Augmented reality (AR) has been around for some time, gaining its moniker around 1990. However, the technology wasn’t heavily invested in or advanced until more recently. A few short years ago, AR took flight and began to take the internet and application world by storm. AR is considered a valuable addition to the enhanced reality lineup, and technophiles often use the technology in their everyday lives. Web-based augmented reality is quickly becoming more mainstream, and developers are adding more AR abilities than ever before. A company called 8th wall has created a platform that will help speed up the accessibility of WebAR.

Web Augmented Reality (WebAR) is increasingly more advanced and is an excellent way for businesses to convert their existing web pages to enhanced WebAR interactive sites. WebAR can change the perspective of customers toward the company or product they are researching and completely restyle the look of a website.

WebAR – what is it?

WebAR is an advanced technology that merges real-world environments with augmented reality experience. The underlying technology is similar to any other website, allowing developers to create an AR experience inside a typical website or application. WebAR sites do not require a mobile app or wearable device to use. Consumers can access and use WebAR by visiting an enhanced webpage on their browser.

What does WebAR bring to a website?

Up until recently, augmented reality required an application other than a company’s webpage for consumers to view the AR enhancements. Now, WebAR removes the need for a secondary app, allowing users to engage with AR directly on a business’s webpage. With WebAR, companies can reach a wider audience and grow their brand recognition by providing a faster, more effortless AR experience without needing to download an app.

WebAR websites can run on browsers included on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac platforms. WebAR advances make it easy for companies to build a cross-platform AR capability without creating a different app for each operating system.

WebAR enables students to learn new concepts more naturally and faster, homeowners to visualize new products in their house, and consumers to see how services, products, and even makeup will affect them. Online shopping, in general, is easier than ever — it only takes a few clicks on a computer or swipes on a mobile device to order new products. Most online shopping on mobile devices is done through apps, but what if a business could tap into a new market that prefers not to download an application? Through WebAR, consumers can shop from the convenience of a webpage and experience the thrills of an AR experience without ever having to spend their time downloading an app.

The consumer decision journey is the process a customer goes through from when they first show an interest in a product to when they buy the product. The length of time from interest to purchase varies. Still, if the customer has to download an app during this period, the company loses valuable time to make an impression and convince the consumer to purchase. By providing WebAR in a browser, companies gain back some of the decision journey time.

How are things changing for WebAR?

The current influx of AR capabilities directly onto smartphones and applications means that AR is here to stay. In 2017, Apple introduced the ARKit, and Google added ARCore software kits to their development lineups. These kits allow developers to create stunning augmented reality applications and cemented the concept of AR as an integral part of smartphone use. The addition of AR development kits spurred developers, brands, startups, and others to invest in AR and advance their own AR app and browser offerings. 8th Wall has created a powerful toolkit to create enriching Augmented Reality experiences that work on any browser. They have made it easy for content creators and developers to publish their own AR experiences seamlessly; while also integrating with popular 3D frameworks such as three.js, babylon.js and Sumerian.

How can the advertising industry benefit from WebAR?

Marketing efforts are already heavily concentrated on social media, gaming, and shopping applications. Through the use of WebAR, marketers gain a new element of advertising with which to work. WebAR offers new and exciting ways to promote products, services, and brand recognition and adds innovative ways to advertise to mainstream consumers.

For example, Sony Pictures released an AR experience for the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The application, Spider-Verse Web AR Experience, lets users interact with various people and objects from the movie right in their own home. The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience is entirely web-based and does not require an application to function, thus increasing usage and making easy marketing of the movie.

As WebAR advances, consumer conversion will become easier. Because WebAR works on mobile browsers, the conversion will increase through the use of interaction and better calls-to-action. WebAR makes advertisements more entertaining compared to page banners, popups, and side-bar images. The technology offers a leg-up for increased engagement by changing old and tired variations of ads into exciting augmented reality enhancements.

Instead of splashing giant advertisements on websitesacross the internet, businesses can use WebAR to offer fresh, interactive ways for consumers to experience the product, service, or movie.

Conclusion

WebAR has seen rapid growth and advancements over just a few short years.

The best element of WebAR is that it reduces the chances of losing consumers during their decision journey. By eliminating the need to download an app on a mobile device, companies allow customers to get the full benefits of an AR experience without wasting any precious time. This can increase conversion and customer retention.

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