News: Verizon's Envrmnt Team Opens Early Access to AR Design Easy App Creation Tool

Verizon's Envrmnt Team Opens Early Access to AR Design Easy App Creation Tool

The augmented reality and VR arm of Verizon, Envrmnt, wants to make it really easy for anyone to create AR apps.

AR Designer is a web-based tool with a drag-and-drop interface that enables non-developers to import 3D assets, build ARKit and ARCore apps, and publish them to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The full platform will be available in Fall 2018, but developers interested in jumping in now can register for early access.

Image by Envrmnt/YouTube

With the AR Designer platform, Envrnmt joins the growing do-it-yourself industry for augmented reality, currently populated by Amazon's Sumerian, Metaverse, Mirra, Thyng, and others, enabling AR app creation for marketers, retailers, educators, and regular users without coding experience.

"Today's mobile-first users expect brands, public services, and even their employers to evolve to meet their changing technology expectations for interacting with them. AR Designer enables anyone to build virtual experiences and incorporate them into their mobile application without having to hire a full development team," said T.J. Vitolo, director of product management and development at Verizon, in a statement. "With AR Designer, app publishers can quickly and easily deploy a diverse set of AR experiences which can result in sales growth, a more informed public, or more effective employees."

The platform already has a robust portfolio of AR examples created by clients, which can be previewed through the Envrmnt app for iOS and Android. For example, recent issues of Time, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly have had AR content embedded into its pages. The marketing campaign for Ready Player One also deployed the platform for a scannable image that plays a trailer for the movie.

Images via Time, Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

"AR Designer has enabled us to deliver dozens of AR experiences across many of our publications including Time, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly," said Chris Hercik, the chief creative officer at Meredith Digital and The Foundry. "For example, we were able to add elements like 'trigger images' to our publications that allowed our readers to point their mobile device at an image and receive AR content such as videos on that device, enhancing their experiences with us."

Besides the fact that the business of development tools for augmented reality is booming, Verizon's core business as an ISP benefits as well. The hefty file sizes for 3D content used in AR apps command ample bandwidth, so facilitating the adoption of AR mobile apps could result in a higher volume of data usage.

As for AR Designer, hopefully, the easy to use platform won't result in lower quality AR experiences as marketers and brands rush to join the immersive fray.

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Cover image via Envrmnt/YouTube

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