A digital twin of a KNX-based property with KNX IoT



The first KNX IoT Solution is here! A digital twin of a KNX-based property is now possible thanks to the efforts and collaboration of two KNX members, Schneider Electric and Simlab. This collaborative effort and development will soon inspire a whole new era of solutions based on KNX IoT technology. Such solutions can act as a pioneer for innovations in the future of smart homes and buildings that are in line with the latest trends around the world.

The digital twin is one of the most exciting transformations that the IoT has ushered. Emerging technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, software analytics, and the Internet of Things are all integrated and leveraged by the digital twin concept. It is a powerful tool that integrates both the physical and digital worlds. It not only transforms but also simplifies property management.



What is a digital twin?


A digital twin is a representation of a physical system or object in the digital world. Buildings, factories, and even entire cities are now included in the technology underlying digital twins. The object under study is equipped with a number of sensors that are important to its functionality. These sensors generate information about the performance of the physical thing in several areas. The processing system then applies this information to the digital copy.


After receiving this information, the virtual model can be used to run simulations, investigate performance problems, and produce potential enhancements, all with the aim of producing useful insights that can later be applied to the original physical device. This helps in getting an almost perfect understanding of the product or object and how it functions. This, in turn, helps in improving the R&D and its efficiency. Ultimately, the product’s lifecycle is extended and the value it provides is maximised.


A brief overview of the Digital Twin with KNX IoT


The solution developed by KNX Member Simlab scans an existing building or any other property to generate a digital twin, adding a layer of administration and information about the KNX installation. This scanning can be done with the use of a mobile phone with a 3D scanning tool. A visualisation with complete control over the KNX installation can be set up in a matter of minutes, with the finest quality and great visuals, thanks to this combination, which creates an outstanding solution unmatched in the smart home and building business.


Schneider Electric server: WISER


Schneider Electric provides the server WISER for KNX, which acts as a logic controller. This WISER server from Schneider Electric is a well-known product that has been available on the market for a while and provides a platform for the creation of visualisations, scenarios, and numerous other server-related capabilities.

Wiser is the first server offering the KNX IoT 3rd Party API functionality. The most cutting-edge KNX technology created to date, a standardised API, can be used to communicate with the server using Schneider Electric’s own software clients thanks to this option.


Furthermore, the KNX Member has the option to make the KNX IoT 3rd Party API server accessible to outside parties, enabling unprecedented collaboration amongst KNX Members, such as the one we demonstrated here in this case of digital twin development. Simlab and Schneider Electric worked together to build the digital twin solution by connecting Simlab’s Sim-On application to Wiser, a Schneider Electric product.


Sim-On by SIMLAB


SIMLAB, a KNX member company provided the software solution, Sim-On, which creates a visualisation of the environment based on a 3D reconstruction of the property. A 3D-rendered model like this offers users a very intuitive and interactive layer with features such as information storage about assets (such as invoices or manuals) or control of the existing systems.


Simlab was able to quickly integrate connectivity to KNX installations using the KNX IoT 3rd Party API technology, opening up new possibilities for control and interaction. Less training was required as a result of the departure from more KNX-specific expertise, which decreased the cost and the time to market (TTM) of these solutions.


Collaborate with KNX IoT


In this case study of the development of a digital twin solution based on KNX IoT, collaboration and forward thinking were key. At KNX, we encourage such values as we believe the future of smart living is with shared goals and growth to provide more sustainable, inclusive, and efficient solutions. We invite all KNX members and non-members alike to step into the IoT ecosystem with KNX IoT.