The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the convergence of technological progress, heightened connectivity, and the necessity for companies to enhance efficiency and competitiveness in a swiftly transforming marketplace, as well as growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of things (IoT), sensors, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), simulation and modelling software, data analytics, and machine learning. These technologies, when integrated and tailored to specific applications, enable the creation, management, and utilization of digital twins. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Virtual and augmented reality in technology: digital twinsBuy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 1.5 million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the technology industry, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Digital twins is a key innovation area in virtual and augmented reality

Digital twins refer to virtual representations of physical assets that enable real-time data collection, monitoring, and analysis, offering a holistic perspective on asset performance. By detecting patterns, identifying issues, and making predictions about future outcomes, the data derived from digital twins empowers businesses to improve operations through enhanced asset understanding and informed decision-making.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of digital twins.

Key players in digital twins – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to digital twins

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Samsung Electronics 5 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric Industries 9 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch 21 Unlock Company Profile
BOE Technology Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Canada 8 Unlock Company Profile
VEGA Grieshaber 9 Unlock Company Profile
FANUC FA AMERICA 8 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fisher Controls International 15 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Schweiz 13 Unlock Company Profile
SMS group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kortek Australia 12 Unlock Company Profile
ABB Schweiz 30 Unlock Company Profile
Trumpf Werkzeugmaschinen 5 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton Intelligent Power 5 Unlock Company Profile
Fisher-Rosemount Systems 295 Unlock Company Profile
Rockwell Automation Technologies 72 Unlock Company Profile
Endress+Hauser Conducta 6 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol 16 Unlock Company Profile
Endress + Hauser Process Solutions 13 Unlock Company Profile
Landis+Gyr Innovations 10 Unlock Company Profile
ABB Technology 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hefei BOE Display Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Intelligent Platforms 13 Unlock Company Profile
Yaskawa Electric 18 Unlock Company Profile
Buhler 16 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 5 Unlock Company Profile
Yokogawa Electric 62 Unlock Company Profile
Fanuc 12 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 53 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 115 Unlock Company Profile
Endress+Hauser 21 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 21 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kyland Technology 15 Unlock Company Profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 13 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 6 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 8 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 17 Unlock Company Profile
The Procter & Gamble 12 Unlock Company Profile
Belimo 6 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 27 Unlock Company Profile
B.T.S.R. International 9 Unlock Company Profile
Technical Consumer Products 16 Unlock Company Profile
AVL List 12 Unlock Company Profile
AMI Global 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tulip Interfaces 35 Unlock Company Profile
SIPCO 10 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 26 Unlock Company Profile
MachineSense 11 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Fisher-Rosemount Systems is the leading patent filer in digital twins. The company’s patents are related to process plants and process control and communication systems to secure communications between a local process plant/process control system and a remote system servicing the local process control plant/system.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Siemens and Rockwell Automation Technologies.

By geographic reach, Tulip Interfaces leads the pack, followed by Bristol and Buhler. In terms of application diversity, SIPCO holds the top position, followed by BTSR International and Tulip Interfaces.

Digital twins play a crucial role in driving operational excellence, optimizing asset performance, fostering innovation, and enabling data-driven decision-making. It has ability to transform industries by harnessing real-time data, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and mitigating risks, ultimately leading to improved productivity and business outcomes.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Virtual Reality (VR).

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.