes them, so they can be processed. For example, sensors sending temperature readings might do so in Celsius or Fahrenheit, or a motion sensor could send telemetry as motionDetected=true, while another could send movements=3.  With digital twins, you could mark a room with a presence=true property, based on that.

Rules and notification engine.
When certain anomalies or specific conditions are met, Azure Digital Twins makes it is possible to trigger an alert that sends an event to the backend implementation. So for instance you can implement an e-mail or SMS alert, but have these alerts integrated with backend systems, such as Dynamics 365

For us at Codit, Azure Digital Twins is an enormous step forward when it comes to developing for smart spaces. The platform helps us make better implementations because we’re getting a lot of functionality out of the box, so we no longer have to customer-build everything ourselves. We can create contextual IoT solutions that are deeply attuned to our customers.

Further to this, Microsoft is giving us capabilities that are closer to the “ingestion system”, which is better for data normalization, status propagation, and notifications. Our Nebulus™ IoT Gateway feeds data into an IoT Hub – accelerating the ingestion between devices to the cloud. Azure Digital Twins now accelerates the implementation, data normalization, after it’s ingested by the IoT Hub.  In the smart space context, this can mean a sensor detects someone comes into the room rather than just saying “motionDetected=true”, Azure Digital Twins can put some context around it and say that the room is occupied.

Codit is already working in the smart building space – with our project with Empa – NEST. Codit helped Swiss Empa – NEST become market leaders by having our Azure-based platform, the Nebulus™ IoT Gateway, collect and aggregate data, allowing Empa – NEST to gain deeper insight into their smart buildings. What Azure Digital Twins allows us to do, is to customize our IoT smart solutions across many different types of customers, whether it’s smart buildings, or smart factories, at scale.

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