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Augmented Reality on the Web using Model Viewer technology / Habr

Hello everyone Today I will tell you how you can create web reconversions using the new Google Model Viewer technology.

We all know the IKEA application well enough to view furniture and interior design in augmented reality. Currently, the market is trying to shorten the user’s path from product to purchase by finding solutions that will not require downloading an additional application.

For example, Apple and Google have already made an attempt to create something similar to IKEA: they have both released WebAR solutions that allow you to see content in augmented reality through a browser. The interaction goes from the camera to the web page where the product is loaded.

Users can move and freely change the size of any 3D model to see how the furniture fits into their interior, moreover, there is an opportunity to take pictures of the created space to share with friends in the future. This feature is very useful for commercial websites or for creating works of art.

Apple and Google have taken a step forward by bringing augmented reality to the web so that users can interact with content and products via a URL link or a special QR code without installing any additional applications on their smartphone.

WebAR

To view augmented reality in a browser, Apple has developed a Quick Look solution, which I wrote about earlier in an article revealing the features of development on iOS.

Google has developed Scene Viewer, an open source framework that can be embedded in any web page and run either in Quick view mode (if the device is based on iOS and supports this feature), or through Google Scene Viewer (if the device has Android or ARCore libraries). Both companies have created an almost identical solution for Android and iOS devices.

This solution was called Model Viewer.

Model Viewer allows you to view 3D content using a classic web page, as well as launch augmented reality on the web, or do both. In accordance with the specified parameters of the HTML tag that the user sets, the program will perform a particular function.

Pros and cons of Model Viewer technology

Positive:

  • Easy to build: several lines of HTML code are required to create;
  • Cross-platforming: iOS, Android users can work with Model Viewer, as well as those who use the WebXR device API technology, if it is supported.
  • Easy to use: The interface is user-friendly – they can move objects in space, change its size and take pictures in a few gestures.

Minuses:

  • Easy to use – for programmers: at the moment, the program does not support any official tools that allow you to view AR content without knowing the code. This disadvantage can be considered as a temporarily missing function, since at the moment the development of AR programs is nearing the creation of platforms on which you can view content without knowing the code.
  • Cross-platforming: it is difficult to call the program completely cross-platform, since it is supported by iOS devices, starting from version 13, Android devices need ARCore support.
  • It is not configurable: at the moment, you can only change the landing page on which triggers are installed. The AR experience that starts when you click the “Start AR” button cannot be edited.
  • Feature Detection: The extension is not available on either iOS or Android.

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Our team is ready to work on all the difficulties that arise, moreover, we are always looking for the most optimal option for the client to develop augmented reality.

If you have been planning to order the development of an AR/ VR application for a long time, but do not know where to find suitable developers – leave a request on our website, the manager will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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