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Niantic on how its 8th Wall platform is making AR a reality for more brands

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By The Drum | Editorial

November 30, 2023 | 6 min read

Niantic's 8th Wall platform picked up the Digital Industries Award for Best Platform and is now making AR a reality for more and more brands to access and engage with their audiences. Read the award-winning case study below.

Example of the award-winning digital work

Niantic’s 8th Wall platform is transforming how people experience the world by bringing to market first-of-its-kind web-based augmented reality (WebAR) technology. 8th Wall equips brands, developers, and creative agencies with a complete set of tools to build real-time interactive AR experiences that work directly in the browser.

Created to power AR everywhere, with no app download required, 8th Wall’s WebAR aims to reduce barriers to entry for immersive experiences, capture consumer engagement, and create more long-lasting connections between brands and people. 8th Wall experiences deliver success at every stage of the funnel, from awareness and interest to consideration and purchase, all within one seamless experience.

Per Statista, there will be 1.7 billion mobile AR users across the globe by 2024. 8th Wall builds tools for brands, developers, and creative agencies to break the barriers between digital and physical and make AR accessible to everyone - no matter what device they’re on and with no app download required. 8th Wall bridges the development gap between iOS and Android, with worldwide reach to nearly 5 billion smartphones along with computers and head-mounted devices. Brand experiences powered by 8th Wall have delivered extraordinary consumer results, including over 100,000 web apps and over 2,800 commercial experiences.

Recently, 8th Wall has delivered several first-for-browser innovations that are changing the game for WebAR:

Metaversal Deployment enhancements that extend mobile WebAR experiences to mixed reality headsets, meaning developers can build once and deploy everywhere.

Sky Effects + World Tracking allows developers to augment the sky and ground together for the first time in any AR platform leading to more immersive WebAR experiences than previously possible.

Shared AR tools that make WebAR more social with synchronous and asynchronous multiplayer experiences that extend dwell time.

Lightship VPS for Web transforms everyday locations into experiential destinations by allowing WebAR content to be placed and persist at physical locations worldwide for consumers to engage with. Unlike other maps that are car-centered, Lightship VPS is designed for humans with centimeter-level accuracy that’s far greater than GPS. Lightship VPS allows people to place virtual content naturally and accurately within the real-world for others to interact with whether on a phone or future AR headsets. To date, there are more than 140,000 VPS-activated locations in over 125 cities worldwide, and these numbers continue to grow.

Lightship Maps for Web enables developers to easily add customizable maps to any project.

Image Targets brings flat, cylindrical and conical objects like signage, boxes, drinkware, and more to life with experiences that are activated by and can track directly to the target.

Face Effects allows anyone to render a face mesh instantly with 8th Wall’s component library or design custom visual effects to anchor 3D objects like glasses, hats or jewelry to a variety of face attachment points.

Hand Tracking gives brands, agencies, and developers the tools to build applications that use hands, wrists, and fingers simultaneously for an expanded canvas for augmented reality and opens up use cases like motion/physics, puppeteering, and virtual try-on.

8th Wall continues to release tools to make developing WebAR experiences easier and faster, building technology that makes AR experiences accessible to everyone and that connect people to the real world and encourage them to explore.

Using 8th Wall, creative agencies have developed thousands of experiences that have delivered extraordinary results for top-tier brands like Coca-Cola, which ranked #2 in AR on Fast Company’s Most Innovative List in 2023, Crocs, Verizon, 20th Century Studios and NHL’s L.A. Kings. 8th Wall has also powered experiences for live events like the Super Bowl Halftime Show and GRAMMY Awards.

Brand experiences powered by 8th Wall deliver tangible results against key metrics like dwell time, click-through rate and increase in sales. For example:

Microsoft launched a WebAR scavenger hunt powered by 8th Wall in Big W stores across Australia. Fans played the real-world Minecraft adventure 12,500+ times, resulting in a 250% sales increase.

Bloomingdales celebrated its 150th Anniversary by sending over 400,000 AR activated catalogs for customers to explore the season’s must-have styles via holograms of models that would jump out of the page. Users could click to purchase their favorite styles directly inside the experience, leading to a +22% conversion rate and a +38% engagement rate.

Niantic recently launched Wol, its first mixed reality experience that showcases 8th Wall’s most powerful Metaversal Deployment feature. Metaversal Deployment enables developers to build once and deploy everywhere — smartphones, computers, tablets, VR head-mounted displays (HMD)s, and now mixed reality devices like Meta Quest Pro. Wol also highlights the 8th Wall platform’s readiness to leverage generative AI to enhance AR experiences, showcasing the beginning of our journey in mixed reality and generative AI. Endorsements for Wol:

Nilesh Patel, Product Lead, Meta: “We are excited to see great content like Wol being built for Meta Quest devices using the 8th Wall platform. It’s a great example of what is possible with WebXR and mixed reality.”

John Gaeta, Chief Creative Officer, Inworld: “The demand for immersive content is rising and we are excited to see Wol as a powerful example of what is possible when developers use Inworld’s platform to create intelligent virtual characters and bring them into 8th Wall.”

8th Wall provides a complete set of tools and support that creative agencies need to build, collaborate, and publish WebAR content. Along with its developer community, 8th Wall is exploring how combining its tools with AI can accelerate the creation of experiences and expand access to developers across skill levels.

With its innovative and first-of-its-kind technology, 8th Wall transforms how people experience the world around them, delivering unique, immersive, and valuable experiences to consumers anywhere.

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