Design Tasks On Smart Phones Or Tablets – Foreseeing An Evolution !
Can you imagine a car design engineer designing a car on a smart phone or a tablet? In the current situation the answer might be an obvious “No” for smart phones and “May be – Yes” for a tablet. Well, in 2011 – it might sound antic and little complicated stuff to perform design tasks on smart phones but can we ever do it in the future? This struck my mind when I heard about Facebook launching apps after apps for mobile device users. A big question is how fast can the PLM vendors adopt a similar strategy or do they really have to do something similar? Facebook might be trying to reach out to the majority consumers and tapping it’s users from every walk of life and this strategy may not hold good for the PLM world fully. Unlike Facebook company, the PLM vendors might have a slightly varied vision here – their focus would be to concentrate more on the PLM users such as Design Engineers, Program Managers, Product Managers, etc., we see that these set of people belong to a class of skilled workers. This might be an uphill task for the PLM vendors and I’m sure the PLM vendors might be finding it extremely difficult to convert all the heavy weight applications to something light which could be run on mobile devices and not compromising on the outcome. I am reckoning if someday full-fledged CAD apps would be made available on smart phones. To some extent all the collaboration tasks that are currently accomplished through via desktop/laptops over the internet can be seen replaced by light weight apps on smart phones someday soon. This success would eventually provide a lot of flexibility for the PLM users particularly the collaboration software users.
At present my thoughts are mixed and some of the foremost pros I could count on right now are -
1.PLM users could work from any remote location – Design Anywhere Manufacture Anywhere
2.Lesser space required on the shop floor or wherever PLM is currently used
Also, it would gradually create a never before process where in the PLM users would find it handy and have all the freedom to verify the physical unit manufactured by comparing it with the virtual design thereby reducing the use of several resources such as papers for printing.
There could be some less likely disadvantages aswell and the foremost could be Usability – at first instance it would be difficult for the human mind to welcome the compactness or smallness of the smart phone as a design platform but over a period of time and also provided that we see some great advancement in smartphone technology the human mind would atempt to give a try and adopt it naturally.
I’m not sure how many PLM implementing organisations would also see this as a security issue but someone definetely would be interested in foreseeing an evolution and I’m eagerly waiting to see this drastic change in the PLM world happen soon and would be very interested to find out more and be updated.
Your views on this might be different and appreciate if you could type in your perspectives in the form of a comment here or provide a few references to a similar topic on the internet.
Best Regards, Ajit Kini