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PTC, a leading technology solutions provider, has announced the launch of its “Reality Lab.” The researcher-run center aims to devise applications that will optimize augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed and physical with the goal of elevating human interactions with surrounding physical environments.

“AR connects the wealth of digital data generated by the IoT and digital transformation initiatives with the physical world in which we apply it,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and chief executive officer of PTC. “Our new ‘Reality Lab’ will enable enterprises to advance the way they serve customers, train employees, design and create products, manage their value chains, and how they compete.”

Based at PTC’s headquarters in Needham, Mass., the innovation hub is set to open in 2019, a PTC spokesman said. The lab will be supervised by MIT grads, Valentin Heun and Benjamin Reynolds, who will also serve as lead scientists, said the spokesman.

The duo is behind AR platform Reality Editor, which enables users to link smart objects by simply drawing a connecting line on a smartphone screen. “PTC is known worldwide for its technological excellence — and a prowess for pushing the frontiers of technology to make the industrial world more efficient,” said Heun, vice president of technology and office of the chief technology officer of PTC.

This isn’t PTC’s first foray into the AR or VR segment. The solutions provider acquired Vuforia AR custom development platform for $65 million in 2015. At the time of the deal, Vuforia was supported by a global ecosystem of developers in 130 countries and powered more than 20,000 apps with over 200 million app installs.

Since then, PTC has regularly demonstrated its ongoing dedication to the AR and VR field. Maximizing on the Vuforia purchase, PTC grew is ThingWorx Industrial Innovation technology. In this latest phase of growth in the category, PTC will continue to elevate traditional business interactions and responsibilities with the technologies by empowering users to visualize, instruct, guide and improve interaction with physical things, the PTC spokesman said.

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