Introducing Remote Operator: A New Perspective for Spatial Computing

Written By: Nancy White
  • 2/1/2021
  • Read Time : 3 min

When it came to work last year, “remote” was among the most used words for companies worldwide in 2020. Organizations, big and small, were forced to shift to remote work where it was possible nearly overnight.

Businesses scrambled to find and implement the right tools to ensure workers could competently complete their jobs in the face of new health and safety regulations, lower in-person staffing levels, and remote work for knowledge workers.

For industrial companies, the tools necessary for remote work go beyond video conferencing. We’ve highlighted how technologies like augmented reality (AR) tools have allowed for expert capture and remote assistance to ensure continuity in the face of disruption. In addition, how IIoT connects products and factories and enables new ways to monitor in the field and in a workspace.

Now, PTC has made available a new and powerful way to connect with the workplace remotely. Within Vuforia Spatial Toolbox, PTC’s open-source research platform for spatial computing, developers and researchers have a new feature to explore: Remote Operator user interface.

Created by the PTC Reality Lab, the company’s innovation research team, Remote Operator is a browser-based app and real-time visualization technology that combines a live volumetric capture of a space with real-time digital twin content. Within the virtualized workspace, users can view and interact with people and objects within the space. Check out the video to see a demonstration:

"Whenever you need to cut time, energy, and space, this feature comes in handy,” says Dr. Valentin Heun, VP of Innovation at the PTC Reality Lab. “It enables you to supervise work when you’re not there.”

Using this interface offers distinct benefits. “It gives you the freedom to choose your own perspective and broader view of the space,” Heun says, adding there is even the ability for “God mode,” a computer gaming term that’s relevant here as it means the user can to fly around within the game (or in this case, a real-world space) without any restrictions.

Users also can gather information while using Remote Operator through augmented reality overlays, digital twin content, and spatial applications. “You get a perspective that’s better than being there because it’s not possible when physically in the space,” Heun explains.

With the assistance of depth-enabled and networked cameras, such as Microsoft Azure Kinect cameras, worker are able to get real-time visibility into their factory floors or other workspaces.

With this technology, a person can co-locate themselves virtually into a space from anywhere in the world. Not only can they see what’s happening and the movement within the space, they can access and view data relevant to the space and control machines or processes. Every functionality that the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox enables at the locations via its AR capabilities, is also available via the Remote Operator user interface.

With the lessons learned in 2020, this kind of technology is now essential in industrial workspaces. When health and safety restrictions kept all-but-essential workers off the factory floor, a Remote Operator Interface ensures experts and managers have visibility into critical workspaces.

Remote Operator Interface also has a compelling use case for organizations with remote global locations, such as oil rigs, mining sites, or factories.

Learn more about Vuforia Spatial Toolbox.


Vuforia Spatial Toolbox

Explore the Power of IoT, AR, and Spatial Computing

  • Augmented Reality
  • PTC Reality Lab

About the Author

Nancy White

Nancy White is a content marketing strategist for the Corporate Brand team at PTC. A journalist turned content marketer, she has a diverse writing background—from Fortune 500 companies to community newspapers—that spans more than a decade.