iDarpan: How mirror worlds and digital twins will revolutionize eCommerce – Part 3
Written by
Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain

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iDarpan: How mirror worlds and digital twins will revolutionize eCommerce – Part 3

Published : November 3, 2023

In the second part of this series, I talked about David Gelernter’s idea of ‘Mirror Worlds’ and how it could revolutionize the use of computers. I also presented a summary of Gelernter’s idea by ChatGPT and Bard. If you haven’t read the earlier parts, here are the links: Part 1, Part 2.

In this concluding part, I will continue my exploration of Mirror Worlds and discuss an essay I wrote in 2005 about Next-Generation Networks.

Mirror Worlds

I first wrote about the Mirror Worlds idea in 2003 in ‘Constructing the Memex: Mirror Worlds.’

“Gelernter’s Mirror World accurately describes today’s blogosphere, with an ocean of information and RSS streams representing data streams. The filters are the actions of bloggers, while layers are the circle of bloggers. Think of them as a concentric circle of bloggers with the radius determined by the degree of separation from us.

This allows us to access vast pools of information through search engines such as Google and directories like Yahoo. We can also use the work of bloggers as information.”

“Gelernter envisioned different Mirror Worlds for hospitals, cities, universities, and communities. This is precisely how the blogosphere is emerging. Photos from digital cameras already embellish blogs created by people. Eventually, we can expect sensors to send information to specific log pages—every entity, whether human, machine or an aggregation, can expect to have a weblog.

But what is a weblog? A weblog is similar to a ‘What’s New” page of a website, mirroring the entity’s latest state while giving access to its history. Weblogs become information sources, publishing data into RSS feeds, which we can subscribe to as part of our Memex. The weblog’s interaction with the larger blogosphere creates the Mirror Blog.”

Next Generation Networks

I then wrote an essay on Next-Generation Networks in 2005.

“The last decade has seen us spend an increasing amount of time in cyberspace. Companies and individuals have created a virtual representation of their products and services. Moreover, conversations have moved to conversing with identities (email, IM monikers, SMS to mobile numbers) rather than directly with individuals.

David Gelernter’s Mirror Worlds idea takes this to its logical conclusion: A copy of the real world that we will increasingly inhabit. Today, maps give us the spatial copy but fail to provide the real-time component. This is where a mix of next-generation mobiles, sensors, and user-generated content emerges, embellishing the other world.

So, Mirror Worlds are a microcosm of what we see around us. They are as updated as the real world they are designed to resemble. These Mirror Worlds are accessible through screens on our devices such as mobiles, computers, and even networked TVs.”

Campaigning And Direct Marketing

I also wrote about Mirror Worlds in the context of campaigning and direct marketing in 2009.

Databases and real-world linkages could be excellent assets for campaigning and direct marketing.

  • Start with maps.
  • Add a layer consisting of establishments such as buildings, schools, retail outlets, roads, etc.
  • Overlay this layer with data that includes names of people, addresses, gender, and age.
  • Incorporate historical data to get trends. You may also need to account for delimitation.
  • Integrate the socio-demographic and development data from the census, government websites, and that collected by independent companies.
  • Acquire contact lists of people with digital identity information such as email and mobile numbers.
  • This data can be continuously updated based on user interaction, enhancing people’s profiles.

What looked like science fiction could soon become a reality. The idea of Mirror Worlds and its Digital Twin companion could transform marketing.

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