At its annual MAX event kicking off on Monday in Los Angeles, Adobe gave the audience a new preview of its forthcoming Project Aero augmented reality authoring tool during the keynote presentation.
As part of the preview, Adobe showcased a collaboration with Adidas that places augmented reality at the center of the retail store of the future.
Using Project Aero, Adidas has created a 3D shoe configurator, which enables customers to see shoes in various color combinations through AR. Through Photoshop, designers can assign the appropriate colors, and Project Aero renders the 3D model in AR. Designers can also apply actions based on triggers, such as an explosion animation based on proximity.
Adidas is one of the most likely candidates to volunteer as an early adopter for augmented reality, as the company's infatuation with the technology dates back to 2009 with its AR-enabled sneaker. Adidas was also an early access partner for Snapchat's Shoppable AR platform.
Adobe also demonstrated how Project Aero can bring layered Photoshop files to life in augmented reality. The mobile app can display an image and separate it by layers, adding depth to 2D image. With the added dimension, the image gains a parallax effect at various angles, and users can immerse themselves in the image itself by walking closer. During the Adidas demonstation, a similar effect was applied to a virtual poster.
In concluding the keynote, Adobe announced that the software is now available as an early-access release; registration for early access is available through Adobe's website.
"We believe great content and compelling experiences will drive adoption of AR," said Pam Clark, senior director, product management, Photoshop portfolio at Adobe in a blog post.
"We hear from our customers every day that they need easy-to-use tools to create these AR experiences. With Project Aero, we plan to empower the world's designers to make delightful AR experiences that will drive the next wave of consumer adoption for AR."
Originally introduced at Apple WWDC 2018, Project Aero follows the growing trend of development tools that don't require coding knowledge to create AR experiences. Amazon Sumerian, ZapWorks, Torch, and AR Designer are just a few of the development tools that boast similar ease-of-use for AR creators. Even Unity is looking to simplify development with its Project MARS tool, which enables users to create AR experiences without custom coding.
With Adobe being the leading provider of creative software for graphic designers, photographers, digital artists, and the like, the company is well positioned to usher a significant portion of the creative community into the AR field. Likewise, the software would enable companies to expand their adoption of AR with current staff rather than hiring specialists in AR development.
"By continuing to innovate in our flagship apps, extending into exploding segments such as experience design and social video creation, and pioneering in emerging mediums like touch, voice, 3D and augmented reality, Adobe Creative Cloud has truly become the creativity platform for all," said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president for Creative Cloud at Adobe, in a statement.