Beyond visualization and sharing, there are slim pickings, at least for now. Siemens PLM Software put its mobile stake in the ground with Teamcenter Mobility, an iPad app that lets users access product development data managed by the PLM platform as long as they have WiFi or mobile broadband access. There's also a free app by Porchys, a player in the open-source PLM space, which opens up access to the Aras Innovator PLM platform.
PTC showed off an early iPad version of its Arbortext Service Information Solution built on the Windchill PLM platform at the recent PlanetPTC Live conference. The demonstration got a rousing cheer from the audience, who loved how the gesture and interface capabilities of the iPad were exploited to explode the assembly apart with a quick shake of the tablet and bring it back together. Brian Lindauer, PTC's senior vice president for Arbortext product development, said that the demo was a bit gimmicky. He stressed that it showed the different types of interaction possible with the iPad and other new mobile devices.
Moving forward, PTC and the other CAD leaders are adamant that mobile will be a key part of how they offer design tools. But it's not enough to offer just a slimmed down, dressed up version of a CAD or PLM tool that's viewable in the small real estate of a mobile phone or tablet. Leveraging the mobile paradigm to change how engineers work is the real opportunity, and I'm confident we're going to see a lot of good stuff in that vein in the very near future.