Say Hello to AR on the Web

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Over the past few years, we’ve talked about the camera being a platform for creation, communication, and commerce. Through animations, masks, playful effects and contextual information, users have been able to express themselves across various channels. Moving into 2019, not only will these experiences push the boundaries of what AR has to offer, but they’ll also expand into other communication channels and be easier to access.  

The barriers to access augmented reality effects are quickly breaking down and 2019 will bring with it the advancement of web-based AR. We’ve already seen the building blocks of that with AR Quick Look, which allows users to access AR images of products directly from the Safari browser. Thanks to a new file format from Apple and Adobe entitled USDZ, developers can easily link their images to ones viewable in AR.  

While Safari was the first major browser to offer these capabilities, look for Chrome, Firefox, etc. to jump on board in 2019. Once fully realized, there’s a vast potential for AR on the web and it doesn’t just stop at commerce. Education, entertainment and more are all areas for ripe disruption and that’s only going to pick up as our method of access moves from phones to less intrusive hardware like glasses or contacts.

Implications  

The mobile device is an incredibly important aspect of the consumer decision journey and just as consumers came to expect high-quality imagery on mobile sites, they’ll soon come to expect the ability to “try before they buy” through augmented objects.  

In order to keep consumers engaged and satisfy the needs of their consideration set, it’s important for marketers to begin asking themselves how AR can play a role on their mobile sites. A simple first step is to outfit your site with USDZ image files, while a more advanced approach involves product demonstrations, use cases, stories, or linking to alternative educational/entertainment vehicles.


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