On June 9th Jim Heppelmann (CEO, PTC) welcomed attendees to a ‘work-from-home’ edition of PTC’s annual LiveWorx conference. As might be expected, he dedicated much of his introduction to the general ongoing COVID-19 disruption, but also placed this in context of wider disruptions to commerce that have arisen in recent years, ranging from trade wars to Brexit.
Jim made the point that some increased level of global disruption is likely to be the backdrop of commerce for some while to come, and that innovation by businesses and individual ingenuity was key to dealing with this new emerging normal. He also asserted that PTC’s strategy was well aligned with the demands of a more disrupted business environment, and, to be honest, he’s probably right.
His overview focused on four areas that are key in the current climate:
He also highlighted the recent launch of version 7.0 of PTC’s Creo CAD/CAM/CAE software, including generative design, multibody design, real time simulation, and support for additive manufacturing. That’s a lot of the hot-buttons of the PLM space to be adding in a single release.
Turning to the future, Jim outlined a vision that he termed ‘Spatial Computing’, focussed on convergence of the digital and physical words supported by AR, IoT, spatial analytics and AI, and new hardware technology such as depth-sensing cameras. Unquestionably, this is the direction of travel in the extended PLM space and Jim characterised AR as integrating people (workers) into the digital space in much the same way the IoT integrates devices. There was also an interesting demonstration of the use of AR to programme a robot (an IoT connected device), so that the robot would trace a route drawn on an AR interface. Expect many more developments along these lines as more companies explore the intersection between AR and IoT.