April 24, 2020 – PTC has announced the release of its Vuforia Spatial Toolbox platform. Created by the PTC Reality Lab, the new open-source platform enables developers to create, innovate, and solve spatial computing problems in a new way, according to the company. PTC states that with Vuforia Spatial Toolbox, users can explore the power of industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and spatial computing, accelerate prototyping for machines, and develop spatial augmented reality (AR) and IoT use cases to support digital transformation initiatives.
As the newest addition to the Vuforia AR product portfolio, Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is designed to complement PTC’s current commercial Vuforia offering. The Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is a system consisting of two components which combine to provide an industrial AR/spatial computing prototyping environment with pre-built UI/UX elements, spatial programming services, an intuitive UI app, and simplified connectivity to IoT with the Vuforia Spatial Edge Server. PTC states that the open-source environment is “designed to drive further exploration around the convergence of the physical and digital worlds and help to push the boundaries of innovation”.
With PTC’s new spatial computing platform, teams can improve the operation of complex manufacturing environments and make IoT-enabled machines easier and more intuitive to control with on-the-fly programming. Robots can be operated and controlled through more intuitive user interfaces (UIs), and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) can be quickly built, enabling improved human-machine interaction and merging of the digital world and physical screens.
“Many developers, innovators, and researchers recognize that AR can help democratize the programming and control of connected machines,” said Mike Campbell, Executive Vice President and General Manager, AR at PTC. “What they need are solutions that help alleviate development overhead for prototyping these innovative, next-gen AR tools. PTC is helping them develop tools and interfaces to spatially interact with and program the world of interconnected things around them.”
With many countries still facing lockdown measures as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, to enable users to take advantage of the new Vuforia Spatial Toolbox while working from home, PTC has created a basic hardware interface add-on that allows users to connect the Vuforia Edge Server with Arduino projects, children’s LEGO BOOST and LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 sets, and the Philips Hue smart lighting system.
PTC states that the technology is the brainchild of Valentin Heun, Ph.D., Vice President of Innovation Engineering at the company, and former scientist at the MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group, where he led the Reality Editor human-machine interface research. Dr. Heun is also an active author and speaker on topics related to AR.
Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is available worldwide today. To learn more, download the software, and access tutorials, click here.
Video credit: PTC/BusinessWire/YouTube
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.