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The potential impact of AR on the creative industry

17 Oct 2018

Article by Abhay Parasnis, Adobe CTO & EVP

Augmented reality (AR) is poised to change everything from the way we express ourselves to how we experience the world around us. Freed from the boundaries of the screen, AR literally transforms the entire world to a digital stage.

Whether you are a creative professional looking to take your artistic expression from beyond the screen, or a major enterprise looking to completely reimagine how customers interact with your brand and product experiences, we believe AR has the potential to be a true game changer.

However, while the creative community has been hearing about the potential of new immersive platforms, it’s been out of their reach. Each of these platforms requires fundamentally different skillsets, with entirely new developer tools, programming languages and runtimes. 

For AR to truly go mainstream – there’s a need to solve both sides of the equation – authoring and delivery – within a consistent immersive design platform. And that’s exactly what we plan to do.

I am excited to share more details about our vision and strategy for Project Aero, an integrated platform for AR, and also announce the official roll-out of the private beta. Our goal with Aero is to establish a new discipline for immersive design – blending the digital and physical worlds to empower creatives to easily craft high-quality AR experiences. 

This is just the first step in this journey and represents the start of our broader commitment to the new medium of AR experiences:

  • First, we’re going to bring all the Adobe creative tools you know and love today – such as Adobe Photoshop CC and Dimension CC – into this new era by making them AR ready. Aero allows creators to build animation and fluid responsiveness into AR designs without having to learn how to code.
  • Second, we’re building new immersive design tools for the desktop and mobile devices, enabling creators to author experiences with simple drag and drop design metaphors for the physical world.
  • Third, we’ll have a set of intelligent, cloud-based AR services to take content from all of our creative tools and publish it to the real world with the push of a single button. Powered with Adobe Sensei intelligence, Aero is designed to deeply understand the physical world, with concepts such as lighting, textures, motion and spatial awareness. Aero understands the best way to light your scene so it blends seamlessly in the real world or how best to optimise the AR experience for the device you are using so loading content happens in seconds.
  • Lastly, we recognise an integrated approach of tools, cloud services and a broader ecosystem is critical to unlocking the potential of AR. That’s why we’ve been working with a range of platform, technology and design leaders to ensure that we have a tight feedback loop from the community in shaping this. As we announced in June at WWDC, we are partnering with Apple and Pixar to standardise the file formats and interaction models to deliver a seamless AR experience.

From retail to entertainment to hospitality to travel and beyond, AR has the potential to transform and completely reimagine customer experiences. Adobe has always been a company that has embraced new storytelling mediums. 

Whether it’s print, PC, web or mobile shifts, we’ve always looked around the corner and built creative platforms for the future. We believe we’re now at a similar inflexion point with AR as the next breakthrough medium.

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