Silicon Valley-based startup 8th Wall has spent much of the last few years building a reputation for enabling AR experiences that are platform agnostic via web browsers and mobile apps. Now, 8th Wall is promising to give developers the freedom to build and host AR experiences from anywhere via a simple web browser.
On Tuesday, 8th Wall launched Cloud Editor + Hosting, a new cloud-based AR platform that enables developers to author and host WebAR experiences via their web browsers.
Using the new offering, developers will be complete creation and collaboration workflows and then publish and host the results through the same tool. The Cloud Editor + Hosting tool also provides users with readymade templates to facilitate easier creation workflows.
"8th Wall's authoring and hosting platform is a game-changer for creating in-browser augmented reality and a significant milestone for the immersive web," said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO and founder of 8th Wall, in a statement. "Our SLAM and marker-based AR engine has powered WebAR for partners and developers since its launch last year, but required the use of third party software and the need for a hosted environment to get out to market. This release delivers on the demand from our customers in wanting a single end-to-end solution to create and host WebAR projects."
The first publisher to take advantage of the new platform is advertising agency 72andSunny, which used it to create a WebAR experience for Italian lingerie maker Intimissimi and its "Bra Twist" campaign featuring HBO star Sarah Jessica Parker.
"Any product that allows us to both collaborate and manage teams working in different time zones and locations is a plus for us. We deliver global campaigns for our clients from Amsterdam, so 8th Wall's platform was the perfect solution for this project," said Benny Everitt, the creative director at 72andSunny's studio in Amsterdam. "The fact that the platform integrated both a hosting environment and a code editor tool made our job so much easier and was fundamental to both the success of our WebAR campaign and to maximize our final output."
The experience brings a dancing animation of the actor into the user's physical environment along with several cartoon models wearing Intimissimi's wares. Customers can capture photos and video of their AR scenes for sharing with others and then proceed to Inimissim's website to purchase the products they like.
In addition to its web-based AR platform, 8th Wall has amassed a wide selection of development tools to accommodate practically any type of mobile AR experience, including 8th Wall XR for cross-platform mobile AR apps, Image Targets for image recognition AR experiences, AR Camera for easy prototyping of web-based AR effects, and support for volumetric video content.
Despite not being a household name like Apple, Google, Facebook, or Snapchat, 8th Wall has nevertheless managed to establish a development ecosystem that ignores walled gardens and gives developers the freedom to develop for nearly any mobile device. This latest developer-centric addition will likely only accelerate that mission.