PTC is uniting the makers

APPLE VISION PRO APPS FOR ENTERPRISE

PTC’s CAD products have been at the forefront of the engineering industry for more than three decades. And the company’s AR/VR CTO, Stephen Prideaux-Ghee, has too. “I’ve been doing VR for 30 years, and I’ve never had this kind of experience before,” he says. “I almost get so blasé about VR. But when I had [Apple Vision Pro] on, walking around digital objects and interacting with others in real time — it’s one of those things that makes you stop in your tracks.”

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Prideaux-Ghee says Apple Vision Pro offers PTC an opportunity to bring together components of the engineering and manufacturing process like never before. “Our customers either make stuff, or they make the machines that help somebody else make stuff,” says Prideaux-Ghee. And that stuff can be anything from chairs to boats to spaceships. “I can almost guarantee that the chair you’re sitting on is made by one of our customers,” he says.

As AR/VR CTO (which he says means “a fancy title for somebody who comes up with crazy ideas and has a reasonably good chance of implementing them”), Prideaux-Ghee describes PTC’s role as the connective tissue between the multiple threads of production. “When you’ve got a big, international production process, it’s not always easy for the people involved to talk to each other. Our thought was: ‘Hey, we’re in the middle of this, so let’s come up with a simple mechanism that allows everyone to do so.’”

I’ve been doing VR for 30 years, and I’ve never had this kind of experience before.

Stephen Prideaux-Ghee, AR/VR CTO of PTC

For PTC, it’s all about communication and collaboration. “You can be a single user and get a lot of value from our app,” says Prideaux-Ghee, “but it really starts when you have multiple people collaborating, either in the same room or over FaceTime and SharePlay.” He speaks from experience; PTC has tested its app with everyone in the same space, and spread out across different countries.

“It enables some really interesting use cases, especially with passthrough,” says Prideaux-Ghee. “You can use natural human interactions with a remote device.”

Development is going fast. In recent weeks, PTC completed a prototype in which changes made on their iPad CAD software immediately reflect in Apple Vision Pro. “Before, we weren’t able to drive from the CAD software,” he explains. “Now, one person can run our CAD software pretty much unmodified and another can see changes instantly in 3D, at full scale. It’s really quite magical.”

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