What are Web AR and its benefits?

What are Web AR and its benefits?

If you have ever used an Instagram or Snapchat filter, thrown pokeballs at Pokemón GO game, or used a photo sticker app, you have already tried Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality is part of the technologies called by Google’s developers of Immersive Web; it is composed of the whole spectrum between the total reality and a 100% virtual experience simulation.

Maybe you are not yet familiar with this technology, so we have written this post to show you how Augmented Reality works and how simple it can be. Check it out below.

It is easier than you think

When the subject of Extended Reality (which brings together Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) comes up, the use of a cinematographic future tool is one of the first things we remember, and what we don’t realize is that the bridges between the real and the virtual are disappearing day by day, on different aspects: some are already more available than others.

Under this technology umbrella, web AR allows us to project virtual objects in the real world, augmenting reality based only on the tools available on the web.

– Which app should I download to try web AR?
– You don’t need to download an app, you just need the internet.

– And what extension should I download to my browser?
– No one! You just need the internet.

– Do I need a specific browser?
– No, just the internet.

As long as your device allows for an Augmented Reality experience, which is very common among mobile devices nowadays, no other features are needed. In a nutshell, we can say that the technology is a native feature of the cell phone, allowing us to access a link or a QR Codes to start the immersive experience.

Company use and web AR benefits

Beyond the ways we can experience Augmented Reality as users, companies can also benefit from such technology. Here are the three main ways highlighted by the Google Team: shopping, education, and entertainment.

Three cell phone screens show web AR in use: easing the buying of a centre table, offering an educative experience with the projection of a Mayan statue, and projecting entertaining animated figures on a table | Adapted from a demonstrative video presented in a Google´s developers event in 2018.

Taking as an example the application of Augmented Reality using only the web to facilitate the purchasing process, we can highlight some benefits: low cost of implementation, a greater audience reach, and the improvement of the shopping experience.

Low implementation cost

Without the necessity for the development of an application, which would take months, we can bring AR to users of an online store in just a few days, even if the organization does not have yet 3D models optimized for AR.

Talking about the technology implementation, you only need to adapt an SDK to the corporate website. Other methods would include making a link or QR Code available on other media of communication such as a flyer, landing page, or email.

Audience reach

If you are responsible for an app that engages with the company’s audience, metrics such as the number of visits to your page in the app stores and number of downloads should be among the priorities.

Well, without the need to download apps, the obstacle of reaching the company’s target audience simply disappears and you can focus on the challenge of communicating with your audience.

We are not comparing the use of web AR with the need to buy special devices or accessories such as glasses or bracelets, which could make the shopping experience more expensive to the point of making it unfeasible for a large part of possible customers.

When comparing devices that offer Augmented Reality experience, we see more than 3 billion devices compatible with web AR against 1.58 billion devices with Facebook installed (and its solutions), 950 million with TikTok and 240 million with Snapchat, according to a survey by ARInsider, highlighting the potential of web AR solutions developed to improve the communication between organizations and their audiences.

Shopping experience improvements

Anyone who has already bought furniture for their house or office knows the massive efforts required in measuring, checking, analyzing, and rethinking desired models; not including the comings and goings to the stores, to guarantee such product is the ideal one for you.

The retail market is changing, especially regarding furniture, decoration, and appliances. Nowadays, it is already possible to visualize products in your space to analyze details such as product dimensions, colors, and styles.

The use of Augmented Reality on the web not only makes the shopping experience more pleasant but also easier, resulting in a trustworthy relationship between customer and supplier.

Recently, we published a new version of our code, reducing the size and ensuring that the shopping experience will not be affected by the loading time of pages, which is an increasingly important metric for search engines like Google.

As said before, web AR is already applied for different purposes, especially to facilitate online retail purchases. Companies that already use AR prove how the implementation of this technology provides a more seamless online purchasing experience that results in an improvement of the several metrics mentioned throughout this post.

‘If you want to know more about web Augmented Reality and how it can help your online store grow, click here, and find out how R2U’s web AR applies to your business.