WebAR: Top Trends and Opportunities To Look Out For
Posted By : Priyansha Singh | 30-May-2022
What is WebAR?
Augmented Reality has spread far outside the gaming sector and has become more accessible over the past few years, thanks to WebAR. Until now, AR experiences needed the download of special mobile applications or software or even the usage of certain AR smart glasses. This signified that the immersive prowess of AR was subconsciously hidden behind a wall, posing a considerable barrier to entry for average users.
However, in the present times, everyone who owns a smartphone or any other device with the internet, a screen, and a camera can experience the potential of augmented reality. WebAR or Web-based augmented reality is transfiguring the industry by decoupling it from the underlying software platforms and related hardware, gadgets, or wearable devices.
Similar to web-based software applications, users can now have the freedom to access WebAR from any supporting device that is capable of running a browser.
How Does WebAR Work?
Typically, WebAR makes use of sensors on smartphones to enable the tracking and placement of digital objects or materials inside the physical world. AR technology is leveraged for target recognition, 3D content, and interactive experiences through an amalgamation of computer vision technologies and sensors present on mobile devices. Moreover, WebAR can also function on desktops, with limitations like PCs should be tethered to one location.
In the future, WebAR will become increasingly immersive, feature-rich, and sophisticated as mobile browsers inculcate supportive capabilities. There is a multitude of ways to achieve this such as enabling AR to access the device’s RGB camera, orientation, magnetometers, accelerometers, gyroscope, or connecting WebAR on smartphones or smart wearable devices.
Here are some of the advantages of WebAR:
- Analytics visibility
- Cost-effective implementation
- Customer’s ease-of-use
- Greater optimization and personalization based on contextual data
- Immersive experiences
The Existing WebAR Experiences Leverage Five Core Technologies
- A content management system
Using a cloud-based content management system (CMS), users can access different AR experiences that respond to several triggers such as hyperlinks or QR codes. They can also access WebAR with simple and seamless camera lens captures in order to place interactive data virtually anywhere.
- Media streaming from mobile cameras
WebAR technology synergizes physical and virtual worlds through camera streaming access. To inculcate AR experiences with real-world scenes, it leverages RGB cameras for perspective as well as a range of vision.
- Scene understanding
To efficaciously position 3D items in physical environments, WebAR necessitates scene understanding. It is basically the ability of mobile devices to map any surface and anticipate the amount of light present in the nearby and surrounding environments.
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
APIs are pivotal for converting WebAR into a truly connected and secure application, where users can perform a myriad of tasks with a single digital experience. For example, APIs can be used to allow online shoppers to try products such as clothing or furniture in WebAR before making a purchase.
- A compatible browser
For WebAR experiences, the browser must be capable of supporting interactive content and rich visuals which can involve high volumes of data processing. It should also have the ability to operate seamlessly and efficiently with low bandwidth footprints in order to mitigate slowing down the operations of the smartphone.
Trending Use Cases of WebAR
In 2022, WebAR has witnessed some colossal shifts. One of them includes the preeminent growth of the eCommerce industry. The COVID-19 pandemic played a focal role in the steep rise and adoption of eCommerce, enabling the entire world to shift online. With stringent lockdowns, restrictions, and shop closures, retailers began seeking ways that could make online shopping more intuitive, secure, and immersive. The significant surge in metaverse development and innovations also fuelled its mass adoption across various industries. Well, this is where web-based augmented reality started to garner a lot of traction.
A number of companies such as Avataar, Meta, Google, Snap, and Nextech AR, among others, are architecting WebAR solutions that make next-gen technologies readily available to retailers, marketers, and industrial companies.
Here, we have enlisted some of the major trends in the WebAR sector that are predicted to gain even more dominance in the future.
- The metaverse phenomenon
Metaverse has become the buzzword of this decade now. Its main vision inculcates the construction of immersive and hyper-real 3D environments where users can collaborate and interact with one another freely. However, this concept has been in focus for the past few years and has already been implemented in a series of gaming platforms such as Fortnite, Roblox, and Epic Games, where gamers can play across virtual world simulators.
While this technology is exponentially becoming mainstream now, WebAR can serve as an actual gate to the realm of the metaverse, not to mention, a means of creating and delivering valuable content.
- Virtual events boom
Virtual streaming, conferences, and events have become quite a big hit today. During several pandemic-induced lockdowns, people and businesses alike could fully appreciate the merits of online interactions. Now, companies are on their way to making virtual events and online video streaming more representational and engaging, and WebAR is undoubtedly one of the best ways to do that.
With WebAR technology, it is possible to visualize products and services during presentations, introduce gamification into video conferences, and even overlay information about each participant right beside them. The interesting thing is – these features and projections are only the tip of the iceberg as compared to the actual potential that WebAR essentially holds.
- The spread of WebAR authoring platforms
With the increased usage of augmented reality on websites, this trend is going hand-in-hand with recent innovations. One such example of a related platform is 8th Wall WebAR, which offers SDK, AR tracking, and an editor to build and integrate AR projects into the web without any coding.
- Indoor/outdoor navigation evolution
Navigation is another sector where WebAR can solve practical problems and prevalent issues. Forget about GPS as WebAR will provide localization along with well-detailed directions that are seamlessly overlaid on the map on your smartphones.
WebAR offers a lot of potential and benefits including aspects like it is easy to build, is cost-effective, and inculcates a tiny resource footprint on the user’s end, reducing barriers to entry and furnishing mega opportunities to drive reach and engagement.
With the aforementioned trends, there is no doubt that WebAR is going to gain maximum dominance in the tech landscape in 2022 and in the years to come.
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