Recap of Inaugural BostonDIG
Thanks everyone who came out to first BostonDIG meetup last month. We started this group based on the idea that the future of industrial technologies will require partnerships across varied and complex value chains. This first event was purposefully broad with the intent of setting the stage as we begin to explore the wide range of transformational technologies. As a brand new group, we weren’t sure if anyone would actually come, so it was fantastic to see so many who share our enthusiasm for digital-industrial technologies and the transformations they’re bringing across industries. We would like to thank each of our speakers as well as a huge thanks to PTC, our sponsor for the evening.
Across the presentations and Q&A session with the panelists, we heard a few recurring themes. One, in particular, was the importance of understanding the cost of implementation of new solutions compared to the measure of value created. While the potential impact of new technologies is enormous, delivering real ROI can be challenging and requires deeply understanding a customer’s needs.
As with many technology shifts, building a team with the right set of talents is a challenge. Traditionally, hardware, electronics, and software were all managed as different functions within a product’s lifecycle. As industrial environments continue to implement digital tools and related new technologies, these roles must become more closely integrated. However, this means that the workers of the future need to build more cross-functional skillsets. This also creates opportunities for new solutions that lower the barrier to designing and implementing new workflows and solutions.
Again, thank you to all who made this a great first event. We plan to make this a regular meetup where we explore a different theme each time. Have ideas or feedback on topics, speakers, or other ways we can may the next event even better? Email us: email@example.com We look forward to seeing you at our next event on May 16th.
Thanks again to our sponsor PTC. Reminder: if you’re going to LiveWorx, you can use the BostonDIG promocode which gives you $200 off an all-access pass:
Promo Code: LWX17
Overview of presentations
Mike Campbell — EVP of ThingWorx at PTC
- PTC has a 30 year history of creating software to help companies design, manufacture, operate, and service products. Their customers want to take advantage of IoT to do this better. This led PTC to create their ThingWorx platform for building smart, connected capabilities.
- IoT allows for the creation of a “digital twin” based on the real data from a system in the real operating environment.
- A key value of the platform is using AR to bring this information to their people while they’re in the field, empowering them and making them better at what they do.
Matt Mills — Director of Supply Chain Solutions, Resilinc
- Supply chains are in the middle of being re-invented with a wave of new technologies leveraging better sensors, integrated data systems, and machine learning to make it smarter and more agile.
- Globalization, lean practices, and outsourcing have led to larger and more interconnected supply chains than ever before, which also makes them more fragile as there’s less “slack” in the system.
- Resilinc uses data and smart algorithms to give businesses visibility into their supply chains and the ability to replan around unexpected disruptions from typhoons to factory fires to power outages.
Neil Gupta — Founder, BostonAR
- AR is much more than headsets. It’s about the platform of hands-free computing along with interfaces that provide more natural experiences by integrating the real world with digital representations.
- Today, the technology for complex interfaces is still very limited. However, enterprises can gain a ton of utility out of basic functionality from a hands-free platform, without requiring very advanced interfaces.
Yuval Marcus — Tulip Interfaces
- We were shown pictures of contemporary factory floors where most of the “data” is still collected and stored with pen and paper. While there’s potential for technology to have a huge impact, factories are very demanding customers and require clear, demonstrable ROIs.
- Tulip has been developing a “manufacturing app engine” which lowers the barrier to creating, connecting, and deploying digital manufacturing apps.
- Focus is on bringing people and machines together and providing the key operational data when and where customers need it.
Next Event: IoT for Healthcare & Life Sciences, May 16th
Thanks everyone for coming to our first event. Our next event on Tuesday, May 16th is on IoT for Healthcare & Life Sciences. There’s a great group of speakers from TempAlert, the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Schneider Electric. Hope to see you there!