Coming in right under the wire in 2013 was the announcement that PTC had acquired ThingWorx, a tech developer of an application platform designed to rapidly build Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. Your first question might be “what’s ThingWorx?” The Chester County, PA-based company develops what it calls the “1st Application Platform for the Connected World,” one that combines the key functionality of Web 2.0, social media and Connected Intelligence, and applies to any process that involves “things.”
The infographic below shows how the ThingWorx platform works.
The goal of the platform is to reduce the time, cost and risk required to build M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) apps. The platform is comprised of ThingWorx Composer, a modeling environment; a drag-and-drop Mashup Builder for creating apps, real-time dashboards, collaborative workspaces and mobile interfaces without coding; an event-driven execution engine; 3D storage; collaboration capabilities; and connectivity to devices via third-party device clouds, direct network connections, Open APIs and AlwaysOn using the ThingWorx Edge Microserver.
Why it’s important
This acquisition signals that companies, including CAD companies, are paying attention to recent trends, one of which is the continued growth of the Internet of Things apps. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute says that the Internet of Things has the potential to unleash as much as $6.2 trillion in new economic value by 2025. Increasingly smart and connected products can generate value in several key ways, as streams of real-time operational data are captured, analyzed and shared to increase a company’s understanding of its products’ performance, use and reliability. In other words, the technology will provide companies with a wealth of information to feed back into their respective product pipelines.
Predicted to be one of the top technology trends by nearly every analyst in 2014, the technology behind IoT is quickly advancing and becoming more important to many industries as embedded sensors and actuators in machines and other physical objects are growing in number. For manufacturing, this means personnel will now be able to monitor the flow of products through a factory production line or troubleshoot problems remotely, increasing efficiencies and decreasing downtime. It also means that managers can manage assets and optimize productivity performance in real time from anywhere.
We’ll all have to wait and see what PTC has in store for the ThingWorx platform and how it will fit into the company’s current portfolio of service lifecycle management and extended product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. We keep an eye out on how things progress and will you posted here on 3D CAD World.