The true breakthrough of augmented reality comes when it becomes accessible to the masses. That’s why companies like Apple and Google are working on a Google and Apple on creating AR content for the web. The startup 8th Wall has managed to take a big step forward and has created a Web-AR platform that is now also compatible with mobile browsers.
Introducing 8th Wall Web (Source: 8th Wall)
8th Wall’s platform supports most of the augmented reality features offered by ARKit and ARCore, but goes even further. The virtual contents of the startup can be viewed from any angle, anchored to surfaces and seamlessly integrated into the real environment.
Web-AR -- Augmented Reality to Go
The company has focused on becoming a kind of one-stop shop for developers interested in integrating AR functionality into the app of the game they are developing. With the company’s XR software tools (and Unity plug-in), developers can effortlessly add full tracking capabilities to their project, as well as surface detection, light estimation, and camera overlays. As 8th Wall continues to update its platform on a regular basis, the startup hopes to add more backend tools to measure persistence, cloud management and computer vision.
“The key thing is that we haven’t seen any of the cool things planned for mobile AR yet” -- Erik Murphy-Chutorian , 8th Wall founder
In February, 8th Wall announced that they had received $8 million Series A funding. This demonstrates the potential of Web-AR technology. Previously, browser-based augmented reality applications required markers to be placed in the physical environment. This severely restricts the application scenarios and makes the use very cumbersome. 8th Wall Web is a complete implementation without image markers. So users don’t have to print a code or download an app. All the users need is a web browser.
“App installation is currently a major barrier to AR mobile adoption; 87% of smartphone users in the US download no more than one app in a given month. 8th Wall Web extends the reach and impact of developers’ AR features and creates a tremendous opportunity for them to reach customers on a scale that would not otherwise be possible.” Erik Murphy-Chutorian , 8th Wall founder
The startup now hopes to take its place in the augmented reality market and thus help the technology to a faster breakthrough in the general public.
Innovation Profile: Web-AR of 8th Wall
8th Wall Web brings augmented reality functionality to most smartphones with little effort, as long as they have a built-in camera. Thus, the startup removes many of the initial obstacles of AR applications and creates a user experience that Google and Apple are still working on. The following values therefore result in the innovation profile:
8th Wall shows what is possible with Web-AR. The degree of augmentation and the simplicity of use in the mobile browser is extremely unique, which leads to the fact that Novelty is to be judged with a relatively high value. The complexity indulge is very low. No additional apps or markers are necessary, with the help of the startup it is Augmented Reality to Go!
Also insecurity and conflict content have to be set extremely low, because this kind of web-based technology can be a door opener for many new application scenarios.
Fazit: 8th Wall enables users to immediately access immersive content. Complexity and access barriers are reduced to such an extent that the company can help Augmented Reality technology achieve a real breakthrough.
Post picture: 8th Wall