The Augmented Reality Creative Cloud Cometh (Filed #005)

Adobe makes it easier to build for the AR world. Plus, WeWork's case study on failing up and how Cortana got its groove back.

The Big Picture

Photo credit: Adobe

Adobe has largely been for years a market leader by creative professionals, but its dominance has been on shaky ground thanks to new competitors such as Figma. There’s no disputing that Adobe’s shift towards a subscription model transformed the company, moving away from packaged software to its Creative Cloud offering. So what’s next for the creative software maker? It’s time to make its tools smarter and also integrated with the new “web”, specifically social media where people spend their time exchanging ideas, chats, and expressions. This is the sandbox that Adobe wants to get its hands into.

At its customer conference this week, Adobe announced a bunch of product releases and while it’s cool that its Photoshop and Illustrator programs are now (or soon will be) available on the iPad, I’m interested in how Adobe is making it easier for creative professionals to replace our reality with an augmented one—VentureBeat has a good write-up of the augmented reality announcement here. Leveraging the popularity of Snapchat and the huge interest in AR by Apple, Google, and Facebook, Adobe appears to be putting a good effort to improve that experience.

The move makes sense because with any platform, in its infancy, it can be difficult to have an exceptional user experience. But now as AR, specifically, grows some legs and begins to take off, Adobe believes it can improve upon the platform and bring high-quality design to the table. And Adobe wants to make it easy to do so with existing elements, promising that through its Aero offering, you can just take your Photoshop layers and seamlessly format it so it’ll render in an AR world.

Though much of Adobe Max was dedicated to how the company’s signature programs would be available on the iPad and made smarter through even more artificial intelligence, I wouldn’t discount the importance of its AR move. This feature could be important especially for studios and filmmakers, game developers, artists, and other creative professionals who want a new canvas from which they can show off their work —flat two-dimensional objects just don’t cut it anymore. And with Snap Spectacles out in the market, followed eventually by Apple and Facebook, we might all soon be seeing the world in a very different way without needing to hold up our phones.

Has Adobe laid the foundation for its AR Creative Cloud?

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