Through the last in-depth analysis of the article “VR&AR, which not only links the technology industry, but also affects the automobile industry”, we can know that the AR industry has become an important lever for leveraging digital technology and intelligent transportation. However, augmented reality (AR) experiences also require the download of special software or mobile apps, or even the use of specific AR smart glasses. This means that the immersive power of AR experiences is hidden behind the hardware, posing a huge barrier to usage for the average user.
WebAR, or web-based augmented reality, is revolutionizing the industry by decoupling it from the underlying hardware and software platforms. Just like web-based software applications, users can freely access Web AR from any device capable of running a browser. The realization of such technology can play an important role in the field of consumer goods, personal digital products, and smart travel.
WebAR uses multiple hardware to work together
WebAR leverages the sensors on your phone to allow for the placement and tracking of digital materials in the physical world. By combining these sensors with computer vision technology on smartphones, AR technology enables animated 3D content, object recognition, and interactive experiences. WebAR can also run on desktop devices, but is limited because PCs are tethered to one location.
WebAR experiences will become increasingly complex as mobile browsers add support. Allowing AR to access the device’s RGB camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, orientation and magnetometer, or linking WebAR on a mobile device to a smart wearable are a few ways to do this. So, WebAR is more flexible.
WebAR experiences leverage five key technologies
- Media streaming from mobile camera– WebAR technology synchronizes virtual and physical worlds through camera streaming access. To add AR experiences to real-world scenes, it utilizes RGB cameras for perspective and field of view.
- Content Management System– Users can access AR experiences using a cloud-based content management system (CMS) that responds to various triggers, such as QR codes or hyperlinks. Users can access WebAR with a simple camera lens capture, placing interactive information almost anywhere.
- scene understanding– To locate 3D items in a physical environment, WebAR requires scene understanding, or the ability of a mobile device to map surfaces and estimate the amount of light present in the surrounding environment.
- compatibleBrowsers – Browsers must be designed with rich visuals and interactive experiences that involve a lot of data processing, as well as the ability to run efficiently and with low bandwidth consumption to avoid slowing down smartphones.
- Application Programming Interface (API) – APIs transform Web AR into truly connected applications where users can accomplish a variety of different tasks from a single virtual experience. For example, an API could allow online shoppers to try products in WebAR to make a purchase.
What are the benefits of Web AR?
With the rapid maturity of AR, does the industry need Web AR technology as well as traditional AR? Most would say yes, because WebAR brings the following benefits to organizations and users:
- Affordable Implementation:Developers can build WebAR applications in days instead of months, even if the organization doesn’t yet have AR-ready 3D models. In terms of technology deployment, only one software development kit (SDK) needs to be integrated.
- Analytical Visibility: Web AR is a web-accessible augmented reality system. As such, it seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics, HubSpot and other such tools to provide useful information on visitor age, origin, geography and gender, as well as to design further marketing programs.
- Ease of use for consumers: WebAR requires minimal user effort. Due to the inherent convenience of the experience, no downloadable programs would encourage them to acquire, view, and share information, resulting in greater reach, extended interactivity, and better engagement. While the latter offers better visuals, Web AR may outperform traditional AR.
- Greater personalization based on contextual data: WebAR can customize experiences by analyzing contextual data from a user’s mobile device, enabling the creation of dynamic content using technologies such as geolocation and social media to build experiences tailored to specific groups of users. For example, a website could dynamically adjust the clothing displayed in an AR experience based on the weather conditions in the user’s location.
WebAR has great potential for cross-industry applications
WebAR has a lot of potential because it is easy to build, low cost, and has a small resource footprint on the user side, lowering barriers to entry and offering great potential to drive reach and engagement. However, it does have some disadvantages compared to traditional AR:
- network limitation:The inherent connectivity is still not universal, which means that WebAR is not always accessible to everyone. In regions without 4G or 5G access, the WebAR experience will be problematic.
- Device Compatibility: Considering differences in mobile memory, processor technology, and optimization techniques used by manufacturers, the experience may not be consistent across all devices.
Despite these fundamental barriers, AR applications and device-based experiences remain the mainstream approach. However, Web AR is growing by leaps and bounds and may soon become a viable alternative to traditional AR for many users.
Many companies such as Snap, Nextech AR, Google, Meta, and Avataar are developing WebAR solutions to make the technology easily accessible to marketers, retailers, and industrial companies. Google offers its own WebAR SDK, ARCore, that allows developers to render virtual objects in the real world. XR+ is another platform that lets you build codeless web AR experiences. Likewise, PlugXR is a drag-and-drop platform that leverages the cloud to build an immersive experience with five different tracks.
Automakers are also continually introducing and leveraging the potential of WebAR. For example, according to the requirements of Mitsubishi Motors, Marvy designed a WebAR experience space for customers in a logical sequence, from giving important model parameters required by customers, to the exterior and exterior experience of the car. In addition, Marvy’s design team produced one of the most beautiful and closest 3D models of a real Mitsubishi model, adding to the excitement of interacting with the 3D model of the car. This application simulates the performance of the vehicle in dry weather and wet and rainy city roads, a highlight of the Pajero series is the 360-degree camera, Marvy designed 4 side full views, clearly showing the location of the camera, describing the camera The spatial width of the area around the car can be observed. Of course, there are also huge innovation and application opportunities in the field of in-vehicle navigation.
Innovative teams and applications continue to emerge in the field of WebAR at home and abroad
WebAR has huge potential across industries, especially to transform the online retail experience, and hopefully become the default method for building websites and displaying products online in the next few years, with huge potential. South Korean Web AR platform RECON Labs recently completed a $4.4 million Series A financing, which is a good example of commercial application. Based on the platform’s “PlicAR” automation technology that converts 2D images into 3D views of products, enabling e-commerce customers to create 3D models within two hours without any 3D modeling skills, RECON Labs will expand staff to enhance “PlicAR” capabilities after financing is completed . The startup also recently partnered with San Francisco-based metaverse company The Sandbox to develop a tool that will allow users to create 3D characters and items.
Domestically, the EasyAR team under Shi+AR has already opened WebAR earlier so that more people can use augmented reality technology through WeChat or browsers. The earliest version of WebAR can support functions such as plane image recognition, cloud recognition, 3D rendering, and complex 3D interaction. Developers can use WebAR on the EasyAR official website.
In addition, EasyAR also brings a new product, EasyAR Mega. EasyAR Mega is a city-level spatial computing technology platform, including data acquisition, 3D reconstruction, visual positioning, editing tools and other capabilities. It is suitable for cultural tourism, business circles, games, entertainment and other industries. Develop colorful metaverse applications. In addition, Xinhua News Agency also stated that its client has added the latest AR function, which can present an augmented reality (AR) report form on the mobile phone by scanning graphics and objects.
From the current point of view, WebAR technology is still evolving and upgrading, but there is no doubt that with the maturity of the technology, it will become an important driving force that cannot be ignored in the future, and the prospects are worthy of attention.