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At Ignite 2018 in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft unveiled its new Azure Digital Twins service. This allows companies to design digital models of physical environments in the Azure cloud and, in particular, to simulate running of IoT applications. These models can then be connected via the Azure IoT hub to real devices and sensors, such that the digital twin continuously mirrors their current state. Plans, documents, manuals and images can also be stored in the three-dimensional model. Azure Digital Twins can make connections to other Microsoft cloud services too, including Analytics and Office 365. Microsoft explains the possible applications in detail in an extensive blog entry .

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.