All things connected

Smart World 2.0 and the future of AR

Call To Technology — Feb 2022 by João Silva Rodrigues, Juliana Guerra, Rui Neves Guimarães

Celfocus keeps pushing boundaries, growing, and revolutionizing the connected world.


In 2017, we told you that the Internet of Things (IoT) was rapidly changing the world around us.  Currently, we are making that change every day. Technology evolved, we evolved and today we want to present Smart World 2.0.

Revamping our Smart World

Through the years, Celfocus has built a set of POCs and IoT projects in the vastest areas/markets and Smart World is our way to share them with the world!

The ThingWorx IoT Team has been gathering knowledge on IoT platforms and has created several solutions to exploit market capabilities and opportunities based on Smart concepts. These solutions can be easily and quickly accessed at any time in our portfolio from Smart Cities to Smart Sites, Augmented Reality (AR) usage in IoT and so much more.

A Smart World revamp was a step forward for Celfocus to showcase its solutions in a single place, a front-door shop. This platform enables customers to have a unique perspective of the entire spectrum of IoT solutions through interactive dashboards. Subsequently, with the growing number of demos, the goal of the 2.0 version was to bring a more modern browsing experience, where the user could read about each solution and have an overview of the existing and upcoming solutions developed by Celfocus.


The focus was on optimizing not only the user experience, but also recovering old demos and updating vertical solutions already existing in the latest version, while developing and adding new solutions. This never-stop growth allows us to share our knowledge and ability to deliver better solutions.

Smart Sites

Smart Sites is one of the latest verticals in Smart World. This solution aims to install an IoT gateway within RBS sites to connect and automate the various assets within the site, allowing lower energy use and more efficient utilization of Vodafone assets.


Mencap is a solution focused on the Health & Wellness area. It provides more tailored and personalised support for people with learning disabilities concerning their safety, independence, and environment control.

Digital Twin

The essence of IoT remains in turning physical things into Digital Twins. We take full advantage of this transformation by developing solutions that enable the use of digital replicas of potential and actual physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for various purposes.

AR Solutions

Solutions that expand our linear view of the world and provide visual and reality changing capabilities that will shape the way we interact and see our assets.

You can read more details about this evolution in the next section.

IoT is an agglomeration of use cases and domains typically separated and isolated between them. The idea is to have a standard form of IoT integration to promote the reuse of assets and to build a broader view. Through this journey, the team developed  AEF – Application Enablement Framework, an IoT vertical development framework, as a set of reusable entities developed on top of the IoT technologies that allows the developer to create better and faster IoT applications, while gathering valuable knowledge concerning the Platform capabilities and how to expand them. The idea of AEF is to be a technology agnostic framework that brings things, templates, plugins, etc., all together.  

Right now, Smart World is the portfolio of ThingWorx based projects where AEF is most advanced. However, the vision is to expand it and add projects from all platforms and technologies explored so far, like Habbit, Iot.nxt, etc., which are a work in progress. Hence, we can bring them together in a 3.0 version.


What’s Next? AR

Augmented Reality (AR) is virtual information and objects that are overlaid in the real world.

To exemplify how AR interacts and differs from other immersive technologies we present the following figure:


Relating this immersive technology to the IoT, the goal is to merge the physical and digital worlds. AR is emerging as the key that will unlock the full potential of the Internet of Things. Bringing these two technologies together allows AR applications to use data generated by IoT devices and components to help people be more effective and productive.

AR users can view live and historical data in various contexts. For example, a worker who is on a work line with a AR device, can see temperatures, sensor alerts, identify devices or components suspected of malfunctioning and know their exact location, view notes, display and perform real-time maintenance from the AR device, among many other use cases. 

IoT and AR applications/technologies can...

  • Help people
    • View Data and Interact with the Environment
    • Diagnose problems
    • Make decisions
  • Help companies improve performance in three ways, often at the same time
    • Reducing Costs
    • Boosting revenues
    • Strategic Value Creation
  • Solve multiple pain points, in an equipment maintenance context
    • Unexpected downtime
    • Project delays and higher costs
    • Long waiting times for repairs
    • More training time
    • Poor service quality<
  • Obtain considerable economic benefits
    • Increased labour productivity
    • Decreased material waste and rework
    • Lower costs
    • Lower turnover
    • New offers

The combination of IoT and AR technologies improves the ways people can interact with the world around them. But to harness this power, companies must choose where to deploy the technologies, build an ecosystem that supports IoT and AR, and develop applications that can use both.

What we use for AR: Vuforia

PTC's Vuforia Studio platform was used to explore these two technologies. To understand how Vuforia works, there are two strands, an SDK(the Vuforia Engine), and the  Vuforia Studio, that was chosen to develop the project.

Vuforia Engine is a platform from PTC that allows developers to build AR applications for Android, IOS, UWP or Eyewear, adding features related to computer vision. Also, apps with Vuforia engine can be developed using different technologies like Unity, Java, C# or C++.

Vuforia Studio allows the creation of AR experiences. It allows us to take advantage of 3D models and animated sequences belonging to those same models. It is also possible to use IoT data from ThingWorx.

In terms of presentation of 3D content, we have three different forms:

  • Model targets – Recognition of objects using pre-existing 3D models.
  • Area targets – Augmented real environment that can be achieved using a 3D scanner
  • Image targets – Attach content onto flat images.

These targets allow Vuforia Studio users to:

  • Provide in-context, step-by-step work instructions.
  • Overlay 3D digital content on real-world equipment to provide contextual knowledge.
  • Visualize real-time IoT data about operating conditions and equipment performance.
  • Increase productivity, accuracy, and safety for manufacturing and service technicians.

Completed AR experiences are published to the Experience Service, which allows users to access them on mobile phones, tablets, or eyewear devices, through the Vuforia View app.

To better understand how this system works, and even the integration of IoT with AR, we present the scheme below:


What we’ve done:

With the integration of ThingWorx with Vuforia Studio it was possible to make a pilot, where we have a QRCode. After reading it, the Dell Gateway is presented, and some information about sensors, such as temperature, is available:  it is possible to see the current temperature or even change it.


Also, in this example, it is possible to make a remote call to another person to ask for help/ support in real time.


With a simple but successfully executed project, we developed this prototype in order to understand how Vuforia would work with IoT.  Now, we are studying alternatives in order to evolve in this context. Among them is the Vuforia Engine with Unity, and the companies Glartek and Taqtile.
We hope to share more information on this topic soon.


Celfocus keeps pushing boundaries, growing, and revolutionizing the connected world. The main goal consists in expanding knowledge and delivering better solutions for everyday challenges, since IoT is an always developing concept and innovative technologies keep emerging. In 2020 the number of connected IoT devices has surpassed the number of mobile phones and computers online for the first time. This fact gave us the reliable proof that we need to keep investing in IoT.

Please contact us for more details, access the Smart World solutions, or if you want to know more about Augmented Reality.