Introducing Vuforia Spatial Toolbox
Written By: Cindy Dustin
4/14/2020 Read Time : 8 min

Today, PTC is delighted to announce the release of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox platform. Created by the PTC Reality Lab, the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is an open source prototyping environment that allows developers to accelerate development of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR), Spatial Computing prototypes and advances the capabilities of real-time spatial AR.

As the newest addition to the Vuforia Augmented Reality product portfolio, the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is designed to complement our current commercial Vuforia offerings. The open source environment will help drive further exploration around the convergence of the physical and digital worlds and help to push the boundaries of innovation.

Challenges Faced by Innovation Teams

Enterprise research and innovation teams are challenged with finding solutions to improve the operation of complex manufacturing environments and to make IoT-enabled machines easier and more intuitive to control.

Many developers, innovators, and researchers recognize that AR can help democratize the programming and control of complex connected machines. What they need are solutions that help alleviate development overhead for prototyping these innovative, next-gen AR tools.

Facilitating Complex Spatial Hardware Programming

PTC is helping academic researchers and industrial innovators develop tools and interfaces to spatially interact with and program the world of interconnected things around them.

The Vuforia Spatial Toolbox provides a perfect 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.

This unique new spatial computing platform enables developers to:

  • Explore the power of IoT and Spatial Computing
  • Accelerate prototyping for complex machines, making them easier to operate and control
  • Develop future-looking spatial AR and IoT use cases to support digital transformation initiatives

The Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is a system consisting of two components which combine to provide innovators and academic researchers with a powerful open-source environment that enables them to create, innovate, and solve complex spatial computing problems in a whole new way.

Vuforia Spatial Edge Server and Spatial Toolbox

The Vuforia Spatial Edge Server:

  • Deploys as a distributed edge infrastructure to connect to physical objects, machines, and processes
  • Provides the platform on which developers can build or customize the interface and expand the capabilities of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox application
  • Is accessible via GitHub, an open source code sharing and publishing service

The Vuforia Spatial Toolbox App:

  • Provides a single, web-based user interface that enables visualization of and interaction with the data and logic of the machines connected through the distributed Vuforia Spatial Edge Servers
  • Features a drag and drop AR interface with pre-built elements/spatial programming services to facilitate interaction, control, and complex spatial hardware programming by seamlessly connecting the virtual and the physical worlds
  • Available for download on the App Store

Key Use Cases

The Vuforia Spatial Toolbox platform provides the ideal solution to develop tools that enable on-the-spot programming of complex machines and robots in a spatial context.

  • IoT-enabled Complex Machinery can be reprogrammed on-the-fly via Kepware. Discrete IoT elements (machines, physical buttons, scales, etc.) can be exposed into the spatial programming environment as nodes and modified as needed.
  • Robots can be operated and controlled through more intuitive UIs. Developers and users can program or reprogram the machine’s trajectory and movement by placing spatial coordinates to digitally convey the positioning of the machine.

Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) can be instantly built, enabling interfaces that can be interchangeably transferred between the digital world and physical screens, based on the visibility needs of the interface.

Leveraging Additional PTC Products

Vuforia Engine is the computer vision element of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox - it provides the tracking technology. VST has a standard Vuforia Engine license that’s included with it. This enables developers to go in and use Engine to generate the Vuforia targets that will be used to recognize and track the object that they want to program and/or control.

ThingWorx Kepware Server is required to connect to the IoT-enabled machines in a manufacturing environment. In order to setup the Vuforia Spatial Server developers will need a Kepware server set up. If one does not already exist, they will need to set one up – which requires a Kepware license.
More information:

If you would like to learn more about how to spatially visualize, interact with, control, modify and interconnect the programming of complex machines and robots, please visit the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox page.

Tags: Augmented Reality Electronics and High Tech
About the Author Cindy Dustin

Cindy Dustin is the Director of Vuforia Augmented Reality Product Marketing. She is helping industrial organizations understand the value that augmented reality can bring to their business by empowering front-line workers, modernizing training and work instructions and enhancing customer experiences. Having worked with industrial customers throughout her career, she is passionate about bring new technologies to market that address customer needs in manufacturing, service and sales and marketing.