During the pandemic, my husband and I wanted a creative way to send Christmas greetings to our loved ones while also giving them an intimate glimpse into our home and some of our memories from 2020. Inspired by Adobe Creative Resident, Temi Coker, we decided to give augmented reality a try. We subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, so we used Adobe Aero. We were pleasantly surprised by how user-friendly the interface was. It reminded us of the learning curve for other Adobe tools, like XD or Illustrator.
By following Temi Coker’s Adobe Aero tutorial, which he used to create an AR birthday card for his wife, we were able to create a similar augmented reality card for our families.
How It Went:
We were pleasantly surprised with the results. It was much easier to learn Adobe Aero than we’d anticipated, and the final product didn’t look too shabby for first-timers (if we do say so ourselves).
Unfortunately, the implementation didn’t go as well. At the time of creation (late 2020), the Adobe Aero app for iOS was brand new, and there was no Android app. In order to view our card, our loved ones had to have iOS, download and install the Adobe Aero app on their smart device, scan a code or click a link, and hope for the best. Sometimes, they were able to interact with our AR experience with no issues. We received texts from several friends who were delighted with the immersive experience. The majority of the time, however, the app didn’t work — for reasons that are still unclear. Perhaps there was a bug in the Adobe Aero beta app. Perhaps the experience required more tech-savvy. Or perhaps the app was incompatible with our loved ones’ iOS version. Either way, we received lots of disappointed texts from family and friends who were never able to view the card.
And then there was the Android experience. Which was… well… nonexistent. There was no way for Android users to view the card, so we compromised by recording a video of the entire experience on our iPad, then sharing it on YouTube with anyone who couldn’t experience the immersive AR card.
In conclusion, this was a fun experiment. It was easier than expected to create augmented reality. As metaverse technologies continue to grow in popularity, we will absolutely be trying it again. However, it was much harder than anticipated for us to share this experience with others. We truly hope that Adobe works out the “kinks” soon so that more people can create, share, and experience augmented reality from whatever device they own. Unlike virtual reality, which requires expensive hardware and often creates dizziness, disorientation, or even confusion among some users (especially those with vertigo or epilepsy), augmented reality may be a more inclusive and equitable option. As children and teens are digital natives who have probably already experienced some element of the metaverse, this could also be a fun way to get them interested in technology by building their own AR experiences. Don’t let the “bugs” keep you from giving this fun experiment a try!