AWS Debuts Amazon Sumerian to Build VR, AR and 3D Apps

Amazon Web Services announced a new service called Amazon Sumerian during the kick-off event for its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. The service was created for developers to quickly and easily build virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D applications with minimal coding for a range of platforms including browsers, head-mounted displays, mobile devices and digital signs. Initially, Sumerian-built apps will run on any browser that supports WebGL or WebVR rendering, which includes Google’s Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and iOS devices. Continue reading AWS Debuts Amazon Sumerian to Build VR, AR and 3D Apps

Amazon Introduces New ARKit Shopping Feature to iOS App

Amazon’s new AR addition to its iOS app, called “AR View,” allows customers the ability to visualize products in their own home. Thousands of products are viewable across a range of categories for both the office and home. By utilizing Apple’s ARKit, the experience unfolds in real-time, allowing the customer to rotate both the object and change its perspective. By introducing the new feature, Amazon joins other retailers such as Target and IKEA that have all recently introduced augmented shopping experiences to their mobile platforms. Continue reading Amazon Introduces New ARKit Shopping Feature to iOS App

Weak Security and Obsolescence Leads to Demise of Flash

Adobe has finally pulled the plug on Flash, an application that Steve Jobs excoriated as far back as 2010 for being too insecure and proprietary for the iPhone. Adobe stated that it would no longer update and distribute the Flash Player at the end of 2020, and many in the industry will cheer its demise. In fact, Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari have been blocking Flash for the past year, but many sites devoted to gaming, education and video still use Flash, whose infamously weak security has been exploited by malware. Continue reading Weak Security and Obsolescence Leads to Demise of Flash

Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone

A new app from London-based Obvious Engineering allows iPhone users to easily capture and share 3D images. Seene is compatible with Apple’s iPhone 4S and higher, and browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari that support WebGL for 3D. It works by aiming your phone at a subject and moving around to record different angles. The progress is then overlaid on top of a video feed, resulting in a “seene” that builds automatically, which can be shared via social tools. Continue reading Capture and Share 3D Images with the Seene App for iPhone

Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Mozilla and rendering firm OTOY have developed a new codec that is designed to stream cloud-stored apps, video content and more directly to browsers. The JavaScript-based system opens up possibilities of running native PC apps on any connected device, purchasing and protecting content without DRM, and embracing HTML5 rather than relying on proprietary or legacy plug-ins. The creators also see it as a means of combating piracy.

Continue reading Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Disney and Google Launch Stunning Immersive Chrome Project

Google and Disney have teamed with UK app and Web developer Unit 9 to launch a Chrome Experiment to promote Disney’s upcoming film, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” Wired describes it as “Hollywood marketing machine meets tech evangelism in the future of online storytelling.” The project illustrates “the sort of immersive experiences possible when using Web technologies such as WebGL, CSS3, WebAudio, WebRTC, and other HTML5 tools.” Continue reading Disney and Google Launch Stunning Immersive Chrome Project

Coders and Filmmakers Discuss Supercharging Web Video with Popcorn

  • Filmmakers and coders gathered in San Francisco for a recent “hackathon” to explore the future of Web video. Discussions focused on Popcorn.js — “Mozilla’s HTML5 media toolkit designed to amp up interactivity,” according to Wired.
  • Popcorn is a framework “that allows filmmakers to supplement their movies with news feeds, Twitter posts, informational windows or even other videos, which show up picture-in-picture style. For example, if a subject in a film mentions a place, a link can pop up within the video or alongside it, directing the viewer to a Google Map of the location.”
  • While initially hesitant that such enhancements would distract viewers from the movie experience, directors reportedly grew accepting of the concept of providing a more interactive experience.
  • “It’s easy to envision Popcorn helping filmmakers with their productions as well as creating communities for films after their release,” reports Wired. “At least one documentary project, ‘One Millionth Tower,’ has already made use of the tools, coupling Popcorn with 3D graphics generator WebGL to create a Web-ready documentary that shows what would happen if the residents of a Toronto highrise were allowed to participate in re-creating their home tower.”