Rarely do we get an inside look at enterprise AR workflows — everything from authoring to end-user experience. We’re talking AR-guided maintenance or assembly, and the process of creating it.
PTC‘s Mike Campbell and Marc Schuetz did just that in this week’s featured video (below) from an AR in Action event last year. Though admittedly promotional for PTC, their step-by-step demo makes up for it in educational value, by offering perspective on the AR authoring process.
Specifically, PTCs Thingworx Studio has an authoring tool for graphically-guided instructions around 3D models. That workflow is then assigned to a marker (often attached to a physical-world item) that prompts the same graphical instructions on an end-user’s mobile AR device.
As background, PTC works with 28,000 enterprises (at the time of the video), 1000 of which are working with AR, according to Campbell. That’s encouraging for the enterprise AR sector in general, not to mention the feedback loop it provides to PTC and its ThingWorx AR suite.
One customer benefit is cost cutting through assembly and maintenance efficiencies (time and error reduction), said Campbell. That’s a common value proposition for enterprise AR, but it’s also about changing the nature of work through empowering workers at all skill levels.
“Any one of us in the room could repair this machine and get it back up and running,” he said. “And the company is happy because they didn’t have to roll a truck out to take care of it, and they’ve doubled the number of customers that each service technician can take care of.”
But Campbell admits that this commonly-cited value proposition is easier said than done. To bring all of these conference and YouTube demo videos to reality, it takes lots of development and system integration. These are the friction points that ThingWorx is trying to lessen.
“It’s not easy. All of you watching in this room know that there are challenges here,” he said. “It’s difficult to incorporate existing engineering assets you may have, it’s difficult to incorporate data from your IoT systems, and there’s the question of ‘what app do I use with what thing?'”
But of course, it’s better to see it in action… check out the video below including the authoring demo which starts at this timestamped link. And stay tuned for lots more educational videos and narrative every Friday.
Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.