Augmented Reality Changing The Factory Landscape From PTC’s Room With A View
An article on Forbes by Mark Venables, discusses PTC’s new Reality Lab in Seaport.
Before the move to the Boston Innovation District, PTC was situated in the Boston suburb of Needham at the north end of the so-called PLM Highway. The 19-mile stretch of State Road 128 was home to the six top global PLM vendors – aside from PTC that included Dassault Systems, Autodesk, Siemens, SAP, and Oracle.
But PTC decided to leave their long-term home to enable them to attract the type of talent required to drive the company forward in this age of emerging technologies.
Since its launch just over 30 years ago, PTC has led the way in CAD and PLM but in recent years that portfolio has grown to include innovative technologies such as augmented reality. “The market now is about AI, AR, VR, 5G, cloud, edge and high-performance computing,” Jim Heppelmann, president and chief executive officer explains. “If you want to play in those areas, you need to get the top graduates. But they do not want to work in a suburban area, we can’t easily pull these people out to the suburbs.
Leading innovation from the Reality Lab
The answer was the 17-story building, 121 Seaport, that became PTC’s home when it opened earlier this year. Aside from the 1,000 PTC employees, a crucial element of the new environment is the Customer Experience Centre (CXC) that takes up the top floor of the building. Tucked in amongst the working examples of Industrial IoT is the PTC Reality Lab.
“In the factory, there are millions of sensors, motors, robots, and machines and problems with humans interacting with machines. There’s such a high density of spatial problems that this is the perfect playground to research the future of augmented reality.”