Digital Twin

Philippe Coval #Ow2Con 2020-06-17

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$ whois Phil Coval

  • Software Engineer from Rennes, France
  • Opensource Contributor, Mozilla Rep (IoT)
  • Involved in industry's OSS:
    • Tizen (Intel), Yocto, IoTivity (Samsung)
  • Contact: @RzrFreeFr
    • Presentations, Videos, Social…
    • Currently available for cooperation

Digital Twin

  • Digital replica of physical entity
    • Real time (or deferred) connectivity
  • Seemless interaction with devices or models
    • Shadow objects as "proxy" to things
    • 3D Models can be visualized in XR
  • Conceptualized by Dr M.Grieves (FIT 2002)
  • In 2000, I hacked a "VRML Puppet on the web"

DT Robot demo

. .

Using DT

  • "Device as Service" concept:
    • Design, Simulation, playback
    • Remote control (lockdown)
    • Impact analysis, Improve decision making
    • Product Life Management
  • Domains:
    • Industry: Production chain
    • City: Traffic Flow, BIM
    • Robotics, Cobotics, Telecoms…
  • More Use cases @W3C/WoT-architecture

Ethical considerations

  • GDPR Article 25 conveys the key principles
    • privacy by design (& by default)
  • Opportunity for FLOSS projects:
    • Privacy is part of community's DNA
  • Challenge: Digital Twin with privacy
    • User and user's data centric
    • Decentralized and resilient

The Web as platform

Mozilla WebThings

  • Mozilla's SmartHome platform
    • Gives control back to users
    • UI Dashboard: automation using rules
  • Extensible with addons
    • for new protocols or services
  • Simplified W3C WoT Description (in JSON)

WebThings ❤ Privacy

  • Webthings are connected to Gateway
    • Local HTTP Servers in LAN
    • Data stay at the edge, no cloud!
  • Devices can be shared to other apps:
    • using REST+WS with JSON Web Tokens
    • Internet access is possible using tunnel


  • 3D Rendering in browser using frameworks
    • A-Frame / Three.js / WebGL / GPU
  • Models can be parameterized too
    • 3D Nodes can be changed from DOM
    • eg: Three.js's rotation
  • Devices are described using JSON schema:
    • eg: "compass" angle (number)
  • Bind properties from IoT to XR using:

Mozilla's VR hubs


Getting started


// Register "solar" components, handler:
// When WoT "level" updates change color (DOM) 
<script src=".../aframe-webthing.js"> 

<a-asset-item id="house"
  src=".../smart-home.glb" >

<a-entity solar=""
  gltf-part="src: #house; part: solar"


  • Thanks OW2, @Utopiah, @gcohler
  • License: CC-BY-SA-4.0 ~RzR 2020
  • Copyrights belong to their respective owners

Q&A or Extra demos ?

Sensor and Actuators

Immersive web

Video playback


Created by Philippe Coval