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Adobe launches Aero, its AR authoring app

Frederic Lardinois

Adobe's ambitions around augmented reality (AR) are no secret -- there's plenty of potential for building the right design tools for AR developers, after all. At last year's Max event, the company first demoed its Aero AR authoring app, and today, it is launching it to the public as a free app on iOS and as a private beta on the desktop.

The general idea behind Aero is to allow designers to build AR experiences without coding. It offers a visual user interface and provides step-by-step directions for building AR scenes, which can incorporate existing assets from your Creative Cloud library, both in 2D and 3D. Once finished, publishing the scene to the Aero app only takes a few clicks.

Aero 6

"For marketing and branding, to retail and commerce, travel and leisure, learning and art, AR is expanding across all industries. However, today, the creation of high-quality AR content is expensive, time-consuming and complex. Our vision is to transform this process and enable all designers to explore what's possible with 3D and AR."

You can use the mobile app to create some basic experiences, but for the full slew of AR design tools, you'll need the desktop app, which is coming next year, but which is now in private beta. This desktop app will allow you to build more interactive and custom experiences, Adobe says.

In the demo I saw, Aero is indeed extremely easy to use. You can easily bring in Photoshop files with layers, for example, as a background and then space those layers out as needed to create a more 3D-like scene. Interacting with the object is done through touch interactions, with virtually no menus. You can add some basic animations as well and trigger movements, too.