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Copy that - how digital twin tech is replacing radios with replicas to transform events management

Peter Gray Profile picture for user Peter Gray June 3, 2024
The race is on for real-time data. Can digital twin technology help companies get ahead? Peter Gray of explains how Confluent has helped to transform events management.

Cycling race © BartekSzewczyk -
(© BartekSzewczyk -

Paris 2024 is just weeks away. For the thousands of members of the organizing committee, the race is on to get the French capital game-ready. The massive organizational feat that is the Olympics illustrates the fact that when it comes to sports events, the pressure is not only on the competitors – those behind the scenes are facing high stakes, too.

So why is it that the events industry has traditionally favored low-tech processes over digital ones? Complexity and variability of event requirements is one answer; unpredictability and the need to adapt on the day is another. For any digital events solution to be meaningful, it needs to be able to deal with – even leverage – the inherently dynamic nature of event planning.

Enter digital twin technology.

From clipboards to confidence

A manual system of spreadsheets, clipboards and radios to run elite sports events where circumstances are constantly changing? The risk of things going wrong is almost guaranteed.

Take a road cycling race, for example. Organizers need to work with local authorities and sponsors to run rolling road closures where routes are shared with competitors, spectators and members of the public. To run a successful event, teams need a solution that offers up-to-the-minute information about what’s going on across the whole event. Say, which road can be re-opened. Or which crew are closest to a crash.

Rather than relying on radio communication between those on the ground, digital twins give teams a single dynamic view of the whole event. By allowing users to create virtual 3D models that mirror objects, systems and even whole venues in real-time, teams are empowered to make decisions and communicate responses based on more accurate data in a much faster timeframe.

Instead of trying to piece together what’s happening from crumbs of information heard over a crackly radio, organizers can get an instant understanding of the situation and confidently take the best course of action.

Organizing chaos with data in motion 

In digital twins, information from IoT devices, sensors, and other data sources provides an accurate and dynamic virtual representation of the physical counterpart. But this is only if real-time data keeps the twin continuously updated, creating a live model that reflects the current state of the physical entity.

Real-time data allows organizers to predict, optimize and plan in the digital twin’s risk-free environment while also generating a feedback loop where changes made in the virtual can be implemented in the physical – and then confirmed as effective (or not) back in the virtual.

In other words, a digital twin is only as good as the data stream that feeds it.

At we combine digital twins and real-time data to transform the events management space, and recently won the Confluent 2024 Data Streaming Startup Challenge.

Our digital twin technology utilizes Confluent Cloud’s data streaming capabilities to offer customers the ability to create and operate digital twins 100x cheaper than current solutions.

We do this via pre-built integrations and templates, alongside a flexible and more affordable microservices architecture. An AI platform also helps manage and orchestrate services, acting as an architect and data analyst for our customers.

Thanks to Confluent Cloud, our customers have access to a huge variety of data sources, giving them the ability to quickly source schema validation and the scalability to deal with all the messy real-world data that comes with running events.

Real-time safety first

Having overseen safety at events like the Tour de France and the UCI World Championship, West Yorkshire Police were looking for a solution that would feed its officers instant race, route and personnel information via digital maps, vehicle and road data, in an accessible and user-friendly way. built a digital twin that provides up-the-second data for all vehicles by gathering various data to form a virtual event and venue map. Road hazards can be mapped out in advance and updated in real-time to ensure safe and efficient road closures, as well as the installation of a protective perimeter, all with minimal disruption to the public.

Duncan Street, National Liaison to British Cycling and CEG Commander West Yorkshire Police, said:

The digital twin allows me and the planning team to add hazards and waypoints to planned route information which when brought together with live tracking allows our distributed team to keep the riders and public safe – and never take a wrong turn.

A powerful partnership

Applications for the platform extend far beyond the sports and entertainment events space. And with the global digital twin market projected to grow from $17.73 billion in 2024 to $259.32 billion by 2032, the potential for how and where we use them is only going to diversify.

What’s key is the capacity for connecting real-time data to power these digital twins. Dynamic data streaming is the only way to meet the technological requirements of digital twin architecture – and improve on its capabilities. When data in motion and digital twins join forces, the possibilities are truly endless.

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