Background and Achievements
PTC’s most substantial move in the augmented reality space came in 2015, with the acquisition of the Vuforia AR platform from Qualcomm. However, PTC has a decades-long history in 3D content, dating back to its origins in computer-aided design (CAD). This put PTC in a unique position to build upon the Vuforia acquisition.
Leveraging the Vuforia platform and its computer vision technology, PTC has brought AR into the ThingWorx industrial IoT platform by creating ThingWorx Studio. ThingWorx Studio is a codeless AR authoring and publishing tool that leverages existing 3D data, such as CAD data, to build AR experiences in just minutes. Over 1,500 companies have used ThingWorx Studio to create experiences that have been viewed more than 60,000 times.
Now, PTC is proving how AR and IoT are better together, by having the technologies work in harmony to help companies better design, manufacture, operate, and service their products. At the same time, PTC continues to grow the Vuforia platform, which powers more than 40,000 AR apps that have been downloaded more than 400 million times, and has a growing network of more than 300,000 developers.
Challenges to be addressed by AR
PTC has developed the ThingWorx Studio authoring and publishing tool to address a number of use cases for the industrial IoT. The most common use cases for AR in the industrial and enterprise spaces include step-by-step instructions for service and repair, training tutorials and visualizations, visualizing IoT data in context of a physical product, sales and marketing, and design reviews. These use cases demonstrate the broad applicability of augmented reality in the industrial and enterprise spaces, particularly when it is combined with IoT. Undoubtedly, more use cases will take shape as the technology continues to evolve and we see advancements in tools like digital eyewear.
Why AR is a Strategic Area
PTC is heavily focused on the business potential of AR and IoT being brought together. The convergence of the physical and digital worlds is generating an explosion of data – particularly in the IoT space – and AR is emerging as the ideal way to consume this data and these insights in context to take action and create business value. AR is the interface of the future, helping us to experience our increasingly-digital lives in our physical world simultaneously.
Humans evolved to process the world around us in three dimensions, primarily through vision. AR will enable the global economy to capitalize on the IoT to consume its data and insights in context, enabling humans to visualize, instruct, and interact with the digital world in a more natural and efficient way.