Web Based AR
Web based AR platforms are used on desktop computers and tablets in conjunction with select web browsers and OS, and on some smartphone browsers, however, the phone and the software platform must be able to render 2D and 3D images to function as true AR. These AR platforms don’t require headsets and they are highly customizable with no file size limitations.
Image capture is supported provided the device is enabled. These applications must employ a library of predetermined images and/or videos for the augmented experience to be effective. That means that hosting of these files is required. User input of data is only limited by the design of the application and there is complete control of integration of API’s making web based platforms very flexible.
Because so many of these programs are used in eCommerce, face tracking is an important feature. Free face tracking options are available but the quality of their performance may vary. Paid face tracking options are available for integration, however, the quality will not be as high as smartphone or social media platforms. Web based applications have become ubiquitous in the world of online shopping to facilitate online transactions.
Customized AR applications run on select (2016/2017 and later) versions of Android and iOS smartphones. Because smartphones have built in high quality image and video capture, 2D and 3D rendering capabilities, and face tracking, they can natively support AR applications on their platform. Headsets are not required. Image and other media files can be bundled within the application if they aren’t too large, otherwise, they may need to be hosted. These applications are not supported on desktop. Because these applications run on smartphones, as with all applications running on iPhones and Android they must be approved before they can be released.
Mobile platforms allow for a high level of customization and they can be integrated with external API’s. These platforms support a wide range of AR uses including entertainment, gaming, eCommerce, tourism and events and because AR capable smartphones are so numerous globally, equipment barriers are essentially removed.
Social Media Platform AR
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all have AR platforms that are used in conjunction with smartphones. Social media AR is heavily used in experiential marketing. These immersive experiences provide marketers with a powerful combination of brand or promotional advertising and AR overlay. Using applications with filters built into their platforms, social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, enable marketers to connect and engage consumers. The most common use of filters is product previewing where users can try on a range of products before purchasing thereby reducing consumer hesitancy.