The rise of web-based XR (VR & AR) is one of the most interesting developments within the immersive industry. In this article we zoom in on WebAR, you can read what is and what is not possible, but especially why we are so enthusiastic about this technology.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is the completion or enrichment of reality with digital content such as photos, videos and 3D models. You can see the content through the screen of your smartphone, tablet or the lens of AR glasses such as the Hololens.

In most cases, this content is shown via a mobile application specially developed for this purpose. In addition, social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok also offer the possibility to view AR content, such as the well-known filters.

However, downloading an app remains a barrier to distributing your content, especially if it has a commercial touch. The advent of web-based applications completely removes this barrier.

What is WebAR?

WebAR is a combination of the words web (site) and augmented reality (AR). You can view and experience this experience completely through your browser. So you don’t need a “dedicated” application, just the standard browser on your tablet or smartphone.

What do you use WebAR for?

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How does WebAR work?

In most cases you scan a QR code that refers you to a website. After granting access to your camera and possibly scanning an AR marker, the (3D) content will appear on your screen. The content can be 3D (like a product) but also photos, videos, filters. WebAR has recently even made it possible to bring cylindrical packaging to life.

How do you make webAR?

WebAR uses the latest web techniques such as A-frame and WebGL to display 3D content in your browser and translate it into the real world. Creating this content, animations and interactions is still craftsmanship. Distribution is relatively easy, via one of the many WebAR platforms. For example, 8thwall is a platform that we like to work with.

The benefits of WebAR

The use of WebAR has many advantages. For example, viewers do not have to download a special app for every campaign or promotion. You can view the content in a few seconds via your browser.

Second, sharing the experience is easy through a share button that links to social media, whatsapp or other channels. You share a link and voilà; the experience is shared.

Finally, perhaps the most important advantage. Lower applications are needed, this can quickly save thousands of euros. WebAR is a very cost effective way of using AR.

The use of WebAR is accessible, the user experience and the share factor are high while the costs remain relatively low. Do you want to know more? Then read the pros and cons of WebAR.

The cons of WebAR

The lack of an app also has its drawbacks. Most important is the complexity of the experience. You want to keep the download time as low as possible and the experience as smooth as possible. This results in less detailed content, fewer interaction options and a shorter experience.

The second drawback is that WebAR is still in its infancy and runs less smoothly on older phones. The final drawback is that a good internet connection is required to download the content as quickly as possible.

Is webAR the future?

The general consensus within the industry is that the future of XR will be via the web. There are various reasons for this, for example the advent of faster internet, in the form of 5G. Ever better phones and the developments in the field of AR also ensure that the future of XR will go via the web.

Want to get started with WebAR yourself?

Our team has now launched a great deal of experience with WebAR in various international campaigns. If you have any questions about the possibilities of WebAR, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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