8th Wall Revs Up Realism for Web AR Experiences with Real-Time Reflective Surfaces

Since launching its web-based AR platform in 2018, 8th Wall has continued to push the boundaries of what brands can do with AR experiences outside of native apps.

The company’s latest update adds another dimension of realism to web-based AR content.

On Thursday, 8th Wall revealed Realtime Reflections, a new attribute that enables developers to insert surfaces into AR content that mirror its real-world surroundings.

Image by 8th Wall/YouTube

This can translate to more realistic depictions of other glass, metallic, liquid, or even glossy plastic and leather surfaces, such as reflections appearing on a bottle of Miller Lite or new Toyota Corolla, for instance. Sample AR experiences captured by 8th Wall on video make it difficult to differentiate between real and virtual objects.

Image by 8th Wall/YouTube

We’ve seen similar attributes at play in Lenses from Snapchat, but 8th Wall is able to execute this feature for web-based AR experiences rather than native apps. That’s objectively impressive.

In a relatively short time frame, 8th Wall has added capabilities for image targets and curved image targets, volumetric video support, and tools for easy prototyping and cloud editing and hosting, among other features, to its 8th Wall Web platform.

Image by 8th Wall/YouTube

While 8th Wall isn’t the only name in the web-based AR game (see also: Apple, Google, Blippar, and Zappar), it appears to be the one getting the most traction with brands.

Its robust platform has also resulted in high-profile AR campaigns for Sony Pictures, Pepsi, Sony Records, Netflix, and Fox, among other brands, and with no signs its momentum slowing.

Cover image via 8th Wall/YouTube