**Guest Post by Leigh Doyle**
LiveWorx 2016 kicked off in Boston with a keynote from PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann, who said the Internet of Things is “one of the biggest game-changers of our time.”
No wonder then that the event has attracted an impressive audience:
From the main stage to breakout sessions to engineering competitions on the sidelines, LiveWorx features hundreds of use cases showing how virtually every sector can – and should – benefit from IoT-enabled technology.
Presenters stressed the rapidly evolving nature of IoT which will force companies to change business processes if they are to thrive. The focus is all about “outcomes” now, not just apps or products.
IoT products will take customer experiences to the next level using augmented reality and virtual reality, which PTC calls mixed reality. Enabling customers to handle and manipulate products virtually, whether the product is an engine or a sneaker, is an engaging sales tool.
Ease of use was a primary theme, starting with Jim’s focus on the importance of the visual experience.
“The brain can process vision faster than sound,” Heppelmann told the crowd. He added that PTC is one of the only companies firmly rooted in “the digital and physical world,” and explained that the company’s new logo reflects this convergence.
The ease of use of PTC’s IoT products and platforms was highlighted throughout the day by many of the company’s clients.
Trane Inc., a maker of energy-efficient air conditioners and heating and ventilation gear, uses sensors to optimize efficiency and cut heating and cooling bills by basing temperature settings on the number of kids in a given classroom or people in a certain movie theater.
Regional elevator service company McKinley Elevator created a homegrown system to access error codes from elevators before teaming with PTC and ServiceMax for a more scalable solution.
“We’re crushing it,” McKinley’s CFO Kevin Rusin told attendees. “I don’t have millions of dollars to throw at IoT, but we’re live. If a small regional player can do it, why can’t you?”
Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, formerly from the TV show MythBusters, regaled the LiveWorx audience with stories of their misadventures and, of course, showed footage of stuff blowing up.
“IoT has the same spirit as Mythbusters,” Savage said.
Too many products are like a “black box” that doesn’t provide enough meaningful information to users, Hyneman said, adding that the ubiquity of sensors has the power to change that. “Being able to sense things is key to have deeper interaction with the world,” Hyneman said.
LiveWorx 17 will be held on May 22-25 in Boston. Registration is now available online at http://www.showreg.net/LWORX1706. To receive a discounted All-Access pass for only $695, register using the promo code ATTEND17 by August 15.