The Future of Industrial Innovation Is Happening at PTC Reality Lab

An interview about AREA member PTC’s Reality Lab with Valentin Heun.  Heun is the VP of Innovation Engineering and the lead scientist in the PTC Reality Lab.

PTC is a technology company that made a name for itself in the CAD and PLM markets over the past 30 years, but it’s also a leader in the emerging technologies of industrial IoT (IIoT) and augmented reality (AR). On the top floor, the Customer Experience Center (CXC) highlights PTC’s breadth of experience with demonstrations of real-life customer use cases and applications.

Tucked into its own space is the PTC Reality Lab, the forward-thinking team of engineers and researchers charged with pursuing uncharted technology. The team of five – all alumni of MIT Media Lab – are at the forefront of industrial innovation, and spend every day exploring concepts and developing technologies that will enhance people’s interactions with the physical and digital worlds.

Valentin Heun holds a Ph.D from the MIT Media Lab and has long been interested in how to foster better connections between technology and humans – and how user interface design, particularly with augmented reality, can empower workers.

The full interview is worth a read in its entirety. Here is a snapshot of what is covered:

What is the vision for PTC Reality Lab?

What are some of its special features?

What are the benefits of the co-location of the PTC Reality Lab within the Customer Experience Center (CXC)?

Interview highlights from an enterprise AR perspective:

The former Media Lab motto, “demo or die” – or nowadays, “deploy or die” – permeates our lab here at PTC. What that means is that one must make something a reality and not just innovate into the blue. When we research and develop technology, we do so with a focus on the needs, problems, and applications of industrial companies.

We’re using augmented reality, generative design, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, industrial IoT, robotics, digital twin, just to name a few technologies, all in the context of the physical reality. These are technologies that influence or empower at least one version of what we call “reality.”

To me, this is the essence of what PTC and the PTC Reality Lab does – to shape a seamless and intuitive user experience that is only one reality.

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