As every time for the last couple of years, our strong team of representatives was present in Boston to attend one of the most important IoT events of the year – LiveWorx, 2019 edition.
Get the ball rollin’
And even with 10 participants from various business areas, actively seeking new information and presentations, we attended only a small part of all 240+ sessions, training and demos. What’s more – we even added our two cents to this huge list (only to mention Greg’s How ESAB is implementing its Digital Transformation Strategy, Increase Inspection Quality and Get Rid of Paperwork with Assisted Reality: Utility Case Study from Adam and Michal or ThingWorx Offline Mode- Not Supported. Or Is It? by myself).
LiveWorx 2019 confirmed the last trends in PTC’s strategy, focusing on additive manufacturing, blockchain, cloud and security topics. A vast majority of breakout sessions fluctuated around those main areas, there were even direct presentations and feedback sessions regarding the new features as well. And a group of more than 300 Subject Matter Experts from all the fields around PTC’s portfolio should excite every new technology enthusiast. I’m still under the impression of some of the discussions with them.
Lead the way
During the event we could attend a lot of interesting sessions, including the main keynotes with exceptional guests:
- The opening keynote of Jim Heppelmann: Digital Transformation: Harnessing New Technology for Industrial Innovation.
- PTC Product Spotlight with Kathleen Mitford.
- Peter Diamandis about Exponential Tech: Innovation & Disruption on the Road Ahead.
- Michelle McKenna, CIO of NFL on Quarterbacking a Digital Revolution.
- Closing Keynote – From Distraction to Augmentation by Pattie Maes.
During the initial keynote, Jim Heppelmann presented how PTC proposes Better Ways to Get Work Done. Through a couple of demos, it was presented how PTC’s products cooperate enabling transformation across the value chain. What does it mean? It means that by interconnecting all the production phases, processes and areas, digital transformation allows to draw value and enrich each of them.
The meeting point of all those features and concepts is factory. Highlighted for many times the idea of the smart factory is brought to life and expanded with each new strategic move. Of course one of the most important of those steps is a strategic partnership with Rockwell Automation, which accelerated the development of the idea a lot. This was confirmed and stressed out by Blake Moret, President and CEO of Rockwell Automation.
From the other side, we have augmented reality with its indubitable benefits in optimizing psychical-digital convergence and machine-to-human/human-to-machine data flow.
Considering the above, we can define a great chain of value which comes from all fields – starting with a data sources (PLM, machines) through integration layer (ThingWorx, Kepware), edge-to-enterprise analytics (ThingWorx Analytics, FactoryTalk Innovation Suite), up to demonstration layer (AR, VR, mashups).
Learn by example
For anyone who needs solid evidence that above approach works well – not only in manufacturing area – LiveWorx 2019 provided a lot of real-life examples and case studies: Howden, Ford Motor Company or Global Foundries to name only a few of them. What’s important, each company which wants to keep abreast shall take advantage of new technologies and solutions, because – as Peter Diamandis said – the future is faster than you think. Lagging behind the competition may decide to be or not to be in a very competitive business.
What’s interesting is that the examples provided by exhibitors, partners and keynote speakers are not strictly limited only to dedicated verticals. Even if ThingWorx has a great support for industrial cases, its flexibility, extensibility and wide ecosystem of supporting components make ThingWorx a great IoT Platform for various uses in many areas.
Requirements can vary, but digital transformation is an opportunity for everyone.
With the eye of Adam Macierzyński, IoT/AR Solution Architect
Microsoft revealed a new device at MWC event in Barcelona, early this year. They took a lot of feedback from the customers and created something completely better. Is it something different? No. It is just better than the previous version.
How we can know that? Technically speaking, HoloLens is not available for purchase yet. However, PTC was working very tightly with Microsoft and their product, because of the Vuforia Studio. This solution allows to create your own Augmented Reality experience and deploy it on a various amount of devices very easily. One of the target platforms is HoloLens, so it is natural that new version support is a must-have in terms of product development.
PTC Team was able to introduce Vuforia Studio enhancements for a HoloLens 2 support and present it live during this 3-day event. Live demo was available for everyone and with help of the PTC AR experts we were able to go through the newest features of both: HoloLens 2 and Vuforia Studio suite (see more about HoloLens2 features).
What we can expect after this demo? For sure, whole PTC portfolio is going to be ready when HoloLens 2 will be delivered to the developers, software integrators and customers as well.
Xtropolis – Xtropolis – event’s floor
With over 100 exhibitors on more than 18 000 m.sq. the main event’s hall looked like a small city. This year space was even bigger than ever, with more Ignite Talks, interactive workshops and demos – and a great possibility to meet folks excited as much as yourself!
Strategic partnerships with Rockwell Automation and Microsoft shaped this year’s edition in a very apparent way. Not only during the keynotes and sessions but also directly on the event’s floor. We had an opportunity to attend the Industry section to view the manufacturing process and discuss with experts. It can be seen, that each year creativity of attendees is yet more ambitious. So, in the exhibit hall, we could find other surprises as well, such as real yacht, interactive VR-jeep or even parts of the manufacturing line.
After last year’s ground-breaking keynotes, everyone was expecting even more. As we know – appetite comes with eating… Meanwhile, this year didn’t come with any major earthquake. Don’t get me wrong – market analysts from PTC know their work well. They did their homework for sure – proposing to partners and customers a well-defined roadmap and a clear vision, answering most crucial needs. But this year there is no big change and no big surprises – we have stabilization, highlighting strategic partnerships (Rockwell and Microsoft), expanding the possibilities and links between various systems. Still, PTC is trend-setting in the area of Internet of Things and LiveWorx 2019 only confirmed this position. And we are happy we can be a part of this journey.
And – by the way – registration for 2020 is already opened. Let’s get ready!