"Jim, you're going to need to add water."
PTC ceo James Heppelmann on how augmented reality could help the company make more revenues:
A lot of people are saying that AR [augmented reality] and AR hardware is the next-generation mobile device. Today you carry a screen in your pocket, and there's a screen in your car, and there's a screen on the wall in your house, and there's a screen on your computer, and there are screens all over the place.
Maybe tomorrow you'll put the screen on your head and everything you look at will have digital displays without needing to have their own unique proprietary hardware screens. I'm just looking in my office here, I have a water cooler and I have a coffeemaker, and they both have screens.
So, I think the reason that Microsoft is spending billions of dollars, and the reason Google is spending billions of dollars, and Facebook is spending billions of dollars is this idea that there's a generation of hardware beyond mobile, and it's AR devices.
And the reason that's so exciting is because you can blend digital data onto physical objects and give an integrated physical digital experience. Now that's what's exciting to us, because physical-digital is what IoT [Internet of things] is all about. So IoT is a way for us to get information from the physical world, combine it with everything we already knew digitally from CAD and PLM, and then turn around using Vuforia to augment this back into the field-of-view of the user.
So, when I look at my coffeemaker, it says, "Jim, you're going to need to add water." I don't have to walk over to read that on the screen, it just shows up. And if I say, "How do I do that?" it then takes me through a process using CAD models to explain the process of adding water to my Keurig coffeemaker over there.
It's a powerful idea where IoT, CAD, PLM and SLM [service lifecycle management], because that's one of the primary use cases and manufacturing. All this stuff comes together and aligns unbelievably, and PTC is in such a special spot because we have all this stuff and we have the know-how and the vision and the technology to go do it and we're showing people.
When I read that report, basically it said if you like Pokémon GO, now you understand what AR is about. If you go to work and say, "How could we use AR here at work?", you're going to end up talking to PTC, because all roads lead to PTC when you start talking about AR and the enterprise.
It's one of those experiences when you see it, you just say, "Oh, wow, I didn't know you could do that!", and then your mind starts spinning about all the possible applications of it in your business or your personal life or whatever. So it's an exciting place. We're happy to be in such a unique and strong position with our technology and big ideas about what to do with it.