For most of us, the future that smart cities will bring seems so fantastical that it’s magic to hear augmented reality and city-changing IoT referred to as inevitable within only a few years. The team at expects nothing less than revolutionary new value for citizens, and they have the tools to make it happen.
“Fundamentally, cities agree that they want to use an IoT platform as the underpinning of much of their smart city application development; because the pace of innovation is fast, and one of the core reasons you use a platform is that it will keep pace with that innovation – maybe outpace it – and deliver new capabilities through you or your developers that they would otherwise not be able to build in,” said Scott McCarley, Senior Director Solution Management, Smart Cities, PTC.
PTC enables the delivery of smart city applications and custom solutions for smart cities with its leading ThingWorxIndustrial IoT platform. As such, they have an array of appropriate partners from cities to solution builders.
Take, for example, the solution builder All Traffic Solutions. They sell variable traffic signage to all 50 states and to over 20 countries around the world. They’ll let you know your speed or traffic information, as you travel down the roadway. Now, they use the ThingWorx platform to connect traditional equipment, bringing information onto the server, and building feature-rich applications they can sell to police departments and departments of transportation. In only a short time, the software evolved into All Traffic Solutions’ leading source of revenue.
“ThingWorx enables cities to become living labs,” McCarley said. In Milton Keynes, England, ThingWorx connected to their open data hub. The well-known MK Smart project enables citizens, students, incubators and high tech businesses to use the data through ThingWorx and create new smart application opportunities for the community.
While PTC continues to make a mark on smart communities, we anticipate their presence at Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo as a silver level sponsor for 2017. With an un-miss-able space at the Expo hall, you can meet their team, as well as partners utilizing their platform every day.
From the Expo hall, you can engage with them to preview city-ready solutions from their partners for all kinds of needs including: smart lighting, smart water, bike sharing, or smart traffic. PTC hopes to meet new solution builders, also, who want to discuss innovative capabilities around IoT and augmented reality.
They look forward to meeting cities and learning about their unique challenges. With Thingworx, a city can quickly connect sensors, devices, and equipment in the city; pull data into a cloud environment of the city’s choice; and rapidly integrate information to create new value. A system integrator at their booth can demonstrate their capabilities for city leaders.
“At the end of the day, there are all of these applications that cities are looking to bring in that individually contribute new value; but we want to ensure cities are taking a longer term, strategic view, as well, and thinking of the value of all of these solutions combined,” McCarley said. “That’s where revolutionary new value and insight comes from.”
Finally, PTC wants to collaboratively work with the community of students, universities, high tech businesses, and citizens at Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo to talk about what’s most beneficial to them and how public-private partnerships might improve their communities. “High tech constituents can use resources to build new solutions for the city. We empower citizens to add value for their communities,” McCarley said.
When asked about what the future holds, the PTC team shared a few IoT applications at top of mind, like machine learning to optimize pedestrian safety or infrastructure to direct vehicle communications, but “the one I love is augmented reality,” McCarley said, “because it’s changing how a city can communicate. In five years, I am very sure augmented reality will be a fundamental piece of how cities communicate with their citizens.”
In the near term, PTC envisions city employees using augmented reality, for example to see pipes in the ground, understanding flow or pressure. Further out, however, citizens will be able to point their phones at a physical piece of infrastructure and receive digital information: the history of a park or a bus schedule.
The future is both simple and limitless for PTC. With a strong IoT platform to build from and an engaged partner ecosystem, the future is truly bright for cities and smart application developers.
Catch PTC at Smart Cities Connect in the Expo this June or talk to them @PTC.