WebAR or Web-Based AR describes augmented reality solutions that can be run in the web browser without the need to download an application. More and more companies decide to use web-based AR because of how easy and convenient it is to use. It has numerous advantages, including:
- more convenient access for the end-user
- launching the application is easier
- smooth and effortless updates
- accessible from most devices
In this article, we will discuss the differences between standard augmented reality and web-based AR as well as the business benefits of choosing the latter. But first, let’s see how and why it is beneficial to use augmented reality in general.
Value of AR development from a business perspective
If we look at some statistics on Forbes’ website, 73% of US consumers who used AR were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience. This clearly indicates that people enjoy augmented reality and will gladly use it if your company provides it. But how can it be beneficial from a business perspective?
AR can help you increase your revenue, gain new customers and increase your customers’ engagement. For example, you can let your customers try on your products before purchase without the need to interact with them physically. This is especially useful in e-commerce.
If you have a business in the fashion industry, you can develop virtual fitting rooms. Similarly, make-up stores can offer virtual make-up try-ons and jewelry shops might benefit from augmented reality jewelry. Once you have such an app, you can enable easy customization of your products. And according to McKinsey, personalization usually increases revenue by 10-15% which is not insignificant.
Examples of creative augmented reality experiences
Trying out products with AR isn’t only limited to clothes, make-up and jewelry. One project 4Experience developed for ModiModi included an application that allowed customers to virtually try out furniture pieces in their house. It helped them imagine how the furniture would look once placed in their apartment.
Besides testing your products, you can use AR to improve your customer service. We encourage you to read about an AR remote support application for one of our clients.
Differences between web-based AR and AR apps
First of all, there is a difference in accessibility and ease of use. Augmented reality applications are often used for marketing or promotional purposes. Downloading and installing an app requires some effort from the user. It requires several steps, which will discourage a number of consumers before they even have the chance to see the app.
If we give the same people a QR code that will transfer them directly to the AR content, we will see higher click-through rates and user counts. The process of updating a web-based AR application is also maximally simplified. You just upload the new version and make it accessible from the same link. With the web version, we also don’t have to verify it in the Google Play Store or AppStore.
A good example of WebAR is Kinder’s app called “Jump Into Africa”. The concept was to create a 3D portal that led to a virtual safari. It was available in Tesco stores all around the United Kingdom. Users could go through the portal and explore the African Savannah by watching animated animals with exciting infographics. To see how it all worked, watch the video below.
Are there situations where you should go for an app?
To answer this question, we asked our expert – Sebastian Stryczek. Sebastian is our Lead R&D Programmer, but also has extensive experience in the field of WebXR. Here is what he said.
In the case of applications in which photorealistic graphics are required it’s important to check if the quality we’re going for is possible to obtain in an internet browser. The rendering engine in a mobile browser has its limitations although it usually manages augmented reality well.
However, if you have specific needs like using the Bluetooth or memory of the device web-based augmented reality will not cut it. One more situation when you will need a dedicated application is if you want your app to be available in Apple’s AppStore. In that case, it’s necessary to create an iOS application that will run the WebAR application and take the role of an internet browser.
Develop AR experiences for your business
To sum up, WebAR experiences are oftentimes a better choice than app-based AR. Here are the main reasons:
- Scanning a QR code requires less effort than downloading an app.
- Web AR technology enables smooth and uncomplicated updates.
- You don’t have to verify the app in iOS and Android stores
- Most mobile devices are compatible with web-based augmented reality.
If you’re interested in developing web-based augmented reality content, check our WebXR services offer. You’ll find out more about our expertise and will be able to view one of our WebAR projects. We also encourage you to schedule a 60-minute free consultation with our business experts, to find the best solution for your needs.