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PTC launches industrial Augmented Reality

William Payne
February 2, 2016

PTC has launched augmented reality for enterprise and industrial applications. Building on its recently acquired Vuforia augmented reality platform, which has to date been used in consumer devices, PTC has adapted and extended Vuforia to support industrial and enterprise platforms and systems. This includes support for Windows 10 devices and the introduction of a new capability, VuMark, designed to deliver AR experiences to any object.

Recently acquired by PTC, the Vuforia AR platform is supported by a global ecosystem of over 200,000 developers who have built more than 20,000 apps for phones, tablets and a new generation of digital eyewear.

Goldman Sachs has described augmented reality a disruptive technology for the enterprise and a report from Juniper Research estimated that the use of AR apps in the enterprise will grow to be a $2.4 billion market in 2019, up from $247 million in 2014.

“PTC believes the technology has arrived to completely transform the way we interact with and experience things, and that technology is augmented reality,” said Jay Wright, Vuforia general manager & senior vice president, PTC. “Our goal with Vuforia is to deliver an augmented reality experience on top of all types of things - and fundamentally change the future of work.”

PTC believes that support for Windows 10 will enable Vuforia developers to target a new generation of Windows 10 devices, including Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Developers can use Unity, the leading tool for interactive 3D app development, to build a single cross-platform application that will run on iOS, Android and now Windows 10 devices. Additionally, developers will be able to use Microsoft Visual Studio to add AR functionality to their Windows 10 applications.

According to PTC, AR applications must deliver unique experiences on a wide range of things, such as machinery and manufactured products. VuMark aims to be a universal solution that can deliver a unique AR experience on any object while allowing the design freedom for a custom look and feel. VuMark is designed to provide a simple method for encoding data such as a URL or a product serial number. It overcomes the limitations of existing bar code solutions that do not support AR experiences and can detract from a product’s appearance.

“Today’s announcement leverages two transformational technology trends, the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality, to deliver a new class of products that will fundamentally change the way people interact with products,” said Vernon Turner, senior vice president and research fellow (IoT), IDC. “The Vuforia augmented reality platform will provide an opportunity for organizations to seamlessly overlay digital data on the physical world. This is a game changer because it offers a richer interface to the person who operates the product, and delivers deeper insight into how to service those products.”