An augmented reality experience will be integrated into our interactions with "things" and that will transform how we design, develop, and service products.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been a toy technology for years. AR is graduating to the big leagues. Will it change how we work? How we live? How we experience "reality"?
The answer is yes.
Ready or not. The AR technology will explode. Handheld display devices - your phone, your tablet - are pervasive. AR doesn't need anything more than that. Rich, productive AR experiences add tremendous value and create links to to other data, technologies, and capabilities. PTC has been showing their "concept car" of the digital twin for over half a year. No, it's not really a car. It's a bike. A smart connected bike. And AR connects the live person with the internet of things. AR connects the live person to predictive analytics. AR connects the live person to the digital CAD model.
PTC is touting the experiences of their customers - real world uses for AR and IoT which are deployed and adding profits to these companies' bottom lines. Catipiller, KTM, & ServiceMax are just a few companies deploying and benefiting from AR and IoT. IoT and big data allow predictive service calls. AR delivers on-site expertise for service personnel. Less experienced employees can tap into knowledge and years of experience on-demand and on-site. AR delivers these benefits and delivers them in an information rich and contextually relevant way.
ThingX is coming and it will simplify the complexity of managing all of the possible AR experiences and interactions which will be available at our fingertips. A ThingBrowser will be an interface in our AR experience be it through a tablet, smart phone, headset, or smart glasses. This browser will make the AR experiences visible, accessible, and manageable. When a user looks at a KTM motorcycle, ThingBrowser will visually present options. A customer might get detailed product information and marketing content. A service technician could see service and repair data.
Many more business tools are coming which will integrate design tools, PLM data, IoT technologies, and AR. The excitement in this field is that we are just at the beginning.
Wearable display technology is booming too. The limits to AR will be pushed back with every new development in display technology. All of the other pieces exist. Only our limited ability to visualize the information through augmented reality will limit the possibilities we can enjoy. AR will penetrate every part of our lives: how we work, how we learn, how we enjoy.
This is the future of interface technology. It will change fast. And it will certainly change how we live. Fast.