AR Quick Look
solves this problem for iOS. This is a native feature of ARKit which launches a model viewer right from the browser — that's why we call it native Web AR. It utilises .reality or .USDZ files, the latter is a file format developed by Pixar, and allows showing objects in incredible detail, adding animations and sounds, locking their scale to 1:1 so models show the real size of an object.
Retail and e-commerce can benefit the most from implementing AR Quick Look on their websites: for example, if a customer has found a bed they like, they can instantly place it in their bedroom with the help of web-based augmented reality features, checking the proportions and compatibility with other pieces of furniture. According to Dan Davis, the CTO at Build.com, they saw a 22% decrease in return of bought products
as customers had a chance to check if an item fitted the available space. This opportunity is especially vital right now as most customers prefer ordering items online and avoid visiting public places.
Another possible use case is demonstrating differences in packages. Instead of going to a car dealership, a customer can see variants they can pick and decide what package meets their requirements. Unfortunately, they won't be able to configure a car themselves: they'll need to switch between models, each being a separate file, and wait while they load. Thus, the engagement might be a bit lower in comparison to an AR app. But I guess, it should be much easier to motivate a customer to install the app after a web demo.
Other than that, in-browser AR Quick Look has little to no downsides if you need a quick demonstration of your product. It supports both vertical and horizontal planes so it's possible to place an object on the floor or wall; lighting, shadows, and environment mapping are created by ARKit; it's developed quickly and with less effort than an AR app.
As Apple's documentation about in-browser AR Quick Look isn't quite thorough, we decided to write a guide about native Web AR for iOS and gathered all the info we know on the subject.
Let's start with basic things first and see how we can launch a ready-made 3D model in AR.