The Internet of Things (IoT) provides a vision of a world in which the Internet extends into the real world embracing everyday objects. In the IoT, physical objects are accompanied by Digital Twins: virtual, digital equivalents to physical objects. The interaction between real/physical and digital/virtual objects (digital twins) is an essential concept behind this vision. Digital twins can act as a central means to manage farms and has the potential to revolutionize agriculture. It removes fundamental constraints concerning place, time, and human observation. Farming operations would no longer require physical proximity, which allows for remote monitoring, control and coordination of farm operations. Moreover, Digital Twins can be enriched with information that cannot be observed (or not accurately) by the human senses, e.g. sensor and satellite data. A final interesting angle is that Digital Twins do not only represent actual states, but can also reproduce historical states and simulate future states. As a consequence, applications based on Digital Twins, if properly synchronized, enable farmers and other stakeholders to act immediately in case of (expected) deviations. This paper introduces the concept of Digital Twins and illustrate its application in agriculture by six cases of the SmartAgriFood and Fractals accelerator projects (2014-2016).
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