I have been working with augmented reality for the better part of the past dozen years, or more. I started exploring it as an option almost as soon as I began working in the Apple Developer Program. I had been interested in location-based awareness and the MapKit within Apple’s toolkit offered promise leveraging its capabilities to make interesting and useful applications. 

Augmented Reality (AR) application for Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

Early on I used a framework, called 3DAR, to release what I believe to be the first-ever augmented reality (AR) mobile app for a Disney, or any other, amusement park. It was called PixieSafari and focused on the fourth gate, Disney’s Animal Kingdom at THE WALT DISNEY World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. That framework disappeared and my focus turned to other opportunities, but I have always stayed focused on AR’s potential to deliver interesting and useful applications to the public. 

I began experimenting with Adobe Aero, recently and have posted those results here and here, as a means to create more dimension portraits; an interesting manner to use AR and one I have only seen a few times as I began to learn more about Adobe’s venture into the space but hardly groundbreaking in its use.

More recently, Adobe and Google teamed up to augment Aero’s capabilities with the Geospatial Creator Toolkit which embeds Googles robust mapping features into the Aero. Since a key function of Aero’s AR capabilities is to “anchor” items as placement, using longitude and latitude simply makes sense. 

I began to explore some of the boundaries that were possible with such a simple tool and was pleasantly surprised at the ease of creating some fun and immersive content using the Adobe Aero tool. However, there are certainly bugs in their application. There is a variance in the accuracy to the items being placed in the space that has to be corrected since items are not exactly found in the AR viewer where they are initially place.

Regardless, I have continued to experiment with the tool to learn more about what boundaries can be pushed and where others will break in order to develop interesting experiences using AR.

I have a few more experiments to run in the wild, but the concern I have with this tool right now is there really not a strong manner in which to incorporate the output to a viable experience. At present you cannot package this into a larger application so all potential viewers need to access the link or QR code created within the application in order to engage with the experiences. This is limits the potential uses for the tool at present to very simple experiment to a small, focused, and controlled audience. In order for this tool to be of more facility, it has to provide a means to reach more people, easier and/or allow its content to be incorporated into larger or more complex applications; both web-based and device-native (e.g., iOS). 

I will continue to push this tool and share those experiments here. If you have an interesting idea on how to use this, or any other technology, with your creative endeavors I do hope you will contact me, via the form below, to discuss how I may provide my expertise to your needs. 

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