ane, 10. August 2022

The third dimension for marketing

Augmented reality - AR for short - is accessible to almost everyone with a smartphone or tablet. This is because most new Android devices, as well as every newer device with iOS, respectively iPadOS, automatically have the respective framework installed that enables viewing of 3D content in the browser.

For smartphones and tablets with Android, the framework is called "Google ARCore"; for iPhones and iPads, "ARKit".

Good chances of being seen: iOS and Android market shares at 99.2 percent

In the past, an app was always needed to use augmented reality. This was used to evaluate image and sensor data and then display 3D content in the correct position in the room. That has changed in recent years. The newer devices already come with the respective frameworks from Apple or Google. This makes it easier for programmers to develop applications. In addition, performance and precision have been improved. And, of course, this offers the possibility to initiate the display of interactive 3D content directly via a smartphone browser, meaning that anyone with a mobile phone or tablet of a newer generation with at least Android 7.0 Nougat or iOS 11 can view augmented reality applications via the browser. Corresponding 3D formats are USDZ (Universal Scene Description) from Apple and glTF (Graphics Language Transmission Format) from Google.

Android and iOS currently have a worldwide market share of 99.2 percent of Internet use with cell phones. The share of Android is 71.7%, and that of iOS is 27.5%[1]. The percentage of AR-capable smartphones will be lower because there are likely to be devices built before 2017, some of which will not be Nougat- or iOS 11-capable. Overall, there is a large intersection of devices capable of displaying AR content out of the box. The trend is enormously increasing!

Your product as a 3D object in the customer environment

The fact that AR capabilities have come to smartphone browsers significantly expands their application possibilities. Potential customers can virtually place your product as a 3D model in their office, home, environment, or laboratory, rotate it, and view it from all sides. They can do this without installing an app directly from the digital product catalog or the web shop.

View 3D objects from all sides

How is it possible? The 3D object is embedded on a web page or in an app in USDZ or gITF format. When it is accessed, the framework and, thus, the smartphone or tablet's camera is activated. Now the user has to pan his smartphone in his environment. The AR framework uses acceleration sensors, a compass, and a camera to calculate the characteristics of the space: the position, proportions, surfaces, objects, and lighting conditions of the respective environment are calculated. Subsequently, the 3D model is placed in the environment true to scale or even in real size. The user can move, scale and view it using the touchscreen function - almost like a real object.

What does this mean for you? Overall, a considerable expansion of your marketing opportunities. You can bring your product to life as a 3D model. Your customers can place it in their environment and let it affect them. Some examples:

  • What does the solar system on the roof look like?
  • How does the new car look in my parking lot or garage?
  • Where in the lab do we want to place the new unit?
  • What garden shed model do we want to be built on our property?
  • Does the new control system have room in its intended location in the basement?

AR makes your product tangible

On the one hand, AR can assess whether a product is suitable for use in the intended location without measuring it. For example, whether a device fits into the intended space due to its dimensions. Then there is also the playful aspect: It is fun and seems real, tangible, and desirable when the new notebook in 3D is already on your desk.

In any case, you should consider whether augmented reality represents a marketing opportunity for your product.

Advantages of AR on mobiles and tablets

  • AR conveys the best possible virtual visual impression of a physical product, as it can be rotated and moved in all directions.
  • A first size check with the object in one's environment is also possible on the other side of the world and saves travel.
  • AR also conveys the best possible visual impression outside of opening hours.

Disadvantages

  • The distance within which AR works precisely is limited to a few meters. Therefore, the solar system will probably only work on the garage roof and not yet on the house roof.
  • AR does not work at all or only unsatisfactorily on older cell phones or those with poor cameras. This excludes a specific potential clientele.
  • AR is resource hungry. The real-time calculations demand the computing capacity of the device - and also that of the battery. The phone can therefore get hot when using AR mode for a very long time. 
  • All these drawbacks will surely be fixed at some point in the future. Or at least optimized.
Hier clicken, um das Modell zu testen

For example, our Co-Working Space as a 3D AR model

Of course, the model on the left only works on mobile devices...

To give potential visitors an idea of our space and the size ratios on site, we have recreated our CoWorking Space as a "dollhouse". This provides a good impression of how our Open Space office is structured - and for whom the concept is suitable - and for whom less so.

Hier clicken, um das Modell zu testen

For example, our Co-Working Space as a 3D AR model

To give potential visitors an idea of our space and the size ratios on site, we have recreated our CoWorking space as a "dollhouse". This provides a good impression of how our Open Space office is structured - for whom the concept is suitable - and for whom less.

Just click the button "Click here to test the model".

Test AR? Simply scan the QR tag with your smartphone.

This QR tag leads directly to the visual object: Our 3D AR model of OfficeLoft. Simply scan it with your smartphone camera and use the link.

AWE Schaffhausen: Partner for 3D content

AWE Schaffhausen has been creating 3D content for the comprehensible presentation of complex topics and the immersive marketing of products and services since 2009.

In addition to classic 3D visualizations and illustrations, the range of services includes content and tools in augmented reality and virtual reality.

In creating objects and content for modern technologies, AWE relies on close partnerships with customers who benefit from the combination of communication and 3D know-how to an extent.

It costs nothing to ask...

What do you need to make your products "AR-ready"? How does augmented reality support your marketing processes? How expensive is a corresponding production, and how can AR finally be integrated into your site or store?

We are at your disposal for a non-binding discussion.

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