Augmented Reality has been the buzzword for some time now. For the uninitiated, Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information.
WebAR, or as we like to call it, browser-based AR, is Augmented Reality that can be experienced from a mobile browser, straight from your smartphone.
Why is this such a big deal? Because while WebAR means no applications – it also means a more seamless experience for consumers. Augmented Reality is available from every smartphone browser without app installation.
What is WEBAR?
WebAR is an emerging web technology that uses our mobile browsers to provide an Augmented Reality experience. As the name suggests, WebAR is based on the same underlying technologies that websites use, which means WebAR allows for creating AR experiences that are just as easy to display to customers as websites or web apps.
In practice, you open a link and launch your phone’s camera, and your browser becomes an AR scanner, or the browser overlays the AR content immediately as it would through an AR app.
What are the benefits of WebAR?
Up until now, to experience any AR content, users needed to download and install an application from an App Store or Play Store, which is an extra step the user will joyously skip if the time is not right. AR experiences are a treat to your eyes, but having to download and install a separate app has always been one unneeded step in creating campaigns for users to experience in a moment’s notice.
The sheer simplicity of webAR makes it a huge turning point in the evolution and spread of AR.
WebAR gives AR creators a level playing field, where your brand does not need to be dependent on developing a separate app to deliver an immersive experience to your customers. Availability and cost-effectiveness which were two of the biggest hurdles for mobile app AR, and the reason why consumer AR market has not developed at previously predicted speed – has now been eradicated.
The possibilities of sharing AR content are vastly improved, as you can share the link to WebAR content just like any other link over multiple marketing channels, on social media posts, display advertising, email, messaging, and so on.
How can you market through WebAR?
Assuming that your brand is already spending heavily on digital advertisements, WebAR offers the quickest way to implement augmented reality marketing in your current strategy without having to spend money on developing apps. You can trigger AR experiences through custom made URLs which can be shared via your website and email. WebAR can also be implemented in your already existing webpage. Your existing clients and any new prospect will get to see your important documents on your website, all at the same time in 3D mode with the help of WebAR.
Industries where WebAR can be used
Simply speaking, WebAR can be used in almost every industry and can have immense benefits in all. However, we are noting down some names to give you a more comprehensive idea about what it can do to your business.
E-commerce and Advertising: WebAR can take e-commerce experiences to another level. In the case of marketing, it offers a new platform for campaigns as people can just follow a link and get more engaging and interactive advertisements that will keep them hooked to their mobile screens.
Education: Application of WebAR in the education sector can be a great way to engage students in classrooms and make the entire learning process more interactive and exciting as the students can easily learn a complex subject through easily accessed 3D models.
Entertainment: The use of WebAR for entertainment is maybe the most obvious one as interacting with it is truly fun by itself. It can be used for gaming or even for movie promotion. Sony Pictures actually used WebAR to promote one of their productions and they offered a truly engaging experience powered by voice interaction to grant an exciting 3D adventure.
The near and far future is looking positive for WebAR. Due to the expectations of users, who are seeking immersive experiences and fun ways to connect with brands and to the fast-paced development of mobile devices, businesses and brands are more and more encouraged to implementing WebAR into their advertising strategy.