How is Twins (1988) Analogous to Digital Twin Technology?

Digital Twins and Twins (1988) the movie

In the blockbuster comedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito star as fraternal twins separated at birth who are polar opposites and are unaware each other exist until they turn 35.

Julius (Schwarzenegger) and Vincent (DeVito) Benedict are the result of a secret genetics experiment combining the DNA of six fathers to produce the perfect child. The project is scrapped when their embryo unexpectedly splits; their mother is also kept in the dark about their existence.

Julius inherits most of the DNA selected in hopes of spawning the perfect human specimen, while Vincent gets the leftover genetic material. While Julius grows up with strict physical training and academic regimens as he’s raised by a scientist, Vincent has a hard knock life after being dropped off at an orphanage and falling into a life of crime.

What is a digital twin?

Digital twinning involves creating a virtual representation of a physical entity, enabling real-time monitoring, analysis, and simulation for performance optimization, predictive maintenance, and improving product quality.

Julius (Digital Twin)

Julius represents the ideal version of the original physical entity. He’s raised as more of a concept than a child, disconnected from much of the real world for most of his life.

He is digitalization personified. He’s machine like, excels at complex tasks, and is excellent at analysis and decision support.

Vincent (Physical Entity)

Vincent, on the other hand, grows up in a harsh reality that’s made more challenging by his 4’11” stature. To survive, he compensates with charisma that works on just enough people to keep him from homelessness.

How they interact

In the movie, the twins embark on a mission to find their long-lost mother who is unaware either of them are alive.

The way they interact and collaborate is similar to the relationship between digital twins and their physical counterparts.

The virtual replica (Julius) helps monitor, analyze, and optimize the physical version (Vincent) with the data he’s digested during his upbringing. Meanwhile, Vincent helps Julius become more human-like.