Augmented reality is on the rise. According to IDC, spending on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality worldwide is expected to reach $18.8 billion by 2020. In addition, the Gartner Institute predicts 100 million shoppers will be using augmented reality in the same year. Finally, Tim COOK, CEO of Apple, said on the occasion of the announcement of the 1st quarter 2020 results: “There are consumer applications and there are enterprise applications. This is the reason we’re so excited about AR. You rarely have new technology that both business and consumers see as key to them. That’s the reason I think it’s going to pervade your life – it’s going to go across both business and home life.”* One can easily come to the conclusion that augmented reality is becoming unavoidable for brands today. And icing on the cake, the technology is made even more accessible with the arrival of Web AR.
Technical definition of Web AR
Web AR refers to augmented reality available directly within a web browser using a smartphone or tablet. The product presented by a brand on its e-commerce site will propose that you click on a button (only if your device is AR compatible) and call up a personalized URL. This URL allows you to download an object that will be detected by the browser as being “optimized” for augmented reality. The user remains in his web browser and can explore the object in 3D.
Heads up: We use a specific format for augmented reality. The browser detects the format of the 3D object: USDZ for iOS and GLB for Android. At that moment, the browser loads a native application in the phone – ARCore for Android or ARKit for Apple – and automatically triggers the smartphone’s camera.
If you have a compatible smartphone, do a test: open a Google page and enter “horse”. You should see an animated horse modelled in 3D. By clicking on Show in 3D, you can even use augmented reality to project the animal in your garden for example!
For a real-life case, the approach is simple:
- First of all, integrate a 3D web configurator on the pages of the products concerned.
- Make sure that the 3D objects used are compatible with web formats for augmented reality.
- All users who log in from a compatible device will have the augmented reality functionality available.
This technology provides strong impact for the customer and everyone will be able to visualize a product in the environment of their choice. Another great step forward for the customer journey!
An asset/advantage for the customer journey
Augmented reality has brought about a profound change and offers fun and high-performance uses, particularly in retail and manufacturing. The technology has experienced a tremendous growth but has had its limits, requiring the download of an application, which was a breaking point in the consumer journey.
With the multiplication of media and platforms where brands are present to sell, inform and seduce, we always come back to the customer journey. The omni-channel strategy aims to make the user experience as fluid as possible. With the downloading of an application in the middle of the journey, this represents an obstacle and increases the risk of losing the potential consumer. Increasingly, augmented reality will be easily accessible and will no longer represent a break in the user experience. That’s the revolution. While browsing an e-commerce site, the user will be able to project an object or a piece of furniture wherever it is (and only if the brand has chosen to allow it).
INSPI currently offers its Web AR tool. Evolution UX (User Experience) and undeniably, the technology allows the optimization of the sales pipeline and provides invaluable guidance to prospects. No more question here of a break in the purchasing process and real added value for the home furniture sales market.
One more step in the digital transformation of the industry! Ready to start with us? J